I’ve talked before about how important book reviews are.

But it’s not just the five-star book reviews. Those one-star book reviews can be just as important.

Recently, in an author Facebook group I follow, an author posted the following screenshot after receiving a one-star review:


What you’re seeing here is a reader who apparently adds one-star reviews to books she hasn’t read yet. The author was mad, saying it would drag her average down. Lots of people in the comment thread said they would report the review to Amazon.

This is a huge mistake.

You are going to get one-star reviews. Doesn’t matter how great your book is. Especially if your book is ever free (or permafree), and you coincide those free days with a promo. Promos bring people out of the woodwork to download your book. And many of them will download it because it’s free, not because it’s something they might enjoy. These fregans then might leave a one- or two-star review that says something like, “not my style.”

Yeah, it’s aggravating.

But, looking at the example above, a one-star that says “haven’t read yet” is absolutely the best one-star review you will ever get. You need this review.

On Amazon, the top-rated positive (4/5 star) and critical/negative (1/2/3 star) reviews appear at the top of the review list. People will see them.

So, here’s what you’re going to do:

Leave it alone. It’s hard, but just do it. Be glad this is the worst review of your book!

Or, here’s another option:

Instead of reporting the review, you’re going to ask everyone you know to UPVOTE that review.

Because, if “haven’t read it” is your top critical review, when people browse your book page, it makes your book look better. Lots of people only read the negative reviews of books or products to find a justification not to buy the thing. I do it sometimes.

A one-star that says, “haven’t read it” is much better than a one-star that says, “this book sucks.”

Caveat: Amazon might not like you encouraging people to up or down vote reviews. So, do so at your own risk.

One star reviews are inevitable. A fact of the writing life. So, if you get one like this, cherish it. Be thankful for it. It’s going to help you, even though it might not seem like it.

Trust me.