When I was little my dad used to always tell me that if nothing bad happened we would never have anything to compare the good and would then know no difference. As a kid, I'm sure I rolled my eyes at this or even questioned him, but as an adult--and now an author--I feel this is something we need to remind ourselves of again and again.
See, I have officially been a published author for about a week now, which means I have received reviews. Some have been very, very good. And some have been vomit-inducing. At first I found myself focusing on the bad reviews, wondering how the reviewer saw THAT in my book. Did they not get it? Did I completely jack up all 300 pages? And then suddenly I realized I was focusing on the wrong thing.
Here's the truth: If you write, plan on getting a bad review--or 50. Plan on getting a review so bad you want to curl up and hide. But do not focus on those reviews, because focusing on the bad is doing a massive disservice to the readers that LOVE your book. And those readers are your true audience.
See, as writers, we do not yet know who our audience really is. We think we do. Our editors and publishers even think they do. But until the book hits the world, we have no idea who the book is going to speak to. If you focus on the bad--the readers that may not be your audience--then you are completely missing the joy of those readers that couldn't put your book down, that tweet and message you for info on the next book. THOSE are your readers! THAT is your audience. Embrace them, celebrate your successes with them, and above all else, thank them. They are the reason you write. Feel fortunate. I do.