Today I’m welcoming book blogger Dave Graham to the blog.
Dave is a book and gadget reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, bookworm, juggler, stationery geek and Browncoat.
Welcome to the blog, thanks for stepping away from yours for a few minutes to answer some questions about book blogging.
We’ll start with the easy questions and then see where we go from there!
How long have you been book blogging and what prompted you to start?
I’ve been reviewing books since about 2005. I’d picked up a book on project management by Scott Berkun, found it really useful so wrote a short Amazon review for it. Not long afterwards the publisher contacted me to ask if I’d like to review some other books. I’ve never really looked back! Though espressococo.com came along much later and started as more of a regular blog of random things, it’s since turned into more of a full-on book blog.
Tell us a little bit about your blog, what will blog readers find there?
There’s a bit of a mixture – reviews (of course!), blog tours and guest posts from some amazing authors. Book-wise there’s been a lot of crime fiction recently, though I do also enjoy sci-fi and fantasy and YA.
Occasionally I do post up some non-book posts – photography or random ramblings about movies. I do plan on being more organised in 2017!
What’s your favourite part about book blogging?
You’d imagine it would be the books, but for me it’s the sense of community with other book bloggers, both on the blog itself but also on Twitter (you can find me @dakegra there) or Facebook. Most book bloggers do love a good natter about books, so it’s not all about the reviews.
What has been your highlight since you’ve started?
I was lucky enough to be invited down to a blogger party for Pierce Brown’s Morning Star by the lovely folks at Hodder. I’m a huge and unashamed fanboy of Pierce’s books, so meeting the man himself was fantastic. A genuinely nice guy, he spent time with everyone there. Plus I got to put faces to other bloggers I’ve only read online.
If you could carry on blogging but could stop doing one thing (that’s maybe a necessary part of the process now) what would it be?
Worrying about the size of my TBR pile, and fretting about not enjoying a book that I’m reading. I used to finish every book I started, but now I’ve realised that life’s just too short to carry on with a book that doesn’t grab you. There are plenty of other fantastic books out there.
What advice would you give to anyone who is considering starting a book blog?
Just do it. You can sign up with something like wordpress.com for free, so you can concentrate on writing rather than worrying about the technical bits. That can come later! Also spend a bit of time thinking about your blog name as that’s harder to change later. Then once you’ve written up your reviews, don’t be shy to post it everywhere – twitter and facebook of course, but also putting a review up on Amazon and Goodreads helps.
Read other bloggers too, comment on the posts you find interesting, and keep the conversations going. The more you talk to other people, the more they’ll keep coming back to your blog. And finally, don’t worry about your blog stats!
How much time does it take up?
It depends – writing up a straightforward review can take anything from 10-20 minutes, but sorting out a guest post from an author could take a bit longer by the time you’ve sorted out the cover/author photos and formatted the post. Reading the books is the big bit!
What are your reading habits like?
I tend to read in short chunks, on the train to and from work, or with a nice cup of something hot in my lunch break. It’s rare that I read in the evenings as the telly is usually on in the corner with my daughter watching YouTube or Netflix which I usually end up watching. There are odd evenings once everyone has gone to bed and I’ll settle down with a good book.
What state is your TBR (To Be Read) pile in?
Only slightly terrifying as I had a bit of a cull before Christmas. There were some books on there that I realised I was never going to read so they were passed on to friends and family. I also sorted it into books I’ve agreed to review for blog tours, bought myself or requested from the publishers, and books which have been sent through on spec which I’ll get to eventually.
There’s a fantastic Japanese word for the TBR pile – tsundoku
My kindle TBR pile is slightly scarier as I can’t resist a good book on NetGalley! I really must try and tackle that at some point.
What do you drink while reading?
Tea. I do love a good cuppa.
Where’s your favourite place to read?
On holiday, away from the internet and screens which I find all too distracting!
What book would you recommend, that gets little attention, that you haven’t really seen talked about? And why, what is it about this book that you love?
One of my all-time favourite books is Only Forward, by Michael Marshall Smith. It’s his debut novel, billed as a cross between Blade Runner and The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s neither, but an entirely original blend of smart-talking protagonist, weird & wonderful situations and locations, holding together a dark, funny, unforgettable story. This is the book I’m most likely to recommend to you on any given day.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these. It’s been a pleasure having you.
For all the previous blogger posts go Here. If you want to take part, do let me know.