I’m not even going to go into where I first met the lovely Faye, but it has something to do with little birds and social networking. She blogs about a wide variety of books on her very pretty blog (which happens to coordinate with the Not of Our Sky cover beautifully!). This is what she had to say in response to the questions I posed about blogging etiquette:
Name your top 5 peeves from author review requests
All the authors that have approached me have all been kind and relaxed about the process. Although nearly all the publishers I have dealt with are awesome there have been some negative sides:
- Not so subtly trying to enforce a time limit for reviews after they have sent a book – I have other books to read too!
- Trying to force a book on you that you have already politely declined
- Bothering you about a review and then not responding to you after you tweet/email them said review
Can’t think of any more… sorry!
The same genre can encompass many different types of story – for example, fantasy ranges from Terry Pratchett to Twilight and everything in between. How hard is it to remain objective in your review if a feature of a book doesn’t float your boat? Say you get a fantasy about unicorns and unicorns are just not your bag, how does that influence your opinion?
I find it really hard to blatantly criticise someone’s hard work so I try and find out about the book before I read it. As with every book there are good points and bad points so in case of books that don’t amaze me I try and focus on the points I liked best.
What are your feelings on the growing army of indie authors? How does the quality of their work hold up against traditionally published? Do you accept reviews from both and what would it take to change your mind on your current policy?
I think indie authors are brave. As an aspiring author myself, I think that if you have a story in you to tell, then you are entitled to put it out into the world, whether through traditional publishers or otherwise. I think traditionally published books can sometimes be more polished than some indie work I have seen but in terms of great stories; I think many indie authors can definitely hold their own against more mainstream competition; it’s just a case of publicity. So far I have done a few indie reviews and if an indie book appeals to me, I will continue to do them in the future.
Describe your reviewing schedule. How many hours do you put in a week/ day? How does this impact on other aspects of your life?
Once I’ve read a book I write up the review in a notebook, ready for editing and typing up, usually in the evenings. Reading is a huge part of my life anyway and I fit writing in between work shifts and having a social life. Some weeks I read more than others, so I can save some reviews for the weeks that I haven’t had time, but I always aim for at least two posts a week. My social life and my blogging life are miles apart so I always make separate time for both.
What started you book blogging? What makes you continue to do it?
I toyed with the idea of a blog for ages and couldn’t decide what to write about. I thought it would give me a chance to practice my writing and that it would be a good addition to my CV. I decided on books because books and reading are hugely important to me and I wanted to write about what genuinely interested me. Since I started Bookshelf Butterfly I’ve come across some wonderful, like-minded people and I get to have great bookish conversations. It is really satisfying to be thanked by an author for taking the time to read their work, or getting positive feedback from a reader who has discovered a book because of what you have written. I hope to add more features, meet more people and keep discovering more amazing stories that I might never have been able to if I hadn’t started blogging.