Service Interview with Sandra C. López

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.
Of course! 
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.
Wow, it sounds great! I think a love of reading has brought us all here in some capacity. ;)
Susan Yin, Unsplash
Sandra, are you also a writer? What genre or genres should we expect to see you in? Do you use a pseudonym? 

Yes, I am a YA and chick lit author. No, I don’t use a pen name.
How did Sandra's Book Club get launched, or what spurred the idea? What sets it apart from other services?
Also, what is the one thing that you truly love about your job?
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.
That's fantastic!
I see you also design book covers, other promotional graphics, and book trailers. What design rules do you follow, or elements do you add to make your work more marketable for authors who wish to reach new readers?  

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.
Love it! I think many authors have no choice in their book cover design.
How do you intend to expand your services or company in the future?
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.
Oh, I can imagine!
Let's try some general questions now.  
Do you have any favorite authors?
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.
All right.
So, how about a different question?
When reading, do you prefer traditional printed books or ebooks? And why?

Ebooks, definitely! With ebooks, I can easily download lots of books, usually for free. I never have to worry about running out of books to read. Also, ebooks are a space saver. I’m a minimalist and I don’t have a very big living space, so ebooks work perfectly for me.
Can you tell us what you're reading for fun now?
Right now, I’m reading How a Monster is Made, which is one of the books in my review program. I don’t just run the program; I’m part of the program as well.
Great! wrap this up, here's my last question, or questions, I suppose.
Are there some words you'd like to impart to writers? Any advice you can give us?
Yes, writers should read a lot! It’s not just about writing the story and making sure your book sells a lot of copies. Pick up a book and read it. And, if possible, post a review on it to help the author. We’re all part of a literary community and need to help each other out.
Sounds good! 
How can authors find out more about submitting a review request? And how can readers discover new book reviews?

For authors interested in submitting their book to get reviews, please go to:

For readers interested in signing up to read free books, please go to: 

What is the best way for writers, and potential readers, to follow you?
They can connect on my website, book review blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
Oh, yeah, it looks like we can subscribe to this awesome site as well. ;)
Sandra has a really cool job, and she sounds like quite the reader and author, too!
Sandra's Book Club appears to be a great place for people to check out, which is just about perfect for Writing in the Modern Age, isn't it?
Thank you for stopping by the blog to tell us all about what you offer to writers and book readers!
Thank you so much for having me here on Writing in the Modern Age... 
Our pleasure, of course!  
Sandra’s Bio
Sandra C. López is a writer, artist, blogger, and book reviewer. She is one of today's funny and influential authors in YA and chick lit. Her first novel, Esperanza, was published in March 2008 WHILE she was still in college. Her most recent and bestselling book is Single Chicas, a collection of humorous short stories about zany chicas. She is currently working on the next installment of the Single Chicas series called Holiday Chicas. Release date coming soon! When not writing her stories, Sandra supports the art and literary communities with freelance work and book promotion. For more info, see the links below:  
Sandra's Books:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Post

A Character Interview with Dillon from MOUNTAIN BLAZE, plus a conversation with author Debby Grahl!

Today we're bringing something different to Writing in the Modern Age in the form of a character interview. These character interviews, ...