Book Reviews – Getting Personal

Post by Susan Violante

I know that we have written many articles and Editorials about book reviews, but once so every often I confront situations, reviewers, and authors’ reactions that perplex me, so I believe this deserve a little extra time and effort to understand on my part and thus a new book review editorial article is born. You guessed it. This is one of those cases.

Again, I want to clarify that legit book review services will not guarantee a positive review, even if you pay for an express review, awards, or publicity package. The only guarantee you get when purchasing a package is that someone will read your book and provide you with a review. Book reviewers are so swamped that the amount of time it will take is not guaranteed in many occasions. In fact most publicists will tell their customers that the book review process and blogger reviews should begin 6 months prior publication.

I know that with the internet opportunities to self-publish many stories that would have not been told are becoming Indie books. I do believe this is awesome as I am all for Indie books as I am an Indie Author myself. Having said that, I must state as an Indie Author I have a big responsibility to produce the best quality product that I can. This includes writing and editing craftsmanship as well as publishing design and printing. We have to remember that the author will not be next to a reviewer or awards judge when they receive and read their book to explain ourselves (paid publicity or not). We also have to remember that what a reviewer or judge says or think about your book is just their opinion. It is just a summary of their experience with your book in their own words.  

Granted sometimes their own words are not what we like to hear, and some reviewers should try to use their professional voice when writing their review. As the Managing Editor of Reader Views, I select reviewers that have a professional track record, I give them guidelines on how to word their opinion, and even read and oversee the editing of all their reviews. Yet, sometimes we will miss something, we are only human. But in most cases we will post an honest, professional review, whether positive or negative. We will not edit out the voice or opinion of the reviewer but we will expect a professional review. This is what all authors, including myself, should expect.  

Yet, some authors do take the opinions of one reviewer or judge in a personal way. I know how proud we are of our work, but taking it personal will take you nowhere. Instead, when we don’t agree with the reviewer’s opinion I invite you consider the following:

Send a note to the reviewer thanking them for their time and ask them a little more detail about their opinion so that you can consider those points on your next project.

Look closely for portions of their review that can be used as quotes, and post only the quote on your website and on your Amazon Author Central Account as an editorial review quote.

Comment on the blogs where that review has been posted, and in a polite and friendly way appreciate their time for the review and opinion in some way and even clarify some of those negative points for all readers to read.

By not taking a negative review personal (and following my own three tips above) I accomplished a lot more. In the end, I revised my book thanks to her comments and ended up with a better product on the second time around. The whole experience not only made me more publishing savvy, but my professional attitude posted below the review allowed me to keep many open doors to receive good reviews online for my improved revised edition.

Susan Violante
CEO/Managing Editor, Author, Reviewer

Born and raised in Venezuela from Italian immigrants, Susan completed a BA degree in Political Science and Business Administration before moving to the US . Although she built a career as a Business Analyst / Accountant, she also kept herself active as a Freelance writer in the US; publishing articles, poetry, children stories, and illustrations since 1996. She published her first book in 2009, and released her revised edition: Innocent War: Behind An Immigrant’s Past- Book 1 in 2011. Her picture book: Tuma, The Tribe’s Little Princess will be available in early 2013 under her own label.

When Susan started working for Reader Views, she discovered a passion for helping other authors get their stories and messages out there. Mentored by Irene, her new found passion developed into her I Have Something To Say brand (blog, online radio show and publishing Company). Her websites are and She founded the reader Views managed I Have Something To Say Manuscript Contest in 2012, which will announce the first winner in 2013.

Currently, Susan has partnered up with Reader Views to keep Irene’s vision alive. She resides in Austin, TX with her husband (Michel), her two daughters( Nicollette and Arianna), and her two dogs (Peggy and Scotty). Susan enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, painting, writing, and any outdoor activity. Her favorite things are scouting for people to interiew in her online radio show with her husband and writing about them.


Posted on July 4, 2013, in Blogging Authors, Writing & Publishing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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