Interview with Kendall McCubbin (Book Crazy)

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So first off tell me about yourself?
Hi! I’m Kendall, I’m 23, and I’m from a small town smack bang on the west coast of Scotland. I’m currently studying Media and Communication at Glasgow Caledonian University and hope to have a job in the media or book industry in the future.

What got you into book blogging?
I started book blogging in 2012 because I wanted a place where I could talk about books and discover new books and authors. It was a huge risk because I had no idea what I was doing lol. I then just kept writing reviews and reading books and watched as my followers and interactions with authors grew into what it is today. Six years is a long time and I’m proud of how far my blog has come.

Tell me some good and bad things (if there are any) about book blogging?
Book blogging has given me the chance to engage with people that love books and it’s helped me discover some of my favourite authors, some of whom I consider close friends now. It’s also allowed me to travel to several book signings and even go over to America three times to attend book signings and meet authors that I had only spoken to online.

There are a few bad things, but that’s mostly to do with trying to get yourself noticed. Social media sites are making it more and more difficult to get yourself noticed, so you really have to appreciate the people that stick be your blog.

Tell me a bit about your style of blogging/your rating system?
My style of blogging is pretty simple. I tend to feature Blog Tours, Release Day Blitzes, Book Blitzes, Cover Reveals etc daily on my blog and these are all organised through tour companies. I then do a Stacking The Shelves post once a month to show my followers what books I bought/received for review that particular month. I feature several reviews a month too.

My rating system just goes from 1 star (Wouldn’t recommend it) to 5 stars (Loved it). I will admit that most of the books I read tend to end up closer to 5 stars than 1 star lol.

Do you have any submission guidelines for anyone who wants you to review their books?
I like authors to only contact me if their books are Young Adult/New Adult/Adult books. These are the genres that I feature and enjoy reading. I also don’t review erotica books unless it’s a personal choice. That’s all the guidelines I have really. I enjoy paranormal, contemporary and everything in between, so as long as books are YA, NA or slightly more adult than NA, then I’ll consider them.

Who’s the biggest writer/author you’ve interviewed?
I would have to say Jessica Sorensen. I don’t tend to feature author interviews as much as I used to, but I had the chance to interview Jessica in 2012 not long after I’d started my blog and she had been writing for under a year at that point. She’s now written hundreds of books and is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

Top five favourite books?
This one is so difficult! I think I’ll amend it slightly to favourite authors because that’s a little bit easier to answer lol. My five favourite authors are Jennifer L. Armentrout, Sonya Loveday, Candace Knoebel, Abbi Glines and Micalea Smeltzer.

What do you do if you aren’t enjoying a book you’re reviewing?
I tend to stop reading the book. I give a book the first 25% to grip me and make me want to read on. If not, I stop reading it and then maybe go back to it later on or even a few years down the line and give it another go.

Follow on from the previous question, do you give negative reviews or do you approach book reviewing with a more ‘if you can’t say anything nice…’ attitude?
I always try to give constructive criticism in my reviews. If I didn’t enjoy a book, I’ll say that, but also explain why and ways that the author could have improved it. I always try to look at the positive aspects of a book and focus on those, but I’ll be honest if I didn’t enjoy a book.

Have you ever had a negative response to one of your reviews?
Unfortunately, yes. It was actually from the author herself. I read her book and wrote my review and then let her read my review before I posted as it was a review book. She wasn’t very happy that I gave her book 3.5 stars and told me not to post my review unless it was 5 stars. I had spent days reading her book and writing her review.

And have you had any positive responses you’d like to share?
There’s nothing better than just receiving a thank you from an author. This means a lot, especially considering there’s millions of books to choose from out there. The vast majority of book bloggers also blog for free and spend a lot of time doing so, so a thank you goes a long way.

Can you think of any good resources for book reviewers/do you have any tips?
I came up with my format for my reviews myself, but there are plenty of tips on Goodreads and Netgalley. Goodreads is also a great place to keep up-to-date with what books you’ve read and you can request books to review through Netgalley. One tip I will say is to never retell the story in your review. Talk about what you enjoyed about the plot, what you thought of the characters etc.

If you could say one thing to all authors what would it be?
Keep writing! Don’t let setbacks keep you from achieving your goal and producing a final product. It doesn’t matter if one person reads your work or millions, you’re doing something you love and potentially helping readers in the process.

Feel free to share a link to your blog and any social media you might have?
You can check out my website, my Facebook page and group, visit me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


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