Don’t Be Nervous! Tips for your First Live Interview

Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

Most writers I have met have had one trait similar to me: we prefer to be by ourselves within our own thoughts, rather than surrounded by people. It is not because we don’t enjoy people, on the contrary, by watching and listening to people we get inspired. It is because to us the best way to communicate is through writing. It was no surprise then that when I got my first radio booking, instead of feeling excited, I felt scared and lost.  I actually experienced some mild panic attacks when I would think about it. I could not get myself to actually come up with a Q & A to guide the host and myself because I would get ulcer-type pains in my stomach. It was horrible, and I was a mess right up to the day of my interview.  It was bad, not just because I was a mess, but because I was such a mess even though I had actually participated in interview training classes with the best publicist agency at the time. Through the years however, I did find a way to conquer my stage fright and deliver all I wanted to make sure was said in the interview. Here are some tips:

·         Take the time to prepare a note card with all the book information, events and any other important promotional messages that need to be mentioned. Make sure these are also communicated to the show host via email with a sufficient amount of time, along with the topics of conversations you can cover in the interview.

·         Be creative and come up with sound bites that you can use when talking about your book or main topic. Sound bites will resonate within the audience’s minds long after the interview is over.

·         Have some herbal tea and relax an hour before the interview to put your ideas together, especially if you are new at it. With practice you will find you don’t need this hour to get yourself in the interviewing mood, but it always helps to center yourself before starting the interview.

·         Finally, be yourself. A different personality is not needed! Being who you are and being genuine allows the audience to relate to you, and they will want to look up your website, and maybe even buy your book.

Interviews are my favorite thing nowadays; I hope they become yours too! For more information on Reader Views Podcast service visit us at:

Book Contests, Literary Awards and New Authors

Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

The best way for new authors to get credibility is to get some kind of placement for their books on literary awards and book contests. But they might find it overwhelming to pick the right one for their titles as they try to manage the type of book, budget allowance, and the parade of different contest currently available. Below are a few tips and points to consider when navigating the world of literary awards programs.

·         National:  National contests are hard, but the greater the competition, the more important the award. So if your budget allows it, don’t be intimidated, give it a try! Yet, do not disregard the smaller contests. Actually the more the merrier, as they all help to put your book out there, and the more you enter the more opportunity for placement.

·         Regional:  Local contests have greater chance for placement and some have funding so entry fees are minimal.

·         Independent:  For self-published authors, these contests are great, as being an Independent becomes a requirement and not a handicap. IPPY (Independent Publishers Association Awards), Reader Favorites, Feather Quill, and our own Reader Views Literary Awards, among many others are a great place to start for getting recognition.

Some awards are so well known by readers and the industry in general that placing in them will most likely increase book sales. However, other contests receive little attention. Some of them are free, and again other ones require a fee (sometimes a high one). Yet, placing in any of them will always provide the book credibility on a higher level than the usual book review. This fact always makes entering awards programs worth it. Entry Fees:  When there is no entry fee, you have nothing to lose in terms of budget, so by all means enter the contest! If there is an entry fee (in most cases there is to cover the cost of processing and judges time) so make sure you build the cost into your budget. The important thing is to make the most of the judges’ critiques and keep trying when not winning, and make the most of the placement when winning through publicizing the achievement.

For more information on how we help authors visit us at To check out our Awards submission Guidelines visit


2016-2017 Reader Views Literary Awards Contest is Closed!

Susan Violante Managing Editor

It is that time of the year again when Reader Views reviewers go into their dens to hibernate and read, and read - and score and score! This is a favorite time of the year as we look forward to time off during the holidays to enjoy the last books that came in, as the weather gets cooler and our hearts get warmer. But for authors, the excitement of the holidays mixes with the anticipation of the results, so to help reduce the anxiety, below is what to expect in the coming few months:

  1. A lot of reviews will be posted through the month of December and January as they come in and the first scores get logged. That happens for the most part in the order that they are received by reviewers.
  2. We do close during the week between Christmas and New Years to make the most of our reviewing time but will check emails once in a while during that week.
  3. We do not tabulate scores until all the reviews and score sheets are in, so we really don’t have any idea about which books are doing better in the contest until the finalists are announced.
  4. All participants should subscribe to our newsletter as we do send out announcements through it. To subscribe click here.
  5. If you have any questions about the process and timing, you can also check the guidelines of the awards at

In reality, all books have something to offer to readers and writing them is a huge accomplishment. Our awards program celebrates all books as we truly enjoy reading them. Our judging is based on the book itself as a product, cover art, inside design, and of course, the content. It is our wish that all of the participants could win; but since this is impossible, please know that we are proud of all of you for daring to share a piece of you with an audience-this is something most people won’t dare to do. Good luck to all!