Amanda Chambers was a huge supporter of the original Adopt an Indie concept, reviewing multiple books! So I was thrilled when she came on board with The Indie Exchange and with good reason: Amanda submitted the first review to the new site! She’s a great supporter of authors, while keeping her readers’ wants/needs firmly in mind too.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a homeschooling mom of two boys. I’ve always loved to read. Now reading is my way to have “me time” and stay sane (ish).
Tell us a bit about your blog/reading habits?
Years ago, I started blogging to keep up with our homeschool adventures: field trips and such. Then it morphed into a “whatever’s on my mind” blog. Somehow I discovered that you can get free books to review, and it was all over then. I still post random things on my blog, but most of my posts are book reviews. Reading habits? If I have a free minute, I’m reading. Physical book, ebook, it doesn’t matter. I’m a sucker for a story.
How many hours a week do you spend on reading and your blog?
Do you have a preferred genre for books?
Do you always finish books? If not, how long do you give a book before you decide it’s not for you?
I don’t finish *every* book, but it has to be *really* bad for me to not finish it. I read hundreds of books each year, and I can only think of four books in my life that I haven’t finished. I don’t have a pre-determined number of pages that I make myself finish. If a book isn’t holding my interest, I move on. There *have* been a few times that I’ve started a book and set it aside for a few months.
Do you post 1 and 2 star reviews? What are your reasons behind doing or not doing so?
I don’t when I have a choice. I’m part of two (formerly three) publisher review programs, and a review must be posted in order to get a new book. There was one book that was so horrendous that I only posted the review on my blog and Goodreads. I refused to post it on any retail sites and I notified the person in charge of the program. I suppose I should have posted on Amazon to protect other readers from the book, but I really don’t like posting bad reviews. Authors are people, too, even when I don’t like what they have to say. Over the past few months, it’s become even harder to write negative reviews, because I’ve gotten to know so many authors through Twitter and The Indie Exchange, as well as other programs.
What elements would make up your ideal read?
Romance, historical fiction, and paranormal (probably a vampire -preferably a non-sparkly one)
What things make an author really stand out for you (in a good or bad way)?
I’ve had two run-ins with rude authors, one on Twitter, one via my blog. Both authors probably have amazing books, but I’ll never know. I love seeing all the authors who are helping each other out: tweeting and blogging about books and promotions, sharing advice, encouraging each other. The authors that help others are the ones that I like to tell others about.
What kind of thing in a blurb piques your interest, what kind of thing makes you say “pass?”
My reading tastes are pretty eclectic, so there isn’t much that turns me off. Possibly the only thing is “epic fantasy”. That sounds like a whole bunch of characters to keep up with and several books. My TBR list is huge, and my attention span is small. I don’t need to add anything to either one.
Cover, blurb, or first page? Which is most important to you?
Blurb, definitely. I like a good cover, but it has nothing to do with what’s in the book, and I don’t read the first page until I’m ready to start the story.
You’re stranded on an island and only have one book with you, which one would you want it to be? (And imagine your ereader was ruined in the wreck!)
I’d have to say the Bible, because it’s the only book I’d want to read over and over. It’s long enough that I reread it and not remember every word that I’ve read. I hate to reread books. And, Donna – I can’t believe you ruined my ereader. I’m not sure I can be friends with you anymore.
Eek! Thank goodness it’s only hypothetical! [Restores ereader immediately]
What’s been your biggest technical or design challenge?
Two things: A header picture, which I’ve given up on. I have a blog makeover coming (won during Adopt An Indie – it may be enough to make up for ruining my ereader) so I’m just waiting for the professional to fix it all for me. The other thing was switching from Blogger to WordPress. That was way more drama than it should have been and involved a Facebook conversation at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Hmmm… Did I mention I like to read? Yes? Then, no, I think that’s it.
**Please note that guest posts and columns reflect the opinions of the individual author and not The Indie Exchange as a whole. Also note, The Indie Exchange uses affiliate links to offset the costs of hosting etc.**
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