In the Spotlight ~ Jess the Romanceaholic

Guess who is "In the Spotlight" today, , none other than Jess from Romanceaholic.  Many of you know her from her blog and her honest reviews on Goodreads.

Thanks Jess for stopping by....

When and how did you decide to become a book blogger?
I started my blog in February of 2011, as a way to spotlight my favorite books. I got my start writing reviews on several months prior to that, but there are just so many more options for networking with readers, bloggers, and even authors when you have a blog of your own. I wanted a place where I could develop my own personal style of review, as well as a place where I could do fun things such as giveaways and host author interviews.

What’s the hardest part of being a book blogger?
There are many challenges I've faced as a book blogger, such as learning to use social media, tackling CSS and graphic design issues for the blog itself, and learning to "sell myself" in approaching publishers to request review copies.

For me, however, the biggest challenge is always writing the reviews themselves. I'm not a professional writer (far from it!), and so many times I find it hard to put my feelings for a book into words in a way that is not only fair and entertaining, but also in a way that expresses my true feelings about the book without being full of spoilers.

How often do you post on your blog?
Ideally, I post every single day, but that's not always possible with "real life" getting in the way sometimes. As long as I get a review up three times a week, however, I'm happy.

The name of your blog is quite unique. What inspired you to call your blog "The Romanceaholic"?
There were several factors in choosing my blog's name, not the least of which were the fact that the name didn't appear to have been taken by other bloggers! Having once owned my own business, I know how important branding can be, so I wanted something that wasn't too similar to what another established blogger had, as well as something that fit well with where I wanted my blog to stand. I also felt that it was a good fit because 99.5% of what I read has a strong romantic theme, and if I go too terribly long without reading, I get twitchy.

Have you ever reviewed a book that wasn't exactly your cup of tea? Can you tell my readers how you dealt with writing the review? Give us some tips.
There have been many times that I've read a book that just didn't really do it for me. Sometimes it's because I was branching out from the types of books that I know I enjoy and trying something new, and other times it's simply a matter of the plot either taking an unexpected turn that I didn't like or including something that I consider to be a "pet peeve" of mine.

My tips in reviewing books that aren't really "your thing" are simple: Be honest, but be fair. Assuming the book was good enough to actually finish, there are things that appealed to you, even if they're something as mundane as loving the book cover, or liking the name of one of the protagonists. Being balanced in your review can make readers take your review more seriously, even when you give the book a low rating. 

Any words of wisdom to new bloggers?
Blogging is hard work, but it can be incredibly rewarding. I highly recommend making a thorough review policy that is very easy to find on your blog, utilizing social media and making certain that your social media links are prominent and easy for new readers to find on your blog, and developing your own style of reviews. Be courteous; remember, nobody, authors, publishers, readers, or other bloggers, owe you anything, and using common courtesy and common sense will go far.

There are no real shortcuts out there. Consistently providing quality content is the only thing that will build you a loyal following, and it won't happen overnight. Be patient, blog often, and utilize social media, and your follower counts will rise. If you want to use a blog-hop to increase followers, be picky about which ones you participate in, because while it's thrilling to see high follower counts, those numbers mean nothing unless you've actually gained followers who truly enjoy your content and will continue to visit your blog regularly.

Which author would you most like to meet (dead or alive)? Tell us more..
Oh my, there is no way I can only choose one. I would a chance to pick the brains of Sherrilyn Kenyon, J.R. Ward, and Meljean Brook, simply because their world-building always blows me away. Authors like Maisey Yates, Victoria Dahl, and Bree (half of the Moira Rogers writing team) would be my top choices for a girl's night out, because they're so much fun to talk to on Twitter. Then there are authors I would want to meet simply because I'm such an enormous fangirl of their work, such as Josh Lanyon, Larissa Ione, Melanie Card, the husband and wife team who make up Ilona Andrews, and Thea Harrison.

How big is your TBR pile? How many books do you read/review in a month?
*coughs* It currently clocks in at well over 500 books at the moment, and growing daily. There are simply too many books out there that appeal to me, and I'll likely never read everything on the TBR pile. As far as actual reading goes, I typically average a book a day, but I only manage to review perhaps 20 or so each month for the blog.

Finally, If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
        "And She Read..." :P

On A Personal Note:
I'm 30-something, happily married to my own personal Romance Hero, with two wonderful young sons, and have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology that I will likely never use in a career setting. I love shiny things, caramel, and of course, romance novels!


Megan said... Best Blogger Tips

Gosh 500 books a month! I'm jealous :) Great interview and she has some great advice and words of wisdom. Thanks for highlighting her.

Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

... Another interesting post and one more blog to add to my list ... !!!

Reading said... Best Blogger Tips

Holy gee, 500! A very honest interview, Jess is amazing!

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