Interview with a Book Blogger: Beckie from Bittersweet Enchantment!

By Lori Culwell

Today I’m talking to Beckie from Bittersweet Enchantment, a great book blog that covers fantasy, romance, chick lit, supernatural, paranormal romance ,steampunk, dystopia, urban fantasy, horror, mythology and contemporary YA.

We cover book bloggers quite extensively in “How to Market a Book,” and one of the things I’ve always wondered was just how many queries those bloggers get per week, and of that, how many of them are properly researched. Beckie reviewed my YA novel “The Dirt” last month, and she was so nice, I thought I might ask her a few of these questions!

Q: Hi Beckie! First, can you tell us how you became a book blogger?

A: Two years ago I really started getting into reading and noticing book blogs. I never thought that being a book blogger was something I would enjoy and felt it would be too much work, but one day I just thought “Hey, I should give it a chance and see if I like it”. At first is was all about doing reviews and chit-chatting about books One day after blogging for a month or so I was approached in an e-mail and asked to review an author’s book. I was so excited that someone wanted me to read/review their book and would give me that chance.So ever since then I have been hooked. I love reading and blogging, and now I can’t imagine doing anything but.
Q: How many query/ request emails do you typically receive per week?

A: Hard to say because it varies but most weeks I receive anywhere between 30-50. Of course not all are for a review but other promo events to help authors and their books.

Q: Do you have a set of guidelines on your blog, just outlining what you will and will not review?

A: Yes, definitely. There are some genres of books I do not enjoy reading and I do have a full list posted on my review policy page of my book preferences . Also there are times I cannot accept ecopies of book because that list is full.

Q: How often do people totally ignore these guidelines and send you queries about books you have no interest in?

A: More often than you would think. I think most times when someone does this it means they did not take the time to read my review policy. If I do get an e-mail request about a book/genre that I have no interest in or a ebook request when I am no longer taking them, I delete it. Plain and simple.
Q: Generally, are the queries you receive good, or do some of them make you wonder why/ how that person wrote a book in the first place?

A: To be honest, there have been a few. A couple books I could not even get past the first 30 pages. Most times I am lucky and end up finding real gems.

Q: Do you respond to “generic” type emails?

A: At first when I began to receive them I would read them and agree to help out the author but my feelings have changed since I first started book blogging. To me when the individual does send a mass/generic request e-mail to bloggers this is a BIG no-no! As a book blogger we take the time (“our time“) to read, review and publicise your book, as well as work with the author. I feel at the very least learn my name and address the e-mail to me, “Beckie”.
Q: How many books do you read per week?

A: Great question, my normal is 2-3 books a week, sometimes less or more depending on what all is going on with my blog and real life.

Q: What is your best advice for someone who is trying to get their book featured on your blog? That is to say, what do you look for in a book/ author? Do you have to like the cover? Do you look at the author’s website?

A: 1. Take the time to read my review policy and take note of what I do/don’t accept in the ways of genres, or what type of books I have open for review.
2. Address me, as Beckie not “Hello” or “Hi awesome blogger”. I am a person not a thing. Learn my name.
3. Don’t send a copy of your book attached into the e-mail. This make me feel like you assume I should read it or that I will choose to read your book. Wait until I accept. 🙂
4. Be polite, if I say no to your request please don’t keep asking me and send multiple e-mails Understand I am not saying no because I hate your book or just don’t want to read it but because maybe I am backlogged or not into the plot of your book.
5. Include your book cover, a short synopsis, and links to where I can visit you as a author. Maybe even a author bio (tell me something about you and your life) so I may know you better.
Q: Is there anything else you can tell us about your process, likes/ dislikes, or preferences?

I love being able to help out an author. I fully enjoy this, and sometimes find a new fun read in the process. Learn who I am, read my guidelines and what books I like to read. I don’t get paid to blog, read/review copies and such. I enjoy and do these things to help others. If I don’t respond back right away, please wait.  I feel we each (authors/bloggers) need to take the time to respect each other.

If you write in one of the genres that Beckie reviews, feel free to contact her. Be sure to read her guidelines first!