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By The Bookollective Team, Mar 31 2017 09:43AM

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


By The Bookollective Team, Jan 13 2017 10:52AM


Written by Helen McCusker


Most authors do not have a fortune to invest in book publicity, but you’ll still want to ensure that your book launch is given the specialist attention it deserves. Bookollective publicist, Helen McCusker, shares her top ten tips on how to achieve maximum results with a minimum budget.


1. Author Website; Launch your website before your book is published to start generating interest and make sure that the homepage is linked to Amazon (or your preferred book store) to ensure that traffic leads to sales. Essential pages include; book page, author page, media page, contact page. On your media page allow journalists to download a Press Pack which will include your press release, cover image of the book and author images. Bookollective can help with all of your editing, design and promotion needs, just drop us an email for a free consultation: hello@bookollective.com


2. Social Media; I’m a massive fan of social media, because it’s powerful and FREE! Set up an author page on Facebook and get connected to Twitter so that you can start building a fan base before your book hits the shelves. However, only set up accounts if you intend to use them as there’s nothing worse than seeing a ‘Coming Soon’ holding page, or Twitter feeds which lay dormant for months. Produce content which is interesting and followers will want to comment on and share. Bookollective’s digital marketing guru Aimee Coveney has had great success building social media presence for authors. Get in touch via: aimee@bookollective.com


3. Guest Blog; If you’ve written a book then writing should be something you enjoy and are are good at. So make the most of that talent and offer your services to online blogs who are often hungry for fresh editorial from guest authors. If you have an idea for a book-related blog post that we could use on this website then email Esther Harris: esther@bookollective.com We might choose to publish it for you and you could be reaching our growing audience of book lovers. PR works… Guess what? I’m blogging right now and you’re reading it!


4. Free Chapters; Providing complimentary content from your books is a great way to get readers ‘hooked’ on reading the rest of the book. Or you may choose to sell your entire eBook at launch for 99p to ignite interest. The idea is to entice your audience and have them eagerly awaiting the next installment.


5. Book Signings; Give up some of your time for book signing events in your local area which are often organised, managed and advertised by the book store. Use these opportunities to invite local journalists along who can interview you for TV, Radio, Newspapers or Magazines. Also submit news of the book signing to industry publications such as The Bookseller and Book Brunch who are happy to report on recent author events if they have space. The Bookollective team can assist with event organisation if you need an extra pair of hands - just ask!


6. Speaking Events; Be a proactive author and get listed as a speaker in your area of your expertise. You may get the chance to speak at writers’ conventions, where you could gain valuable insights from seasoned authors who will give you effective marketing advice that may not be found elsewhere. Authors often have a media *wish list* full of TV programmes and national broadsheets, but quite often their most captive audience could be right on their doorstep at specialist clubs and organisations who may have editorial space available in their niche magazines and newsletters.


7. Amazon Presence; Make sure you take full advantage of author tools on Amazon, including having an author blog feed into your AmazonConnect feature on your book’s page. Also ensure reviewers of your book post their comments on your Amazon page too which will give your star rating a beneficial boost.


8. Get Reviewed; Ask book bloggers to review your book and perhaps run a competition or reader offer. Book giveaways on book blogs are major attention-grabbers for people who read, plus if the blogger enjoys your book then they’re often willing to post the review from their blog on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. My motto is; if you don’t ask, you don’t get!


9. Virtual Book Tour; You can tour the world from the comfort of your own living room and see your book featured on book blogs with either a review, an author interview or both. As is the case with approaching any media, ensure that you only target those bloggers who have an interest in your genre and writing style (do your research first!) Bookollective’s newly formed ‘B Team’ are an active community of literary reviewers and we can manage blog tours for all genres. Just email Aimee Coveney for more information: aimee@bookollective.com


10. Publicity Tips; There are lots of literary experts who share good advice online (including me!) Connect with them and take advantage of their complimentary support. You can find me on Twitter @helenmccusker and @Bookollective and Bookollective’s Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/bookollective Or if you have a publicity related question you’d love to ask me, send me an email: helen@bookollective.com



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Esther

 

Favourite book:

To Kill A Mockingbird 

by Harper Lee

 

Best tip for authors:

Tell me your life story. It's the personal ups and downs and how you've overcome them that sometimes help us pitch you and the book.

 

Publishing career highlight:

My first byline in The Mirror and ghost writing a newspaper feature for a client that saw her get a phone call from the Defence Secretary saying how impressed he was.

bloggers

Our aim for the Bookollective blog is to provide honest and informative articles to help everyone within the industry and book world. Our team will regularly contribute articles, but we will also invite guest bloggers. If you would like to guest blog for us, get in touch via the contact page.

 

You can also find out a little more about our team below!

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Aimee

 

Favourite book:

Pride and Prejudice 

by Jane Austen

 

Best tip for authors:

Good design is good business; it builds your brand and conveys professionalism. As an author, your book is your business; don't let your hard work down with poor presentation.

 

Publishing career highlight:

Getting my first award for cover design! It's always an amazing feeling when you're acknowledged for doing something you love.

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Helen

 

Favourite book:

The Tiger Who Came

to Tea by Judith Kerr

 

Best tip for authors:

You are unique and so is your book, so create a unique publicity campaign that suits you. Most importantly, don’t quit - I always tell my authors that writing their book is actually the ‘easy’ bit, promotion takes patience and determination.

 

Publishing career highlight:

I was proud to be selected as a finalist in the Publisher’s Publicity Circle Awards for one of my paperback non-fiction campaigns, but my career highlight has to be winning the title of Young Business Person of the Year at the Inspire Business Awards.

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