(a) CryIf you picked (d), I think you've got the right idea. Here are some reasons why.
(b) Throw things
(c) Vow to stop writing forever
(d) Shout, "Woohoo! A bad review!"
First of all, you need bad reviews. You have to have bad reviews on your page to show prospective readers that the reviews on your site are real. There is no such thing as a book that is beloved by every single person who reads it. A review page that has only four- and five-star reviews sends the message that those reviews all came from the author's friends and not from legitimate readers. The negative reviews prove that strangers are really reading your book, and they give credibility to the positive reviews. I also suspect that the Amazon algorithms probably think the same way, and that a book with a mix of reviews will probably get more face-time on the site than one that only has positive reviews, but that's just my guess and I could be wrong.
Second, as authors we are lucky to have a beautiful system in place for receiving honest customer feedback--something every good business should have, in my opinion. Reviews are that system.
I know a lot of authors who don't even read their reviews. Personally, I read every single review I get. And if it's harsh or critical, I read it several times. Then, I have a fairly systematic approach for dealing with it.
First and foremost, if I'm truly hurt or offended by the review and this is clouding my ability to look at it objectively, I have a top secret (until now) way for getting over that. I go to the Amazon pages of some of my very favorite authors and read some of *their* one-star reviews. This tends to put things into perspective. Then, once the initial pain has subsided, I mentally place the negative review into one of three buckets:
(1) This reviewer is just mean, offers no constructive criticism, and might even perhaps have some kind of emotional issue causing him/her to lash out at strangers onlineThe bucket (1) reviews get ignored or laughed at a bit. They can be quite entertaining sometimes, even if they aren't very helpful. You know the ones I'm talking about.
(2) This reviewer has some very good points which I want to keep in mind when writing my next book
(3) A lot of other people specifically liked the things this reviewer disliked, and I did those things on purpose, so I'm probably not going to change anything based on this review. Sorry, reviewer!
The bucket (2) reviews get a lot of attention, because those are the ones I intend to learn from. A good bad reviewer can call my attention to something I wasn't even aware of which I don't want to repeat in future books. Thank you, good bad reviewer!!
The bucket (3) reviews are a bit tricky. If the negative points are one-off (i.e. of all the reviews on the novel, this person seems to be the only person who felt that way...) I tend to shrug and think, well, my book isn't for this person, and that's OK. However, if I start seeing a lot of people making the same points, I will *consider* the notion of changing something in future books. Because there has to be a balance between writing for one's self and writing books people want to read, if you're interested in selling them.
The bottom line is that a negative review can help you grow as an author if you use it. If you're Stephen King, you probably don't need to pay attention to your bad reviews, because readers already expect a certain signature style from you and that style sells. So that's going to be your style until the day you stop writing books. But if you're not Stephen King, you're lucky. You still have the opportunity and the freedom to develop your voice as an author. Reviews, good and bad, are a priceless tool for doing this.
Authors, do you read your reviews? How do you deal with the negative ones?