Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Book blogger spotlight: Diva Booknerd

YA and middle-grade book blogger Kelly from Diva Booknerd says she reviews books ‘purely on emotion and entertainment’, and enjoys the sense of community that blogging brings. She spoke to Books+Publishing for our ‘Book blogger spotlight’ series.

Describe your blog in under 50 words.

Diva Booknerd is a celebration of reading and Australian YA authors. I review middle-grade and YA literature.

What makes your blog unique?

I think all blogs offer a fresh perspective on books and reading because reading is incredibly subjective. I review purely on emotion and entertainment, which is why you’ll rarely see a negative review on my blog. If I’m not enjoying a book, I would rather not waste time reviewing—I’d rather move on to a better read.

When and how did you get started?

I began blogging back in January 2013 and had only discovered Goodreads six months prior. I hadn’t picked up a book for over 10 years and then I discovered Twilight. Needless to say it was wonderful to find a community of readers to talk to and, encouraged by my husband, I decided to begin blogging.

How do you find out about new books?

I typically read publishers’ newsletters and find out about new releases from other blogs. I also check Goodreads regularly to see when certain titles are being released, and bookstore websites are such a handy source of information to check Australian release dates.

What audience do you reach?

I think it’s difficult to judge your blogging reach, as it varies on different forms of social networks. At the moment on my blog, I’m averaging around 15,000 per month. My tweet impressions were at 98,000 last month. To be honest, I have no idea what that means, but it sounds impressive. My main audience is overwhelmingly from Australia, followed by the UK and then the United States, and they range from teens to mature romance readers who are looking for something different. I don’t care much for numbers and prefer the interaction that blogging brings.

What other book blogs do you regularly follow?

I follow hundreds of blogs for just as many different reasons, but I prefer blogs from Australia and New Zealand. You can find a database of Aussie and Kiwi bloggers here actually.

What has been your most popular post?

My most popular is a page rather than a post, and it’s a #LoveOzYA masterlist I’ve compiled showing all the Australian and New Zealand young-adult books I’ve read. It’s a quick-access guide sorted alphabetically with ratings. Anyone wanting a sticky beak can find it here.

What’s your favourite social media platform, and what recent trends in social media have you noticed in book blogging?

Mine has always been Twitter. I love the quick-fire interaction, the book chats and being able to privately message in reading groups. It’s the easiest way to connect to other readers and also authors. I find authors, especially, are far more accessible and eager to engage with you on Twitter. I still remember the time Tahereh Mafi tweeted me kisses.

What are you reading now?

I’ve just finished Nevo Zisin’s brilliant biography Finding Nevo, and now I’m reading Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology.



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