In our second installment of our Blogger Spotlight, we will be visiting with Ali's Bookshelf, a wonderful blog run by Ali Justice. We have worked with Ali for quite a while, and she is definitely hard at work. In addition to Ali's Bookshelf, she also has Ali Talks Live, a podcast about books and authors, and Jitterbug PR, which performs services for authors like blog tours, public relations, and beta reading. So let's not wait any longer! It's time to meet Ali herself!
Blogger Spotlight #2: Ali's Bookshelf
1.Tell us a little about yourself, and your background
I’m a mother of two wonderful kids who I love and adore more than anything. My oldest is Samantha and she is defiantly my mini me, she even helps with my blog for a post called Mini Me Corner. Then I have my little man Braxton who is my sweetheart. He started school this year and I’m totally missing having him around me all the time. But, he is one of those kids that has to know how everything works.
I live in Kentucky so, as you can tell by my picture, I am a total country girl. I grew up on a farm with all the usual animals and love the outdoors. I would rather run around with no shoes on and be outside most of the time. Other than that, I am a book lover and a blogger, a friend to many, a sister to three brothers (I have no idea how I put up with three of them) and I’m a PR agent for several authors. I now own two companies, one being My PR Company called Jitterbug PR and the other is called Creatively Elegant Wedding and Events. I am also a certified Wedding and Event Planner. I am what my friends call a Jack of all trades, more like a Jill of all trades though.
2. What kinds of books do you like to read for pleasure? Any favorites?
I read a lot of YA, Sci-fi, and Fantasy books. My favorites would have to be anything wrote by Raymond E. Feist or C.S. Lewis.
3. When did you start your blog, and what motivated you to do it?
I started my blog mid-August of 2011. I was doing another blog and started to do some book reviews on it, but that blog got kind of boring for me, so I wanted to try my hand at just book reviewing and now I love it!
4. How did you come up with the name for your site? Is there a story behind it?
Well my blog is Ali’s Bookshelf and I came up with that name mainly because I wanted to show off all the books on my bookshelf’s. Ali, well that is my name from everyone I know personally so it just fit.
5. What kinds of genres do you cover on your site?
I cover a lot of different things, mainly YA, Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Chick- lit.
6. What kinds of regular features do you have on your site?
So as for my regular features on Ali’s Bookshelf, other than author interviews, guest posts, and cover reveals, I also have Another Add to my bookshelf and Sittin on the Shelf. Both of these are to showcase books I’m either about to read or just got and want to add to my TBR list soon. Then I have Ali Talks Live, which most of you know is my live talk show where I interview authors every week. I have a lot of different weekly and daily features.
7. What is the hardest thing about being a blogger?
Hardest thing about being a blogger is saying no to some amazing books. I can’t accept every single book that comes my way, there is no way. I get on average about 500 review requests a week. So I have to pick and choose. I wish I could say yes to all of them, but I do have a life and family outside of blogging and reviewing!
8. What are your favorite things about being a blogger?
My favorite things about being a blogger is simple…The Books! Books are one of my favorite things and to get to read and tell everyone I know about them is a dream of mine. Sharing my passion of books with all my readers and listeners is so much fun. I also really love my show Ali Talks Live. It’s so much fun just chatting with authors about all kinds of stuff.
9. If you could give a piece of advice or two to authors looking to work with a blog site, what would you say?
The first piece of advice I would give is to make sure you know the blog you are seeking out for review. Know their review policy; know the type of books they review, make sure you know what they ask of you when requesting a review as well. Make sure you include everything they need like links and bio when requesting the review. It’s very important to think of this as a job request not a favor as well.
The reason I say know the blogger and their blog is simple, every single blogger is different, and we have our own style of doing things. I know my one huge pet peeve is when someone sends me a request, that I don’t want the review copy in the first email before I agree to read it. Other reviewers are fine with that.
Also know that each review is the opinion of the reviewer, I don’t promise pretty reviews and I don’t give out 5 puppies lightly. I do post DNF posts (Did Not Finish) some bloggers don’t. If you are sending me your book to be reviewed, then please know that you are doing so at your own risk. You are asking me for my own opinion and I will give it to you.
10. Any last thoughts or things you might want to say to readers who are finding out about your blog for the first time?
I love being a blogger and Ali’s Bookshelf is something I put my heart and soul into. Most bloggers I know spend as much time working on their blog then they do at a normal job. I know I spend at least 45 hours a week on mine or more even. Please know we do this for the love of books and authors. We aren’t here to say mean things; we are here to review the books we are given like we are asked.
As for readers of my blog, I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I do. My biggest hope for the readers of my blog is that they find a great book to read, maybe even a book that will become their favorite.
Thanks for having me on the blog, I am very excited to be here!
Be sure to visit Ali's Bookshelf and connect on Facebook and Twitter!