Guest Post & Giveaway with Jill Sorenson

Today we have one of MinnChica’s favorite Romantic Suspense writers Jill Sorenson here. Jill’s newest release Tempted by his Target is available now from Harlequin. Welcome Jill to The Book Pushers!

Author Don’ts

Hi Book Pushers! Thanks so much for having me.

A few weeks back Has wrote a post about online behavior that can bite an author in the “arse.” The author in question had advised aspiring authors not to write negative reviews or rate books on sites like Goodreads with anything less than five stars.

Even when an author’s intentions are good—and they usually are—this kind of warning rubs me the wrong way. It suggests that authors keep tabs on reviewers and hold grudges against them. Rather than seeing an honest review as an act of support, they consider it a personal attack. Attitudes like this are not helpful.

I’m tired of authors telling anyone how to review. We shouldn’t attempt to stifle criticism or limit discussions in any way, because word of mouth sells books.

Here’s a list of other things for authors to avoid:


  • Write a controversial post and then freak out when someone disagrees with you. If you can’t respect dissenting opinions, stick to soft topics.


  • Respond to a negative review or a critical comment when your feelings are hurt.


  • Threaten, belittle, or berate a reviewer. They are discussing your book and doing you a favor! Say thanks or say nothing and move on.


  • Correct a reviewer’s grammar or spelling, or point out minor errors. Unless the mistake is serious (such as getting the entire plot wrong or confusing Jill Shalvis for Jill Sorenson) let it go.


  • Create a sock puppet to defend your book or make nasty comments as “anonymous.”


  • Rally your author friends to talk trash about a reviewer or review site.


  • Apologize for your creative choices, make excuses, or try to enlighten the reviewer. You can say “sorry it didn’t work for you” and leave it at that. Be like Henry Ford—never complain, never explain.


  • Let criticism paralyze you. If you don’t find it useful, don’t read it.

I’m not saying that authors shouldn’t be sensitive, or that we can’t share our thoughts. But I think we would all benefit from encouraging honest criticism and treating readers with respect.

Feel free to tell me your opinion of my list, my books, or anything else. If you’d like to win a print copy of Tempted by His Target, my latest release with Harlequin Romantic Suspense, say so in the comments. Thanks!!

Thanks so much Jill! The contest is open Internationally and ends October 20th. Good Luck!

27 thoughts on “Guest Post & Giveaway with Jill Sorenson”

  1. Hi Jill!
    I absolutely agree with all the points on your list. It’s so unprofessional if an author does any of the things. I honestly would stay far away from any author who is doing something like that. I especially hate it when they’re rating their own books. I mean, do they think we (as readers) are totally dumb and won’t notice? I hate it to be treated like that. Hello, the readers are the people who are buying their books and don’t like to be taken for a fool!
    Ok, I’m done ranting. 🙂 You know I love your books and please write faster. 😉
    Thank you for the post and giveaway.

  2. Great post, Jill – I definitely agree with your author’s ‘Don’t’ list. I also believe that reviewers should critique the story and not the author.

    And yes, I would love to win a print copy of Tempted by His Target!

    Thank you.

  3. I agree! I can certainly understand how an author would take a negative review the wrong way. I can’t bear to look at my teaching evaluations because I get upset. It’s hard not to take negative comments personally.

    And I would love a copy of Tempted by His Target!


  4. Hi Jill
    I agree too. Take what can help you and let the rest go. And remember, not everybody likes the same kinds of books. I find that the mood I’m in affects what I’d enjoy reading at the time.
    I’d like to win Tempted by His Target!
    chey127 at hotmail dot com

  5. I agree with your list. I understand defending something when it is totally wrong or overly offensive, but books are written to have people feel something.

    I would love to win Tempted by His Target. Thanks for the giveaway.

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com

  6. I agree with all your points, not everyone is going to like a book that is just the way it goes. Wouldn’t it be better to get 5 stars on the merit of the book as opposed to 5 stars falsely.

    I would like to enter for the chance to win the book 🙂


  7. Great post. We all have to learn to take criticism gracefully. I would love to win a copy of your book.

  8. A comprehensive list & appropriate.

    I would love to win a print copy of “Tempted by His Target” thank you.


  9. Hello Jill. One of the reasons I started reading your books is because I was really impressed with your gracious and respectful web presence, so in my opinion, there is no one better to write this post. You’ve since become an autobuy 🙂

    I’m really looking forward to reading this book!

    sarace (at) gmail (dot) com

  10. Interesting list, though I have to say that reviewers who make mistakes, like spelling and grammar, just bug me. I know it’s just their opinion and it’s not like they have the same process as authors, but something about the fact that it’s about books makes me feel like they should atleast be able to spell and punctuate. Okay I realise that may sound weird, and I know I definitely make mistakes as well, but if you’re going to publish your opinion in an “official” way, like on a blog or review, I think you should atleast write it properly. And I do sort of agree with what you’re saying about how authors shouldn’t tell other people how to review, because reviews are all about the audience whereas the author isn’t (atleast not with their own books).
    I’ve read The Edge of Night and just wanted to say how awesome it was! Thanks for the giveaway, I’d love to read Tempted By His Target.


  11. great interview. I totally agree

    i would like to win a print copy please. Thanks for the international giveaway


  12. I would like to win a copy of Tempted By His Target.

    Now, to the meaty part of the post. I review books for fun. I don’t own a blog. I don’t get paid. Reviewing keeps my mind active and I enjoy talking about one of my favorite hobbies. I am always shocked when someone comments on or likes one of my reviews.

    I recently read a book that was not to my taste. I won the book and I know that the author has a very dedicated following. I reviewed the book, gave it a mid-range score and explained that it just wasn’t my type of book. The writing, however, was pretty good as were character development and plot. I couldn’t trash the book because I knew it would probably appeal to some readers. I don’t understand the reviews that get personal, ugly or bashing. And I really don’t understand people getting into fights online because one person wrote a nasty review and another person takes offense. It ultimately accomplishes nothing.

  13. Thanks for all the great comments!

    @<a href="http://thebookpushers.c@Jet: Yes! The idea of a false positive review bothers me. I want to earn it.

    om/2011/10/13/guest-post-giveaway-with-jill-sorenson/comment-page-1/#comment-11243″>JessS: I definitely value well-written reviews, but I think that when an author comments to say “Oh by the way, you spelled mischievous wrong,” they look snooty.

    @Jen B.: Even if you won the book, you don’t owe the author a positive review. I wish fangirls would also restrain themselves from bashing reviewers, but that’s an issue for another post!

  14. Wonderful summary of etiquette– both for online and reviews, and in life. I’d never heard of you as an author before (don’t follow Harlequin) but read the synopsis for your book and like what you have to say. I’ll definitely be checking this out and would certainly be interested in entering your contest. Now off to mark this on amazon wishlist. inddee at gmail dot com

  15. Jill, thanks for the great tip on the negative reviews. Sometimes, it’s good to have reminder not to take these reviews personally.

    I enjoy reading your books and look forward for your future books..

  16. Great Don’t List!! I agree with what you’re saying. I always check out reviews, and I do take into consideration how a person feels about a book, but if it’s something I’ve been wanting to read, I’ll read it. I might not snatch it up as fast, but I won’t turn away from what I’m interested in just because someone else didn’t like it. Thank God we’re all into different things are the world would be boring! I’d love to read Tempted by his Target, thanks!! Artesia at comcast dot net

  17. Reading and enjoyment of a story is so subjective. I think as a reader/reviewer that it is important to be sensitive in my sharing of my views and to remember that just because I did not like something does not mean others will not. There is really never any reason to be unkind in my view and if I really do not like a book I will not finish it and it won’t be reviewed. I recently read a book that had five star ratings all across the board and it was beautifully written, but was not for me and by the same token I read a book and raved about it hopping up and down because I loved it so much and other reviewers totally panned the book. So in my opinion all reviews are opinions and should never be taken as absolutes. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us today, as well as for the lovely giveaway opportunity, I would love to read Tempted by His Target.


  18. Hi, Jill. Thanks for the interesting post.
    I’m with you all the way. What’s the point of writing a review that isn’t honest and, in the case of an author is done just with the intent of making themselves or a writer friend look good or make another author look bad. I agree with another comment about authors rating their own books. I don’t know what I could say to that – it is so ridiculous!

    I enter a ton of contests and giveaways and have won a lot of books. Almost all of the authors ask that I write a review or comment that is honest. When I do post reviews, I do what reviewers are supposed to do:
    – I give MY opinion of the book, including the plot, characters, editing issues and, yes, punctuation and grammar if these things effect the book.
    – I NEVER attack the author or make it personal. The closest I’ll get would be that it wasn’t my taste. Why would attack the author?
    – Reviews are not always critiques, but can help the author improve on their writing. I try to give specific examples of the issues I am having, as this may help the reader decide to buy a book AND help the author improve their work.
    – In other words, I think that reviews are primarily for the potential reader.

    Ok. That said, I’d love to win your book and give it the review that again, is my opinion and mine only!

    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

  19. Great points! It’s so important to not let emotions take you away. Let the work speak for itself 🙂 What sounds right in the heat of the moment can be very bad later on.

  20. @Sara: I should say that I don’t consider myself the authority on good behavior–I’ve made plenty of mistakes and will certainly make many more! But thank you for the kind words. I try my best.

  21. Pingback: Guest Post & Giveaway with Jill Sorenson | The Book Pushers | Book Reviews | Book Chatter

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