Way back in May 2010, I had a debut self-pubbed novel waiting to launch and no idea how to go about it. For the year leading up to publication, I’d been a blogger with a humorous blog that had found an audience, one who would enjoy the novel, Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines, and although I knew some of my followers would buy the book, it would hardly be enough to pay for a week’s food shopping bill.
I contacted a friendly author who I’d met online, Talli Roland, who sent me in the direction of Linda Hill, a top book blogger who’d helped Talli launch one of her books and Linda, who’d never heard of me, read and reviewed my book and pointed me in the direction of other book bloggers who’d be willing to help me launch it. In effect, she took an unknown author under her wing and helped me on my writing journey.
That was how I discovered the book blogging community – a generous group of people who love reading and who give up their time willingly to help share their love of books. Their dedication is remarkable. I know how long it takes to set up a post, to ensure you have the right graphics, jpegs, links, information and as for writing a review! Well, I might be able to draft a pretty decent crime novel but ask me to review one and it’d be a pathetic attempt, littered with the bland adjectives, yet book bloggers manage to write truly entertaining and enjoyable reviews. Some manage it in spite of families, jobs and crises.
Over the last ten years, I have been saddened to see some of those who I have grown very fond of, leave blogging altogether – overwhelmed by the demands put on them, struggling to read in time for book tours, and saddest of all, actually put off reading. That is a terrible shame and a loss.
In brief, the book blogging community is one for which I have the utmost respect and yet I think it is one that too often gets abused. As publishers and more authors get wise to the value of book bloggers and increasing numbers of book tours are arranged, so the pressure is increased on this group of people. They rise to the challenge and support a huge number of authors and for little more than an advanced copy of the book. There is no financial renumeration and sometimes, not even thanks from the author.
My latest release has been on a book tour since Thursday and not only have I been absolutely blown away by the reviews themselves, which are often peppered with amusing asides, or brilliantly put together, but by the free promotion book bloggers give in sharing their posts (in some cases repeatedly throughout the day or tour ) on social media. So, today, I’d like to mention a few who showed me huge support by reviewing The Sleepover, and urge you to follow them on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, follow their blogs or even spare a few minutes to visit their blogs today and leave a little hello in the comments. Pass by if only to see how much effort goes into their posts. You might even come away with a few reading recommendations.
To all of you who are book bloggers – a sincere thank you. Without you, we writers would probably remain unknown.
Nigel Adams, is an ex-firefighter and arson/fire investigator and lecturer who loves reading. Not only did he take part in the tour even though he was on holiday on the other side of the world, but gave me such help over the fire scenes in the book and has posted an adorable photo of Kai the fire dog, mentioned in the story.
If you haven’t read any of The Writing Garnet or Jen Med’s Book Reviews or Booked Up Girl’s brilliant reviews, you are missing out big time. These three write the funniest, most entertaining reviews I have read.
Full-time working mum Steph from StefLoz Book Reviews reads a variety of books and is a massive support to so many authors. I was so glad to finally meet her this year.
Robin Loves Reading, is a prolific reader who’s reviewed for many websites over the years and read over 700 books from April last year to this and wrote over 335 reviews for Netgalley in three months!
Sean from Sean’s Book Reviews is a former gymnast who lives in Toronto and adores reading.
Shell Baker from Baker’s Not so Secret Blog has been reading for 27 years and is also part of the admin team for Crime Book Group on Facebook which has just over 15.000 members.
Chocolate and Waffles blog written by Meggy is a delightful place just to hang out for a while.
In no particular order but I love them all because they are a fantastic group of people>>>
Stardust Book Reviews Sharon works in a library and has a serious passion for books – any books but mostly crime/thriller and chick lit.
Emma’s Biblio Treasures Love this website anther photos… this post has the cutest kitten!
Tishylou A lady with a big heart! What more need I say?
Donna’s Book Blog with over 1400 reviews on Netgalley, it is safe to assume Donna is an avid reader!
Fireflies and FreeKicks Fiction
My Book Reviews from Nicola. Relatively new to book blogging and posts fab photos n Instagram
Sincerely Book Angels – mother and daughter team with sincere, simple, succinct and spoiler-free reviews.
There are so many I ought to thank and not enough space here to do so but I have made it my mission to try and support at least one book blogger every week, so if you leave your website and social media details in the comments, I’ll come by and promote your posts.
In the meantime… thank you. Thank you all.