Friday, 10 February 2017

The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration - Part 1




We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions. 

A MAGICAL WORLD OF WORDS - AmyNikita 
BOOKS.BAGS.BURGERS - Uma K 
BOOK REVIEWS BY DI - Di Hewlett



What made you start your book blog?




For me it was a path that started with a love of reading books which led to wanting to know more about the books I wanted to read and that in turn led to Goodreads which led to Book Blogs. I had so much fun reading about other people’s opinions and feelings that I wanted to get my own out there too! It’s also a really great way to connect with like-minded people; people that you already know love books. I am sure it’s also given my real life friends a reprieve from getting unsolicited bookish advice and recommendations (which sometimes come in the form of constant shrieking about NEEDING TO READ THIS!).


I think expressing my views every which way I can has always been a part of me. I need to talk about things. Blogging is pretty much the best way to express my views about the things I love the most - books. I’m the kind of person who when I read a book first, can’t wait for someone else to read it so I can discuss the plot, the twist, the spoilers! I must say that as a kid I did start a blog which I ended up closing due to not knowing much about handling it. Last year, I finally started my blog after a lot of research (Seriously, if anyone needs advice on starting a blog, I have a whole word document filled with my “research”) and I must say, IT IS AWESOME to be blogging and meeting like-minded people!




It’s definitely been a long time coming ;) Ever since I went to my friend’s house in 2014 and saw the piles of books around her room - and then googled her blog - I was desperate to start my own. But I was lazy, and intimidated, and it all looked so confusing. So I stayed on Goodreads and wrote short reviews on there instead. But I was dying to discuss books and movies with other people on a blogging base, and I felt like I was missing a lot. So after seeing so many blogs listed on Goodreads’ profiles, I finally just decided to do it. I messaged my friend and asked her “how do you start a blog” and she said “Go to Blogger!” and so I did, and TA DA! And it has been awesome…..I get to discuss what I love with people who love it as much as I do, and that is so amazing and fulfilling!




Have you received any books to review from publishers or authors?




Yes, I’ve been lucky enough to have been contacted on a few occasions by both authors and publishers. Sometimes it’s for review opportunities and at other times it’s been for guest posts and just to spread the word about them and upcoming books. I’ve also been fortunate to be approved for some titles on NetGalley so I consider myself really lucky being so new to the blogosphere!




Yes, and I always get so overwhelmed and feel so honoured when it happens! (even if it’s not a book I can accept at the time.) So far I’ve received one book from a publisher, and there’re a few books on the way from individual authors. Some authors have also offered guest posts or interviews, and so hopefully I’ll get to do those as well :) I’m always amazed and touched when an author contacts me, and it feels so weird at the same time cos you’re like “why me?”



Yes! And it’s one of the most amazing feeling ever! More so, considering i’m a newbie at the blogsphere. In my blog, you can see there’s a request a review option (It’s closed for a while now due to my TBR growing like Jack’s beanstalk) and I’ve had about 10 publishers/ authors request via the form. I’ve also worked on Guest posts and Interview posts with authors. Netgalley is a wonderful site where one can request to read a book. Unfortunately a lot of publishers only look for readers in the US, UK and Australia and hence I miss out on some great titles! But I must say that I’ve read and reviewed books from NetGalley that have become a part of my favourite books 💗



If an author has taken the time to research your blog and is asking you to review a book in your scope, should you say yes?




In my opinion, publishers and authors are not bound to give away review copies and neither are we book bloggers bound to accept them. Normally there are only a limited number of ARCs available (yes, even eARCs) and the publisher and author should have the best possible audience for these. If I’m not really interested in a book or I don’t think I will have the time to review it I’d prefer to decline. That being said, I really do appreciate when an author or publisher does a little research on me first before approaching me. I typically read Fantasy (all forms) and more often than not I’ll be reading a YA of some sort. If someone approached me to review their new cookbook for example, I’d be pretty certain they have NO idea the type of reader or blogger that I am and I’d be almost certain to decline… It’s always wonderful to be considered when it comes to being asked to review something, and I’m honoured and excited each and every time, even if I do decline.




I always feel so awful when I have to decline a book, even though I know I’m perfectly within my rights to do so. At first you feel like you should just accept everything you’re offered, and that really isn’t the right way to do things. After all, it’s what you can do for the author, and it’s unfair to accept something you’re not likely to give a positive review for. On one hand, I don’t want to accept a book I think there’s a big chance I won’t like, and yet I also want to be open to new genres I haven’t read/enjoyed before. It’s a hard decision :( So I guess if the author offers you a book that’s within your genre preferences, accept! I personally try not to be too fussy, since my blog is still a “newbie” :)





I take up requests only via my request form where I very clearly state everything in my Review Policy - what genres I read, how long I take to review a book etc. And while I feel honored that an author/ publisher wants me to read and review their book, I will definitely decline the book if it’s obvious that they haven’t bothered to go through my Review Policy. (For example if they ask me to review a book that does not fall under the ‘genres I read’). That being said, if an author has taken the time to research my blog before requesting, (they would then definitely know what kind of books I read and review) I would most certainly agree to read and review their book, unless of course I don’t have the time. This has never been a problem for me since I keep my form closed when I’m not accepting requests. But even when I have my form closed, I do accept sequels of books I’ve reviewed before.


Hope to see you over at their collab posts too!:

BOOKS. BAGS. BURGERS

BOOK REVIEWS BY DI



We hope you’ve enjoyed the first in our series of discussion posts! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!


16 comments:

  1. Most books I reviewed for authors were ones I chose to contact through specific groups on Goodreads where authors advertise their book and interested bloggers ask for a copy. That way I was only getting those I was really interested in reading which was helpful to me and the author! I did get some authors asking me to read their books through Goodreads and my blog, which I don't mind, but I would reject any I didn't want to read and accept a few I thought I might like. I've stepped back a lot from author reviews so I can mainly tackle the books I've bought myself and get the pile down, but I still do some. I'm comfortable in my reading, my tastes and with experience, I know what I'm more likely to like and what to avoid. If I say no to a book, I usually do a promo piece on my blog for the author so that their time wasn't totally wasted and they get something out of it. In fact I did that yesterday!

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    1. Ah that's a good way to do it :) And it's so interesting to hear about your experience, thanks for sharing! Looks like you're totally on top of everything :)
      Good luck with reading and reviewing!

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  2. What a wonderful post ;)

    Love collaborating with you ladies and can't wait to do more!!!

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    1. Hehe ;)

      Loved it too, can't wait for more!

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  3. This was really fun to do <3 Looking forward to so much more awesomeness in the future <3

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  4. I saw this post over on Di's blog and I think this series is a great idea! Who doesn't like to peek behind the curtain and learn a little more about the blogger behind the blog? Haha.

    Like you Amy, I'd wanted to write a blog for years before I actually did it! But I think I actually OD'ed on "how to start a book blog" posts because they stressed me out so badly! But after I let go of the rules and just did my own thing I started to have way more fun with it, and it's been like 4 years now.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Haha true ;)

      Oh wow cool!! *high fives* That's so awesome, I'm so glad it turned out well! That's definitely encouraging :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Wow, this is awesome, guys! Congratulations on putting this together and being contacted by authors and publishers! I'm excited to see where you all go :)

    audrey caylin

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  6. I think it's awesome you guys are doing this! Great answers too, I especially enjoyed seeing your thoughts on accepting review books since I've gone back and forth on that. I usually just read what I buy but I've been thinking of being more active with authors and on Netgalley, so your experiences are helpful to know. :)

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    1. Thanks Greg! I'm glad you enjoyed it and found it interesting :)
      Good luck, hope it goes smoothly!
      Thanks for stopping by :)

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  7. This is an awesome idea, guys! I love the idea of a collab... And great discussion!

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    1. Thanks Caitlin, glad you liked it!
      Have a lovely week :)

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  8. Really enjoyed reading this post - and I love how you've all come together despite being so far apart. Book can make friends on anyone :)

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    1. I'm so glad :) Thanks, and yeah, it feels so cool!
      Very true! <3

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