A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “books”

Where I’m At With Blogging

In April things got too much for me and I ended up having a break from blogging.  I started again on the 1st May and although I have been okay I’m still not quite there.  Things have been getting in the way and best laid plans have gone to pot.  My main problem still seems to be blog tours.  Much as I love reading it gets a bit much when I have to read a book quickly due to not getting around to starting it earlier.  Lately I’ve felt that I’m letting just about everyone down and for that I apologise.  It’s all just getting too much again.

I’m really sorry for messing up on a number of blog tours.  I will be back to normal soon, promise.  I will find the answer one day.  I just can’t cope with getting up at 5:00 a.m. to get reviews done anymore and with blogging taking over.  I’m knackered.

Really sorry all.

Best wishes

Sonya

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Taking A Short Break

I have just made the decision to take a short blog break.  Much as I love blogging I am finding that things are getting a bit too much at the moment.  Life gets busy and I am really not giving myself enough time to read books for blog tours.  It all becomes very last minute and this is when reading can feel like a chore.  I really don’t want that anymore.  Reading is something I really enjoy doing but at the same time I don’t want to be practically chained to the sofa or bed.  I want to be able to do lots of other things too.  Unfortunately, this means I have to pull out of two blog tours with immediate effect; one tomorrow and one on Sunday.  I just can’t do it anymore.  I’m really sorry for letting authors and publishers down.  I now know I have to look at how I do things in the future.

I will be back blogging week after next.

Love from Sonya xx

Final Post – My Urbane Blog Event

Well, my Urbane Blog Event is over.  I have really enjoyed doing it and I really don’t know where these past two weeks have gone.  I’ll let you all into a little secret now.  Whilst organising this event I had a few doubts.  I thought I had lost the ability to organise another blog event.  As it goes, it all went very well.

I’d like to thank all my fellow book bloggers, authors and of course the Urbane authors for taking the time and trouble to share my posts.  I really was and still am totally overwhelmed at all the support I got.  You Urbane authors really are like one big happy family.  I’d also like to thank Matthew Smith for providing me with the book extracts.  Long may your publishing business continue.

I have decided that I would really like to feature Urbane authors on my blog on a monthly basis, about two or three posts a month.  If your book is due to be published do feel free to get in touch with me anytime.  I am always open to hosting guest posts and doing interviews.  I will also be reviewing lots more books.

Thanks again everyone!

 

Love from Sonya xx

 

Guest Post by Matthew Smith

matthew-smith

First up, a guest post by Mr Urbane himself in which he talks about books and gives this event a nice mention.

 

A LOVER OF BOOKS URBANE BOOK EVENT

There are a number of challenges and issues that tax the mind of the average publisher. Putting aside the editorial, design and production demands for a moment (and the industrial levels of coffee consumption), the key driver for all of us – publisher and author alike – is, of course, book sales. Namely, how the hell do you secure more of them?

The key of course is discoverability. I firmly believe there is a readership for every book (much to my accountant’s horror) and Urbane prides itself on taking a risk or two with its books rather than simply churning out genre fodder. The author has poured heart and soul into creating a voice – so give that uniqueness wings, don’t twist and turn it to mimic all the other voices already yelling in the same room, a room that’s getting smaller and smaller by the day.

But how does that impact on discoverability, if your books don’t fit the nice, neat little genre boxes that have been established in the risk-averse bookselling channels? And more importantly, if you haven’t got a pot of gold to spend on adwords, Amazon advertising, Facebook or ‘securing’ a thousand reviews the week of publication – and you haven’t made your book look like Girl on a Train (homage number 38) – how do you give that book the profile it deserves?

For Urbane the answer lies in a long term ‘strategy’ (sorry, hate that word, we’re creating books, not pumping out products) to connect directly with an ever-growing readership, and recognise that it’s the individual reader that counts, not whether we have ‘targets’ of 5,000, 10,000 or 20,000 sales. Find a new reader, ensure they receive a book that is deserving of their attention and commitment, and chances are they will not only discover another Urbane author but also find us another reader or two.

Don’t get me wrong, if I had a squillion pounds and could buy success for all Urbane’s authors I would – goodness knows they deserve it. But that’s not the world we publish in – every sale is earned, every reader is appreciated, ever piece of feedback is gold.

And how do we find those new readers? Yes, by ensuring books are visible in the relevant channels. But primarily through our growing network of advocates and supporters. The most important of whom are the bloggers and reviewers who have given, and continue to give, so much time and effort on behalf of Urbane and its authors.

Which brings me to this latest Urbane event being put together by Sonya. Urbane hasn’t requested or managed this event. It has been entirely conceived, created and managed by A Lover of Books. It is not an advertorial, it is not a contrived ‘marketing piece’, but rather a genuinely collaborative attempt by an established book reviewer and blogger to give Urbane authors a chance to reach a new audience.

And frankly I am in awe of such efforts on behalf of our small independent company. Every single post, every single comment, every single piece of feedback – and every single new reader – that results from this wonderful event is the lifeblood that keeps Urbane alive and thriving and growing so we can continue to bring you new books and new voices. Urbane – and I suspect lots of indies like us – could not survive without the support of advocates like Sonya. And I, and Urbane’s authors, will be eternally thankful for her generosity of spirit and unstinting efforts on our behalf.

So, please enjoy each and every post over the coming days and do let Sonya have your feedback (and a thank you or two). And remember, with every click, every read, every piece of feedback, every mention, YOU are driving discoverability for our books and authors. We can’t do it without you. And frankly, we don’t want to.

Thanks everyone x

 

Welcome to My Urbane Blog Event

urbane-book-collection

I’d like to welcome you all to my Urbane Blog Event. Last year’s event was so successful that I decided to do another one. Matthew Smith, the founder and owner of Urbane Publications really does have an eye for great books and through social media I have been following his publishing journey. I am still in awe at just how many books are being published. I only have to blink and another one is out. Since my last event I have had the pleasure of meeting many of Urbane’s authors and I hope to meet many more.

As you will see from the picture above my books have increased considerably in number. This is a collection I will always treasure and I will of course still keep adding to it. I do wish bookcases were elasticated and could expand in size though.

I would like to thank all the authors who are taking part in this event for taking the time to write guest posts and for answering my questions. It’s been nice getting to know all of you that little bit more. I also think it’s very important at this stage to thank my lovely husband, Richard. Without his support I would not have been able to do this event or much blogging for that matter, and it would be impossible to read as much as I do. He really is unique and actually enjoys helping out around the house thus freeing up lots of time for me. He also doesn’t mind if the light is on in the bedroom at night whilst I read. Thank you darling husband. You are my soulmate, best friend, everything rolled into one.

I hope you all enjoy this event. I have lots coming up over the next two weeks. This is your chance to find out all about Urbane’s authors and their wonderful books.

 

Blogger Recognition Award

blogger-recognition-award

I would like to thank Caroline Vincent for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award.  I have never been nominated for this award before and I feel honoured.  It came just at the right time and means a lot to me.  Your blog looks lovely and I will be exploring it for sure.  This is Caroline’s blog – https://www.bitsaboutbooks.net/

 

Being nominated means that I am obliged to follow the rules.  These are:-

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog; let them know you have nominated them; provide the link to the post you created.

 

How my blog started

I became a regular user of Twitter.  At first I reviewed a few books on Amazon etc.  I could see that people had blogs but knew nothing about setting up a blog and running it.  Then one day I decided to take the plunge, registered for a blog with WordPress and over 5 years later here I am still blogging.

 

My two pieces of advice to new bloggers

  1. The blogging world is a very exciting community with lots to learn.  Choose books you really want to read and try not to take on too many reviews.  This is the mistake a lot of us have made and that’s when things can get really overwhelming and sometimes stressful.  If things get too much take a little break from your blog.
  2. Remember to write honest reviews.  If you didn’t like a book say why.  It doesn’t matter if the whole world seems to like the same book, it doesn’t mean you necessarily will.  After all if we all liked the same things it would be a very boring world indeed.  Don’t feel bad about not being amongst the thousands who love a particular book.

 

The 15 bloggers I want to give this award to

I’m sure some of the bloggers I will be selecting have already been nominated.  If you’ve been chosen more than once then please consider yourself as being very special.

  1.  Anne Cater – http://randomthingsthroughmyletterbox.blogspot.co.uk/
  2.  Linda Hill – https://lindasbookbag.com/
  3.  Sarah Hardy – https://lindasbookbag.com/
  4.  Sharon – http://shazsbookblog.blogspot.co.uk/
  5.  Kate – https://bibliophilebookclub.com/
  6.  Rachel Gilbey – http://rachelsrandomreads.blogspot.co.uk/
  7.  Anne Williams – http://beinganne.com/
  8.  Sophie – http://www.book-drunk.co.uk/
  9.  Rebecca Pugh – http://thehummingbirdreviews.blogspot.co.uk/
  10.  Gordon McGhie – http://grabthisbook.net
  11.  Drew Weldon – https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress.com/
  12.  Joanne Robertson – https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com/
  13. Jen Lucas – https://jenmedsbookreviews.com/
  14. Janet Emson – https://fromfirstpagetolast.wordpress.com/
  15. Mairead Hearne – http://www.swirlandthread.com/

Each and every blog which I have chosen is unique.  These bloggers are amazing people and they put in a lot of time and effort doing what they love to do, spreading the word about books.   Sometimes things can get hard.  Sometimes there are disappointments along the way.  But the thing that will always keep us going is books.

 

Happy New Year!

happy-new-year-2017

I would like to wish all my readers a vey Happy New Year.  There’s always something so very nice about the 1st of January.  It’s a chance to wipe the slate clean and to make lots of lovely plans.  My aim this year is to be much more positive and to try and live each day to the full.

I have met some wonderful book bloggers, authors and publishers at various book events and this year I plan to go to lots more.  It’s such a great way to socialise.  I am also going to organise myself better and read as much as I can.  I have so many fabulous books to tell you all about.

I hope you enjoy my posts this year.

 

Love from Sonya xx

 

My 5th Blog Anniversary

It’s my 5th Blog Anniversary today!  I really can’t believe how fast the past year has gone.

I am still very much enjoying my blogging journey.  2016 has seen so many wonderful books being published and I truly wish I could read them all, but I guess that would be impossible.  No harm in trying though.  Through my blogging I have attended a number of book launches and events.  It’s been truly amazing meeting so many lovely authors and fellow bloggers.

My aim is to continue supporting authors and publishers as much as I possibly can.  I want to help get all those wonderful books out there.  I want to shout about them from the rooftop.  Over the next few months there will be lots going on.  The Urbane blog event I did back in March was really popular and I hope to be doing another one next year.

 

Competition

To celebrate my blog anniversary and to thank everyone for their support I am running a competition and everyone is welcome to enter.  Just leave a comment.

First Prize – A book or books of your choice worth up to £20.00 from Amazon

Runner-up Prize – A mystery prize

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open worldwide.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 6th November 2016.

The winners will be randomly picked and notified within 7 days of the closing date.

 

Good luck! 🙂

 

Guest Post by Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith

To start off the Urbane Publications blog event here is a guest post from Matthew Smith himself.

~~~~~

Without you, we are nothing

Despite my cherubic looks and air of sweet innocence, I’ve actually been in the publishing game for quite a number of years. In that time, I’ve heard, discussed, laughed at, shaken my head in weary disbelief, and yes, been guilty of devising and implementing, some pretty ridiculous publishing strategies. All of which, on paper at least, looked very corporate, businessy and go getting, devised to improve the ‘bottom line’ and ‘drive growth’ – and all, without exception, failing to take into account that people were involved in every stage of the publishing process.

As you know I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about collaboration, particularly where authors are concerned, because I firmly believe, rightly or wrongly, that Urbane will survive and thrive because we understand that authors and their work matter and that they must be an integral part of the publishing experience. This isn’t just about finding the right ‘product’, but the right person to work with – and who wants to work with Urbane – because it gives each and every book the best possible chance of success. The advantages are obvious – shared goals, shared effort, shared energy, shared knowledge, and a partnership that can tackle challenges positively, rather than fostering ‘them and us’ attitudes.

So far, touch wood, stroke my rabbit’s foot and thank a few lucky stars, this is a strategy/philosophy/approach that seems to be working. We’ll obviously have to ask a few authors what they think, but it’s allowed Urbane to publish some bloody good books. But of course publishing success, and more importantly author success, relies on another collaboration, one that’s utterly vital. The collaboration with the reader.

Yep, I’m talking about you, the lovely person reading this. We, and I’m using the royal we that incorporates both publisher and author, would be completely lost without you. Now there’s a genuine initial obstacle to any hope of publisher-author-reader collaboration, and that’s the challenge of the reader finding us in the first place. With over 12.5 million books on Amazon, fewer bookstores, and those bookstores being very risk-averse to boot, it is harder and harder for readers to find new authors and authors to find new readers. But you know what, it’s an obstacle readers themselves have the power to break down very, very easily. How? By sharing. It doesn’t matter if you read 3 books a year (all on holiday on your kindle) or you’re voraciously consuming three literary masterpieces a week, your opinion counts. Your thoughts on a book, and its worth, are far more vital than you realise. You have power people. I could spend thousands running a poster campaign but good word of mouth from those who have actually read a book is the only truly effective marketing. A review has impact, it affects visibility, profile, discoverability – not to put too fine a point on it, YOU can make or break a book.

So let me finish this small piece with an appeal. If you love books, even if you just love one book, please, please, please make your opinion count. Let fellow readers know about the books that matter, that entertain, that bring joy, and happiness and provoke thought and feeling. You are the most important collaborator of all and WE need YOU.

 

Visit Urbane Publications at http://urbanepublications.com/

 

Welcome To My Urbane Publications Blog Event

Urbane Books

This week is all about Urbane Publications on my blog.  There will be guest posts, interviews, competitions, reviews and more.  Over the past year I have hosted a few guest posts and done a couple of interviews but I really felt that the publisher and his wonderful authors deserved more, hence this event.

I have been blogging for quite a while now and have read a number of books.  I support many publishers and authors and hope to continue to do so for a long time.  Through the use of social media, mainly Twitter, one publisher which really caught my eye was Urbane Publications.  The founder and owner, Matthew Smith has already achieved so much and works extremely hard with his authors to deliver a wide range of books to his readers.  There is literally something for everyone and with loads more to come there will definitely be no shortage of reading material.  To me Matthew is the superman of publishing and long may he be successful.

As you can see from the picture above I have collected quite a few Urbane books; a number of them were sent to me by Matthew and I have of course also bought some.  They are very precious to me and I will always treasure them.  I know I will be adding many more Urbane books to my collection over the next few years.

I really hope you all enjoy this event.

Sonya

 

 

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