Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Book blogger spotlight: The Bookish Manicurist

Amanda Salles creates ‘bookish nail art’ inspired by the covers of her favourite books. Pictures of her nail art and tutorial videos accompany reviews of YA fiction on her blog, The Bookish Manicurist. ‘I am always trying to promote Aussie YA novels, as they’re my favourite books to read and talk about,’ says Salles. She spoke to Books+Publishing for our ‘Book blogger spotlight’ series.

Describe your blog in under 50 words.

The Bookish Manicurist features book reviews (mostly of young adult books) and bookish nail art inspired by book covers.

What makes your blog unique?

Firstly, my love and passion for Australian YA fiction and the #LoveOzYA movement. I am always trying to promote Aussie YA novels, as they’re my favourite books to read and talk about. Secondly, my nail art. I’ve painted over 200 bookish manicures over the past five years. I love to highlight the amazing work illustrators and cover designers do.

When and how did you get started?

I joined Goodreads in 2011 and shortly after that I started a blog with a group of other YA readers. In 2013 I started The Bookish Manicurist so I could combine my reviews with nail art. In June this year I started a YouTube channel, Cook Read Create. It allows me to combine books, nail art and cooking!

How do you find out about new books?

I’ve been reviewing for publishers since 2012, so I hear about upcoming books from them, but I also love friend/author recommendations via Goodreads, Instagram and Twitter. I am always adding new titles to my ever-growing TBR list!

What audience do you reach?

I have a combined social media following of 7500 and I mostly connect with followers via Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. I love our #LoveOzYA community, but I also have followers from around the world.

What other book blogs do you regularly follow?

Lots! I’ll give some shout-outs to fellow Aussies: The Unfinished Bookshelf, Diva Book Nerd, Project Lectito, Happy Indulgence, Read at Midnight and Delicate Eternity.

What has been your most popular post?

Posts including nail art for well-known books, especially if the author likes my nail art and gives me a retweet! At the top of that list is a post featuring one of my favourite series, the ‘Ruby Oliver’ books by E Lockhart.

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

I love Instagram and YouTube, and I also like Twitter. I think book blogging has declined over the past five years. It feels as though readers prefer short reviews that can fit in an Instagram caption, or a 60-second video review. I don’t think this is a bad thing, as it’s good to have a range of content to suit your audience, and there will always be a place for longer, more detailed reviews.

What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading a recent YA release, When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I’m loving this sweet contemporary story of an Indian-American girl and boy who meet at a coding camp in San Francisco.



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