Ever wonder about the story behind some of your favorite book bloggers’ websites? Well, wonder no more because each month we’re featuring an interview with a well-known blogger. For March, we have Raven Award winner Dru Ann Love of the Anthony Award-nominated blog, dru’s book musings.
Hi Dru! Let’s get started. Please tell us about your blog. Why did you decide to write it? What are some of the challenges and/or successes you’ve experienced along the way?
The original intent of dru’s book musings was to keep a journal of books I’ve read, but it evolved into what it is today when I realized that during a vacation, there would be no new content. I had learned that to keep your audience, you must have fresh content at least during the week, so one day after finishing a book, my mind wandered and I was thinking about the character and what they do after the story was told. So, I came up with the “day in the life” feature where we get a glimpse into a character’s day. These features are written by the author and appear on the blog Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, you’ll find cover reveals, my musings, releases, and other topics to interest my readers. The goal of my blog is to bring readers and authors together.
The main challenge I have is trying to contact authors that are a good fit for my audience. Some don’t have an email address on their website; some have a contact form but don’t reply back and then my only recourse is to use their Facebook page to contact them, and then again, no reply. Authors make sure you have an email address on your website and if you are using a form and have a Facebook page, please respond when someone sends you a message. You are missing out on an opportunity to reach a new audience.
The two successes that I’ve experienced BIG time is having my blog nominated for an Anthony Award in 2015 and being the recipient of the MWA Raven Award in 2017.
Do you also post your reviews elsewhere (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.)? Why or why not?
I read too many books to write a review for them all and if I did, I would lose the desire to read. Sometimes you just want to read a book and then move on to the next and I can’t if I have to write a review. Any reviews I write will be on my blog. I may give a shout-out on Facebook (and, yes, saying I love, love, love this book) is a review. I may also post a one or two sentence review on Amazon. And if I get e-ARCs, I will post a review on the appropriate platform. I never post a negative review anywhere.
What are some of the best or most surprising experiences you’ve had related to your blog?
As I mentioned earlier, being nominated for an Anthony Award and being the recipient of the Raven Award. Also, being respected by my peers and being recognized for the work that I do. This started out as a hobby and has fully developed into something that I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. You know on Cheers when Norm walks in and they shout “Norm.” That’s how I feel when I attend a reader/fan convention and people want to see and/or talk to me. The best is talking to authors who I’ve read and or chat with on social media.
What advice would you give to new bloggers and/or to authors who would like to connect with book bloggers?
For authors: Do your homework. Make sure the blog that you are interested in caters to your book audience. Be respectful of the blogger’s time. They are there to help you.
For those who want to start a blog: Find a niche that hasn’t been tapped. You want your blog to stand out among a sea of blogs. Be respectful of the author’s time. Check out other “like” blogs to see what they are doing – what you like and dislike. This will help you when you set up your blog.
You do an amazing job balancing your “daytime situation” as you call your job and daily posts on your blog. How do you do it and when do you find time to read?
I have a two-hour commute during the week, which is prime for reading. I also have no daily commitments to keep me from reading when I get home. I generally schedule an hour after I get home for blog housekeeping during the week and on the weekend, I usually allocate 2 more hours for catching up.
Thanks to Dru for stopping by! You can read more about Dru below and say hello in the comments!
The reclusive figure of Dru Ann Love reportedly spends her working hours at the mysterious daytime situation doing “research.” She is probably not a spy. Maybe. Her non-working hours are spent less reclusively on her blog, dru’s book musings. She is an avid reader who writes poetry, creates quilts and is happy to be in “her element” within the mystery community. Dru Ann is a 2017 MWA Raven Award recipient and dru’s book musings is an Anthony Award-nominated blog. Dru is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.