Continuing my publisher QnA, today we have one of the amazing people behind Bloomsbury’s Sydney office answering questions about reviewing for them 🙂
1. Your official job title is…?
Children’s & Young Adult Marketing & Publicity Manager at Bloomsbury Publishing
2. How long have been in your current position?
I’ve been in this role ever since Bloomsbury opened an office in Australia, just over 3 years ago.
3. How did you break into the business?
Weirdly, I did study marketing at uni, but I had no idea there were such things as jobs in publishing. When I finished uni, I backpacked around the world for a few years, living and working anywhere I could get a work permit. I worked in a lot of bookshops during those years, including Indigo Books in Toronto, Canada, and Waterstones in Dublin, Ireland, where I was unexpectedly put in charge of the children’s department. I was terrified at first but, much to my surprise, I absolutely LOVED it! So I kind of became a Children’s and YA Books Specialist by accident. When I moved back to Australia 10 years ago, I decided that kids books was where I belonged. And I’ve been working in book publishing ever since.
4. What are you reading right now?
I’ve just finished a manuscript by Sarah Crossan called Apple & Rain, which we’re publishing in September. It’s heartbreakingly beautiful and I cried my eyes out. And I’ve just started a new manuscript for an adult book that we’re publishing in 2015 called Weightless – and I’m already completely engrossed!
5. Do you use NetGalley or Edelweiss?
Netgalley – check out our titles here.
6. Do you send out review copies or physical Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs) to reviewers?
Both, but mostly finished review copies. We don’t create ARCs for every single title.
7. Are there catalogues reviewers can look at online? If so, where can they find them?
Ok now you’re just making me feel bad because I haven’t created a new catalogue for ages! (By the time I design the catalogue, the books are already out of print 🙂 ). So, instead of waiting for me to get around to it, I suggest you check out Allen & Unwin’s Monthly New Books catalogues. As our distributor, Allen & Unwin features our books in their catalogues. And please sign up to my monthly* enewsletter at Bloomsbury.com. (*ish)
8. What should a review request include? Do you have any guidelines reviewers should meet before they contact you (page views, followers, etc.)?
A link to your blog or publication please, and your street address. (I often send books direct from our warehouse and their couriers won’t deliver to PO Boxes). I prefer to receive requests at least a month (preferably 2 months) before publication so I can include your book in the automated publicity release that is despatched from our warehouse each month. If I miss that ‘release’ deadline, then I have to post the books manually which is a lot more fiddly, so they often arrive late. But mostly, I just really hate lining up at the Post Office. (Though I do get a lot of reading done in that queue :)).
9. Where should potential reviewers send review requests?
To me! For anything Kids or Y.A. or education-ish. Don’t worry if I appear to ignore your email. I receive more emails than I can ever answer but I do file the review requests right away. For adult books, you can contact my workmate, Brendan. He looks after the grown ups.
10. Do you have a preference for when reviews are posted?
Ideally, as close to the publication date as possible. That said, I really don’t mind if people post nice reviews early. It can be quite lovely to see the excitement building for a new book in the weeks and months before it is published.
11. What is your position on receiving reviews for books you have not sent to a reviewer?
Sounds good to me! Who does that?
12. Speculating on SpecFic is all about supporting Aussie authors. Which awesome Aussies do you publish?
I have 1 Aussie author. That’s right, count ‘em: ONE. Her name is Marianne Curley and she is awesome and I love her to bits! I was a big fan of her Guardians of Time trilogy long before I started working at Bloomsbury. Marianne’s latest book, Hidden, was published in 2013. It was her first book in 8 years, after suffering a long and terrible battle with cancer, a battle that Marianne fought and won. Marianne’s next book, Broken, will be published in March 2014. Check out the trailer.
I’ll be with Marianne at the Indies Down Under conference on 22 March and at Gold Coast Supanova on 5-6 April. So if you’re around, please come and say Hi! Or you can follow our adventures on Facebook.com/Hiddennovels
13. Any débuts readers should look out for this year?
OMG yes! Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon will be published in June. It’s the first book in an exciting 6 part fantasy series. The author is only 18 years old. You can read an extract here.
14. What do you love most about your job, about the Australian publishing world, and book community in general?
Well, I really love book bloggers! They are so enthusiastic and they love reading and talking about books – just like I do! Yep, I am totally sucking up to you all right now. But I also really mean it. ☺
The folk at Bloomsbury are absolutely wonderful. I’ve mostly been in contact with Sonia, but Brendan is very cool too (follow him on Twitter, good times, I swear). I always look for their books inside the Allen & Unwin catalogues and then send Sonia review requests.