Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Romantic Novelists' Association Conference 2015 - What Reviewers Want Panel

image from the RNA blog

A little while ago, I was kindly invited to join a panel of book industry folk at the Romantic Novelists' Association Conference for 2015 at Queen Mary University, London. I was delighted to be asked and though I knew I'd be anxious and nervous I also knew it would be a wonderful thing for me to try doing and I was so pleased to be given the opportunity that I seized the moment and accepted. The conference took place last week and I was getting ready to go along, sorting out what I needed etc the day before, same mixture of nerves and excitement. 

Come the evening before the day of the panel and I develop a really sore throat :( and the next morning it feels worse and I can sense a full on cold too. Sadly my plans to try and attend more of the day prior to the panel session that afternoon, and my hopes for staying to the dinner that evening, didn't seem manageable anymore, I was feeling worse, and probably only thanks to my husband aka my knight in shining armour whisking me to and from the venue for the panel event that I got there. Thankfully I did make it in time for the lovely main conference welcome by Eileen Ramsay and Jan Jones.

On to the panel itself, our session 'The Reviewers' Panel' was entitled 'What Reviewers Want - top reviewers discuss the growing importance of online reviews and give their tips for review success.' I thought the session was very interesting indeed, it was great to see so many people attending it and I really enjoyed both meeting the other panellists - Elaine Everest who runs the RNA Blog, Peter Crawshaw co-founder and director of the book website Lovereading.com, Anna James (chair of the discussion) the book news editor of The Bookseller magazine and editor of We Love This Book and books editor for Elle UK, Charlie Place reviewer from The Worm Hole blog - and hearing what they had to say as well as having the chance to speak myself. I think sometimes when you don't feel so well physically it can take your mind off your nerves a bit and I think I worried slightly less and concentrated even more on the discussion because of this; anyway, I felt braver than I thought I might have. There were some excellent questions and they prompted some interesting discussion, about how we each choose what to review, good ways to go about approaching reviewers (and not so good ways), building up relationships between authors and reviewers, how where books are reviewed and talked about has changed, the role of bloggers, Amazon reviews, Search Engine Optimisation and information gathering, and more, including how blog posts and helping support authors isn't just about reviews, but also features, book extracts, author interviews and so on. Thank you to Anna for leading the panel discussion and the audience questions so well, involving us all and keeping the session flowing.

I'm so glad I was still able to take part and I wish I had felt better, been able to stay longer and had the courage to speak to a couple more writers - there were a few people I thought I recognised from online photos but I didn't pluck up the courage to speak to anyone in the brief time I was there. It was lovely to see Sheryl Browne up in the audience and thank you for saying hi to me Sheryl, I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you properly. 

Thank you to Jan Jones for the kind welcome and for ushering me over to meet Anna and Charlie when I arrived, and a big thank you to Jenny Barden for the very kind words and for such an interesting panel. Thanks to Karen Aldous who had some kind words for all the bloggers out there (echoed by Sheryl) and who came and introduced herself to us at the end of the session. 

It was a brilliant event and I'm very glad to have been part of it and I hope I can be part of something similar again one day. From a (budding) writer's point of view the whole event  and indeed the RNA itself looks like it offers both a lot of inspiration and support plus a lot of fun.

PS As I write this the rubbish lurgy seems to finally be on its way out, yay. I really hope I didn't pass it on to anyone else. 
PPS A nice thing was that my dog had her first trip to London and went for her walkies near where myself and my other half used to both live before we knew each other, bit of romance for you :)

~~~~~

Links...


Links to some of my reviews of RNA members' books...



(Let me know if I've missed any and I'll happily add them!) Also see my Reviews A-Z page for more links to reviews and author interviews. 

22 comments:

  1. What a wonderful compliment to be asked and what a marvel experience it must have been. Its just a shame you weren't feeling one hundred percent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was really special to be asked and brilliant experience. Wish I had felt better. Thanks for commenting Tracy and apologies that I haven't been over to comment as much recently. I've been reading all your posts via my email subscription.

      Delete
  2. I am so bad about having the courage to talk to authors and lit folk..I just sort of stand at the periphery and listen in on other conversations and nod my head :-/ (Now I sound like a stalker! lol)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I often do the same. I've met authors at signings and not been able to say anything much, even though I wanted to tell them various things like how brilliant I thought their book was!

      Delete
  3. It is wonderful that you got the chance to participate in this event. As your posts are outstanding they made a great choice in choosing you.

    Book blogs are one of the many aspects of social media that are having a real impact on our modern world and this seems to be reflection that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is really kind of you to say Brian, I don't think of them as being that great myself a lot of the time but I appreciate the kind feedback very much and I will keep trying to blog.
      Yes it seems that book blogs are being taken increasingly seriously as part of the book community.

      Delete
  4. Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well. You did a great job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rhoda :) Were you the other lady that was there at the end when Karen Aldous was there? If so I'm sorry we didn't get to say hello properly!

      Delete
  5. Glad you're feeling better! It was nice to meet you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much Charlie, it was really nice to meet you too. I hope you enjoyed the conference too. Away over to your blog now.

      Delete
  6. Ah, I missed this year and so had RNA conference envy! It sounds like I missed a great session and I'm so glad you enjoyed it and felt 'brave' that was quite a thing to do, Lindsay! Your reviews are always wonderfully written and thank you for the support you've given me over the years. And I hope your dog enjoyed his first visit - and that nostalgic walkies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much Linn, I think she did, appropriately they went to the Isle of Dogs :) I'm glad things are going really well for you x

      Delete
    2. Ah, thank you! Busy is good ha! ha!

      Delete
  7. Hello Lindsay, well done on getting there and being brave enough to join in. What a shame you were poorly, still glad you are on the mend now. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much Barbara! All the best with everything x

      Delete
  8. Awww, the end of your post is definitely a romance in the making, Lindsay. It was an excellent session. Well done you on pushing through the lurg! It didn't show. You were fab. The fact that you were there, especially when not feeling well, goes to show how much you do to support authors. I, for one, will always be grateful that you work so hard to get my books out there. Thank you! I wouldn't be here without you (or at the RNA conferences). Hope you are back on top form soon! :) xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sheryl! It's funny to think we didn't know each other then but actually lived really quite close. I'm really gad you enjoyed the session. Thanks very much for the feedback. I am so pleased to see how you are doing with your writing! Congratulations on publishing with Choc Lit. All the best x

      Delete
  9. What a great opportunity, Lindsay!

    Just wanted to let you know I've nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! :) --> http://spoonfulofhappyendings.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/the-sisterhood-of-world-bloggers-award.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much Jody, and thank you so much for the blogger award nomination, that's so kind of you! x

      Delete
  10. What a great honor, Lindsay! I'm so glad you were able to attend, and I do hope you are feeling much better. I follow Charlie's blog too and just had the chance to read her account of the conference. It sounds like so much fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much Wendy, it was great to be part of it. Hope you're well.

      Delete
  11. Hey Everybody,

    Below are the most recommended bitcoin exchanges (BTC for Currency):
    Coinbase: $1 minimum exchange
    CoinMama

    Earn free BITCOINS with the best Bitcoin faucet rotator:
    IACBit.org Faucet Rotator

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. It's great reading your comments and I really appreciate them :)