Welcome Ashley Williams and The Book Fetish Blog to the Celebration of Bloggers Tour

Today, I welcome Ashley Williams, founder of The Book Fetish Blog, guest posting for the Celebration of Bloggers Tour.  I met Ashley when she participated in the Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour for Just Friends with Benefits.  I really enjoyed her review, not only because it was positive, but because she really “got” the book and the message I was trying to send.  The same thing happened when she reviewed A State of Jane.  It’s wonderful when a blogger (or anyone) enjoys your work but it was clear from both of Ashley’s reviews that she understood why I wrote some of the things I wrote even if she didn’t always like what my characters were doing.  While reading both reviews, I wanted to yell, “You get it!  You really get it!”  Not to mention that she shares the name of the actress I want to play Jane Frank in the film adaption of A State of Jane.  And she’s also a really nice person.  I’m so glad Ashley agreed to answer some questions for me about her blog and about blogging in general.  Please do yourself a favor and check out The Book Fetish Blog and if you are an author and have yet to reach out to Ashley, she’s a gem. 

 

How would you describe The Book Fetish blog in 140 characters?

My thoughts on all the books that speak to me, and random posts on anything else that fascinates me or fires me up.

2. What inspired you to start The Book Fetish Blog?-

Honestly? The movie Julie and Julia. I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to do something in a year, like Julie had done. Because I love books so much, reading 52 books in 52 weeks was the perfect challenge for me. I started January 1, 2010, and decided to use blogspot to blog about each book I read to keep me accountable to the goal. After the year was up, I realized I loved blogging so much, and interacting with other readers, bloggers, and authors, that I bought a domain name, hired a web designer, and thebookfetishblog.com was born.

 3. What do you like best about being a blogger?

 The chance to interact with other readers and bloggers, and especially authors and publishers. It’s really cool to be able to have a chance to talk more with an author about his or her work, and allows me to sometimes put a really personal touch on the blog- not just a review.

 4. Besides book reviews, what else do you blog about ?

 Good question. I occasionally blog about something other than books- maybe music, or something that happened over a girls night out. My two most popular posts have been about a U2 conference I attended back in April, and a rant I published about politicians making some really ignorant comments about rape and women.

 5. What are some of your favorite third party blogs and why? Do you stick to other “book” blogs or do you also like other types of blogs, for instance “beauty”, “fashion”, “cooking”, “dating” etc.

 I’m all over the map with blogs, but there’s not really one I read daily. I love the Bloggess. She’s hysterical and I had a chance to see her do a reading from her book when she was on tour. During election season, I’m addicted to fivethirtyeight.com- that’s when I actually do read a blog daily. I like the Following Atticus blog, and Suri’s Burn Book on Tumblr. I do read some reviews at chicklitplus. Laurel Osterkamp, an author I like, blogs as one of her characters, so I check out any updates she does.

6. How do you juggle blogging with your other responsibilities like family and/or career?

It’s hard sometimes. Blogging doesn’t pay the bills or build my social life, so when I’m really busy, it does fall by the wayside. Like anything else, you have to make time for the things that are important to you. But I do need to get more disciplined to ensure regular posting.

7. How responsible do you think book blogs are towards helping an author reach a bigger audience?

This is purely my speculation. I don’t have any evidence to back this up, but I don’t think a New York Times author is particularly helped by most bloggers. Those authors have a publisher behind them and some level of marketing. But, for lesser known or newer authors, I think bloggers can be quite helpful. Especially authors who go on blog tours- you reach a lot of people you may not reach otherwise. I’d love to see numbers from someone on increase in sales after blog publicity. Of course, it also matters who the blogger is. Some definitely have more influence than others.

 8. What is your favorite genre to read?

I’m not sure I really have a favorite genre. My reading is all over the map.

 9. What is your favorite genre to review?

Here I don’t have a favorite genre, either, but I do prefer to review growing or newer authors- you have a better chance of actually interacting with these authors and knowing they know how much you enjoyed their work.

 10. In your opinion, how has the increasing popularity of indie authors changed the publication world?

 I have seen a lot of discussion about this in social media, and again I don’t have numbers to back this up, but only my own impressions. I don’t know that indie authors have changed publishing as much as perhaps the proliferation of ebooks, but I think Independent authors have given us exposure to some really well done books that would have never seen the light of day in a traditional publishing house. I hope the big houses are paying attention to this and adapting how they choose authors to publish and how to market them.

11. Do you hope the Book Fetish Blog will be around five years from now?

I do.

12. If the answer to the above question is “yes”, do you hope it will be the same as it is now or do you have plans to change/expand etc.?

This is something I’m actively pondering. Since I don’t specialize in a genre, it’s sometimes hard to find a consistent audience- it ebbs and flows with what I’m reading. Although it may keep consistent readership down, I plan to continue with this same approach. I don’t want to be boxed in by reviewing only one type of book. One of my goals this year is to start writing more posts that aren’t book related. But that’s a little scary because there’s a level of honesty that has to be in those type of posts, and it’s intimidating to put some of that stuff out for public consumption.

 13. Do you only review books upon request from an author or do you also review other books you read?

Both. It’s quite flattering to receive requests to review books. But I don’t like being hemmed in to only reading those. I need flexibility to read and review whatever sounds interesting to me at the time.

14. Do you prefer your books character driven or plot driven?

Character driven. A good plot loses me if there aren’t well drawn characters who make me react to them. When I read Gone Girl, for example, I said I had never enjoyed a book more when I found the two main characters to be so despicable. They were almost completely unlikeable, but I still HAD to know what happened to them.

 15. Do you ever let negative reviews from other bloggers/readers dissuade you from agreeing to read/review?

When I first started blogging, I followed a popular book blogger. I found books through her I likely would not have encountered on my own. I quickly found out that she would rave over certain books that I would then read and wonder if we had actually read the same book since I felt so differently about them than she did. I don’t follow her any longer, but it did teach me to be very careful about who I allow to influence what I read and review. Honestly, it isn’t other bloggers, but good friends who are also avid readers who turn me onto or away from some books. If certain of those friends don’t like a book, I’m more likely to stay away from it.

Thanks, Ashley!

 

Coming August 28th: Blogger Girl

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

A chicklit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chicklit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

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Welcome Kelly Perotti and Crib Notes Kelly to Celebration of Bloggers Tour

When Kelly Perotti contacted me through Goodreads and asked to review Just Friends with Benefits for her website, Crib Notes Kelly, I was flattered but confused.  Crib Notes Kelly, a blog inspired by Kelly’s book, Crib Notes, a candid look at conception, pregnancy, and parenthood,  is targeted predominantly to new mothers and mothers with young children, and I had no idea why a mommy blogger would want to review Just Friends with Benefits, a book about a woman trying to turn the “one who got away” into “the one.” I thought perhaps Kelly  was confused as to the plot of the book.  She wasn’t.  She explained that while her blog was, in fact, targeted to new moms, these moms probably enjoyed reading as well and an endorsement from her might help me reach more readers.  It made perfect sense.  Just because one is a mom doesn’t mean she doesn’t like to read good chick lit 🙂 Anyway, I sent the book to Kelly (who really enjoyed it by the way – woo hoo) and I also began following Crib Notes Kelly on Facebook and Twitter.  Even though I’m not a mother, even I have appreciated and learned things from her posts.  If you have young children at home or are expecting or just want to read some great book reviews, I highly recommend you check out Crib Notes Kelly.  And check out Crib Notes, a candid look at conception, pregnancy, and parenthood too!

Kelly’s post starts now:

Homegirl

I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’m a work-from-home girl. I’m home. A lot.

I am somewhat of a homebody, not liking to travel too far from home for too long of a time (unless someone wants to send me to Italy; I could get all sort of comfortable there), but being home all the livelong day starts to get to you after a while…

4:40am

H crying
B calling for Daddy (who left for work about 5 minutes ago)

5:00am
B finishing half a banana and a cup of water
H alternating fussing and tooting

5:30am
B in bed reading books
H now crying, wants to nurse for 3rd time since 9pm

5:40am
B, still in his diaper from overnight, yelling “PEE PEE!!” (guess I have to take him to the bathroom. After all, I started this potty training thing…)
H temporarily back in crib during pee pee run= not happy

6:00am
B in bed playing with Prayer Bear (AKA loudest stuffed animal ever to exist—thanks G.G.)
H finally settling for water, falling back asleep despite said Bear

6:15am 
“PEE PEE!!” (more came out—through the seat, onto the floor, my feet, and his pajama shorts)
B, having been up for an hour and a half, is bored of being in bed, now just yelling
H despite the noise, still asleep

6:30am
B in my bed, watching and singing to Elmo (thank God for Tivo)

7:00am
Elmo’s over B’s sliding off the bed “Down! O-me-al [oatmeal]!”
H talking, yelling in crib

7:05am
My eyes are rejecting my contacts Hit in face with poop smell as baby’s bedroom door is opened
B scaling crib rail to get in with H
H smiling (poop in diaper and on sheets)

7:15am
H crib, and changing table, changed
B peeing (apparently takes after me) Poop laundry started

7:45am
B finishing 2nd half of banana and 2 packs of oatmeal
H inhaling “gourmet” Banana Orange Medley and rice cereal (mmm, mmm) Sending my first work email of the day

8:00am
Little Einsteins coming on (aahhh) Stale cake for breakfast

Forecast:
Desired—Play nicely all morning, eat lunch, synchronize naps
Probable—Toys being thrown by mid-morning, too tired to eat lunch, alternating naps

So, although I am HOME a lot, you can see that ‘boredom’ is not on my radar. And with a pretty cool husband and great friends, I can’t say I’m lonely either. But I am chatty. Where better to release that crazy chatter than the internet?!

Blogging is not only a great outlet, but a great inlet as well.

It allows me to vent, help, ask, and share, but also allows me to listen, accept, answer, and learn. I can only hope that I do as much of the first, as I do of the second.

Kelly Perotti is the author of Crib Notes~ a candid look at conception, pregnancy, and parenthood, and writes at www.CribNotesKelly.com. She gained her insight and expertise during a nine month course called Pregnancy and continues on-the-job-training mothering two boys just eighteen months apart in age. Her juggling act of kids, self, marriage, and work is chronicled at www.CribNotesKelly.com. Your comments and communications are welcomed on Facebook and Twitter @CribNotesKelly, or at CribNotesBook@gmail.com.

Coming soon: Blogger Girl

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

A chicklit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chicklit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

Kicking off the Celebration of Bloggers Tour with Samantha March!

I am so excited to kick off the Celebration of Bloggers Tour with Samantha March, founder of the fabulous Chick Lit Plus.  Before Just Friends with Benefits was published, I remember searching for “Chick Lit” online and seeing the girly Chick Lit Plus website with all of the latest and greatest in chick lit.  At the time, I knew absolutely nothing about book marketing and so I did not know the term “book blogger.” I just knew that Chick Lit Plus was a really cool website for reviews, author interviews and other fun female-targeted posts!  When I reached out to Samantha to see if she would review Just Friends with Benefits, I was terrified.  I knew she reviewed Jackie Collins and Jennifer Weiner and all of the other “traditionally” published authors in the genre and I was afraid she would have no interest in reviewing a debut novelist with a book from an unknown small press.  It turns out I had nothing to worry about as I quickly learned that Samantha is the furthest thing from a book snob there is!  She got back to me promptly and said she would absolutely love to read my book and she was so nice!  In the two years that have passed, I have often referred to Samantha as “Super Woman.”  Not only does she run one of the most popular book blogs on the web, she is an author of two published novels, she is an editor and she runs her own publishing company, Marching Ink!  All of this on top of a day job and, currently, wedding plans.  It blows my mind that she never seems flustered or utters any indication of being exhausted.  She’s truly an inspiration and so I welcome you to check out her websites.  After you read her blog post below, of course!  Take it away, Samantha!

Samantha March

When I first got the idea to start a blog back in 2009 (wow, that is crazy!) I had no idea it would change my life – literally. Looking back, it brings tears to my eyes when I think of what one small blog could do and the impact it would have. Since my first post in October 2009 I have gone on to read and review hundreds of books, interview authors such as Jackie Collins and Emily Giffin, publish two novels, and start my own business. It’s scary to think of where my life could have gone had I not started my blog – would I be a published author? Would I be happy and fulfilled in a career that wasn’t with books? I’m not a big “what if?” fan, and I just know how grateful I am for the opportunities blogging has provided me.

What I find really interesting about blogging is the people I meet. I think one of the best parts of belonging to the book blogging community is making friends with other people that have the same interests as me. I don’t have many close friends who can talk about books and plots and chick lit for hours on end, so it’s amazing to be able to turn to my computer and start chatting with a virtual friend about a book I just can’t put down. But my friendships with these fellow book bloggers and authors don’t just begin and end with books. I have a handful of wonderful women that I can turn to when I’m having troubles – whether it be with a book, my writing schedule, wedding planning woes, and even my personal life. Though we might not have met face to face and very well might not ever, the friendships I have made through my book blog are some that I treasure. 

Blogging is much more than a simple hobby to me and I’m so grateful for all the support I have had over the years that I’ve been running Chick Lit Plus. If you would like to stop by and say hi, you can find me … well, just about all over the web 🙂

 

Author Bio:

Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and celebrity related. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and her debut novel Destined to Fail. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers.

 Connect with Samantha!

 http://www.samanthamarch.com/

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Amazon: Print or eBook Marching Ink: Print

Coming soon: BLOGGER GIRL

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

 A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over all the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.