Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Interview with Stacey from Whispering Stories

Interview with Stacey from Whispering Stories

Last week we got to know Megan from Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest when we kicked off a new series of posts here on the blog to get to know book bloggers, and show some insight into what goes on behind the scenes of running a book blog. 

This week my special guest is Stacey from Whispering Stories. Let's make her feel at home.

Interview with Stacey from Whispering Stories

Introduce yourself. Who are you? Where are you from? and Where do you blog?

Hi, I’m Stacey, 40, married to Steve and mother to three boys (well two boys and one man seen as the eldest is 21). I live in Manchester, UK and I run Whispering Stories Book Blog.

I used to blog via my laptop which I loved, but in January this year I bought a desktop after some issues with my laptop. I’ve found that in one sense it is better, such as it is quicker and the screen is bigger, but I can’t move about like I used to. I’ve also had to invest in a notebook for when I go away so I can continue blogging.

Why and how do you blog? What made you start?

I started blogging back in February 2015, my hubby bought the domain to the blog as a Valentines gift and the first posts went live on the 15th.

I started blogging after doing a creative writing course and deciding that writing wasn’t for me, but I read a lot and reviewed a lot so I decided if I couldn’t write that maybe the next best thing would be to help those that could.

How long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging for just under three-and-a-half-years.

What advice do you wish you'd had when you started?

To understand that having a wordpress site run through GoDaddy doesn’t work like a normal Wordpress site. My posts don’t copy over to Wordpress even-though I have a site with them, so I don’t have many followers through them.

Also to set up an email subscription straight away. I was blogging for about two years before I bothered to sort it out.

Learn to say no.  Within about a month of blogging I was getting lots of requests from authors to review their books. I was so in awe that people valued my opinion that I said yes to everyone and then panicked that I wasn’t getting them done quick enough and also I was having to read books in genres I knew I wouldn’t enjoy as much as others.

Be aware that although most book bloggers are lovely, some are most certainly not. I’ve been told that I’m too old to old and that I should leave it to the youngsters as being in your twenties is the age to blog (this was when I was 38 too). If you get any nasty comments or people ignoring you, just let them be, it says more about them than you.

How much time do you devote to blogging each day/week/month?

I’m not sure time-wise.  Too much time I think some days. I blog everyday and normally for a few hours each day too.  Sunday’s are the days I tend to spend least on the site as I spend time with my family - when the kids are not playing Fortnite that is.

How often do you post to your blog?

I try to post daily with the exception of Sundays, unless I have a blog tour book in.

Interview with Stacey from Whispering Stories #BookBlogger #BookBlogging

What motivates you to keep blogging about books?

Gosh lots of things. I love meeting new authors, I love finding out about books I most likely wouldn’t of heard of if I didn’t blog. I enjoy getting to know other bloggers. I enjoy sharing my reviews with people and love it when people tell me they have bought the book because of my review, or seeing my review on the front cover of a book.

Is there something you wish authors knew about your blog or blogging?

Firstly that I have a name - Hi I’m Stacey!! The amount of requests I get from people who don’t bother using it, or use someone elses is laughable. (I’ll let you in to a secret - call me by someone else’s name and I delete your email without reading it.)

I also have a review policy on the blog and would love authors to check it out before contacting me. It gives them information on what books we read, how long a review could take, what formats we accept and also whether we are even open to review requests. It only takes two mins to read it, but again a lot of authors don’t bother - I’m very grateful to those that do.

We have lives outside of the blogging. I don’t think I need to say anymore.

Lastly, it is okay to say THANK YOU. This is something that really bugs the life out of me. I get a lovely email asking us to review a book for an author. We take the time to read it, to write up a review, to make a post up, add the artwork for the book and search out the authors social media details to add to the post. We then post it on the blog and advertise it, as well as put the review on Amazon/Goodreads/Waterstone/Kobo/Barnes and Noble etc.

The above all takes time. We don’t charge a penny for any of that work and some authors can’t even be bother to say ‘Thank You’, even when I’ve copied them in the post on Twitter/Facebook and sent them an email. I find it damn rude.

What's your most popular blog post?

Surprisingly, after our review policy and meet the team pages, the review with the most hits is ‘The Invisible Man’ by HG Wells. I can honestly say I don’t look at the stats very often, something I really should do.

Do you write reviews for every book you read?

Yes, I believe if I have taken the time to read a book, whether I liked it or not it is getting a review. I have no issue with bloggers who only post four/five star reviews, but that isn’t for me.

How many book reviews do you normally do a week?

Gosh, this is a hard question as it changes from week to week depending on what I have booked in. This week I have read four books, however last week I only managed to read two. Some weeks I can read a book a day.

What genres are your favourites?

I would have to say Thrillers/psychological mysteries are at the top, closely followed by romance and dystopian. Though I love YA books too - even if I am too old for them, supposedly.

What are you currently reading and why did you choose to read it?

I also have four books that I’m a couple of chapters in to that I’m struggling with, so I’ve put them down for a while and will pick them up again in the future.

Do you have any plans for your blog in the future?

I want to try and make the blog profitable. Yes I have affiliate links on there at the moment, but at 5% per book sold via Amazon (I’m not sure of the iTunes % is), it doesn’t make a lot. I also have Google Adsense on there but again that isn’t bringing in a lot of money.

A couple of weeks ago I added ‘Buy Me A Cup Of Coffee’, which people can click on and donate to the site if they like what they see - it starts at $3, that is the smallest amount the company allows, I would of loved it to start at $1. I’ve had one person buy a coffee for us.

I’m currently thinking about offering paid advertising on the site - I have a couple of authors I know who have their books being advertised on the site at the moment. One had seen an increase in her sales but needs to wait to see where the sales have come from. The other I haven’t checked in with yet so I don’t know about her sales.

The hubby keeps on telling me to start doing blog tour but I think there are already lots of people doing them. I would like to be able to think of something unique to help authors out, I just need to get my thinking cap on. Suggestions welcome.

You might also like: 108 Book Blogs To Follow

Write comments
  1. Thank you Jo, I did notice that I answered one questions wrong. I thought for some reason you asked how many books I read a week not review a week. Doh. On the blog we tend to review around 8 books a week, but this is because we have a team of reviewers I certainly couldn't review that many if I didn't have a great team behind me.

    1. That's impressive stats either way ;)

      As a solo blogger, I'm interested to know more about being part of a blogging team. Might have to bend your ear for a sperate post on that topic sometime.

  2. I love Stacey's posts! And profitability and team blogging is something that I've really been thinking about lately as well.

    1. Stacey does an amazing job with her blog. I think team blogging is a topic a lot of book bloggers would be interested in knowing more about... as is profitability. I'm definitely going to be doing more research into both.

    2. Thank you. I loved Jo's questions. Team blogging is actually quite simple if you find great team mates. The nine reviewers that have been with me for a long time are all wonderful. I've had others that have come and go, I'm still very friendly with most. Some just disappear without a trace again. I've just taken on three new reviewers in the last month too.

    3. That's great Stacey. How do you find reviewers to join your team? Would love to know more about how you organise posts too. Do the reviewers set up their own posts on the blog or do you co-ordinate all the posts on site and they just send in their content?

  3. I love Stacey's blog. Thank you for this awesome Q&A.

    1. You're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

    2. Thank you. I'm glad that you liked the interview. Jo asks some great questions.

  4. Wow team blogging? That’s honestly something I’ve never heard of before. But your story really is an inspiration to us new bloggers!

    1. I started out solo in 2015 and by the end I had three reviewers join me, due to an ever increasing TBR list. It is much easier than people realise if you have great reviewers. I've had lots come and go, but some have been with me for years now.

    2. They say there's power in numbers, which is why I'm curious about the idea of team blogging. I love that you still have some of the same bloggers working with you after years of blogging together.

  5. Hi Stacey! Your husband is so romantic and creative - what a lovely Valentine's day gift!!

    I want to high-five your every answer - yes, we have lives, yes we put a lot of work into our policies (please read them), yes, we should be kind to one another, and, yes, we are not too old! ;) XO

    1. Thank Nikki. He can be very romantic. He has to think up ways to be as I don't like flowers or boxes of chocolates etc. He also did the artwork for the blog and taught me to code too (he's a computer programmer).

    2. Idem. Stacey gave great answers.

  6. Great answers, Stacey! It's so cool finding out others' motivation for blogging and review and such is, everyone comes at it from a different place it's so nice :) It sucks you've had so many rude people, reading is for all - what a dumb thing to say!

    1. Thank you. I enjoyed answering Jo's questions. I have very thick skin so the rudeness is just like water of a ducks back. Agree reading it for all.

    2. Unfortunately there are always some gremlins and trolls out there. Sounds like you have a great attitude for dealing with them though Stacey.

  7. Great post and interview Jo I absolutely love getting to know and learn a little bit about other book bloggers and there blogs. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

    1. My pleasure. I love finding out more about how other book bloggers organise their blogs, and reading.

  8. Replies
    1. Thanks. I love interviewing book bloggers and finding out more about them and their blogs.


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