Today’s guest is Sarah Hardy of By The Letter Book Reviews and BotBS Publicity book tours. Happy New Year, Sarah! Welcome to the RNA blog. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Sarah Hardy, an avid reader and blogger, wife, mum to two (though not children anymore) as well as two furbabies. Having worked in retail all my life, a few years ago I found myself lucky enough to get into the publishing world where I started off with a small digital publisher and after nearly two years made the leap into going freelance.
What made you start a book blog?
After joining an online book group on Facebook, The Book Club, I came across quite a few blog posts as well as bloggers and thought it was a great way of supporting and shouting about the authors and books I loved, so decided to set up my own blog. It will have been running 5 years this year.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a book blogger?
The best has to be discovering new authors. My blog has opened a whole new world of new publishers and authors that I may not have come across if it wasn’t for my blog and the power of social media. Getting advanced readers copies of books, especially for authors that you love, can be very exciting also. The worst has to be that sadly I have to turn many review requests down as I just don’t have the time to read every book that I’m approached to read. Definitely a case of not enough hours in the day and even then, I don’t think it’s humanly possible to read all the great books out there.
Do you meet up with other bloggers and reviewers?
Yes! I live for meet ups. As a blogger as well as being active on social media in groups, I’ve become friendly with other bloggers, readers as well as authors. Sadly, I haven’t got to meet everyone that I would like to meet as some live in different countries, but the meets ups are great and I’m lucky to have met so many people of whom, many have become very good friends.
Can you share your review policy with us?
Due to life and work, I’m not accepting any requests through my blog at present but that could change in the future but here is my policy:
I am more than happy to read and review books for authors and publishers. If you wish for me to read and review a book please contact me by filling in the details on the contact page.
When accepting a book to read and review on my blog, I will try and stick to the time guide I give in my reply to your email. Please do not be offended if I turn down your request as it may be that it isn’t a genre I enjoy or more than likely it will be because I already have my quota of books and am unable at that time to take on any more.
You also run blog tours as BotBSPublicity. Can you tell us a bit about the services you offer?
Yes, of course. I currently organise blog tours directly with quite a few publishers as well as authors. I also organise promo blasts and cover reveals. I’m looking at providing more services in the future. Social media is a great way of getting an author and their books noticed and authors love the buzz that these sort services provide.
How can authors help support bloggers on blog tours?
Definitely to be around and spend some time on social media whilst the tour is running, engaging with the bloggers and sharing their posts. I know some authors will also share the bloggers posts on their websites or quote from their reviews which I think is also a nice touch.
You’re a writer yourself. What are you writing?
I am at the very early stages so don’t really class myself as a writer yet. I have only written a couple of short stories so far. I’m hoping to write another to be included in an anthology to help raise money for Help the Hero’s which the wonderful Emma Mitchell over at Creating Perfection is organising. I will be concentrating on that first and then I hope to make a start on writing a full length novel. Got a few ideas, it’s just putting them all down.
Between the writing, real life and the blog, you must be pretty busy. What do you do when you’re not reading, writing or reviewing?
Work of course keeps me busy and my blog and reading tend to take up most of my free time, but I try and go to a couple of book festivals a year as well as a few meet ups. I also love spending time with my family and friends and having a few drinks or going out for meals.
We often ask industry professionals what they consider to be the next ‘big thing’ – what do you hope to see more of in 2020?
Ooh this is a tough one, I would actually like to see more festivals and competitions be opened up to indie authors and smaller digital publishers. There are so many amazing authors and books out there and personally I don’t think enough is being done to support them.
Thank you so much for joining us today, Sarah. Best of luck with your writing and the blog!
You can find out more about Sarah at the following sites:
Sarah was talking Rhoda Baxter, who writes romantic comedies about people who make her laugh. She also writes multicultural women’s fiction under the name Jeevani Charika. Her co-authored book How to Write Romantic Comedy is available to buy now.