Writing any book is a huge commitment. I say it takes fire in the belly to tackle the task, get it to fruition, and then to actually get it online for the world to read….and criticize. That is the tough part. You put your heart and soul into creating this manuscript. It can take years to reach book buyers and you want to know what your readers think.

Or…maybe you don’t.

Whether you are a stone-cold experienced writer or journalist, or someone who just completed your family memoir, launching your “baby” is a thrill, and terrifying at the same time. If you want the world to read your book, you must get it to a platform where the public can find it. Now, you are vulnerable to whatever others think of your work.

Are you professional enough to accept comments and reviews of your book that aren’t glowing praise? And, where is the line between legitimate criticism of your book, and just plain disparagement and nastiness?

Sometimes, it is difficult to tell.

There are folks out there who like to tear others down because they can, with no repercussions. They are anonymous. They can say what they want and there is nothing you can do about it. Amazon is not about to remove a review that is negative.

Here is the exception that I found useful and why I was successful in getting a very negative review of my book taken down:

The review was personal. It was vicious and full of distortions and slanderous comments. This was not a book review. Rather, it was a personal attack on me.

For over two years, it stayed up on my Amazon page because I didn’t think there was anything I could do about it. Then, at my Meet Up, Shut Up & Write group, one of the attendees said I could ask Amazon to take it down.

Some options included:

  • Go to the book review, and click on “Report abuse.”
  • Write to Amazon at help@amazon.com, and explain why the review is inappropriate.
  • Report the review to Amazon seller support.

I don’t recommend replying to the review as that can only make the problem worse. People who have left a negative review do not want to be challenged and you will only get into a stressful online (public!) exchange with them.

If you can’t get the review taken down, you may be able to move it lower by asking those who have read your book to review it on Amazon, and also to click “helpful” next to the other good review. Those reviews will move up higher on Amazon’s list.

It’s hurtful to see negative reviews about something you spent precious time creating but reviews go with the territory. Understand the difference between comments about your book and attacks on you. Amazon does draw a line when it comes to that.

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