Tell us what you want (what you really really want) – and win*

Hello to all of our blog-readers! If you have just started following our blog and receiving our emails and posts, a special hello to you. I love seeing your ‘likes’ and comments come in, it just proves that the connection our followers have to books and New Zealand’s literary culture is genuine and passionate.

An introduction: my name is Sarah ForsterIMG_1298[1], and I have been running this blog for just over a year now, on behalf of Booksellers NZ. My role is to run all of the direct digital communications for Booksellers NZ, as Web Editor – you can find me on twitter, on Facebook over several pages, sending our regular newsletters Words of the Day (click to register), The Read and Preview of Reviews, and on our website. Booksellers itself is a membership organisation for bookstores in NZ – with over 300 member bookstores nationwide. We help our members to run their businesses in the best possible way, and we help them, especially, to sell books.

The focus of this blog is to fill in the cracks of mainstream media review coverage. We cover the big books, sure, but not all of them, and we are just as interested in those books that are not as likely to gain column inches. The areas in which we have a particular pool of talent are Poetry, with the likes of poets Sarah Jane Barnett, Emma Barnes, and English lit student Elizabeth Morton helping us to cover almost everything that comes out in the poetic field; Non-fiction, with reviewers including Gordon Findlay and Kimaya McIntosh; Literary fiction, with reviewers Chris Howe, Elizabeth Heritage and Feby Idrus; and Children’s books with myself, teachers Rachel Moore and Marion Dreadon, Angela Oliver covering YA, and tireless grandmother Christine Frayling. We have a lot of other amazing reviewers that I haven’t mentioned, and you can check out some of their short bios here.

IMG_0562[1]We have such a breadth of reviews now that I am going to start trying to focus on one specific area of literature per day, with daily kids’ book reviews at 4pm when I have them. My initial plan for is for Monday to be Non-fiction; Tuesday to cover Poetry and/or New Zealand fiction; Wednesday to cover International fiction blockbusters of various genres; Thursday to focus on Literary fiction; and Friday to be small and self-publishers day. All of this depends on how many reviews I get in each week, but I am fairly confident we will be able to keep it going!

My own reading is very broad – I will give pretty well anything a go, and I have sometimes have a hard time letting books fly off my desk when I really want to read and review them! But with a background of six years working with kiwi authors at the New Zealand Book Council as Education Programmes Manager, and with my two children aged 2 and 4, my real passion lies in kiwi children’s and YA books. Our children’s book publishing culture is massively strong, and shows every signs of continuing to thrive, despite the doom and gloom predictions for the industry overall.

This is where I ask for your input.
Our blog popularity is rising constantly, thanks to review coverage of major festivals and the quality of our reviews – but what else would you like to see? Author interviews? Summaries of international reviews for bestselling international titles? More personal blog pieces from myself and booksellers? A bit more genre fiction? Introductions to new publishers?

Comment below before 5pm this IMG_1299[1]Monday 29 September, and be in to win a pack of books: A New Zealand Book of Beasts, by Annie Potts, Philip Armstrong and Deirdre Brown (AUP), The Son-in-Law, by Charity Norman, The Lost Pilot, by Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, and Built for Caffeine, by Ben Crawford.

Thank you for reading us – Sarah.

* I sincerely apologise if you now have the Spice Girls in your head…

17 thoughts on “Tell us what you want (what you really really want) – and win*

  1. I wanna, I wanna, I wanna…ziggy zig owww (sorry, couldn’t resist). I’d like to see interviews with authors around the time they launch a new book. I’m enjoying the blog, thanks so much. Caroline

  2. I agree with Caroline, interviews with NZ authors would be great – even up and coming books that haven’t been released yet with inside info.

    Also a great mix of fiction and non-fiction books. Or even fathers day ideas etc

  3. Your plans for friday sound good. The big bookstores are not very good at supporting anything without a huge marketing push behind it. Let us know how to submit.

  4. I’d like to see more books reviewed for young teens – mainly because our eldest granddaughter is 13 years old – I want to be able to keep up with what that age group. I also am keen on seeing more books reviewed for the 10 -12 year group for the same reason.

    • I will agree Christine that this is a bit of a weak spot for us – the junior fiction market. I have got a few here at the moment, and I am currently reaching out to schools who have talented reviewers. The Book Council has advised me of a few.

  5. I realise there’s a hype and emphasis on YA, I’d love to see widespread, combination reviews, NZ author, international interviews. The reviews read professional and I welcome them. Maintain the great written/reading work!

  6. Well, I enjoyed doing the guest blogs when we used to do them, so yes, they could be done again. And yes, I’d love to see interviews with (mainly) kiwi authors. And I’m sure (being a writer myself) that most of them would like the exposure.

  7. I love the idea of different themes for each day, and author interviews would be great. I’d love to see a focus on young adult literature, and guest reviews would be good too. I’d also like to see ‘other recommendations’ similar to the book or author being reviewed/profiled.

  8. I agree with everyone who has commented. I particularly like the idea of profiles of authors and reviewers. As a writer, I am always interested to know about the inspiration that motivates the commitment to the craft by other writers.

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