Today I’m pleased to welcome Julie Ryan to Befriend a Book Blogger to talk books and blogs.
Julie’s roots are in a small mining village in South Yorkshire. After a degree in French Language and Literature, wanderlust kicked in and she lived and worked in France, Poland, Thailand and Greece. Her spirit enriched, her imagination fired, Julie started a series of mystery romances, thrillers set in the Greek Isles.
Jenna’s Journey is the first novel in Julie Ryan’s Greek Islands Series, a series she did not set out to create but which took on its own life and grew, rich and fascinating. This is the first of three published so far and promises to delight readers looking for the hidden dark sides of dream vacations in the Greek Isles.
A prolific and well-known book review blogger, Julie does her writing and reviewing from rural Gloucestershire, where she lives with her husband, son and dippy cat with half a tail.
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 set up my own blog in 2013 for two reasons really. Having just written my first book I knew that it would be hard to get the word out so the blog would help in getting to know other authors. The second reason is that I love reading but was finding it difficult to keep track of which books I’d read. Through the blog I could track my favourites and help promote other authors.
Tell us a little bit about your blog, what will blog readers find there?
My blog is http://www.allthingsbookie.com. On it you’ll find reviews, guest posts and cover reveals for a variety of genres. I love thrillers, crime, historical and romantic fiction and contemporary fiction so there’s bound to be something of interest.
What’s your favourite part about book blogging?
Sharing the book love. It’s like calling your best friend and saying ‘Hey, you’ve just got to read this’ only reaching a lot more people hopefully. Of course interacting with authors and getting book post are also pretty awesome.
What has been your highlight since you’ve started?
Reaching 100.000 hits in the first year and now three years on over 400,000. I’ve also done things that I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t set up the blog such as going to book fairs and meeting writers such as Carole Matthews and Dinah Jefferies.
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?
Ooh that’s tricky as I pretty much enjoy all the process. Perhaps the social media side, retweeting and posting on Facebook etc could be made easier if I had an automatic system set up but otherwise it’s pretty straightforward.
What advice would you give to anyone who is considering starting a book blog?
If you love books and want to share it then just do it. There’s a lovely Book Blogger community on Facebook who will happily answer any questions.
How much time does it take up?
The posts themselves don’t take up a lot of time as they are usually ready to copy and paste. The promotion through social media takes longer and then there’s writing the reviews. I can’t count reading the books as I’d be doing that with or without a blog. It also depends on how often you blog. I probably spend a couple of hours a week if you don’t count the reading.
What are your reading habits like?
Most nights I read for an hour or so if I can. I also fit it in whenever I have time to spare; on train journeys, in the car, wherever and whenever I can.
What state is your TBR (To Be Read) pile in?
Seriously, I have a HUGE TBR pile as I’m a bookaholic and can’t stop collecting books. I probably have more books than I can read in my lifetime and still books come flooding in and I love it. I do prioritise books that I’ve promised to review so my own personal wishlist keeps getting longer. This year I’m determined to read purely for pleasure my backlist. I’m not sure if I’ll manage it but have set up another blog
I aim to visit a different country or city for each letter of the alphabet. The first book for example is set in Andalucia. There’s nothing like a bit of armchair travelling until you can do the real thing.
What do you drink while reading?
Coffee. Nothing nicer than clean jimjams, coffee and a book
Where’s your favourite place to read?
At the moment in bed but on a beach under a palm tree isn’t bad either.
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?
Years ago I read ‘The Magus’ by John Fowles. It made a huge impression on me and in part I hold it responsible for introducing me to my love of Greece, which in turn led to me writing my first book. He captures the magic and mystery of Greece perfectly as well as telling a story that holds you from the start. He was well ahead of his time and the book plays with the reader’s head – fabulous if you like psychological mind games.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these. It’s been a pleasure having you.
You can find Julie on her blog | Facebook | Twitter
Carol Hedges says
I love book bloggers! They always read and enjoy my books. Enjoyed reading this! Keep up the good work, Julie.
Julie Ryan says
Thanks Carol xx
Marina Sofia says
Wow, seriously impressive stats! When I saw those figures, I turned in disbelief to my far, far more modest ones… not that we’re doing it for the number of hits. I also love the armchair travelling…
Julie Ryan says
Thanks Marina – love armchair travelling. As for the hits – I do the same for a couple of sites, one gets loads of hits and the other almost none??? No idea why but as you say it’s not about the hits.
Alex J. Cavanaugh says
Automation with some of those sites would be a plus, although Twitter does have options for that.
It does take time to blog properly, doesn’t it?
Nice to meet you, Julie!
Julie Ryan says
Thanks Alex – I must look into automated tweets but too busy reading lol
Julie Ryan says
Thanks so much for hosting me Rebecca xx
Margot Kinberg says
Another great interview, for which thanks, both. This really is a fine, fine series, Rebecca. And I agree: one of the best things about blogging is that it connects people from all over the world.
Lisa Hardy says
That was really interesting! I love all things Greek. So much so that I’m heading to Crete in about 5 weeks (again!).
I’ll take a look at the books as they sound like my cup of tea. Interesting post. Thanks.