Seekerville welcomes Barbara Vey,
contributing Editor of the Publishers Weekly
Beyond Her Book blog and recipient of the
2012 RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award.
Now, please help me welcome Barbara Vey....
|Barbara Vey chats with Love Inspired Senior Editors |
Tina James (L) and Melissa Endlich (R) at ACFW 2012.
Barbara, your Beyond Her Book blog celebrated its FIFTH birthday in March. Congratulations! Can you tell us how you first got involved with Publishers Weekly and how your blog came to be?Actually, I started with PW completely by accident. I was on an
Authors At Sea cruise and met Karen Holt, who was the deputy
editor at Publishers Weekly. I didn’t know that was a magazine. I
thought it was a publisher, so I proceeded to tell her everything I
thought was wrong with publishing from a reader’s point of view.
She wrote the article and then called me a few months later to offer
me a position of contributing editor and write a blog on women’s
fiction. That’s how Beyond Her Book was born.
Such an amazing story! I’m sure there were hurdles you had to jump in the beginning. What was the most difficult aspect of drawing people to your blog?
When I first started, I didn’t think anyone would read my blog. No
What was the easiest part about getting started?
one had ever heard of me and why should they care what I think?
So I begged my family, friends and people at the library to read it
so it looked like someone was visiting the site. After I started
going to conferences and meeting authors, editors, publishers,
readers and agents, they all got to know me and started reading
what I had to say.
|Barbara joins the Love Inspired authors for|
dinner in Grapevine during ACFW 2012.
It was great seeing you at the American Fiction Writers Conference
I really enjoyed myself at the ACFW Conference. I wasn’t sure
in Dallas last month where so many inspirational authors got to
know you—of course, they think you’re wonderful. Everyone in
Seekerville agrees, and we all hope you’ll join us at ACFW again
next year. What was your overall impression of the conference?
Anything you could suggest to make ACFW even better? Did
anything surprise you concerning the conference?
what to expect and I didn’t know a lot of the authors, so I wanted
to keep an open mind. Everyone was extremely friendly and
helpful. It was a full program and I could tell that the writers who
attended were passionate about their work.
Overall, it was a very well run conference. I wish they would have
spaced out the publisher’s spotlights, so I could have visited
several instead of just one. The other big missed opportunity was
not having a book signing. There were over 700 attendees with
many successful authors that I’m sure readers would have been
over the moon to meet and buy their books.
No big surprises. I’ve found that most writer conferences have one
thing in common and that’s to get the author’s book published.
Everything else is just whatever is unique to that genre.
|The Awards Banquet, ACFW 2012|
(L to R) Barbara Vey, Janet Dean, Pepper Basham,
Myra Johnson and Laurie Kingery
Your schedule is always so busy. How do you find time to attend
If I didn’t travel and meet so many interesting people, I wouldn’t
all the writer and reader events, review books and keep up with
your wonderful blog? Any time management tips you’d like to
pass on to the rest of us?
have much to write about. I found that interacting with different
groups gives me a variety of experiences to draw from. It’s always
great to learn new things and I get excited when someone turns me
on to a new author or even one who’s been around a while that I
haven’t had a chance to read yet.
As for time management, I have to admit that I’m not very good at
it. I’m easily distracted and it kills me to put down a good book to
have to get other things done. I actually get up about 4 a.m. to
write my blog because I think best early in the morning. Things
just seem clearer to me. Everyone has to find the times that work
best in their busy life.
Other than not having enough hours in the day, what's the biggest challenge facing writers today? You talk to readers around the country. What are they telling you that writers need to hear?I think the biggest challenge for writers is something they’ve heard
for years...write a good book. One of the biggest complaints I’m
hearing is that there is so much garbage out in e-books because
authors are self publishing without having their books
Slapping a book together and putting it out there for 99¢ can hurt a
writer’s career in the long run. Readers will tell everyone they
meet about the best and worst books they’ve read and you don’t
want yours to be the worst.
Self publishing can be a good thing, but do your homework. Have
people read it, get it professionally edited and treat yourself to a
professional cover. But first, write a good story. The readers will
advertise it for you.
Last year, you hosted a fantastic Readers’ Appreciation Luncheon,
The Second Annual Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon
which I had the pleasure of attending. You made sure everyone
had a dream-come-true type of day with lots of book giveaways, a
yummy lunch and great raffle baskets and other prizes. This year’s
event sounds even bigger and better. Would you tell us the when,
where and how and share some of what you have planned?
will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 27, 2013 at the
Crowne Plaza Hotel. We sold out last year with 250 readers and
moved to a bigger venue. James Rollins will be the keynote
speaker and 40 other authors will be attending.
There will be a meet and greet, door prizes, raffles (with all
proceeds to the local library), lunch and a book signing.
As a special treat, on Friday night we will be having a Q&A
session with authors and readers in the hotel auditorium. This is a
free event. Afterwards, we will be having a social hour to chat
with the authors.
The luncheon sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing the details. To learn more click HERE.
A lot of folks visiting Seekerville today would like information about your blog, Barbara. How can authors submit books to you for review? Do you accept
Authors can send books to: PO Box 438, South Milwaukee, WI
e-books as well as print? Are you looking for avid readers who
would like to review books?
53172. There is no guarantee your book will be picked to be in the blog.
Readers choose the books they want to read and write about.
While we have done e-books, at this time I don’t have many
readers who own e-readers. Feel free to email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass on your e-book request to
I can always use readers and they don’t have to write full reviews.
We mostly spotlight books and the readers just write a paragraph to
explain what the book is about and then a couple of sentences on
why they liked it.
|Debby and Janet with Barbara, RWA 2011|
Great information. Thanks. Now two more questions. What are the best marketing tools writers should be using? What's an easy way for readers to connect with writers?I see readers connecting with writers online at Goodreads,
Facebook and Twitter. In real life, Readers Luncheons are
becoming more accessible and booksignings. Readers should go to
their favorite author’s web sites to see where they will be in
|(L to R) Tina Radcliffe, Debby Giusti, Morgan Doremus from|
Romantic Times Book Reviews, Barbara Vey and
Janet Dean. Thanks, Barbara and Morgan, for holding
a great mini-workshop at ACFW 2012.
If you could look five years into the future, where do you see
I will soon be launching my own website that will be a meeting
yourself? Any changes to your blog or new opportunities for
writers and readers that you hope to have in place by then?
place for readers and authors. My goal has always been to bring
the two together. I plan to do blogs, videos, podcasts, have guests
visit and give lots of stuff away. Mostly we’ll be talking about
books. What we love and why.
Let us know when your website goes live, Barbara. What about your travel plans? You’ll be at the Southern Magic Readers Luncheon in
I will be in New Orleans December 12-14th attending Heather
Birmingham, Alabama, on November 3. What other events are on
your schedule for the upcoming months?
Graham’s Writers for New Orleans Conference.
I'm sure you'll be blogging about Heather's conference and the fun you'll have in the Big Easy. Thanks, Barbara, for answering my questions. Seekervillagers will have more to talk about so grab a cup of coffee and let's chat.Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered in today's drawings. Lots of great prizes...
In honor of Barbara's visit, Tina Radcliffe is giving away four $5 Starbucks giftcards so the winners can buy Barbara's favorite beverage, a Hazelnut Latte, or the beverage of their choice. Thanks, Tina.
Mary Connealy is giving away her soon-to-be-released e-book, Candlelight Christmas, featuring Mary's novella, The Christmas Candle and The Outlaw's Gift by Linda Goodnight. Can't wait to read both stories! Thanks, Mary.
Janet Dean is giving two of her books, winner's choice. Nice, Janet. Thanks!
Missy Tippens is donating A House Full of Hope. Thanks, Missy!
Glynna Kaye’s giving a copy of Second Chance Courtship and At Home In His Heart. Great. Thanks, Glynna.
Ruth Logan Herne will give away a copy of Yuletide Hearts and His Mistletoe Family. Waving to Ruthy in Upstate. Thanks and hugs.
Pam Hillman is giving away two e-books of Stealing Jake. Love that story. Thanks, Pam!
Julie Lessman is donating an e-copy of A Light in the Window! Thank you, Julie!
Audra Harders is adding five bags of chocolate candy to the mix! Yummy! I bet everyone wants to win the chocolate. Thanks, Audra!
More Starbucks! Debby Giusti is giving away five $5 Starbucks' giftcards. Each winner will also receive the choice of one of her books.
All those who comment will be entered in this week's big giveaway for a Kindle Paperwhite. In addition, you'll be entered in the BIG MONTH-LONG DRAWING for a LAPTOP.
The breakfast bar is open: sausage and egg casserole, bacon, biscuits, fresh fruit and grits. Enjoy!