BOOK REVIEW: Six Foot Six by Kit De Waal (& giveaway!)

Format: Paperback, ARC
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: It’s an exciting day for Timothy Flowers. It’s the third of November, and it’s Friday, and it’s his twenty-first birthday. When Timothy walks to his usual street corner to see his favourite special bus, he meets Charlie. Charlie is a builder who is desperate for Timothy’s help because Timothy is very tall, six feet six inches. Timothy has never had a job before – or no work that he’s kept for more than a day. But when Timothy and Charlie have to collect money from a local thug, things don’t exactly go according to plan…

Over the course of one day, Timothy’s life will change for ever. Continue reading

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My thoughts on star book ratings 

Ever since I started reviewing books in 2013, I’ve always used a 1-5 star rating of some description (although I did change my stars to cupcakes because I thought it was cuter but it follows the same system). Whether it be on my blog, Goodreads or Amazon I was always rating the books I had read between 1 and 5 stars. I thought everybody did that, I thought that was the “norm”. But since blogging more and more, I’ve seen various opinions from people who say the star rating isn’t for them, they don’t like it or they rate books in a different way. Some, not at all. 

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Quarterly Book Round-up (1/4)

2017 has been a fantastic year for books for me so far. I’ve not picked up a book which I’ve not finished nor have I awarded less than 3 stars to anything I’ve read! With so many others on my to-read list which sound absolutely amazing, 2017 is shaping up to be a pretty spectacular bookish year. So let’s go through the first quarter and take a look at what I’ve read, my favourites and what I’m hoping to read in the coming months! 

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Ask Jenny: Gaining Book Reviews

Earlier this month, I started a brand new series on my blog called ‘Ask Jenny’, whereby I try and offer some sound advice to anyone who needs it about a problem they might have. Like the agony aunt columns in Women’s magazines, basically. But hopefully better and less generic. My first post in this series got a great response and I was super chuffed about it and many people thought it was a good idea; so like a good little micro-influencer, I took their advice and have decided to continue the series – for a while at least. Until I or my readers get bored.

ask-jenny Continue reading

The Benefits of the Internet on the Consumer Market 

Since starting my blog, I’ve been drawn in more and more by the consumer market. With products of all different types flying at you from every corner of the Internet, it’s incredibly hard to ignore. But secretly… I love it. And I’m proud to be a part of it. Over the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to review and test out a whole bunch of products from beauty, food, clothes and even pet care. Although it can be quite taboo, a blogger openly admitting that they love doing product reviews and love being sent stuff for that purpose, I do love it and I won’t hide it because it’s a privilege and I’m proud to have worked hard to the point where I’m trusted with this stuff. Not only that, I love raving about products I love to my online readers and friends which I know they might be interested in. 

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FAQ: Blog Tours

For those that know me, know that I run a small book touring business called Neverland Blog Tours. For those that didn’t know that, let me explain. In 2014, after a lot of research, I set up my own online business which would organise and run book tours for authors. I’ll get into more detail about what a book tour is exactly later on but since 2014, my little teeny weeny business has grew and grew and I’m honoured with how many authors put their trust in me now to organise these promotional services for them.

Blog Tours QA Continue reading

What’s the Point of Book Reviews?

What a stupid question, I hear you all saying at the sight of this title. And I agree, it is a stupid question. That’s the whole point of this post to talk about what a stupid statement it really is and the relevance and importance of book reviews. A good year or so ago now, I saw a comment on Facebook I won’t forget and it took everything in me not to start a complete ruckus with this stupid person. The comment, left on another Facebook friends status was, “I don’t see the point of book reviews, they’re irrelevant“. I don’t see the point of book reviews. They are irrelevant. And the person who said this? An author.

What is the Point of Book Reviews Continue reading

Quick Tips for Writing Book Reviews

quick tips

Now, I know this post may seem really obvious but I was surprised by a few people mentioning on twitter that they feel like their book reviews were lacking and that a lot of people would find a post like this helpful. I’m no expert on writing book reviews, far from it. But I’ve been doing it long enough to establish a “voice” and know what generally makes a “good” book review. Continue reading

The Star Child by Stephanie Keyes

I’m delighted to organising a tour for the wonderful novel by Stephanie Keyes, ‘The Star Child’, the first book in a three part trilogy.

Cover with quotePublisher: Inkspell Publishing

Blurb: The world is about to be cloaked in darkness. Only one can stop the night.

Kellen St. James has spent his entire life being overlooked as an unwanted, ordinary, slightly geeky kid. That is until a beautiful girl, one who has haunted his dreams for the past eleven years of his life, shows up spinning tales of a prophecy. Not just any old prophecy either, but one in which Kellen plays a key role.

Suddenly, Kellen finds himself on the run through a Celtic underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of hellhounds, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?

A note from Stephanie: Each of us is running each and every day, going about our business, always focused on the next task. After awhile it’s easy to become jaded, to lose the magic. But what if magic existed just beyond our reach? What if you only had to believe to enter another world? Enter the world of The Star Child and you will journey a world of Myth and Legends, of Shapeshifters, Fairies, Gods and Goddesses, Celtic Lore, and heartbreaking Romance.

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Book Blogging Tips

Hi guys, I was in dire need to write some filler posts for in between reviews so I’ve decided to write my top tips for book blogging. I don’t by any means think I’m an expert, I just thought it might be helpful to people, especially new book bloggers, to learn what I’ve found beneficial to my blog and my time as a reviewer. I hope you find something useful here and by all means, if you have any tips of your own leave them below!

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Getting started
If you haven’t yet actually made the scary step and created your book blog, there’s probably lots of things you want to know. Before I started, I actually got in touch with a book blogger (Lindsay from bookboodle) and she helped me set up my blog, told me the ins and outs and is basically the reason I’m here now so if you need advice don’t be afraid to ask. Decide which blog host you’re going to use, think of a cool name for your blog and away you go! There’s lots of lovely themes you can chose from so pick one to suit you. If you want your blog to look more professional, go for it. If you want it to be more personal to you, go for it. There’s no right or wrong answer, it’s YOUR blog so create it how YOU want.

Socialize
It’s really daunting being a new blogger. When I first started my blog and set up my Twitter account I saw all these other book bloggers chatting to each other and joking around who were obviously friends and I just thought, ‘Holy crap, I’m on my own, I’m never going to make any friends’. Luckily for me (and all you newbies out there) the book blogging community is absolutely wonderful and everyone is so friendly and willing to help. I’ve met some really lovely people online and you will too over time. If you’re having a problem – don’t be scared to ask for help. If you like what someone has written – tell them. If you’re new – don’t be ashamed to admit it. We were all newbies once!

Social networks are your friends
If it wasn’t for social networking, the only people that’d be following me are my mum and my boyfriend. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, Instagram are only a few I can think of. Obviously it’s not vital you use all of them but I would definitely 100% recommend Twitter because not only is it a great place for meeting authors and book bloggers it’s a good site to promote yourself on where people can help you advertise your blog by retweeting your links. It’s not only good for your own blog but It’s great for finding other blogs you might like as well. Follow tons of book bloggers/authors/publishers on Twitter! Don’t forget if you want to keep your blogging and private life separate you can always make separate accounts. I know a few people who like to keep their Twitter for blogging and their Facebook for personal use and that’s absolutely fine.

Honesty is the best policy
When it comes to writing reviews everyone has their own style so find a style to suit you. Everyone’s entitled to write how they want to but in my experience, there’s a few things you should keep in mind when writing reviews. Firstly, don’t give the story away. A review is supposed to discuss characters, writing style and what aspects you liked/disliked, writing down everything that happened is completely unnecessary. A short paragraph in your own words of what the book was about with suffice because it gives readers a rough idea of what the book is about without giving away too much detail and for authors/publishers it shows you actually read the book. Secondly, be constructive not destructive. You’re not going to like every single book you read – that’s fine but when you come to write the review on it try and give constructive criticism rather than slagging the book/author off. Someone would have put a lot of effort into what you just read and just because you didn’t like it, doesn’t mean other people won’t. Lastly, be honest! I can’t stress this enough. It ties in with the point I just made but publishers and authors appreciate honesty and although you may feel bad about writing a negative review of their book, they understand that everyone has different tastes. Like I just said, as long as you’re not personally attacking the author and are constructive and honest then you’re not doing anything wrong.

Be willing but know where to draw the line
Be open to review requests. I personally read lots of different genres but if you’re a romance blogger for example be willing to accept romance novels from authors you’ve never heard of before. However, if you’re getting lots of review requests and feel you can’t keep up with them all SAY SO. It’s your blog so don’t be afraid to draw a line when your ‘To be read’ pile is getting too long.

If you build it they will come
Blogging isn’t easy and you’re not going to build up a decent following overnight (Well you might, if you’re really lucky). Everyone’s heard of the saying, ‘If you build it, they will come’ and in this case it’s absolutely correct. When I first started I had absolutely no idea where people got followers from but they grew with each review I was posting. Keep working hard and remember it’s a slow process but it will be worth it. I promise.

Don’t be afraid to ask
Someone asked me how you get publishers to send you books without having to beg them and in my opinion, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking for books to review. Once the publishers know you’re reliable, will read the book and give it an honest and fair review they’ll be more likely to use you again in the future. You can find all publishing companies on Twitter so follow them so they know you exist! It is also worth including a ‘Review Policies’ page on your blog so authors and publishers know exactly what they’re getting from you. Include information such as what genres you accept, the time frame you review them on and what format you accept books in (paperback, eBook or both). On WordPress you can add a ‘Contact Form’ to your page (You can probably do this on Blogger too but I wouldn’t know) and I find that looks really professional and you can include your own sections for people to fill in.

Use your time wisely 
Due to other life commitments like work, children, everyday chores it can be and probably will be hard to keep your blog completely up to date but it’s not impossible. Split your time between your own blog, other blogs and reading books which are due for a review wisely. Personally, when I go on my laptop first thing in the morning I reply to any emails or Tweets then check my ‘Reader’ on WordPress and see what everyone else has been up too. That will take about 30 minutes then I can get on with working on my own stuff. It obviously depends on the individual and what your daily routine is like but I’ve found it helps if I set myself daily goals of reading for example, 4 chapters a day. The reason I’m writing this post is because I needed filler posts to publish in between reviews so that’s something else worth thinking about because you don’t want your followers to get bored, especially if you’re reading a particularly long book!

Get involved
I had no idea the book blogging world was so big when I first started blogging. I thought I was just going to read a few books that were on my shelf, write about them and be done with it. How wrong was I? Obviously if you want to do that, that’s completely your choice but there is so much going on that you can get involved in which will not only help your blog but support other authors/bloggers too. Blog tours, cover reveals, author interviews are all great ways to get yourself out there (virtually of course) into the book blogging community. You will always find people looking for bloggers to take part in events on Twitter so keep an eye out.

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I asked my lovely Twitter followers what their top tip would be for someone who is thinking about starting a blog, here are some of the great answers I got:

@ThisChickReads: Blogging is supposed to be fun. So have fun and don’t think about what others will say about your blog/posts. Just enjoy. Be 100% honest. Blog readers and authors appreciate honest and constructive reviews. Be polite, but honest.

@patchworkbunny: Do what you want to do not what you think you should do.

@marymayf: Be yourself – don’t just copy other’s opinions.

@ArcadiaBooks1: Try to find something new to say – makes you stand out from other bloggers! Read between lines!

@Wetdarkandwild: My biggest tip – only read what you want to read and write it to please yourself, for fun, don’t worry about anyone else.

Sig