Today I am introducing you all to Michelle at Fluttering Butterflies! I met Michelle a long time ago and was really glad that I did! She is a great person and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her better. Here’s hoping you like getting to know a bit more about her too. Here’s her interview!
Let’s start with some basics. What is your name and the name of your blog?
Hello and thank you for having me on your wonderful blog :) My name is Michelle (or some people know me as Clover!) and I am the blogger behind Fluttering Butterflies, my little YA book blog.
How long have you been blogging?
I’ve been blogging for … seven years now. I started my blog a couple of months after my eldest son was born. I can’t believe how quickly time flies!
Do you remember the very first post that you wrote for your blog?
Oh god. Don’t make me look! I didn’t originally start out as a book blog. For the first year at least the blog was mostly me rambling on or being non-sensical. I can’t bear to read those early posts but I also don’t want to delete them even though they have no purpose for being or are incredibly dull about my trip to the garden centre or whatever. All of those terrible posts helped make my blog what it is today. …and I’m still rambling and being non-sensical unfortunately!
I do remember the first book ‘review’ that I wrote was about Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick for a dystopian reading challenge that I’d joined and was one of the first steps that I took towards proper book blogging.
Does your blog have a set schedule?
It does have a schedule. I couldn’t possibly function without a schedule. In rough terms, my schedule consists of reviews on Mondays, Tuesdays (when not doing Top Ten Tuesdays) Thursdays and Saturdays. I have a non-bookish post on Wednesdays, write a discussion post on Fridays and have my Bookshelf Requirements every Sunday. There are other features that I take part in on a monthly basis which changes this schedule slightly, but those are the bare bones of it.
Do you know, roughly, how much time you spend blogging?
Far too much! How did this become a hobby that I devote more time to than I would a part-time job?! On a normal blogging week, I’d imagine that I spent at least 20 hours on blogging a week, probably more. This includes reading, organising books, thinking up blog posts, writing blog posts, and reading and commenting on other blogs.
If you receive them, or even if you don’t, what are your views on ARCs?
I do enjoy getting review copies from publishers. It is always really nice to receive book parcels on a regular basis and I feel incredibly lucky that publishers provide these books for me. However it can be a lot of pressure when those review books start piling up and I feel guilt and pressure even when the publicists and everyone are all hugely grateful for whenever I get around to reading or reviewing. Any negative feelings that I have about ARCs are always brought on by my own expectations and guilt. I’ve tried to do what I can to relieve some of that pressure through different means but it isn’t always easy. I think ARCs are wonderful perks of blogging but not the sole focus by any means. I started book blogging before publishers sent me review copies and I would definitely carry on book blogging without them if it came to that.
How would you say blogging has changed your interaction with authors?
I guess that blogging has put me into a position where I feel more confident in approaching authors online. Through Twitter and blog tours and through blogging events that I’ve done myself I’ve had a lot more access to authors than I did before I became a blogger. Through blogging I’ve also met a bunch of my favourite authors in person, I’ve interviewed them or emailed them in regards to guest posts and so on and it’s been pretty incredible. There’s very little I like better than a favourite author telling me at an event that they know of or that they read and enjoy my blog!
What about publishers?
I think that blogging has helped me to gain a better understanding of the way in which publishing houses operate and run. Through working with publicists and attending some events, I’ve learned a lot about the work they do and I find myself very attracted to the idea of possibly working in publishing at a future time. Maybe.
Do you think you’d still read blogs if you didn’t blog yourself?
I can’t imagine a time in which I stopped blogging forever, but I think even if that did happen then I would still read other blogs. There just isn’t enough media coverage for YA books and book bloggers fill that void very well. I think even if I wasn’t blogging myself I’d want to keep up with the blogging friends that I’ve made as well as keep up to date with the latest news too!
And finally, do you have anything to say about vlogs? Do you vlog? Do you watch vlogs?
I vlog occasionally. I’m hoping to spring some more vlogs on my readers very soon, mostly as a way of spicing things up on the blog. I like variety.
I’m looking to find and support more UKYA vloggers. I have a list of some UK based book vloggers, but I haven’t been that active in that community which I would like to change in the future!
Quick Fire Round
Reviews or Features?
Ooh, easy. Features as long as they provide some original content from bloggers. I’d really like it if more book bloggers eased off the reviews and wrote more about books generally. There isn’t a lot of room when solely writing reviews for a blogger’s personality to come across. Whereas other types of blog posts like Top Ten Tuesday allows for this to come across more easily.
Comments or pageviews?
Comments! There’s nothing better than having a good discsussion with my readers. I’d much prefer a smaller readership that really engages with my blog posts than massive pageviews and no interaction.
E-mail subscription or RSS Feed (i.e. Bloglovin, Networked Blogs)?
I don’t subscribe to any email subscriptions. I use Feedly and am very happy with it.
Facebook or Twitter?
Definitely Twitter. It can be a huge distraction but it also really wonderful tool to keep in touch with other bloggers, authors and publishers, see the latest news and gossip and to promote your blog and cool books.
Also, I’m not the biggest fan in the world of Facebook.
Blogs or Vlogs?
Has to be blogs. I do love a good vlog every now and again, but I have too much respect for the written word to choose vlogging over blogging!
What great answers! Thanks for answering them all for me Michelle! It’s been great hosting you on the blog! Do you have any responses to Michelle’s answers?