Today we're doing a different type of interview, and it should be enlightening to both writers and readers following the blog.
My guest today is Sandra C. López.
Hello! Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age! It’s such a pleasure to have you here.
Hi, Marie, and fellow readers and writers! Thank you for letting me visit.
Can you tell us a little bit about your company or service, and how Writing in the Modern Age readers can benefit from it?
The review program allows authors to list their books and reach a wide range of readers in exchange for an honest review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. It's been a hit so far! About 85% of participating authors get at least 1 – 2 reviews on Amazon, and we receive over 50 reviews a month from readers. And the best part about it is that we offer free ways for authors to list their book in our program. As an author, I totally understand that budgets can be tight, which makes it harder (maybe even impossible) to promote your books out there, much less get any reviews for it. Yes, you can reach out to an endless number of book bloggers, but how long can that take? Yes, you could pay a review service, but who has the money? My review program has the best of both worlds—access to many potential reviewers and a free price tag.
Yes, I am a YA and chick lit author. No, I don’t use a pen name.
I wrote my first novel, Esperanza: A Latina Story, WHILE I was still in college. The book follows the story of a 14-year old Mexican-American girl trying to get out of the barrio and make something of her life. Full of humor and refreshing dialogue, this book was voted as an inspirational favorite by teen readers. Shortly after that, I wrote the sequel entitled Beyond the Gardens, published in October 2009. In the second book, the lead heroine gains new confidence and strength as she learns the hard way that “you can take the girl out of the barrio, but you can’t take the barrio out of the girl.”
I write stories with strong and independent female characters that I, myself, would like to read about. When I’m not writing, I get my fill on reading for the enjoyment as well as to improve my craft.
Like every published author, I was emailing book bloggers, asking them to please review my book. But, like querying to a publisher, most of them were unresponsive and some weren’t interested. And, of course, I used paid services that would list my book in their newsletters, reaching potential readers that may or may not review my book. That worked out okay. But let’s face it: getting reviews is tough. It’s hard when your book isn’t well publicized and no one is willing to give it chance. That’s what started my book blog. Initially, it started as just a blog for my own personal reviews on books that I read. At that point, I started taking requests from authors and publishers. My own personal review would be free, but, of course, like every other blogger, I only chose the ones that I wanted and rejected those that I didn't. Yes, my readings tastes are pretty open in a wide variety of genres, but there are some that just don’t really interest me (i.e. westerns, politics sports, etc.) So how do I help those rejected authors get reviews? After all, I couldn't possibly review them all.
|Photo by Yuri Efremov on Unsplash|
That’s when I came up with the idea of starting a book club of readers and a review program to supply authors with more reviews besides the one that I give them. Readers can sign up to get free books from authors, and authors can get reviews for their books. It’s a simple, easy, and convenient program. And it’s working!
My review program is unique because I offer a free option for authors, and I do that because I want authors of all kinds to get a fair chance at getting reviews for their books. Every book deserves a review. These are HONEST and LEGIT reviews. There is no buying reviews here. Readers are free to choose any book and reserve the right in whether or not a review gets posted. It’s all strictly voluntary and 100% honest.
Two things I love about this job is finding new books to read and helping out fellow authors.
The first thing I try to do is come up with a concept I think might work for the author’s work and/or genre. Then I send it to the author for some feedback. After all, who knows the story better than the author, right? The creative process is repeated until the author and I come up with a design that is satisfactory.
Currently, I organize, manage, and run the whole review program. But if we keep growing like we have been, then I may need to hire an assistant.
I consider myself a fan of reading because I read all kinds of books. I don’t have a favorite genre as it all depends on what I’m in the mood for. So, no, I don’t have a favorite author.