Bookollective have decided to turn the tables to continue to help our growing community. As well as supporting authors and their books, we have a fantastic team of book bloggers (The B Team), who we work with on blog tours and reviews. Our design and digital marketing expert, Aimee, wanted to recognise them within the industry and will be interviewing some of our blogger team from time to time to showcase their blogs and what they do for the book market.
Today we are speaking to Linda from Books of All Kinds. Linda has reviewed a number of our books and we love how friendly and helpful she has been from the very beginning of Bookollective's collaboration.
Hello Linda! Can we first ask what inspired you to become a book blogger?
I have always loved books. I remember as a child reading anything I could get my hands on, which stayed with me all the way through University where I studied English Literature. After that I worked in a bookstore which was like heaven for me! So when I decided to stay at home to raise my kids, I still wanted to be connected with the book world and I started reviewing books for an American review site - Fresh Fiction. So after two years reviewing for them I finally worked up the courage to start my own book blog and I have never looked back.
That's amazing! So how do you now decide whether to review a book or not?
If it is an author that I am familiar with and know their writing then it is an easy choice. But when it is from a completely new author or genre for me, then it really all depends on the cover and the blurb. If it doesn't sound like my kind of story I don't want to waste their time or mine reading something that I know I won't like. Although with the exception of horror and true crime, there isn't much I wouldn't read! Lol. I have also built up relationships with some publishers and their publicity staff, so they will get in touch with me about certain books that they know I will like, which means I don't even have to make a decision, they know me so well.
So you really do judge a book by its cover?
I have to admit that yes, in some instances, I do judge a book by its cover especially when it is an unknown author to me. The cover has to draw me in so that I will read the blurb, and then decide whether or not I want to buy the book. I definitely think authors, but especially self-published authors, should invest in a good cover artist.
As a cover designer, that's just what I like to hear! Do you have a favourite book of the year so far?
That is an awful question - it's like asking me to choose my favourite child!!! So I am going to cheat and name a few from different genres that have really gotten inside my head so far this year: Sirens by Joseph Knox, The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick, The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher, The Mercury Travel Club by Helen Bridgett, The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel. Oh the list really could go on and on. I want to name so many!
Is there something you wish authors knew about your blog or blogging?
My blog is still really a baby in the blogging world (only 10 months old) and it is getting busier and busier, which I am so excited about. I review all genres with the exception of horror and true crime, feature guest posts, author interviews, spotlights, pretty much if you are an author/publisher and have an idea for promoting your book, get in touch. I always share my reviews on Amazon UK and Amazon US, Goodreads, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc. And when I love a book that I have reviewed, I always buy another copy because I want the author to be able to make a living and keep writing more books! But I do want to add, on behalf of myself and my fellow bloggers, we do this for free, and we spend a lot of time and energy on our blogs, so please keep in mind that we cannot read every book that we are offered.
I think that's really important for authors to keep in mind. Do you have any advice for authors looking for successful blogger reviews?
My advice is contact a blogger well in advance. Most of us have review schedules that fill up really quickly and it happens a lot where an author will get in touch and want me to review a book in the next week or two, and I will have to decline because my schedule is booked up a month in advance. So get in touch early. Check out the review policy on the blog first to see if they are open for reviews and what genres etc they cover, and address the blogger by name as it makes it much more friendly and personal. And be aware it might take us a while to get back to you but we will (one day I had 285 emails!)
Thank you so much for answering our questions, Linda! So finally, do you have any plans for your blog in the future?
My only plan is to keep spreading the love of books and hopefully people will continue to enjoy my blog. I recently found out that I had over 50,000 views and 22,000 actual visitors to my blog since it started which really blew my mind! So I hope that this will continue to grow and help authors sell their books. I would like to thank my fellow book bloggers who are such an AMAZING group of people and always so supportive and helpful with advice and sharing blog posts. I have never felt so included and I have made so many wonderful new friends through blogging, including the talented Bookollective team, so thank you all x
Visit Linda's book blog at www.booksofallkinds.weebly.com