In the month of January, I'm doing a Twitter Interview (Twitterview) of many of the participants of the #BookMarket chat. These are people who come and generously share their wisdom week after week. The Twitterviews give them a chance to shine.
Today I had a chance to speak to Donna @girl_who_reads of Girl Who Reads. Donna is a master reviewer of books and supporter of authors. She has a wonderful perspective, which is often missed in book marketing conversations, on what a reader wants from a book.
My take on the interview:
I love to hear a reader's perspective and Donna is so articulate. When we talk about book marketing, we often talk about this trick or that trick to get attention. But marketing techniques can only get you so far. In the end, your story is what engages people. As she says: "the success/failure comes down to content of the work."
What's your take?
Here's the transcript:
ClaudiaC Q.1 - What 5 words would you use to describe what you like about reading?
Girl_Who_Reads I'm more use to being the girl behind the curtain... My 5 words: escape, new worlds, different thoughts
ClaudiaC This is a bit intriguing! Do you choose books so they will bring new worlds and different thoughts?
Girl_Who_Reads Sometimes, but more often it is just the ability to see through someone else's eyes. I read a lot of reality based fiction but the characters are in different situations than me.
ClaudiaC That's kind of empathy is under rated, I think. You'd get a good understanding of where people live
Girl_Who_Reads But do lean towards books that explore deep issues, challenge me to rethink my position, etc.
ClaudiaC Q.2 - What is your favorite thing about the book world today?
Girl_Who_Reads There are times though I just want fluff, an escape from all the thinking I do. I love the variety that's available. The ability to connect with other readers and with the authors themselves.
ClaudiaC Of books? of authors? of genres? Of...?? RT @Girl_Who_Reads: I love the variety thats available.
Girl_Who_Reads Variety of books, authors, writing styles. It seems that when I was younger if you wanted to read romance everyone read the same authors. I tended to read same author now wonder if it was bc I really liked the author or if there wasn't much choice in specific genre.
ClaudiaC With so much available, how do you determine what you choose to read?
Girl_Who_Reads That's the million dollar question. I have a hard time saying no. But my daily mantra is too many books, not enough time.
ClaudiaC That's oddly similar to my daily mantra of : "too many stories, only 1 mind!" ;)
Girl_Who_Reads I find myself choosing books that are either different than what I've been reading or has a unique concept. I love discovering the undiscovered gem. So I try to debut authors.
ClaudiaC Q.3 - What type of books mean the most to u? What messge resonates? or do you go for entertainmnt?
Girl_Who_Reads It goes back to why I like to read. Will the book let me explore something new, change my perspective? Books with a social issue at its core really resonate with me. I'm drawn to emotionally damaged characters.
ClaudiaC Huh, that's interesting! Is there a social issue you feel strongly about? emotional damage that fascinates? I mean, it's hard for me to imagine you're intrstd w rich Narcissists talking about ppl's prejudice against them.
Girl_Who_Reads I've been reading a lot of books that deal with human trafficking and the sex trade.
ClaudiaC That's a hard but imp topic! RT @Girl_Who_Reads: Ive been reading a lot of books that deal w human trafficking&the sex trade.
Girl_Who_Reads I think it is an issue that we tend to bury our heads in the sand about. But a fictional title can bring it light without ... um feeling preachy about? As for emotionally damaged characters. Ones who have dealt with & overcame great tragedy in life.
ClaudiaC Q.4 - As a reader, what are your pet peeves about self published books? Major publishers books?
Girl_Who_Reads I tend not to pay much attention to who publishes (until I write my reviews) so my pet peeves are similar. Editing is so important. Both with story line and with grammar. I reviewed a book that was self-published that the editing was so bad. They misspelled a characters name a couple times.
ClaudiaC You know, we found that in the last Harry Potter book. Seems odd, but I guess it happens.
Girl_Who_Reads At the same time I've encounter continuity issues with major publisher works.
ClaudiaC Meg Cabot told me about mistaking a color of a characters eyes. eeek. No one caught it.
Girl_Who_Reads I can see it happening with a series, but I found it within a chapter.
ClaudiaC Wow, that's scary. RT @Girl_Who_Reads: @ClaudiaC I can see it happening with a series, but I found it within a chapter.
ClaudiaC Did you tell the publisher/author? I think that's something I'd want to know.
ClaudiaC Q.4b - What engages you? The author? The storyline? The publisher's marketing?
Girl_Who_Reads The storyline is always what draws me to a book. You've heard it before - Its the content that matters.
ClaudiaC I think this is key to hear again&again! RT @Girl_Who_Reads: Youve heard it before - Its the content that matters.
Girl_Who_Reads An author or publisher can assist with getting the word out, but the success/failure comes down to content of the work. It was a book I read before getting into reviewing. Now I do go back to the author/publisher when possible.
ClaudiaC AUTHORS listen up! :) RT @Girl_Who_Reads: "the success/failure comes down to content of the work."
ClaudiaC Q.5 - Everyone has a super secret ninja skill. What's yours?
Girl_Who_Reads My ability to tweet at the speed of light (or so I've been told)?
ClaudiaC So what have we missed? Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Girl_Who_Reads I don't think so. I think I've rambled quite a bit. Maybe some of it was useful?
ClaudiaC How would an author engage you as a reviewer? Are there certain genres you do or don't do?
Girl_Who_Reads I've just updated over Christmas my review policy. I encourage authors to check it out. A pet peeve: Don't send me a link to your books on twitter if you've never contacted me before.
ClaudiaC Awesome! :) Thank you so much for taking the time to for our #twitterview #bookmarket
Girl_Who_Reads Thank you for having me. All the nervousness was for nothing!
ClaudiaC Thanks again! *applause* *applause* *applause*
Girl_Who_Reads Definitely. In case any needs it. My review site is http://t.co/khD8elZZ
ClaudiaC Next #twitterview will be tomorrow with @beth_barany at 3p ET; #bookmarket is at 4p ET - Join in! :)