Monday, October 5, 2015

Book Blogger Conversation with Amber

I'm excited to start a new series of posts with a group that is under appreciated--book bloggers!

Book bloggers are obviously so important to authors. They give consistent reviews. They open their blogs to us. They are readers and fans! I think we should honor them more.

So this series of interviews was born! Hopefully it will help authors find bloggers and give everyone else a better appreciation of them.

We have a young blogger today and that's exactly the sort of opinion YA authors are seeking. They want to know what their actual audience thinks of their books. Thanks for your time, Amber. 

What types of books do you review?

I review YA, and my favourites tend to be in the contemporary or romance genres, although occasionally an amazing thriller will pop up and surprise me! I also review some non-fiction, like memoirs, poem books and creative journals.
Do you have any guidelines for authors to follow in contacting you? A link will work.

Due to some bad experiences in the past I don't tend to accept review requests from authors themselves. I love authors, of course, but it's easier for me this way. I did write a post a while ago, though, with tips on how to request reviews from bloggers and you can see that here.
Do you post anything besides reviews—such as cover art or giveaways?

Sometimes! I write personal posts about what's going on in my life, and event recaps when I go to signings or other exciting places. I also share blogging tips, guest posts and interviews.
How do you find books to review or do they come to you?

Aside from the ones I buy, review books come to me. It's like Christmas every day! I'm extremely grateful but I'm not able to review all of them (I wish!) so every book I receive ends up in a book haul on my YouTube channel. That way they get at least some coverage in return.  

What got you into blogging about books?

I've always loved reading and I've always loved writing, so it seemed only natural to combine them and write about books. 
What elements go into a good review and how long does it take to write one?

Each review takes hours. I type faster than I think! I usually start by adding details about the book, the cover image, and links to buy the book, and then I'll write a bullet-point list of my thoughts in no particular order before fleshing out each point and making it somewhat coherent.
How often do you post reviews?

Unlike most bloggers I don't have a set schedule e.g reviews every Monday, memes every Wednesday, discussions every Friday. A review goes up when I have one to post! It's made easier by the fact that I schedule months in advance so I can move things around. I might read loads one month but not at all the next, so then I just space them out. I guess my answer to this question is... regularly!
Can you think of any special methods or personality types that an author has used to really help you draw close to a character?

It's interesting when a character seems almost identical to me. I always feel closer to these characters but I think that's only natural because I relate to them more. That said, I seem to draw close to most characters, which is why it's so painful when the author suddenly kills them... *sigh*
What types of things make for an extra special book? The kind you don’t forget?

I LOVE it when a book teaches me something, opens my eyes, or inspires and motivates me. Two good examples of this would be #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso and Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne. They are very special books.
Any marketing tips you’ve noticed work really well for authors?

People love free stuff! Wristbands, badges, tote bags, bookmarks, t-shirts... bookworms can't get enough of it. I also think blog tours work really well if they have fun and original content and seem different to others. Twitter is important for marketing your book, too - there is a massive bookish community over there and we love nothing more than getting to fangirl about an upcoming book! Just don't spam as that will have the opposite desired effect.
Favorite books you’ve reviewed.

As I mentioned before, I loved #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso and Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne. Another favourite of mine is Night School by C.J. Daugherty.
Books you are looking forward to in the next year.

Ooh, lots! I'm really looking forward to the second book in The Alchemist Chronicles by C.J. Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld. I think James Dawson's Mind Your Head will be out next year, too, and I'm excited for the second and third books in Holly Bourne's The Spinster Club series.
Do you prefer kindle or actual books when reading?

I don't use an eReader. Ever. I much, much prefer reading physical copies of books as it's a better experience and lets me come away from the Internet for a while.
If you could only purchase one book, what would it be?

First, somehow, I would compile all the books on my wishlist into one big book. Then I'd publish it. And then I'd buy it. ;)
What’s your favorite spot to read?

In my bed! It's so comfy. I rarely read anywhere else.
Give us your best advice for a beginning book blogger. 

Make friends! There's a big group of us on Twitter and we don't bite - in fact, we love getting to know newbies! I have lots more blogging tips here.

Amber is a 16-year-old book blogger who aspires to be a journalist and/or a publicist. Amber has been running The Mile Long Bookshelf single-handedly since 2009.

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