Armchair BEA Day 2 – What do Readers want?

I’ve been to several Author Events, in various different locations, in differing styles and different levels of “fame”. There has been only one author event that is definitely marked under the “downright awful” title.  I won’t mention the author, or where I met him, but all he did was read extracts from his book(s) in a low monotone voice and barely looking up from the page. Considering he was supposed to be a teacher, he was certainly lacking in the engagement department and he soon lost his audience, the majority of whom disappeared in search of alcohol, never to return.  I have no idea whether he twigged what had happened.

letters book readWhat do I think makes an event successful? That the author is engaging, articulate, willing to look the audience in the eye (we’re there to buy the book in the end, right?). I’ve had a warning that one relatively famous author was known to be a little “difficult”, but on the day was lovely, took questions, gave promotional info on her new book, and then signed everyone’s book (even chatting with the starry eyed fan who Wouldn’t Let It Go) etc. If that was “Difficult” then sign me up!

I’ve noticed that I can get tongue-tied with various authors, and it must be hard for them in return to make some kind of connection. Terry Pratchett signed for me a couple of times, and remembered me once (because of my unusual name) and was relatively easy to talk to. Neil Gaiman is harder to talk to because I’m such a fan-girl. Henry Wrinkler? The loveliest man I have ever met, I was the last in the queue in what I knew had been a hard day for him, so I just shook his hand and wibbled. Continue reading

Armchair BEA 2017 Day 1: Introductions

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I usually attend Armchair BEA (Now called Armchair Book Expo), and I am usually a LOT more prepared than this!” It only really came up in my twitter feed the other day, and it turns out that I can’t get to the main site from here! Boo!  We shall see how we get on. Anyway, as usual, there’s the space for Introductions, so here’s my answers to some of the questions.

I am…Nordie, a crafter, reader, tweeter, comic book nerd etc.

Currently, I am not reading as much as I should, even with 3 books on the go.

My favorite genres are: Romance, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction,

My Least favourite Genre is: Christian Fiction. I end up feeling slapped around the head with a very unsubtle brick. I dont read non-Fiction or Poetry, not because I hate it, but because I simply don’t find it interesting.

My Social Media Links include: twitter (as @Brumnordie), Facebook (closed, Personal account), this blog, google+.

My summer plans . . . there’s a lot going on this summer In Real Life, so there is nothing planned for the summer. However, there is a bookish meet later in the year, that I am currently planning on atteding

My blog/channel/social media . . . chat with me on any of the following social media outlets

Sunday Salon – will you read everything on your TBR?

tssbadge1

I wrote a short post about this topic a few years ago, but I thought I’d re visit it. It’s the reader’s equivalent of “we need to talk about Kevin” with “we need to talk bookshelves.

my TBR bookshelfIf I’m honest – looking at my bookshelves I’ll probably not read every book on my TBR stack, but I’ll give it a darn good try!  This is what my bookshelves look like at the moment. They dont show the books that are stacked under the coffee table – thankfully I’ve got rid of the books hiding under the bed and in the cupboards! I’m trying to never get to that point again! However, even if I dont bring another book into the place, I’ve got enough books to last me several years (if not several decades!).

Birmingham and Midlands Institute Library Continue reading

Do you practise Book Pologomy?

From Epicreads
From Epicreads

Not entirely sure how I came across the above flowchart but my notes say I got it from here – I thought it amusing and worth sharing.

Yes. I can and do practise “book pologomy”. I usually have two books on the go at any one time. I sometimes have 3 going, but end up switching between two main books and finishing one before I truly progress on the third.

I can’t read two books of the same genre at the same time, as I usually get myself confused as to plots and characters. Because I am trying to read more paper books, I tend to have one ebook and one paperbook on the go – where I read them depends on the physical copy of the book itself. If I’m reading one of my hardbacks (and/or a book I want to keep in reasonable condition), it never leaves the house.  If it’s one I don’t really care about the condition afterwards, then it comes along with me in the handbag.

One of the reasons I read ebooks almost exclusively for two years is the ease of carrying them around. My iPad goes into the handbag and is pulled out whereever I have a free time. One of the nightmare scenarios for regular readers is not having a book to read – with an ereader you just go to the next book and not have the dredded question of carrying multple books around with you when leaving the house (or even worse: do you leave the nearly ended book at home and bring a new one with you, or bring the one you’re reading and run the risk you’ll finish it, and have nothing else to read?).

So, Constant reader, how many books can you have on the go at any one time? how do you resolve the riddle of the nearly finished book? 

 

 

 

The Act of Reading

Recently I wrote a post about producing content, and one of the tricks was to have one or more “buckets” of prompts for when content dries up.  In reviewing one of these buckets, I found a number of prompts that I think work well together.

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?Birmingham and Midlands Institute Library

Generally it’s the bedroom and, occasionally, the bathroom!

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Reading Update

Well it’s been nearly a month since the last (physical) book came into the house, but for some reason my reading has been sparse, and my reviewing even less so. There’s at least 3 books that I have completed where I have almost finished the reviews for but for which I still need to go over again to make sure I’m happy.

cluffI started reading The Female Detective by Andrew Forrester, having seen Bookertalk‘s review of it, and I think I know what she was getting at. I subsequently found that British Library Crime Classics publishing books get on netgalley via Poisoned Pen Press, and asked, then got, three books in. Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm is the first of the three I started and, well, it’s a diffthe lavender houseerent style of writing, and one that I’m going to take a while getting used to.
The Lavender House by Hilary Boyd is the last book in the #Quercussummer event, and it’s the last physical book to come in. It’s been sitting there since the first week in August and since it’s now week three, and I really should review it by the end of the month (ish) I decided I had better get cracking. The only one of the three to be in hardback, I’ve done 150 pages so far, and doing ok.

So the plan is to finish The Lavender House, complete and schedule some reviews, finish the Sergeant Cluff book, take another run at The Female Detective…and then who knows? There’s still a lot of books on my shelves that need to be got through and I am, apparently 5 books behind my challenge of reading 60 books this year, which is appalling by my standards. I just haven’t sat down and done a good run at reading this year for some reason.

Sunday Salon: What makes you decide to buy a book?

The Sunday Salon badge

This was a question posed on the Booksnob blog, by the guest poster Mary Losure that I thought I would share with yourselves.

As part of a longer post Mary asks two fundamental questions

What, that you have read online, makes you decide buy a book? and Does a book trailer ever get you to buy a book?

My answers to both questions are as follows:

  • I often take part in Librarything‘s monthly Early Reviewer piece and where I don’t know the author, I go purely on the blurb provided. Where a second or third book from the same author appears in a subsequent batch (and I’ve liked the previous books), I put my name forward for that.
  • I have previously taken part in Goodreads giveaways (similar selection process to the above) but dont anymore as I only received perhaps 1 out of every 30 books I put my name down for. In the end I simply wasn’t getting results anywhere near the effort I was putting in considering and then putting my name forward
  • I am a netgalley reader, and put my name down for pre-release books there, again based primarily on the blurb. I rarely know much about the author.  I have ended up reading several series to completion after picking up the first book.
  • My friends who use bookcrossing recommend books to me, will send me a book that I’ve currently got listed on my wishlist, or I pick up a book based on the blurb on the back at one of our monthly meetings.
  • Publishers, and some authors contact me via twitter (@brumnordie) or my blog (https://nordie.wordpress.com) and ask me to review a specific book.
  • Then there are those books I pick up from authors or publishers I have been reading for years (Terry Pratchett, Jasper Fforde, Neil Gaiman, Jonathon Kellerman, Persephone publishers etc) that  will pick up because I like their work and want to read their next in a series.
  • I don’t watch trailers. Like vlogging, it’s not something I go searching for and I didnt even know it was an option! It certainly doesn’t influence my buying behaviour. If I find a writer’s blog or twitter, it’s usually AFTER I’ve read the book, and if I’ve written a good review, I let them know and thank them
  • I follow book bloggers and see what other people are reading then blogging/tweeting about. Sometimes I’ll add a book to a wishlist but it needs to be a good promote – I have so many books to read at the moment, I dont have much space to take on more books!
  • So it’s the blurb (maybe the cover as well), followed by recommendations from people I know. My advice: write the best book possible, get good blurb written and then get people reading/talking about it! (everything else is just *stuff*)

So, how do you decide which books to buy?