The book writing business: Tricia Aanderud and Angela Hall tackle reviewer comments


Welcome! It’s time for another installment of the Book Writing Business. We’ve talked about the writing aspect and how it can help one’s career. Some people feel overwhelmed at the thought of writing a book. But sometimes the actual writing of the book is the easy part. The tough part comes in the revision process, particularly when you get numerous review comments.

Overall, reviews are designed to point out things you may not have thought of before. Sometimes the reviewer corrects a mistake; more often than not, he or she just presents another way to think of things. But all of those comments can be tough to take, especially when you’ve poured your heart and soul into the book.

Building Business Intelligence Using SASTricia Aanderud and Angela Hall, authors of the popular book, Building Business Intelligence Using SAS, completed their book in record time…11 months! But it wasn’t without a few hitches along the way. They persevered, and produced one outstanding book.

I asked Tricia and Angela, “You received a substantial number of reviewer comments, a number that would throw most people off their game. How did you tackle those comments? And what kind of advice can you offer to others in your situation?” Here is their response:

"On some sections of the book, we got more comments than we expected. Some of the material seemed self-evident and the comments were confusing.  However we turned to Susan Slaughter who reminded us to consider what the crux of the comment might be.  Is it possible the reviewer is confused based on an earlier step? Would some additional details help?  Once we starting talking it through we were able to make changes that benefited the book overall," noted Tricia.

Angela explained, “Anyone who has programmed SAS code for a number of years knows that there are multiple methods to completing a task in SAS. The same is also true in the SAS Business Intelligence solutions. Our reviewers helped by providing other options and this allowed us to decide on modifying our approach to the solution, adding their approach as an alternative, or further explaining within the book why the method we wrote about worked best.”


About Author

Shelley Sessoms

Community Manager

Shelley Sessoms is a community manager in the Customer Engagement Marketing division at SAS. She also curates the SAS Learning Report and SUGA Download newsletters and contributes to the SAS Users blog. During her 19 years at SAS, she has written numerous customer-facing communications, as well as helped close to 100 employees and customers become authors through the SAS Press program.


  1. Just wanted to give a shout out to our SAS Press editor, George McDaniel, who helped us with many of the comments and provided some excellent feedback as well.

    While he wanted to make sure we addressed the reviewers concerns he also helped us figure out what to do when some of the comments conflicted (i.e., you talk about "subject a" too much, add more about "subject a"!). Thanks George!

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