One of my favorite book bloggers is Alexa from Alexa Loves Books. She always writes thoughtful book reviews and gives the best book recommendations. After reading her blog for years, I knew I had to interview her so you all good hear her thoughts on books and blogging.
· Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog.
Hello! My name is Alexa, and I blog/work/live in New York. I’m passionate about books and travel and dessert, and I indulge in those passions whenever I can. I started my blog, Alexa Loves Books, in 2011, after discovering the world of book blogs on complete accident. It’s been quite the experience, and I can definitely say that I’ve grown a lot since I first started! These days, I divide my time between my reviews + fun features on my blog and my YouTube channel (which is a bit newer).
· What are your favorite books?
Well, well, it seems like we’re getting down to business now! This is a really tough question for me to answer because I love a lot of books and have been reading all my life. However, when I think the books that have stood the test of time, the ones I think of are Grimm’s Fairytales, A Little Princess, the entire Harry Potter series, the entire Percy Jackson series, Ransom & The Secret by Julie Garwood, the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, and all the Tamora Pierce books. Newer favorites? Well, here are a couple of authors: Jodi Meadows, Sarah J. Maas, Marissa Meyer, Elle Kennedy, & Lisa Kleypas.
· How did you start reviewing books?
It was really a case of “Hey, I can do that!” As I mentioned earlier, I discovered the book blogging community in 2011. The first blog I ever came across that made me feel that way was The Story Siren (which is no longer active), and I started from there. I began with a very straightforward (and spoiler-filled) format, but I have developed my own voice and style since then.
· Do you have a particular medium that you prefer to review in (i.e. video vs. writing)?
I find that, in general, I express myself better in written reviews. I have the extra time to polish and edit and think about the words I’m choosing when I talk about a book. With video reviews (which are still quite new to me), I find that I feel challenged to come up with just the right words to really express how I felt. So, at the moment, I’d say I prefer writing my reviews.
· What is the process for reviewing a book? What do you think about as you are reading? Do you outline your reviews before writing/filming them?
I wish I could say that I had a proper process, but I really don’t. I don’t make notes; I don’t tab pages; I don’t do outlines. I generally just sit down and churn out reviews (and tend to wait until I have at least 7-10 in my review queue). I have noticed that my reviews are getting shorter! I think it’s because I prefer reading shorter reviews myself and wanted to reflect that on my own blog.
· As a reviewer, what advice would you give authors? Are there elements of a book you particularly love or hate?
I honestly don’t feel particularly qualified to give authors any advice! However, I guess I will say that, when it comes to my reviews, I hope authors don’t take any criticism personally. Usually, it’s just an opinion based on my own preferences, and I try to express it in an objective way. As for elements I love, well, I love complex characters and characters that I can form a strong connection with.
· Similarly, do you have any advice for new book bloggers? How can they get their names out there?
It really just comes down to one thing: put in the work. You have to be willing to spend time writing your reviews, formatting your posts, and sharing them on social media (and let me tell you, it definitely is something that consumes a ton of time). It’ll require patience and determination, and I think that’s what will eventually lead to your blog gaining recognition eventually.
· How can book bloggers connect with writers or other bloggers?
When it comes to connecting with authors, I find that it’s as simple as reaching out via email. Most authors are quite friendly and are willing to give some of their time to respond to you or to be featured on your blog in some way. As for other bloggers, you have to reach out as well. I find that the best ways to do so are by visiting their blogs/channels and leaving a comment or by talking to them on Twitter. That’s usually how I form connections with other bloggers!
· How do you come up with your book tags?
Book tags are just really, really fun to do! The book tags I’ve helped to create have always been collaborative efforts with my friends, and I think that makes the entire process so easy. You start out with something you love, come up with some categories from recognizable elements related to it, and then create matching tags. (If you want to check out some of mine, there is the Throne of Glass Book Tag, the Sailor Moon Book Tag, and the BatFamily Book Tag.)
· Tell us where we can find you!
You can find me in the following places:
– My Blog
– Twitter / Instagram: @alexalovesbooks
– Snapchat: @the-lexicon