Susana’s Parlour is generally reserved for historical romances*. If you would like to schedule a guest post on Susana’s Parlour, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She has prepared a list of suggestions for all potential guest authors that can be downloaded from her web site.
*A “romance” generally has a happy-ever-after (HEA) ending or at least a happy-for-now (HFN) ending. Susana’s blogs feature only romance fiction.
About Susana Says (book reviews)
Susana enjoys writing informative, thought-provoking, and hopefully entertaining blog posts, as well as corresponding with readers and authors. She’s been a voracious reader since first grade when she was introduced to Dick and Jane and all their delightful adventures. From there she moved on to Nancy Drew and when she discovered romance novels in junior high, she knew she’d found her niche.
Susana is also fond of expressing her opinion, which is undoubtedly why she has been writing book reviews for Amazon for many years. However, since she decided to become an author herself, she’s had to limit her reading—and also review-writing—in order to get some actual writing done.
The other issue is that she has decided that her friendships with her author friends mean more to her than expressing her opinion about their work. While she does wish to promote their books, she does not wish to get into the position of feeling obligated to read everything they produce when she has so many other books in her TBR pile. Nor does she wish to feel obligated to write stellar reviews instead of the honest, objective opinions she is used to giving.
As a result, Susana has formulated the following Review Policy for Susana’s Parlour and Susana’s Morning Room (neither of which is a review blog, by the way):
- Susana does not take requests for reviews. If she does one, it’s because she wishes to do it. Period.
- If she reads the book and can’t in all conscience give it at least four stars out of five, she will not post the review. Four stars is an excellent rating. Only a superstar book gets five stars.
- No review ≠ Susana’s not liking the book. It most likely means she’s too busy to read it at that particular time. If she reads it later and really likes it, she’ll more than likely post a review on Goodreads.
Suggestions For Authors Seeking Reviews
Find Professional Reviewers
- Ask your publisher for a list of review sites they submit information about their releases on behalf of their authors.
- Make a list of reputable review sites not included on that list and submit a review request to them. Make a special effort to locate review sites that specialize in your sub-genre. Keep in mind that these sites become inundated with requests and have to suspend them from time to time in order to catch up. Check back with them periodically to see if they have re-opened for new requests.
- Do not make repeated requests to the same review sites in hopes they will change their mind. The last thing you want to do is annoy reviewers! My suggestion: make a spreadsheet and keep track of the requests you have made…and don’t forget to include the publisher’s list as well!
- There are companies who will organize virtual blog tours and review tours for you—for a price. Susana hosts for them occasionally, but only those she chooses herself. You might want to check out a few.
- Do not agree to “swap” reviews with other authors, no matter how desperate you are for reviews! What you really need are objective, “professional” reviews. We’ve all seen the “family and friends” gushing reviews on Amazon. We all get them. It means our family and friends love us and think everything we do is wonderful. Most readers learn to ignore those and look for the meaty stuff. On the other hand, if your author friend really loved your book, s/he can always write a glowing, “professional” review without your having to agree to do the same.
- Don’t neglect to thank the reviewer for taking the time to review your book. S/he probably has a TBR pile as high as Susana’s, not to mention a zillion other demands on her/his time. Courtesy is good thing.
Don’t Sweat the Negative Reviews
- No matter how much you want to defend your baby, do not respond publicly to reviews. If the reviewer contacts you privately to say how much s/he loved your work, by all means, correspond with them. Communicating with readers is a great way to make loyal fans.
- Especially do not encourage your friends to defend you. Doing so will antagonize reviewers and give potential readers the impression that your work needs defending. Keep in mind that people have different tastes, and that your story will not appeal to everyone.
- If you can, try to assimilate the criticism and learn from it. If you find you can’t handle it, ignore the reader reviews and keep writing and improving. That’s what it’s all about, in the long run.
Disclaimer: Susana has probably broken nearly all of these rules at least once. It is her hope that other authors will be able to learn from her mistakes!