Meg, book blogger at A Bookish Affair – a blog I’ve read for years – talks about her passion for books and what got her started in the book blogging world. I’m delighted to share her thoughts. Meg’s tagline is: “Sometimes reading a good book can be like a great love affair.”
I had been reading book blogs for awhile before I started my own book blog. I was amazed that there was this whole community out there in the ether of the internet that was as passionate about reading as I was. Finally, the temptation to share books that I really loved with the rest of the world became too much and I started A Bookish Affair in 2011.
What type of books appeal to you and why?
I read a lot of different kinds of books but there are definitely a few threads that tie what I like together. I love really vivid personalities and good world-building both in fiction and non-fiction.
Do you concentrate on a specific genre? If so, can you tell us a bit about your passion for that genre.
I cover all sorts of books but historical fiction is definitely my favorite genre! I’m a history lover and I always feel like I don’t know nearly enough about so many of the events and people that have shaped the world. While you can definitely find me picking up a lot of non-fiction, there is something magical about historical fiction where it can give you a view of what it might have actually been like to live through these events or know these people or even be these people!
Who are your readers and followers? How do you engage with them?
My readers seem to be eclectic readers like me! And you know, all readers are kindred spirits so we always seem to have a lot to talk about! I love “talking” through Facebook messages or Instagram messages or comments.
If you have a blog, what features does it offer? For example, ‘best of’ lists, author interviews, a book rating system.
I have a simple five star rating (1 – not that good to 5 – excellent).
What ways do you use to attract new readers and followers?
Instagram has been a great way for me to do this. I love to show what I’m reading and to see what others are reading. That is definitely where I’ve seen the most growth recently!
How do you interact with authors and publicists?
Email is definitely the best way to communicate, particularly about future reviews. I’ve been really tickled by getting comments from authors when I post about reading their books on Instagram! I go into full fan girl mode!
What trends or changes have you noticed in the book world?
Oh, there are so many! One of the happiest changes that I’ve noticed is thriving indie bookstores. I live in the Washington, D.C. area and we have a lot of really wonderful indie stories in the area that are absolutely THRIVING! It is so very exciting to see and this is definitely a trend that I hope to see continue!
If you could wave your magic wand, what would you change about the book industry?
I think Indie publishers do a better job of this but I wish mainstream publishers were more willing to take risks on different books, particularly those in the historical fiction genre. It still seems like once they find a book set in a particular time that does well, there will be a glut of very similar books. I love reading very diversely and once I read one sort of book, I’m usually ready to move on to a different sort of book.
There are so many times and places that have yet to be explored or so it would seem from what gets published. As a challenge for myself this year, I am trying to read a book set in every country. At first, I wanted to read historical fiction mostly but I realized that would be almost impossible as it is still hard to get books set in many different countries (regardless of the time they are set in) translated in English!
Many thanks, Meg! That’s quite an ambitious challenge you’ve set for yourself! If you want to read a book set in Afghanistan, try The Dressmaker of Khair Khana. It’s a fascinating and true story.
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.