Good morning. As we have heard from all the authors today I am starting something new and hearing what the Bloggers and Readers think. To start this off I am very pleased to introduce Simon from BLACK BOOKS BLOG. Simon has joined nearly every Joffe Books Blog Tour since he started blogging.
Hello Simon. Could you tell us a little about yourself and what made you start blogging?
My name’s Simon and my blog is called Black Book s Blog.
I live in a lovely village in Kent with my wife and 2 children (both girls so you can imagine what my home life is like being completely outnumbered). During the day I work in payroll and finance, which entails paying 500 employees every other week and raising invoices.
To get away from my mundane job I turn to reading, which I have done since I was very young as my dad used to read to me before bedtime, something I now do with my two children.
I have always enjoyed fantasy and sci-fi books, the first proper book I remember being read to me, and also reading myself is The Hobbit when I was around 8. This then lead me to David Eddings and Anne McCaffrey through my dad’s book collection.
I now read pretty much anything but mainly stick to Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopia and Crime/Thriller books.
I started my blog after joining The Book Club on Facebook (TBConFB) after reading Justin Lee Anderson’s Carpet Diem, where he recommended the group at the end of his book. After joining the group I realised that people enjoy reading recommendations from like-minded people and that there are bloggers out there who review books. After following a couple I decided to start my own and from there it has gone from strength to strength.
How long had you been blogging when you started joining Blog Tours?
I set my blog up in April 2017 and pretty much started joining blog tours from there, firstly to get my blog known and then it became addictive and I thought I would need to keep doing it for people to notice my blog. Since then I have realised I can say no to people and try to restrict myself to only two blog tours a week. I very rarely stick to this especially when Joffe release their books.
Do you join blog tours for a lot of publishers? About how many?
I do tours for publishers as well as independent authors. I generally stick with 3 publishers Joffe Books, Orenda and Bloodhound Books, but also do a lot for independent authors who either approach me to run a tour, or go through one of the other tour operators, whose lists I am on, these include Jill Burkinshaw, Anne Cater, Rachel Gilbey and Kelly Lacey.
What do you think of the books Joffe publish are they usually good, average, bad?
Unlike some other publishers I have yet to read a bad book by a Joffe author. The books are really well written by the author and edited and proofread by Joffe, which definitely makes them easy to read. Obviously mistakes do happen but once they have been pointed out Joffe always correct them promptly.
How do Joffe Blog Tours compare to the ones run by other publishers?
The tours are always run well with the organiser sending out the book and all media kits with enough time that if anything needs changing it can be modified easily before the tour starts. Personally I can also have the date I want 95% of the time, which helps me to organise it around all of the other tours I am taking part in.
The organiser is always really helpful and approachable, especially if personal reasons prevent anyone from completing their stop, she will always supply a promotional or guest spot instead.
Joffe Books is run differently to other publishers is the short notice of book releases a problem given how much in demand bloggers are?
As I have been on Joffe’s blog tours for a year now I am used to the short turnaround where you normally only get a week or so notice. I have now adjusted the order I read the books and if I don’t think I would be able to read it for the start of the tour I request to close it giving me an extra week or so to finish it.
Now that I try to stick with only 2 or 3 blog tours a week I can easily fit in another one from Joffe, which I always do as I love the books they publish.
Some Bloggers leave room for Joffe Books are you one of those? If so why?
As mentioned above I am one of the people who always leave room for a Joffe book, especially when I know in advance that a book is due to be released shortly. I leave space for them as I know they will be well written and hold my attention throughout the whole book. This does become an issue as it means that once I have started a Joffe Book I don’t want to put it down and always feel a tiny bit sad when I have to due to life and work.
Joffe Books has a launch team that get together in a virtual party setting and many of the authors support each other and chat with the readers and bloggers. Do you think this is a good idea? If so why?
I think the virtual parties are a great idea for both authors, bloggers and readers alike as it is a great way for the readers to get to know the authors in a fun setting, plus it helps create a bond between author and readers, ensuring that when the next book comes along the reader will associate this with how much fun they had chatting to the author at the last party.
I think it also helps that the authors who are friendly at their own party also go to the other ones, therefore keeping their name out there and helping to create a great united front between the Joffe Authors.
All the books which have a party have also done well on Amazon in UK, USA and Australia, which I think has come from the fact that almost everyone who goes to each party ends up buying a copy of the book, if they don’t win one at the party itself.
Do you think the Joffe Blog Tour experience could be improved? If so what would you recommend?
Not really I think it is organised and executed really professionally and with minimal fuss.
Is there anything else you would like to say about Joffe Books, their authors or Social Media Promoter?
I personally think that Joffe have done very well hand picking the authors they have and all of them seem to love working with Joffe, which doesn’t always happen where writers and publishers are concerned. This love seems to bring the best out of the authors and help them to write some amazing books.
The Social Media Promoter does a sterling job of filling the spots promptly, especially given the short notice Joffe like to give her, and she is always really friendly and approachable whenever there are any issues. She does such a great job for Joffe that I don’t think the books would have the same amount of success if she wasn’t there organising everything.
She also does a great job organising the parties as well as offering great prizes at them.
By Simon Leonard, Black Books Blog
JOFFE BOOKS ROLLING BLOG