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.
Besides being a book blogger Meredith is also a senior publicist with Spencer Hill Press. We get double the experience from her interview!
What types of books do you review? I prefer young adult, though I do read some adult and I’m JUST getting into middle grade. I LOVE retellings of all kinds (Fairy Tale / Greek Mythology / Classic Novels / etc). I also love reading Psychological Thrillers, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Contemporary and Historical.
Do you have any guidelines for authors to follow in contacting you? A link will work. I have an extensive review policy that I try to keep as up-to-date as possible. That can be found here -> http://www.pandorasbooks.org/review-policy/
Do you post anything besides reviews—such as cover art or giveaways? I love participating in blog tours, cover reveals, author interviews and more! Giveaways are always fun and definitely draw a larger audience to a post. Really, I’m open to anything that’s fun, creative and helpful to the authors and books!
How do you find books to review or do they come to you? I like to browse Amazon and Goodreads for new releases. I also follow my favorite authors to see when they have new books coming out. A lot of what I read is recommended by friends and fellow book bloggers. I’m also on several publisher lists and I receive their seasonal catalogs and emails from publicists with review and blog tour requests – these are great ways to discover new books I might not have heard of otherwise
What got you into blogging about books? I love to read and I love spreading the word about epic books. I sort of stumbled into the book blogging world when I started using Twitter in college to chat with my favorite authors. I slowly made friends with book bloggers and was fascinated by what they did, so I decided to start blogging. It’s been a great way to make friends and even got me my first job in publishing! It’s a wonderful, inclusive community and I wish I’d discovered it sooner!
What elements go into a good review and how long does it take to write one? Every blogger has a different method when it comes to reviews. Personally, I’m VERY character driven, so I tend to discuss the things I liked/disliked about the characters in great detail. I also discuss the author’s writing, the pacing of the book and the plot. I’m not a very critical reviewer because I firmly believe that not every book is for every person. And just because I didn’t like it, that doesn’t mean someone else won’t. I never want my reviews to discourage someone from reading a book, so at the end of my review, I almost always recommend the book, whether I liked it or not.
As for how long it takes, it really depends on the book. Typically, it takes me an hour to write the first draft, then 30-45 minutes to edit and finalize the review. But some books take days to review because they were so epic, it’s hard to put the epicness into words!
How often do you post reviews? It depends. I’m a mood reader, so I can post as few as 2 reviews and as many as 10 reviews in any given month.
Can you think of any special methods or personality types that an author has used to really help you draw close to a character? I love fierce, kick-ass/bad-ass female characters. We don’t have enough of those characters. Think Buffy (the TV show), Celaena (Throne of Glass series) and Alina (Shadow and Bone trilogy). I also tend to fall for the bad boys – I can’t help it! :)
What types of things make for an extra special book? The kind you don’t forget? Definitely the characters. If I can’t connect with the characters or I don’t like them, it’s almost guaranteed I’ll have to DNF. But if the writing is gorgeous or the plot intrigues me and I’m dying to see how the book ends, then sometimes that’s enough to keep me reading. These types of books generally end up being 3-star reads for me.
Any marketing tips you’ve noticed work really well for authors? Authors who interact with readers on social media tend to do very well, in my opinion. If all an author does is tweet about their book and ask people to read it, they won’t get much of a response. But if they interact with readers and build that relationship, then it means the world to me (and other readers).
Favorite books you’ve reviewed. Favorite books I’ve reviewed throughout my entire blogging career? Oh wow, that’s a giant list! I just binge-read/reviewed all of Leigh Bardugo’s books and I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite trilogy ever! I’m also a huge Sarah J. Maas, Richelle Mead and Claudia Gray fan, so their books are always fun to review. I wouldn’t have discovered Heather Lyons without blogging, so definitely her books, as well. I could keep going, so I’ll just stop there for now! Haha :)
Books you are looking forward to in the next year. Remembrance (Mediator #7) by Meg Cabot, Throne of Glass #5 by Sarah J. Maas and Heartless by Marissa Meyer are definitely my top 3!
Do you prefer kindle or actual books when reading? Definitely actual books! It’s much easier to read and I love holding a book in my hand!
If you could only purchase one book, what would it be? Ouch! This is a mean question! Haha :) I guess... Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, because I never get tired of reading it! (Without exaggeration, I’ve read it 27+ times!)
What’s your favorite spot to read? On the couch in my living room
My name is Meredith. I’m a Senior Publicist at Spencer Hill Press and Spencer Hill Contemporary. I’m also a YA book blogger and a contributing writer for YA Interrobang. I love to read YA, but sometimes I venture out into other genres. I love to write – I’ve been writing since I was in middle school. I prefer creative writing, but I also did journalism for many, many years throughout high school and college.
Thoughts and opinions are my own.