Lexxie of (un)Conventional BookViews is our Bad-Ass Book Blogger today. A few months ago on Google + she wrote me and said, “You live in Switzerland? Me, too!” We met for coffee and I was totally blown away by her utter awesomeness. She’s intelligent, extremely well-read (duh! book blogger!) as well as straightforward, candid and just plain fun.
Here’s her interview:
Why did you get into book blogging?
I first met some like-minded (and more or less same age) readers after I read Twilight and was depressed because the story ended. They told me about Goodreads, and I joined in 2010. From there, I discovered many of the users had blogs, and those blogs were beautiful, personal, with their own backgrounds, and with a lot more freedom. It still took a couple of years before I started my own blog in June 2012, but I felt that I wanted my very own book-home where I could share my love of all things bookish with other like minded people.
I know you have a family, are going to school, and regularly review books on your blog. What’s your secret to juggling it all?
I don’t think I have a recipe, really! I read when I’m not in class, for one thing, and I don’t read when I can spend time with my kids. But I don’t watch much TV, so if everyone else wants to do that, I’ll pick up a book and curl up on the couch. When the semester is busy, I tend to read a little less, but I try to schedule three reviews per week in advance, so that I have something to share on the blog even if I’m busy in real life. And my family is pretty supportive of everything I do- I think they love my blog because I don’t bug them as much about what I’m reading anymore.
As a book blogger, have you made any discoveries that surprised you?
I am amazed at the sense of community I get from bloggers. I have ‘met’ some people who are wonderful, and it started with books, but now we can chat about anything. I even found this one author on Twitter and Google+, and lo and behold, she lives in the same city as me, and we’ve had coffee a couple of times. I think blogging has made the world even smaller in some ways.
Best blogging day:
When I’m able to write a review I’m happy with shortly after finishing a book.
Worst blogging day:
When I have this feeling I should really write a review, because I have finished seven books, and written zero reviews.
Recently Goodreads changed their policy on reviews, taking away and not allowing reviews that focus on the author of a book rather than the book itself. There has been an uproar in the blogging community. What is your take on this issue?
Actually, that policy was already in place. If a Goodreads user had a review about author behavior, it was hidden so that only friends could see it and not all Goodreads users. I think what has bloggers in an uproar is that Goodreads has always allowed users to personalize their bookshelves. I have shelves for different things, one is called ‘school-stuff’ another is called ‘Swiss-authors’, etc. Some bloggers have been very unfortunate when writing a negative review, and have been attacked by author(s). Some have even had their personal information, like their real name, the place they live, a photo, restaurants they go to etc publicly outed on a website. After this first happened, some bloggers made Goodreads shelves called ‘badly behaving author’ and other things meaning more or less the same thing. Some authors were upset to see their books shelved in a certain way, and one author misconstrued some of those shelves and said that reviewers were threatening her. Things snowballed pretty fast, and there were some web-articles about all of this that did not tell the whole story. The author in question later came back and apologized, saying she knew those shelves had nothing to do with her personally, and that the shelves she had mentioned didn’t exist for real. Of course, none of those web articles told that story, and I’m sure Goodreads felt the pressure. Then, instead of directly contacting reviewers, Goodreads deleted shelves, and if those shelves were exclusive, the reviews disappeared as well. One shelf that was deleted was called ‘due to author’. And most of the reviewers who had their shelves deleted were among those who had been targeted and had their personal information spread on the internet. I was very sad to see Goodreads go back on everything they have been telling readers for the three years I have been a member there. And I am no longer posting my full reviews there, even if I have never had a shelf called ‘badly behaving authors’ or anything like that. The shelves I have that has something about authors in their name is ‘fave-author’ and things like that. Needless to say, none of my shelves have been deleted…
How do you feel about Indie authors and self-publishing?
I think it’s great that it’s possible to self-publish, and I have met some awesome indie authors since I discovered their existence. I do think it’s very important that indie or self-pub authors use an editor, though, because if I pay for a book, even if it’s only $0.99, I want to read correct grammar, and no plot-holes etc. I think it must be very hard to get your book out there for self-pub and indie authors, though, because there are a lot of new books released each year, and the authors who have a big publishing house behind them get more publicity in mainstream media.
Do you take review requests? If so, where can authors contact you?
I do take review requests, but for the time being I’m quite backed up. There is all the proper information on by blog, and I ask that authors who send me an e-mail read my review and rating policy as well. Because if I read a book I got to review, I will post my honest review, even if I don’t particularly like what I’m reading. That’s really important to me, I will not pretend I loved a book if I didn’t, but I try to not be too harsh.
Thanks so much for having me over today, Katie! This was fun. I hope I didn’t get too long-winded.
Thank you, Lexxie for taking the time to answer. I’m happy to have you on my blog. See you for coffee? 🙂
And the rest of you, please pop over and say “hi” on Lexxie’s blog: (un)Conventional BookViews
And if you want to see Lexxie’s review of Untethered, it’s HERE.