Accept everything about yourself - I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end - no apologies, no regrets.
Henry A. Kissinger
What does this mean to you?
Have you ever had a negative review? I am here to tell you that this is not a perfect world. If all you want are the happy happy joy joy feeling from a 5 star or what ever a particular reviewer uses, GET OUT NOW! Not gonna happen unless you write all the reviews yourself, pay someone to give them to you, or happen to have a wonderful family that will write whatever you ask for.
Negative reviews are not necessarily the end of the world. It is still publicity of sorts. But the most important thing to look at is why. Why is the reviewer giving you a negative review? Read what they say, and ask yourself, is there any basis for the negative review? Can you say this free piece is the best example of your work? Did you put everything into it that you would have put into a manuscript that you were/are going to submit to a publisher? Perhaps, perhaps not, but I think it is something we all need to think about.
1: “The editing was poor, and it kept me from enjoying the book.” I actually read one of those. I read the entire thing, taking much longer to read it than I normally do. This is a review that might be helpful. Is there a problem with the editing? I doubt the E publisher for the one I read even sent the book to an editor before it went out. It was wrong on so many levels.
If this is the case, and you go back and read it, then there is a valid reason for the negative review. I managed to find the story underneath, but I really let the author know that it was a tough read. This is fixable. What you do here can either make you a jerk for being mean to the reviewer, or a better author for actually taking the time to follow up and even correct the problem.
2: Recently I heard from an author about a negative review because the reviewer said that the story contained anal sex. The book in question did not have anal sex in it at all. With this type of negative review, you have a right to be upset and a response is warranted. Whether or not the reviewer is a responsible person is another story. But before jumping to conclusions, maybe the reviewer has over extended herself and got the story mixed up with another story. I myself only read one story/book at a time, so that I do not make such mistakes!
3: Another thing that I’ve seen is that a reviewer will only read two or three pages in and decide that that is enough to give a value judgment on a person's life work. This seems to happen even when the piece is free. I ask myself why. I have no good answers for you. Is it fair? Is it right? Is it ethical? I have no clue. But if a review is based on less than an evaluation of an entire work, the reviewer should state that is the case.