When your book doesn’t have hundreds of reviews, you hold each one dear, so much in fact that a good review can make your day, and a bad one can destroy your whole damn week.
I used to be sort of paranoid about Kindle sales and reviews. I was deep into the check-the-KDP-dashboard-page-twice-a-day tunnel. But then things got depressing as I saw only a handful of sales trickling in over the course of an entire month. My survival instincts kicked in, protecting me from myself, and now I only check sales once or twice a week. Surprisingly, as if looking at the Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard could hurt sales, things have gotten a little better (without me doing anything as I’m super busy with other non-writing stuff).
But more sales equals more reviews, and one single bad review still hurts like smashing your bare pinkie toe against the corner of the bathtub.
The first reaction is: “You don’t know anything about my book, you fucking idiot! It is flawless!” Such reaction is perfectly fine and human, as long as it’s just you thinking it or shouting it in an empty room.
There is just one rule to handle bad reviews: accept them.
Don’t reply, don’t try to hunt down the reviewer on the web (or in person!), just breathe and accept them.
Read them once more. You still think the reviewer’s an idiot. Wait a couple of days. Re-read them. Now you start thinking, “Well, maybe she’s right about this one detail… Just this one though, the rest’s all bullshit.” Wait another few days. Then you realize that each review is important, especially bad ones.
So, get over it. Learn from the reviews you get. Fix things (because you can!) Listen to your readers, no matter how bad it hurts. Your next book will always be better than your last one because you learn from your mistakes, and reviews are just a loud way to find them out (unless, of course, it’s something like the picture I posted above… which luckily is not a review of one of my books but a random one I found on Amazon).