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Bad Reviews Can Boost Sales?

Here’s another blast from the past (blog posts I wrote a while back but never posted until now. ) This one is from February of 2011. Enjoy.

From: Bad publicity may boost book sales by Jenny Thai

“For lesser-known or new authors, bad publicity may actually be good news. According to a recent study co-authored by Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Alan Sorenson and Wharton Business School professor Jonah Berger, B.A. ’02, Ph.D. ’07, bad reviews can dramatically boost sales.

Earlier studies showed how publicity through product reviews can affect sales. The researchers found out that giving books bad reviews could lead customers to assume the book was bad, thereby significantly reducing sales. However, because negative information usually cuts down the number of product reviews, consumer opinions alone cannot explain why bad publicity may actually increase product sales.”

Well thank goodness for that bit of good news! :-)

In all seriousness, bad reviews sting but they’re a part of life. I get that. I have no problem with that. This latest research makes it a fine line between appreciating those brutally honest reviews that have you running for a pint of Rocky Road and hoping that those bad reviews will earn you a little bit of publicity.

Ultimately, there will always be scathing reviews. There will be reviewers who for whatever reason, have it in for the author. And there will be brutally honest reviews by a person who just didn’t like the book. It’s up to the author to sift through the bad stuff, learn from constructive criticism, and bask in the glow of the good stuff. (All of which, is easier said than done, of course.)