Tag Archives: #BehindTheBooks

#BehindTheBooks with Louise Driffield from My Chronicle Book Box @MyChronicleBB

6C1807D8-83FD-4A20-876C-54D4811A302C

Today I’m thrilled to welcome Louise Driffield to the book review café. Louise is the founder of My Chronicle Book Box, and although I haven’t subscribed yet I can often be found drooling over readers photos of their latest My Book Chronicle Book Box. So without further ado here’s my interview with Louise……

Hi Louise and welcome to the book review cafe, before we begin tea or coffee?

It’s lovely to be here! A cup of tea please; I love the idea of coffee and yet somehow it always smells better than it tastes.

Congratulations on My Chronicle Book Box I love this idea, luxury subscription book boxes, what’s not to like?

Thank you! 

What inspired you to create your own book box business?

I love the whole idea of book subscriptions – always having something worthwhile to read, and helping others discover new books and authors. I saw some book box unboxings on blogs and social media which were mainly focused on young adult fiction and not on my favourite genres. Most of the books on my bookshelves are crime novels or science fiction and fantasy based, some of my favourites inevitably being a devilish combination of the two!

From this nebulous idea that I would like a book box tailored to my own interests the idea for My Chronicle Book Box grew. I began thinking about what I would like in my own book box – not just the best books but author exclusives and bookish goodies that add to the reading experience too! Through chatting with friends and family I found I was not the only one who might buy such a subscription box for themselves or as gifts for others.

Add to that a long-held desire to run my own business and have greater flexibility for my young family and here we are!

10ED8359-DD6F-4512-843F-921F86EA1ABA

How do you choose the books you feature?

Oh my goodness, it is soooo difficult! There are so many great books out there all of which I would love to include 😊

I spend a lot of time reviewing publisher schedules, reading ARCs, finding out author availability, drinking tea, chatting with book-loving friends, reading book blogs and keeping up with industry news to identify trends and possible book choices.

Then I have to consider what combination of books will work together, what will physically fit in the box, the budget (sadly), the time frame needed by publishers, etc, etc…

I do have a few guiding principles for my choices: 

  1. I read all the books that go into the boxes before making the final decision. I must love the books!
  2. The books are new releases. 
  3. The books must also standalone, I don’t want to include books that would require our subscribers to go and read previous books in order to enjoy the book they receive from me. 
  4. In terms of goodies I like them to add to the reading experience and I like to include things that tie in to the selected books and/or the genre of the boxes whenever I can.

4DD1F112-D0DA-49BA-A65F-8DBD9276B57B

 How do you think your service helps authors?

I search high a low for new great books and feature authors both new and established, through our boxes we introduce books and authors to new readers they may not otherwise have found. 

We also help create a greater connection through author exclusives. By including an interview or letter the subscribers learn more about the author and can feel more connected with the author becoming not just fans but loyal fans.

7A130F67-46B8-4ABB-A52C-DF996C3927AC

Why should readers buy a My Chronicle Book Box?

I find something very comforting and satisfying about reading a printed book. It is a precious gift to have the chance to lose yourself in a tactile print book, free from the interruptions of emails, adverts and notifications and I want to help people create that chance.

A book subscription is a great way to discover new books and authors and always have something ready to pick up and read. We like to take that a step further and add to the reading experience with signed books, author interviews and thoughtful bookish items.

I like to give the boxes a personal touch too, each one contains a personalised letter and envelope sealed with a wax seal which we stamp ourselves. I also gift wrap every book that goes into the subscription boxes and take great care on the packing so that every box is like receiving a gift (even if it’s to yourself!). I also really want the experience of receiving the box, unwrapping the books, unsealing your letter and revealing the bookish goodies to be all part of the fun!

3C286CE5-B448-4A2D-935B-758BEE2ACF3E

I have seen some fantastic photos of your boxes on social media, how important do you think social media is for your business?

It’s not an easy thing to prove but I think it is very important! Most of our growth has been by word of mouth and I really appreciate all the unboxings and sharing our wonderful subscribers do. It really means the world to me when people take time to tell us and others how much they have enjoyed our book boxes.

I’m not that great at the social media aspect myself, its actually one of my aims for 2019 to get better at it which makes all the posts other people post and share even more important and valued.

What makes My Chronicle Book Box different to other subscription boxes?

There are a few things that give our box its own character and set us apart from some of the other subscription boxes. We only include the latest releases and every box has author exclusives such as signed books, signed book plates, interviews and letters making the boxes extra special.

Then we complement the books with thoughtful related items to add to the reading experience. 

The genres we offer set us apart from other book boxes too, you can choose between crime & mystery and sci-fi & fantasy themes (my favourites!).

Being a small business, we put great care and attention into every box I like to give the boxes a personal touch and it means every customer is really important to us.

FF638216-F07A-4E86-8D3A-372F1603C3DA

How much does a book subscription cost and what does this include?

Each My Chronicle Book Box costs £45. This includes 3 recently released books, author exclusives and around 3-4 lovely bookish goodies. 

You can also gift a subscription and for £5 we send out a printed gift card for the recipient. This is personalised with your special message and explains what they have been gifted and when they can expect to receive their box or boxes.

Our boxes are quarterly and arrive in the first week of February, May, August and November each year.

593C780D-9F1B-4536-BF35-75981CC4E4C5

You must read so many books, which books would you recommend to readers?

I do – it’s one of the best things about my job! I don’t just read books that are potential titles for our book boxes either. Sometimes I want to read a book just for the fun of it.

I would like to recommend Murder by the Book by Claire Harman. A fascinating true crime book I read just recently about the murder of Lord William Russell in 1840 and its literary connections. This isn’t a candidate for our boxes because it is non-fiction.

I would also like to recommend the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. It’s a wonderful historical fantasy series which captured my heart and imagination. The first in the series A Discovery of Witches was recently adapted for television and features witches, daemons and vampires hiding within plain sight. 

Also anything and everything by Agatha Christie and Sir Terry Pratchett!

3E6F3AD4-8B78-42A4-AB4B-A55E83F32F36

website: http://www.mychroniclebookbox.com/

Twitter: @MyChronicleBB

Facebook:  https://facebook.com/mychroniclebookbox/

My thanks to Louise for taking the time to answer my questions and for allowing me to use photos from My Chronicle Book Box website.

Special limited edition My Chronicle Book Boxes

Mothers Day Box

1C797C6D-998D-4E48-816B-C355481B75D6

Book Sleeve Box

0C6525AF-DD9E-4FE9-9D75-42C53C6AD390

#BehindTheBooks with #DebutAuthor Noelle Holten @nholten40

Today I’m jumping up and down with excitement, as I have an extra special guest taking part in the book review café’s #BehindTheBooks feature, so a huge welcome  to one of the most passionate book bloggers I know, the one and only Noelle Holten aka  Crime book junkie

Not only is Noelle a book blogger, she works full time as a PR and Social Manager for Bookouture and some how or other she’s managed to write her debut novel Dead Inside which is being published by killer reads and Harper Collins in May 2019. I was lucky enough to be asked to beta read this book and I thought it was brilliant, readers you are in for a real treat.

I think I have gushed enough so without further ado here’s my interview with the lovely Noelle……

1FFB3C84-E408-4F4E-BC0B-539B12DB538B

Hi Noelle  I’m thrilled to have you visit the book review café, first things first, tea or coffee?

Thanks so much for having me! Coffee please ☕️

Congratulations on your debut novel Dead Inside being published on May 31st by Killer Reads. I have so many questions I want to ask you. Firstly what made you decide to write a book?

Aww- thank you so much!! I’ve always wanted to write a book, but either thought no one other than me would be interested, it would be awful so no one (publisher-wise) would want it or there was never enough time to write. In 2017, after a lot of encouragement, I attended Crime & Publishment – a writing course run by Graham Smith & Michael J Malone in Gretna Green. I had my prologue written and after mustering up the courage, I asked them both to read it. Their reaction gave me the kick up the backside to write the story and so I made the time!

Where did you get the idea for Dead Inside from?

The idea for Dead Inside came from my own personal experiences, my experience as a Probation Officer and my not-so-normal imagination. When I had finally decided I wanted to write back in 2014 – I had a totally different story in mind, but then Lucy invaded my head and after a few years of thinking about it, she decided she wanted to be heard!

What kind of research did you have to do for Dead Inside?

My previous professional life as a Senior Probation Officer for 18 years, working in a police station for 6 years and the experience I had with various agencies allowed me to pretty much write what I knew. I used a bit of poetic licence to help the story flow, but I drew on my experiences and spoke to a few people or googled/ read relevant books for things I was unsure of. I have quite a library of books on crime, theory and true crime – so reference material is always to hand. 

How long did it take you to write Dead Inside?

I started the first draft on March 13th 2017 and finished May 19th 2017. Then I left the book until the end of November 2017 before I started to edit. That took me until Feb 2018. I then sent it to beta readers and once I had their amazing and insightful feedback, I made those changes and sent it to an editor – I was ready to submit my final MS by April 2018.

What were the lows of writing your debut novel?

Difficult to say and I am not sure I would say I had any particular ‘lows” but writing a novel is hard work and you really have to be dedicated/motivated. Making the time after a long day at work, could be draining but kept me focussed. I also had to re-live and sift through a lot of unpleasant memories. I had no confidence in my writing or myself some days.

Which brings me to the next question, what was the best thing about writing Dead Inside?

Oh! There are a few things – It was therapeutic and reminded me how far I have come. Getting a book deal! (I still can’t believe that!) Having amazing feedback from my beta readers. Fantastic endorsements from authors I admire. Getting a red card from Karen Sullivan /Orenda with the invitation to submit – and being able to say I wrote a book! Pitching my novel to an editor (scary but worth it). Seeing Angela Marsons and Martina Cole’s names on my cover. MY COVER (love it) – So many positives!!

Do you have any writing Quirks?

Hmmm. I’m not sure if this is a quirk or not but I don’t write in chronological order. If an idea pops in my head, I write it down – in fact, I had the ending of Dead Inside written before most of the book. Same with book 2! It’s just how my brain works – but it is a pain when it comes to editing!

Can you describe what Dead Inside is about in one sentence?

I don’t know if I can! HA HA – ok, here was my elevator pitch: 

Four domestic abuse offenders are brutally murdered; three are supervised by the same probation officer and the fourth is her husband.

How long did it take to get your book accepted by a publisher?

This is incredibly weird and definitely not the norm, but I was encouraged by an author and also introduced by one of the editors from Bookouture to pitch to a publisher at Harrogate 2018. I finally plucked up the courage on the Saturday (I may have been dragged over) and gave him my details as well as my pitch. I received an email on the Monday asking for the full MS and an then I received an offer a week later. I then had another expression of interest within two days of that from another publisher I submitted to and finally another offer! Even those who turned down Dead Inside, said they were interested in my writing and would be happy for me to submit anything else I wrote directly. So, I had a really positive experience.

Best piece of advice you would give to someone hoping to get their book published?

Do your homework and write every day. I spend an hour a day, no matter what, writing – within 12-14 weeks I have my first draft done. Only ONE HOUR a day. You have to keep motivated. 

How does it feel to read quotes from authors writing about your book? When it’s normally you writing about theirs.

OMFG I cried many a happy tear as it is just so surreal. I often wonder if they are just being nice but then I think WHO CARES 🤣 Best feeling EVER!

Have you any plans to celebrate on publication day?

I took the day off work and plan to be on social media. I might have a gin or two (it’s a Friday!) but no other special plans. For the paperback publication in August, I am hoping to have a launch in Glasgow – watch this space! 

What are you working on now?

Book 2 edits! We’re still working on the title, but I LOVE the blurb. Hopefully there will be some news about that coming soon!

One last question do you plan to keep on blogging?

Abso-friggin-lutely! I love blogging, but I have taken a big step back from tours and generally I’m focusing on going through my TBR! I will still do the occasional tour, but edits are a priority and then onto Book 3 … in case I get another contract! If I don’t I’m not sure what I will do with Book 3 but I’ll worry about that when I need to!

A882CD54-6D16-4DE8-B214-1EFBC405A130

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and was a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog.
Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

07CE3BE8-7CDB-4FE2-828A-4555EE2685AC

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:
Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40
Instagram: @crimebookjunkie

About the Book:

BDFE92AB-8031-4A28-8210-9E81B4775C29

 

‘Kept me hooked … excellent pace and a very satisfying ending’ Angela Marsons

‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole

‘A brilliant debut – gritty, dark and chilling. Noelle Holten knows her stuff’ Mel Sherratt

A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.

The killer is just getting started…

When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.

And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?

Pre-order Links: 

 

Amazon: http://mybook.to/DeadInside  

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2SBRpqt 

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2DZwZ2M 

Googleplay: http://ow.ly/T17w30nCWp3 

My thanks to Noelle for taking time out of her hectic to take part in this interview.

506EB597-08C7-4CEB-B182-AD988A561FA9

 

#BehindTheBooks with Karen Sullivan @OrendaBooks #BookPublisher #TeamOrenda.

Today I’m thrilled to have the fabulous Karen Sullivan pop by the book review café and take part in my latest feature #BehindTheBooks. Karen is the owner of Orenda Books and I’m sure most book bloggers would agree Karen publishes some of the most compelling books I’ve had the pleasure to read. I hope you enjoy this feature as much as I did putting it together……

DEA26C45-1B38-4F0F-A748-110A6E43C84D

Good morning Karen I’m so excited to have you finally visit the book review café, first thing first tea or coffee? 

Coffee all the way. I don’t speak to anyone in the morning until my Nespresso machine has done its business! Being Canadian, I never really ‘got’ the tea thing, and shhhhhhh don’t really like it!

What made you decide to set up a publication business?

I was an author for years (non-fiction), and got a bit bored writing about the same things (raising children, emotional health, discipline, nutrition, etc.), particularly as my boys got older. I took what was ostensibly a one-day-a-week job in a little independent, writing jacket copy and advance information sheets/press releases, etc. It soon turned into more than full time, and when my boss was sacked and a new group of shareholders brought in, who clearly didn’t understand the ethos of the list or the company, I decided it was the to leave. It took me 24 hours to decide to start Orenda Books, and I haven’t looked back!

What genre of books do Orenda Books publish?

We publish literary fiction, with a heavy emphasis on crime thrillers, about half in translation. What defines the list is the superb writing!

What makes Orenda Books unique from other publishers?

That’s a good question. It’s a small list, and our authors come from 14 countries around the world, so there is immediately a big international element to Orenda. We work hard together, as Team Orenda, and all of my authors are as approachable and engaged as they are talented. My goal was to publish beautiful, unforgettable books … and create a brand identity that would mean readers picking up the next Orenda book, regardless of its provenance or genre, on the basis that they KNOW it will be good. We work super hard at all stages of editing to make sure that happens! We really believe that if someone wants to buy a physical book, they want something gorgeous. So we have great covers, and use excellent-quality paper, with neat little design touches; for example, a little ornament or illustration in the runnings heads.

 

 

What would you say has been your biggest success so far?

I think getting this far is probably my biggest success! It’s a crowded, noisy market, and it’s not easy being a little guy! In terms of books, Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland series has been far and away our bestselling titles, with over a million copies sold in various territories around the world. Amanda Jennings, Matt Wesolowski, Louise Voss, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Lilja Sigurdardottir, Thomas Enger and Antti Tuomainen have also been strong sellers. All of them have done well, really!
We publish a lot of debut authors, and it can take some time to get them established, but sales are up across the board for everyone! One of the nice things about being small and working so closely with authors is that we build very strong relationships. We are completely committed to all of our authors, and growing them with the company, regardless of how long that might take.

Which brings me to my next question, What has been the biggest challenge?

 The biggest challenge will always be trying to compete with the big players. We don’t have the marketing budgets that they do, or teams of creatives, and can’t generate the same type of hype for books. Sometimes I want weep when I see heavily hyped books getting all the attention (and publicity and sales) when I know that ours are much, much better! I also struggle with the growth of the 99p digital publishers, who are doing great damage to the industry as a whole … the value that books are perceived to have, an author’s ability to earn a living. As a matter of principle, we refuse to discount without a retailer-supported promotion, but it is very hard to compete against publishers offering books so cheaply. But we chose to play with the big boys, so we have to get on and do it. I give a lot of books away, but I do get frustrated when people are always want everything free or cheaply. I feel a huge weight of responsibility for my authors, and they have to be able to eat! I wish sometimes book buyers would understand how hard it is to do this. If they don’t support independent publishers, buy their books, and actively choose them over some of the over-hyped big-company titles, a lot of fabulous books will never be published and we will lose the vibrancy of the community, the variety of literature available. This has become one long rant!

You must get hundreds of submissions from authors, how do you choose which books you will publish? 

 

 

We get so many submissions, it’s almost terrifying! We have a reader who has worked with from the very beginning, and she knows exactly what will excite me! So she acts as a filter, and gives me a yes, no, maybe response, and a full report for every book. She has NEVER been wrong yet! Sometimes I may revisit a ‘no’, but I haven’t ever seen anything that she has missed. Then it comes to me and my editor, and we both read it. So the process is long … particularly because we are so busy with the day-to-day running of the company and keeping books going through. If I absolutely LOVE a book, I might offer for it. But the list is tiny, though, and we can’t publish that many new titles a year … having made a commitment to existing authors to grow them! I sometimes read fantastic submissions that are just a little to close in style or plot to something we already publish. One thing I definitely want to do is make sure that every single book/author is completely different. So we might have several police procedurals or psychological thrillers, but they share nothing apart from their genre or sub genre.

If I sent a book I wrote to you how long would it take you to review and respond?

I’m almost embarrassed to say that it could take six to eight months … just because of the sheer volume!! And we do like to read everything!

What would put you off reading my book I sent to you?

Poor spelling, a cliched plot or characters. Weak writing. A submission letter that isn’t personalised (i.e., Dear Sirs).
Lots of things can be fixed in books (and are) but an author needs to be a great writer to be published here and bring something fresh and distinctive.

If you accepted my book how long is the process from accepting a manuscript to final publication? And what does the process involve? 

 

 

Usually about a year, but it depends upon what time of year it’s signed. What we do first is a structural edit … loads of editorial notes that send the author back to his/her writing desk to get the bones of the book … the plot, characters, timeline, continuity, atmosphere, setting. It might go back and forth several (or even dozens of) times before it’s ready for copyediting. This is the line edit, and the copyeditor always finds more things that need addressing, and the prose is polished at this stage. The author then answers queries and checks the edits to make sure he/she is happy. During the process, we write a blurb, commission a jacket, get it up for pre-order, pitch to the sales teams around the world, discuss marketing and publicity approaches, etc. Once the book is in good shape, it is typeset. We usually print uncorrected proofs at this stage (about five/six months before publication), and these go out to the press, booksellers, other authors for jacket quotes, the sales teams, and some of the bloggers. The book is then proofread by author and an outside proofreader. Then a couple of months before publication, we print the final book! It takes a while…

You have some fantastic covers for your books, how do you choose a cover?

We have the MOST AMAZING jacket designer – Mark Swan. I give him a detailed brief … basically what the book is about, the kind of images we might be looking for, or the approach … and he delivers a series of roughs. It’s honestly VERY hard to choose. He is a genius! Sometimes the jacket we choose doesn’t meet with the approval of the retailers, so we go back to the drawing board. Usually there is another rough in the bunch that fits the bill. Jackets DO have to stand out, and we spend a lot of time getting them right.

Are there any books you are publishing this year you are really excited about?

Hand on heart, I am absolutely thrilled to be publishing every single book on the list. Quite a few authors are on their third or fourth books, and they just get better and better. It’s such a delight … a source of huge excitement … to get this list of books out there to readers. I am probably as nervous and excited as the authors themselves. In terms of new authors, however, we have a WONDERFUL book from Norway, A Modern Family, by Helga Flatland, who we are calling the Norwegian Anne Tyler. It’s so exquisitely written and moving … and it will resonate with anyone who has EVER had a sibling! It’s out in June. We’ve also got Paul Burston’s new psychological thriller, The Closer I Get, which revolves around the world of social media, where a follower becomes a little obsessive. These are authors who are new to Orenda. Others are making their return with books that quite simply smash it out of the park!

 

 

As for the marketing of your books, what have you found works best for Orenda Books?

A combination of things! We do a lot of giveaways, and Anne Cater organises the most incredible blog tours (sometimes with over 80 bloggers involved in each), which really give a book a nice headstart with some fabulous reviews and a great buzz. We do promotions with retailers, and place ads in online sites and in some print media (a lot more in the USA/Can than here). We are very active on social media, and have just started our ‘Orenda Books at Bedtime’, which is a series that goes out every Sunday night at 8pm. An author reads from his/her book from the comfort of their own home, and it’s really taking off. I absolutely think that the best marketing imaginable is to get authors in front of readers, so the ‘online’ intimate bedtime story is definitely a good way to do that. Our authors did over 300 events last year between them, including loads of festivals, and most also took part in our Orenda Roadshow, where we visit four bookshops across the country in four days. We have big launches, and parties, and try to make readers and anyone who reviews our books or shares the book love feel like part of the team. Our book trailers have been a surprising success. We also have a newsletter that goes out via the Crime Lounge every couple of weeks!

Can you tell us a little about a typical day at Orenda?

I don’t think there is any typical day! One day I might work from 7am till after midnight on edits, or I might spend a whole day trying to organise events, pitching for festivals. I might have sales meetings, or be on the road with authors for days on end! We could be preparing books for press … chasing up praise and getting the final cover designed. Spending time on social media, checking sales figures, writing a press release or jacket copy, reading submissions, crying at cash flow, rewriting metadata for online retailers (particularly for ebooks), coming up with strategies for marketing or publicity, looking at reviews for blog tours, in the press, on goodreads or Amazon. Talking to the sales team, or Sophie, who helps with PR. Updating the website. Working out why something isn’t selling as well as expected, perhaps, and finding ways to give it a boost. Talking to my editor, West Camel, and Cole, my son, who now works for us as an assistant everything! I’m getting a little better at delegating. There are hundreds of emails every day, too!

I am up at seven, get my youngest off to school, and then work well into the night (stopping to cook dinner!). I go to lots of launches for authors from other publishers, too, and am away a LOT a book fairs, author events, festivals, international sales conferences, etc. Every day brings something new and maybe that’s partly why it is so much fun. Although there are a lot of extremely boring administrative tasks, I can always do something else if I start to lose my mind!

 

 

One final question can you sum up Orenda Books in five words?

Well, our little ‘tag line’, which I thought up in about 20 seconds when I started the company is: Beautiful Readable Unforgettable. I’m not sure I could actually top that! Just Team Orenda?
6E785469-8C33-4077-AB6D-1B1A9BC4BDAA

About Orenda Books

91A0D2C0-8773-4F2B-9936-F60FD686DFAD

Karen with author Thomas Enger

Orenda Books was founded by publisher Karen Sullivan in late 2014 to specialise in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, about half in translation. The company has fast made a name for itself, being shortlisted for the IPG Nick Robinson Newcomer Award, shortlisting for and winning a clutch of awards, including CWA Daggers, Authors’ Club First Novel Award, the Petrona Award, the Glass Key and the Dead Good Reads Awards. Karen was also named as a Bookseller Rising Star for 2016.

My thanks to Karen for taking time out of her hectic schedule to take part in this feature.

 

 

 

 

#BehindTheBooks an interview with Sarah Hardy from Book On The Bright Side @BOTBSPublicity #BlogTourOrganiser

Today I’m thrilled to welcome the awesome Sarah Hardy to the book review café. Sarah is one of the most successful book bloggers I know, and if you haven’t checked out her blog it’s a MUST Bytheletterbookreviews

Sarah is the first to feature in a series of articles I’m hoping to run called Behind The Books. Sarah has started up her own business Book On The Bright Side  running blog tours for authors and publishers. I wanted to learn more so here’s my interview with Sarah, hope you enjoy it.

F42916B3-C1BB-4EC7-889C-33C54965C056

Hi Sarah I’m thrilled to have you visit the book review café, first things first, tea or coffee?

I’m into my green teas at the moment so would love one of those thanks 🙂

Congratulations on your new business venture Book On The Bright Side, why did you decide to set up your own blog tour business?

Thanks Lorraine. Blog tours are something I’ve always been enthusiastic about. For one I love blogging and I also love to shout about books and authors and blog tours are a great way to promote both. I love taking part in them as well as organising them. It’s something I’m very passionate about and doing it for myself seemed the next step.

Can you explain what a book tour is?

A book tour is a promotional tool to help authors/publishers promote themselves as well as their books. It is a virtual tour where by bloggers will either read and review the authors book or host an extract/Q&A/guest post and share on a designated date alongside more info about the author and book. It’s a great way of making it visible on social media.

Would you mind sharing with us a typical day in the life of a book blog tour organiser?

I’m lucky that at the moment I am able to work from home. After dropping my son off at school, I get straight onto my laptop. If there is a blog tour running, then the first thing I will do is go look for stops that are on that day so I can share and re tweet. Then the majority of my day is spent sending or replying to emails. Time will also be spent, organising and finalising new blog tours that are coming in as well as creating blog tour banners and getting the media pack together which compromises of the images and all the info that the bloggers will need. It’s certainly not a 9-5 job but there is a lot of flexibility to it.

What’s the best thing about organising blog tours?

The best bit has to be getting to know and working with some great bloggers as well as discovering new authors and books to me. The book community is a great one to be part of.

Which brings me to my next question, what’s the worse thing about organising a blog tour?

The down side is probably that there is no fixed working times. I can find myself working late at night as well as weekends, of which I try to keep to a minimum.

Is there a book/genre/theme that you would refuse to arrange a blog tour for?

I can’t think of any as such that I would refuse. There maybe some I would turn down as I don’t think it would be a popular reading choice with the bloggers I have signed up. Will let you know if I ever come across one lol.

If I was an author or a publisher why should I have a blog tour for my book?

Blog tours are a great way to create a buzz about a book as well as raise awareness across social media. Lots of the bloggers have a wide reach on various platforms and I think for the authors it’s something they can really get involved in and enjoy.

What is the best timing for a blog tour?

Definitely around the time the book is due to come out. I usually recommend starting them on the publishing day itself. Of course a lot of authors have titles which have been out for a while, of which they want to give it an extra push so may want to coincide the blog tour with a price drop. I would always recommend authors who are thinking of doing one for a new novel, to approach an organiser no less than 2 months before the publishing date.

How do you measure the success of a blog tour?

For me, it’s the great reviews from the bloggers and getting great feedback from the author and the publisher. It’s especially lovely when a blogger will email you thanking you for inviting them to be part of the tour as they loved the book so much. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Have you got any blog tours coming up that you are really excited about?

I get excited about them all but am especially excited about Noelle Holten’s debut novel, Dead Inside. This will be my biggest blog tour to date. I met Noelle through blogging and she has become a very close friend. I couldn’t be more prouder of everything she has achieved and was over the moon when she asked me to organise it. I think I was grinning for a fair few days after her asking me.

And finally if you could choose one author who you would want to run a blog tour for who would it be? and why?

Apart from Noelle aka  Crime Book Junkie  of course, I’m lucky that I have actually already organised a blog tour for the author who I would choose. I am a huge fan of Robert Bryndza’s books and he was actually my very first client when I set up my free lance business. Apart from being a huge fan of his books, he always takes the time out to thank or acknowledge his readers comments and posts and is just a genuinely lovely guy. He was an absolute pleasure to work with, as are all the authors I have been lucky enough to work with so far. He is an author I have always championed since discovering his novels though sometimes I do feel a bit of an author stalker but he hasn’t put a restraining order on me yet lol.

My thanks to Sarah for taking timeout of her busy schedule to answer my questions.

About Sarah

7072907A-27AA-4ABF-9F12-9C4A375BEC3F

I am an avid reader and blogger and have two years experience working with a digital publisher as their publicity and social media person. I made the decision in 2018 to go freelance and now organise blog tours directly with authors as well as publishers for crime and women’s fiction novels.

For more information and prices, please email Sarah at:
sarah.botbspublicity@gmail.com 

Or contact her via Twitter BOTBSPublicity

57D850E4-D305-4193-819E-2D2415325EE1.jpeg

Book bloggers who organise blog tours….

Anne at Random Things Through My Letterbox

Emma at Damppebbles

Shell at Bakers not so secret blog

Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources

Tracy at Compulsive readers

Kelly at Love books group