Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Book blogger spotlight: Lillytales

Kate Lloyd started reviewing books on Instagram as a way to connect with like-minded readers. Her blog Lillytales now spans YouTube, Twitter, Goodreads and Litsy, but Instagram remains her favourite platform. ‘Instagram has opened up so many opportunities to connect with other book lovers for me, and I love the community I have on there!’ says Lloyd. She spoke to Books+Publishing for our ‘Book blogger spotlight’ series.

Describe your blog in under 50 words.

My Lillytales blog spans Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Goodreads, Litsy and has its own website. It is a space where I discuss and feature the books I’m reading, share snippets of my everyday life and engage with my wonderful book-loving community.

What makes your blog unique?

Having a blog is all about being your authentic self because the creator is in control of the content that is produced and what form it takes, which is limitless! The majority of the book blogging space is focused on young adult literature, which gives my blog a point of difference because I mostly share contemporary adult literary fiction and nonfiction. In the last year or so, I’ve branched out into creating some non-book-related content as well, to show a bit more of my personality.

When and how did you get started?

I started a book review Instagram in 2014 because, at the time, I didn’t really talk about the books I was reading with anyone IRL and I wanted to create a space where I could find people who had similar interests to me. The internet delivered. Back then, all of my posts were straight-up book reviews, which meant that I wouldn’t post as regularly because it took a few weeks to read the book before I could review it and put it up on Instagram.

Now, I post very regularly and my content is, say, 80% book-related. I post book reviews and all long-form content on both my blog and YouTube channel as these platforms are more suited to this kind of content.

How do you find out about new books?

I follow a lot of book bloggers online, so they’re a fantastic source of information for my own book interests. I am in regular contact with most publishers in Australia, so I’m lucky to receive review copies of their titles regularly. Sometimes I will request a title for review from a publisher if it’s a book I’m really interested in, or I have an idea to create a great bit of content around a title, or if I think my followers will really enjoy the book and will want to hear about it. I also love browsing the shelves of bookshops. For me, this is the most effective way to actively search for new and interesting books.

What audience do you reach? 

I have been on Instagram the longest and my followers are currently at approximately 17,500—although reach is different to follower count, especially in the world of social media algorithms. My YouTube channel has almost 400 subscribers and my blog gets about 1000 views a month. About 80% of my overall audience is women between the ages of 15-30.

What other book blogs do you regularly follow?

Oh, there are so many wonderful book bloggers out there! On Instagram, I regularly follow Tamsien at @babblingbooks and Danielle at @halfdesertedstreets. On YouTube, my favourites are Ariel Bissett, Leena at JustKissMyFrog, Simon at SavidgeReads—the list goes on!

What has been your most popular post?

This is a hard question for Instagram because I have over 1000 posts on there now! But, in general, my most watched/viewed posts on my blog, YouTube etc, are book hauls.

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

I would have to go with my old favourite here, Instagram! Although the algorithm means that certain posts won’t reach your entire following, Instagram has opened up so many opportunities to connect with other book lovers for me, and I love the community I have on there! Everyone is so kind, helpful and willing to chat to each other about the books they’re reading and, really, there’s nothing better.

Recently, a group of us Aussie book bloggers started the hashtag #aussiereaders as a way to find, share and support each other on Instagram. It now has over 3500 photo shares and I have met and found so many book bloggers from using and browsing the hashtag, which is great! I think more recently, book bloggers have started to focus more on their local engagement and posting meaningfully rather than a widespread approach of trying to capture as many followers as they can. This has brought the community closer together and means that people can connect more deeply with one another.

What are you reading now?

I am currently reading Hunger by Roxane Gay and I think it is absolutely bleeding brilliant.



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