Say What? A Chat With Book Blogger Savannah Mae!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Hickory, North Carolina which is a city north of Charlotte. Some might consider it small but it really isn’t. I have one brother and one sister and I am the oldest. I have a 3 year old son named Miles and he is also a lover of books!
How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging since March 15, 2013. Crazy right?
Is there a specific genre that appeals to you? What do you do professionally (unless blogging is your full time job)?
My favorite, by far, would be mystery/thriller/horror. Books are a full time job for me. I work for a publicity company and was inspired to start my own blog. Since March, it has grown so much and I have so much going on I am not sure how I manage it all but I do. My mom always told me to do what I love and the money will follow so I took the biggest risk of my life and left my full time job for good in May 2013 to dedicate my professional life to helping indie authors.
Blogging is a full time job. How do you balance blogging and keeping up with authors with everything else going on in your life?
Honestly, I have no idea how I do it. My job allows me such freedom to do what I need to do no matter what it is. I keep a day planner in my car at all times and my computer is always with me. I try to schedule posts at least a week in advance. I make sure I write down every blog tour that I sign up for so I don’t miss important dates. I have failed twice now not getting posts up on time. I feel terrible when that happens but I am only human.
Recently I have recruited reviewers for my blog. The review requests are stacking up and it all happened very fast. The smartest thing I did was recruit some readers.
What’s the number #1 rule you have about keeping your blog up to date?
I really don’t have a rule but I really, really try to get a post up every single day. Recently that has been more of a struggle for me just because I have been moving and my sister got married all in the same 3 week period so as of right now, I am getting settled down and plan on getting back on track with my schedule and these reviews pumped out!
What is your daily writing routine?
I for sure do not have a writing routine. I actually avoid writing as much as possible! I leave that to you and the other authors who are professional LOL. I write my reviews and I also will write short editorials when I feel like I have something to say that might be important.
How have you handled negative feedback about the topics you write about or the authors you have interviewed/featured?
I do not think I have had any negative feedback. I did have a case of someone trying to ‘witness’ to one author who did a guest post for me. The author was not interested in her beliefs or being recruited. The person was a little pushy so I had to make a public announcement not to get religious or political on my blog. I don’t want anyone to be offended or ran off because of either subject’s.
Most memorable guest post?
I would have to say that my awesome author friend, Ben Burgess, Jr, made a splash on my blog with a guest post of his. He touched on points of audience and race and how it affects the reader. Where some might not pick up a title because the characters are of a different race than they are. Ben feels strongly about writing books that everyone can enjoy and even though he is African American, he doesn’t want his books being labeled only in the African American genre.
It is a subject that most may not even dare to talk about and I happen to like controversial topics! It is all about how one presents them.
Least favorite genre?
I am not big on spiritual/religious, self-help and new adult romance books. I do like some but I would rather not review them. I have had to refuse some of these titles. It seems like a lot of these books are the same. It is rare that I find any of these genres to be uniquely written to make me want more.
I have a few choice titles that I have read in the self-help genre that I read for my mental stability. Here and there I may get a book for review that I actually would like to read. Very, very rare.
I do enjoy romance, please don’t get me wrong, but there is only so much “happily ever after” that I can stand before I want to throw up. At first, romance books were the only requests I was getting. I was getting bored. I wanted to make sure that the world knows I want other stuff too. If I am going to read a romance book, I don’t want it written by a 20 something author. I need an experienced, mature minded author who is less focused on young people drama and focused on delivering an emotional experience. Boy meets girl, one gets hurt, the other apologizes and then they have sex and get married buy a big house and live happily ever after—gag me!
Some writers have a tendency to be drama queens- how do you deal?
It’s funny that you ask. I am a zero-tolerance kind of person. I like to remind my followers that if you want something from me, you better not come at me with an attitude. I haven’t had any issues with anyone on my blog however I have had a few experiences with some authors at work who were less than pleasant.
I was recently told to get off my ‘proverbial high horse’ so I feel like killing them with kindness works best. I really can pleasantly shut someone up. It took many years (and Zoloft) to learn to let people be who they are but never step down or take abuse from anyone.
You do a lot of promoting on your blog – What do you think is the best source of online promotion? (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
I like Facebook. I have learned a few tricks to get around some of their rules so that more people see what I post. It took a little while, but I think I got it mastered. I am really trying to figure out Twitter. I post there too but I can’t seem to keep up with it as well as Facebook. I have it on auto-post so what I post on FB goes to both places. I just have to remember to check Twitter and answer back.
Whats the number one piece of advice you would give to a blogger or author promoting their work?
Don’t over share. Nobody wants to see their social media feeds or even emails filled up with over-promoting. This goes for both bloggers and authors. No one needs to beg for ‘likes’. Getting a ton of followers doesn’t mean that you are going to sell anything. I learned this and turned off my messages on FB because I was getting so many requests to share. I do not want to be annoying to anyone.
Authors need to make sure they are not just promoting themselves on social media but interacting and socializing. When people get to know you as the author, they are more likely to buy your book because your cool like that. Take Jasinda Wilder for example. I ran across her online and she answers back to my tweets and makes it known that she appreciates my support. I haven’t even read one of her books yet but I have bought 2 so far. I want to support authors that are real – not real fake.
For bloggers, I would say keeping blog posts down to 1-2 per day max is important. If I get 10 emails per day because of your posts, I am unsubscribing. I have followed several blogs and had to remove myself because of this.
How do you separate your personal reading interests from the work that is submitted for your blog? Or is your blog strictly based on your reading taste?
I only accept books that I feel I would enjoy. Blogging is for fun. If I get a request that I know is not for me, I will decline it. More recently since I have some reviewers on my team now, I will ask them if they want to read it first.
There is no point in me accepting a book that I probably won’t like just to end up giving the author bad press. I have to be honest in my reviews and I refuse to lead people to believe anything different. It isn’t fair to my following or the author.
No matter what I read, I focus on the positive. I also attempt to take off my editor’s hat and not drive myself crazy with editing issues. If editing is distracting and it affects my pleasure level then I mention it in the review but I really focus on being positive.
Thank you for interviewing me!