Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Book blogger spotlight: Libretto Reviews

Italian expat Erica Puggioni now lives in Brisbane, where she blogs about crime, literary fiction and fantasy at Libretto Reviews. ‘I am bilingual and so is my blog,’ says Puggioni. ‘This allows me to read books in both languages and bring to my readers on both sides insights on upcoming releases and books not yet translated in their countries.’ She spoke to Books+Publishing for our ‘Book blogger spotlight’ series.

Describe your blog in under 50 words.

Libretto Reviews is a personal blog where I share my opinions and discuss books with others. Unfortunately, I don’t have many readers among my friends in real life, but thanks to Libretto Reviews my bookish family is now spread all around the globe.

What makes your blog unique?

I am Italian, but I live in Australia. I am bilingual and so is my blog. This allows me to read books in both languages and bring to my readers on both sides insights on upcoming releases and books not yet translated in their countries. Believe it or not, I have quite a few Australians interested in Italian crime fiction and many Italians eager to get a sneak peek at books that are not yet available in Italy.

When and how did you get started? 

I am one of those people constantly embracing new projects and challenges. I started with a personal Instagram account, just making comments about books every now and then, but mostly following others. I am not always able to reduce what I want to say to the bare bones, and soon I had more things to say than the space for the caption allowed on Instagram. Upgrading to a blog came naturally for me. Blogging was also an exercise in improving my communication skills and my English. So Libretto Reviews was born and, like me, it’s half Italian and half Australian.

How do you find out about new books?

I keep an eye on what’s hot in Australia mostly by snooping around the internet, on Amazon or the ‘coming soon’ sections on publishers’ websites—or even on Instagram through hashtags like #aussiereaders. Needless to say, I religiously browse bookstores every single weekend. I am also incredibly lucky and get sent previews and anticipations from publishers. 

What audience do you reach?

Instagram is the platform where I have the largest reach. I just hit and 3K and it’s constantly growing. Through my blog, I reach an average of 500 unique visitors per month. Depending on how much content I can create, the response may vary. The majority of my followers are women between 25-34 years old, that for some reason seem to be more active on bookstagram. Where are the male readers?

What other book blogs do you regularly follow?

Number one for crime fiction is Abbie @CrimebytheBook, but I mostly keep myself updated on a daily basis by following other amazing Aussie bloggers and bookstagrammers like Danielle @halfdesertedstreets, Margot at @ProjectLectito and two recent discoveries—the teachers behind @bitchezwhobrunchwithbookz, and @crimeinfive, which posts crime recommendations in five words.

What has been your most popular post?

Surprisingly, it’s not a single post but my new releases calendar! Readers constantly crave something new and are always looking ahead for the next new release. Also popular are my themed reading lists and read-alike recommendations.

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

Instagram! But I must be honest and say that I regret more and more those times when content is better than form; this is why I decided to keep my blog going, despite it been time-consuming to manage. I need a space that is all mine, where I can stop and talk without feeling rushed. If people follow me, that is because they want to know what I have to say and not just look at my photos. At the same time, I love how close Instagram can bring people that are living thousands of miles away but who share the same passion for books.

What are you reading now?

I am currently reading a thriller, The Mountain by Luca D’Andrea, and a crime novel by Colin Dexter, The Wench is Dead. I am also listening the audiobook of The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams—an epic fantasy.



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