I haven’t published a book yet. I can count the number of people who’ve read my stuff on fingers and toes, all of them family and friends, or friends of friends, who all claimed to like it. (They had no choice but to say that, of course, because I know where their houses live.)
I know that if I ever do publish a book, and the reviews start coming in, I will take the negative ones very much to heart. That’s just the way I am. I try very hard not to care what others think of me, and as long as nobody attacks me personally, it usually works. But writing is very personal.
Well crafted (= ‘good’) negative reviews never attack the author and make a point of staying courteous. Still, it means that somebody didn’t like my ‘baby’, which inevitably carries and conveys a part of myself, and which was conceived and born out of a lot of hard work, sweat and blood (paper cuts still happen, even in this technological day and age).
That’s what makes it personal, at least for me. But that’s also my problem to deal with and get over. Finding the right perspective always helps in these situations. Beth Revis definitely found it: The best way to look at a negative review without beating yourself up about it. No, scratch that – the ONLY way to look at a negative review. Period.