Today we have another great book blogger post for you. Steven from Books and Beyond Reviews.
Steven is an avid reader who reviews a wide range of books on his blog.
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 started blogging what seems like an eternity ago, but was in reality March 2015. It started out as L-Space Books – a blog focused on my reviews of the late Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Over time it evolved into Books and Beyond Reviews.
I started out for the most simple of reasons – I love books and wanted to share my thoughts with like-minded people.
Tell us a little bit about your blog, what will blog readers find there?
At the heart of Books and Beyond Reviews is, as the name suggests, reviews. That was what my blog was started for. But over time it has evolved.
Another feature you’ll find here is called Friday Face-Off. I have a topic each week – to find a book cover that features something specific, and then find a variety of alternative covers for that same book. I then compare them and select my favourite. It’s something a little fun.
Aside from this, I also conduct occasional author interviews and guest posts alongside cover reveals.
What’s your favourite part about book blogging?
That would be the opportunity to read a whole range of books I wouldn’t normally have picked for myself! I have read some amazing books that I wouldn’t have even noticed in a book shop, let alone bought.
What has been your highlight since you’ve started?
I would say the sense of community I have discovered. So many other bloggers help support by sharing posts, and offering all kinds of advice to help improve.
But it’s not just bloggers. I have come into contact with some great and supportive publishers and authors. Some of those authors I now consider friends, even if they live half the world away. They repay my support of their books with support of my blog. And since I have recently started writing a story of my own, some of these authors have been fantastically supportive offering advice, tips and moral support in this scary but exciting new venture!
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?
That’s easy-WORK! I work full-time to pay the bills, as blogging is my hobby. Sadly this means that I don’t have as much time for reading and blogging as I wish I had!
What advice would you give to anyone who is considering starting a book blog?
Be patient and work hard. I have seen a lot of people come in expecting to get free books from the off. And to be honest, I think these people only want to start a blog to get free books.
I hold my hands up – I haven’t purchased very many books for myself in the better part of a year. BUT, and this is a big but, I had to work hard. In the beginning, I reviewed books I already owned. Then I discovered a website where I could request the chance to review advanced copies of eBooks.
After quite some time I found myself getting requests to review books from publishers and even authors. Now I am very lucky to even receive print copies of books from publishers and authors around the world. But it took a lot of hard work to get there, and that isn’t the reason I do it!
How much time does it take up?
It may sound pretty vague but I am going to have to answer with how long’s a piece of string? Firstly there’s the time put into reading a book. Personally this bit can take a bit of time between my full-time job and my other interests aside from books.
Writing a review is something I don’t like to dwell on. I like my reviews to come from my initial gut feelings about a book I have read as soon after I have read it as I can. If I spend too long over it, I feel like I start questioning my ideas and thoughts.
The social media side is something that takes a lot of my time – managing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s worth doing right to increase your presence, but that also takes time!
What are your reading habits like?
Not nearly like they used to be. I tend to read during lunch breaks, a little bit in the evenings and when time allows. I find that I read a lot over Christmas break as well, which I really love.
What state is your TBR (To Be Read) pile in?
Wow, now you’re asking some testing questions! I currently have around 50 plus books to be read at the moment! Most of these are eBooks, but I have a fair few print books, too!
What do you drink while reading?
Another fantastic question! In the morning, a nice freshly-ground coffee or hand-made frappuccino from my local coffee shop. Late afternoon, sat outside in the garden a cold beer or cider, or a whiskey or amaretto in the evening.
Unless it’s winter, in which case a big mug of hot chocolate!
Where’s your favourite place to read?
Anywhere! I love to read in the garden, in a coffee shop watching the world go by, on the beach, in front of the Christmas tree. I really don’t have a single place, just anywhere I feel comfortable.
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?
I am going to have to twist this a little as there are a few from authors I have been lucky enough to get to know. First up would be Frame by A.K. Alliss. A fantastic thriller which paints a haunting picture of where the world may end up.
The next two are parts one and two in a series: The Apocalypse Mechanism and The Barataria Key, both by J.M. Richardson. These are adventure mysteries that are tied into historic events. They are well-researched and well written with just enough action to drive the stories along.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these. It’s been a pleasure having you.