Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Secret Life of the Reviewer ...

Today I'm delighted to welcome as my interview guest, book reviewer David Baird: ~

I began by asking him: ~

How many books do you read in any given year - and when do you find that you read the most; is it during the evenings/weekend?

I set myself a goal of around 60 – 70 books a year and I do most of my reading during commutes to work and back. This amounts to around 2 – 3 hours’ worth of reading per day

You obviously have a passion for reading. When did that start and can you remember any particular book that really gave you the ‘bug’?

Ah, that’s easy. As a kid I never really liked reading, it hurt my eyes so I just didn’t try. I came to it by chance as an adult, I’d treated myself to a tablet to watch tv shows, surf the internet etc and I noticed the kindle app and since I have no issues with working with computer screens I thought I’d just give it a go.

Since I had no starting point I just searched the free books to start with and found a series called 80AD by Aiki Flinthart, it’s written for the younger audience but the story sounded interesting and I very quickly read all 5 of the books.
I read a few more books after this but the book that really got me interested in reading was Spartacus: Talons of an Empire by Robert Southworth. Id recently finished watching the tv series an wanted more and his book seemed to fit the bill. I’ve been a fan of Rob’s ever since.

How did the idea for a book blog come about? Were you already blogging, or was it a totally new idea?

You can blame Rob for that one.. and partly Goodreads. Being a fan of Rob’s I contacted him via Twitter to let him know how much I enjoyed the book and from chatting it became apparent how much he appreciated the feedback. I never really knew some authors paid such close attention to reader’s comments.

At the same time I was on Goodreads and I was looking for a few groups to join. I noticed a group where authors could request reviews. I thought it sounded interesting so I joined. It became clear just how many authors appreciate and need feedback so I decided to set up a blog.

My blog was going to be simple, review books and help promote the authors I enjoy.

I searched for blogging sites and Wordpress came up. Within 10 minutes I set up and ready to go.

The next thing I did was create a Twitter account for my blog where I could post these reviews and also connect with the authors. Within two hours of this being set up I had two review requests come in.

And I’ve never looked back since ☺

Authors get the benefit of your well-crafted reviews, but what do you gain, if anything, from publishing your reviews? What motivates you to do it - most people read books without reviewing them - so what drives you?

What drives me is simple. I want to keep reading books from authors I enjoy and the only way that can happen is by making sure they sell books and know just how good they are.

The one thing that is clear to me is that they’re so many authors out there.. it’s hard to know which book to buy.

My aim is to help others. Authors and readers alike.

What do I get from this? I get to read books from amazing authors I might have otherwise overlooked and I get to build some great connections for my blog, guest blogs, promos etc which can only enhance what I bring to the blog.

At the end of the day I want my blog to be useful, it’s a two ways street. I support authors and authors support me.

When I first started reviewing I noticed some reviews can be very negative and I just didn’t like it. I saw a 1* review simply because they didn’t like a character.. does that really make it a 1* book? I doubt it.

My reviewing process is simple, you can be critical without being rude. I see positives in every book I read but I’m not afraid to mention any negatives and I make sure my reviews are fair and give enough detail so the author/reader can really understand my point of view.

I can’t imagine that you have much free time but if you do, how do you spend it when you’re not reading?

When I’m not reading I’m either looking after my two beautiful 18 month old twin girls.. or getting some much needed sleep ha ha.

I used to watch a lot of TV but since my girls came the TV just bores me now. I enjoy nothing more than going for a walk with them. Seeing their faces as they see new things has got to be one of the best things in life.

You read and review across all genres - you probably can’t say too much for fear of not remaining impartial, but do you have a favourite genre? Or, conversely, is there a genre that you really can’t enjoy?

Oh I’m very willing to admit I do have a favourite genre and that’s Syfy. I’m a nerd at heart. I just love the endless possibilities. With other genres authors can be tied down to facts but with Syfy you can do anything. I have a particular soft spot for books where Syfy and Fantasy mix.

I do really enjoy pretty much any genre though. Through my blog I’ve had my eyes opened to the world of historical fiction and I have a real love for the genre. I’ve also been introduced to mystery/thrillers and how good they can truly be.

In all honesty I think the only genre that doesn’t really do anything for me is the more romantic/erotic genres. Don’t get me wrong I love a bit of romance mixed in the books I read but just not as the main theme of the book.

If authors would like to have their books reviewed, how can they contact you?

The best ways to contact me are via my blog - davidsbookblurg

Email - davidsbookblurg@gmail or by Twitter - @DavidsBookBlurg

I’m always happy to connect with authors and fellow bloggers.

Thank you, David, for casting light on the world of the book reviewer and for taking time from your reading and reviewing to talk to me today.


  1. Interesting interview and fascinating process David, thanks for sharing this. Thanks Annie. Wishing David all the best :)

    1. Thanks Jane - I found David's answers so fascinating; I really enjoyed finding out what makes him 'tick'.