My guest today is reviewer Carol Conley and her words of wisdom

My special guest for today is reviewer Carol Conley of I’m a Voracious Reader. I’ve learned a lot from her answers and I’m sure you will, too. In fiction, reviewers are critical to an author.voracious reader

Carol took time from her busy life as a reviewer and mother to do this interview and share her acquired knowledge.

Be sure to visit her blog, She really is a voracious reader as you’ll discover.

What got you into reviewing books?

I’ve always been a reader, but I didn’t really start writing reviews until I became a Remote Reviewer for Kensington Books back in 2011. I had set up a blog on Blogger years ago and never done anything with it, but when I started receiving books from Kensington I figured it was time to dust it off and redecorate so I would have an additional place to post my reviews. That was October 2011. Everything snowballed from there.

What’s your motivation? Does it link to any business interests or is it just a wonderful hobby?

It’s just a wonderful hobby for me. I’ve read so many fantastic books I never would have picked up if I hadn’t started my blog and indie authors as well as publishers hadn’t offered books to me for review. I had been sticking pretty much with authors I knew though after joining Goodreads in 2010 I was starting to branch out a bit in my genres and authors. However, with my husband the only one bringing home an income, I’m a SAHM, I was limited to the library, used bookstores, or gift cards for Amazon. My husband bought me the new Kindle Fire for Christmas right after I started my blog, so I’m not stuck sitting in front of my computer reading ebooks. I love that man! *smiles*

I struggle to read quickly. How many books do you read per week and is there an avg length? any hints for those of us who don’t read as quickly as you?

How many I read a week just depends on what I have going on at home and how long the books are, but on average I’d say 5 a week or so. More if they’re shorts. I keep a review list and the length of the book just depends on what comes up in the rotation. Like this month…somehow I ended up with several anthologies to review at the same time. Sometimes I have several of the same genre at once which isn’t hard because my main interest is anything paranormal and erotica though I read all kinds of genres.

As far as fast reading goes…I’ve always been a fast reader, so I’m not sure what kind of advice I can give. I think the more you read the faster you get, but everyone’s different.

You have 11 or 12 genres you review. In your opinion, what are the elements in stories you enjoy regardless of genre?

*gusty sigh* This is one of those questions that makes me have to think. *laughs* Hmmmmm…what I like best are well-fleshed characters, good world-building, a decent plot and 3rd person multiple POVs.  What I don’t like are books with bare bones descriptions or those that go overboard. To be honest, long flowery scene descriptions get skipped by me. I have a brain, so I only need enough description to picture it in my head. I don’t need minute detail. Oh! I love humor in books. Even in serious books such as thrillers, mysteries, suspense and even horror. I’ve been reading a lot more horror than I ever thought possible, but what I’ve picked so far has been pretty good. That surprised me since I’m not a fan of horror movies, but books are a lot different than movies as I well know. I hate adaptations.

Any advice for authors to improve their writing and how can authors find and connect with reviewers like you?

I’m not a writer so I’m not sure what kind of advice I can give other than to get a good editor if at all possible. With self-publishing booming there are many good ones out there. Be sure they are legit and know what they are doing though. Check references!

To connect authors and reviewers I like the Making Connections Group on Goodreads. They also have a Facebook page and a blog. Also on Facebook is a group called Reviewers Roundup. I’ve connected with authors on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter and Google+.

Thank you, Carol, for stopping by and giving us your insight.



About Don Simkovich

Writing is foundational to our communication like running is to sports.
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11 Responses to My guest today is reviewer Carol Conley and her words of wisdom

  1. teacooper says:

    Great post Carol and DD! Thanks for the insight…off to check up on the authors and reviewers connection advice…..

    • DD Symms says:

      great, tea. it is sage advice. i need to check on it, too. course, I’m writing all lowercase here and reviewers may not like that.

  2. Thanks for having me here, DD. *looks around* I thought you mentioned there would be chocolate. Or maybe I only heard that in my head. It’s been known to happen. *winks*

    Thanks teacooper and you’re welcome. There are many good groups on Goodreads and even on Facebook. I just don’t have time for more than a few. 🙂

  3. Wonderful interview, and great answers Carol!

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