Book bloggers help us discover new authors; make us think about our genre; and help us to connect with readers. This is a feature that we run approximately once a month to highlight a blogger in the community that you may not have heard of. Today’s featured blogger is Romance Around the Corner.
When did you first start blogging?
I started blogging on March, 2011. Romance Around the Corner is my first, and only, foray into the blogging world.
What inspired you to blog?
I don’t know if it counts as inspiration, but the feeling of having read a great book and wanting to talk about it with anyone willing to listen is the main reason why I blog. I also really like reading book blogs and wanted to have my own. It’s as simple as that.
Then my friend Marie moved to London, which gave us the perfect opportunity to create the blog. She was the only person in my life who shared my love of romance and books in general (yes, my friends don’t read, you can feel sorry for me now). We decided to blog so we could keep our regular book discussions and also because we wanted to meet other book lovers.
Describe what your blog does now?
The blog is all about reviewing Romance and fiction with strong romantic elements. If it falls under those categories, I’ll probably read and review it (I have a soft spot for Contemporary Romance, though). This year I started writing different opinion posts, always related to the romance genre and the book world in general. There’s also the occasional giveaway and author interview or guest post.
As I said before, Marie is my blogging partner, but she’s been really busy so I’m in charge of the blog for the time being. I wish I could update it daily, but I don’t have the time. My goal is to at least review three books each week, but I don’t have much of a schedule. I try to review ARCs on release week (as long as I got the books before release day). When I do interviews or guest posts with authors, I usually schedule them in advance so there’s no overlapping. But mostly I just play it by ear and review the books I read that week or weekend.
I’m proud of the blog’s content and I’m dedicated to it. I think it all comes down to having fun and writing the type of reviews I find useful and like to read. As long as I’m happy with my reviews I’ll be happy with the blog. It may not seem like it, but blogging takes a lot of effort, so you have to like it in order to make it work, and I really, really like it. Hopefully, people will enjoy the reviews and discover some great books because of them.
What is your favorite feature on your blog?
The reviews, a good thing considering they are 95% of the blog’s content. I also enjoy writing opinion posts, but those take longer to write and just coming up with ideas can be a painful process. And I loved writing the Best of 2011 list, so I’ll be doing it again this year.
What is the best thing about blogging?
The sense of community and all the people I’ve had the opportunity to meet. Being surrounded by book lovers is a wonderful, enriching experience. We only interact through Twitter, blog comments and emails, yet the camaraderie and banter feels a lot like friendship. There’s a sense of familiarity that I guess comes from sharing such a personal thing as our love of books and the romance genre in particular.
What is the worst thing?
The drama. It comes with the territory because the Internet invites jerks, but lately I’ve seen it escalate and get ugly. Plagiarism, personal attacks, stalkers, threats, this year has been memorable for all the wrong reasons. It’s difficult not to be affected by it.
If you had the money, what would be the one thing you would hire someone to do for your blog?
I would hire someone to format/schedule/upload all the posts! I wish I could just write the reviews and send them to someone to do the rest. I feel like I spend more time fighting Blogger than reviewing.
How do you encourage or foster commenting?
Other than doing a happy dance every time someone comments? That’s not really a way to boost comments, because if people could see me when I dance they probably wouldn’t comment again. I answer every comment, because what’s the point of a blog created to talk about books if we don’t respond, right? And I write opinion posts from time to time. Those posts are the best way to encourage discussion and comments.
The last book you read that you loved:
This one’s easy! Riveted by Meljean Brook. (You can read Brie’s review here)