Bloggers Take On Book Reviews
As usual, the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime served up an excellent program along with lunch at its monthly meeting this July. Presenters were Dru Ann Love of drusbookmusing.com and Kristopher Zgorski of BOLO Books talking about their blogs.
Dru Ann Love is owner/writer at dru’s book musings and at her daytime work as a market research analyst. Her blog is a bright spot among hundreds, it seems, that focus on cozy mysteries which she reviews and discusses. A New Yorker born and bred, Dru Ann is an avid reader but she also writes poetry, quilts and loves attending mystery fan conventions with readers and authors. Her musings will appear in Crimespree Magazine and her name has appeared in several cozy titles.
As for her blog, most of her reviews are posted on Sunday and she will not post a negative review. She also invites authors of cozies to submit a guest blog to her “Day in the Life of. . .”feature. Authors who contribute to this feature post a blog describing a typical day in the life of their character. She also reaches out to self-published authors, and she often features giveaways.
The other presenter, Kristofer Zgorski, is the founder of the crime fiction book review blog, BOLO Books. He is an avid reader who works as a production coordinator for Johns Hopkins University Press in Baltimore, MD. His reviews also appear regularly in Deadly Pleasures Magazine, Crimespree Magazine, and on the UK-based e-zine, SHOTS UK. He prefers thrillers and domestic suspense novels and does not review cozy mysteries or self-published novels.
Both Dru Ann and Kris suggest that writers think of them and their blogs as a partnership with the author. Authors can help them out by liking them on Facebook and sharing their blogs and posts. They also suggest that authors seek out bloggers in areas where they are traveling and offer to be interviewed.
Along with all the other changes in the publishing and literary fields, the landscape is shifting. Newspapers and magazines are shrinking their coverage of the book world while reader-based reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and other websites are increasing. Bloggers serve an important role as voices of authority on the mystery world, combining critical evaluation with advocacy and celebrating new books and new authors. Many of these blogs, like Dru Ann and Kris, also offer a forum for authors to discuss their own books and characters.
Eileen has ridden a camel in the Moroccan Sahara, fished for piranhas on the Amazon, sailed in a felucca on the Nile, and lived for three years on a motorsailer, exploring the coast from Annapolis to Key West. Eileen has many years experience writing, editing and designing all manner of publications for nonprofits and professional associations. She is now co-owner of Summit Crossroads Press, which publishes books for parents, and its fiction imprint, Amanita Books. The inspiration for her 90s Club mystery series springs from meeting a slim, attractive woman at a pool party who was the only one actually in the pool swimming laps, and she was 91 years old. Since then, Eileen has collected articles about people in their 90s—and 100s—who are still active, alert and on the job. She often speaks at retirement villages on “Old Dogs, New Tricks.”