Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Authors "Take On" Reviews Diane Whiteside Day 4

Note: The event will not end on the 7th it will end on the 8th.

Today we have author Diane Whiteside!

Is there something specific you look for in a review? If so what?

Whenever I read a review of my book, I look for the opportunity to vicariously hold a conversation with a reader. Okay, maybe we won’t have much give and take. But I can look for somebody who’s asking questions and hoping for answers about my choices, maybe even suggests something I hadn’t thought of.

If you send your books to a book review blog is there something specific you look for when you’re looking at their blog?

I prefer a very professional blog, one which prizes honesty, courtesy, and the little details like grammar, good design, etc. It’s also reassuring if it reviews lots of books in the same genre as mine.

What type of review do you like best: short or long?

I’m honored by a long review and I recognize how hard it is to write an insightful short review. (Hey, I started out writing book reviews! Plus, I currently tweet book reviews. I’m very impressed by anybody who can do this well for a long time.)

What do you think about spoilers in reviews?

I dislike spoilers, both as a reader and as an author. Basically, I don’t want to know about anything that happens in the book’s second half. If the reviewer makes a habit of passing along key plot points – no matter where they happen – or what happens in the finale, I personally won’t go back to that reviewer. Why bother reading a book, if all the suspense is gone?

Now let’s talk about rating systems. On a scale of 1-5 stars, what would be your opinion of the ratings? Starting with the lowest at one first.

First off, I think all rating systems should have a published reason for each score. They should also be consistent in how they apply their system. I also believe the reviewer should clearly say why she gave this score to this book.

Second, I’m only interested in rating systems if they relate to what I did as an author. If the score mentions something that the bookseller or publisher did, then I won’t worry about the review.

1. Since this is the lowest possible score, I hope the reviewer is polite in her reasoning, rather than making it sound like an attack on the author.
3. This is a perfectly acceptable grade, in my opinion. A book has room to improve but it’s also done some things well.
5. This marks a book to be savored forever. Please tell me why the reviewer felt that why. If it’s my book, I’ll celebrate for a long, long time!

What do you think about sexual ratings? Some reviewers use them.

I personally think sexual ratings are a good idea. The trick is how to make them meaningful to both the reviewer and their readers, since one person’s idea of very hot might make somebody else yawn. I’m therefore fond of reviews that keep this discussion down to a simple summary of activities or a humorous warning.

What do reviewers do that irks you the most?

A reviewer who didn’t finish – but pretends that she or he did – always irritates the heck out of me. I’m also very frustrated by anybody who loads their reviews with spoilers, almost as if they’re trying to one-up other reviewers.

What do you think about awards given to books by a review blogger?

I personally only pay attention to these if the review blogger has been around for a while. In my opinion, she or he needs to have read enough books to know the field before she or he can truly hand out awards.

As readers/reviewers we love book giveaways. How do you feel about them?

I too love book giveaways, since I always hope somebody new will enjoy my book. Heck, I’ve even sent books off to foreign countries for book giveaways.

What would be your best piece of advice for a book blogger/reviewer?

Be honest and professional, always hoping for the best possible book.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for inviting me to join you here for Authors “Take On” Reviews. Please visit my website, , for reviews and excerpts from my books. THE SHADOW GUARD, my April 2011 release, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and I partied for days…

Diane Whiteside

Todays swag giveaway from me to one lucky random commenter is autographed book cover and a bookmark

Check out all the giveaways for this event by me Laurie click here.

Make sure you leave your email with your comment or question. All winners will be announced when the event is over.

I normally don't ask, but if you enjoyed this interview and think other bloggers would enjoy enjoy this event please hit the twitter button, so we can share this with others. Thanks Laurie


  1. This continues to be a helpful feature! Each author is giving me something new to think about and look at my own reviews to see if I pass muster. :)


  2. I am really enjoying this series! I think it is very helpful with little tips here and there that I am picking up :)

  3. Yeah, I agree with Mandy - this continues to be really helpful. I've recently started to run a blog and write some reviews, so I appreciate these interviews.
    I haven't read anything from Diane Whiteside yet, but I put The Shadow Guard into my wish-list.
    Thanks for the giveaway, too,

  4. Great interview

  5. Wow, another fabulous interview about reviews. I try not to give spoilers in my reviews. Sometimes it is very difficult. If I mention anything at all that I think someone might take as a spoiler, I label it as a spoiler. I had a bad spoiler experience watching a movie once and it left a mark forever! Thanks for the interview.

  6. Great interview Laurie! I really enjoyed learning more about Diane's viewpoint.

  7. this has been a really neat concept :) Thanks Laurie

  8. Diane,
    I tend to agree with you about the sexual ratings. I've read some excellent writings where sexual intercourse didn't come into play, but the scene was smokin' nevertheless.

    "since one person’s idea of very hot might make somebody else yawn" I've run across that several times. I might be yawning........

    Great insight today. Thanks Ladies!

  9. I think if I was an author I would be irked too if a reviewer didn't take the time to finish my book. I may have not cared for a book but I alway see it through to the end.


  10. Sorry for the delay in joining you! Life without Internet totally blew my mind.

    Mandy P - good luck on your reviews! I figure honesty and willingness to learn will take a reviewer to the top. Sounds like you've got both in spades.

    Felicity - isn't it a great series? I wanted to join the minute I heard about it, regardless of the risks in speaking about reviews.

  11. I love all these author views Laurie, great interview!

  12. I agree about liking professional blogs but l don't love a lot of blogs that are too serious and professional. I love character in posts.
    Also l have terrible grammar sometimes but l always try my best so l don't think blogs should be too judge on that, but obviously it needs to be readable!
    booksforcompany @


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