Welcome Guys To another Episode of my Interview Series ❤
In today’s post you are going to meet an amazing bookstagrammer and awesome reader with great taste in books 🙂
Amy From @amyleabooks made me so happy by accepting my interview’s request , I hope you find our little talk interesting and beneficial .
- Tell Us A little About Yourself :
First off, thank you so much for interviewing me, Lana! I feel so excited and honoured and unworthy *fans self*. Anyway, my name is Amy. I just turned 29 and I’m Canadian. I grew up in a small town of 5K people, which is crazy to think about (hence my soft spot for small town romances)! Now, I live in Ottawa and work as an Analyst for the Government. When I’m not adult-ing at my 9-5, I can be found at home reading, writing, and consuming endless hours of trash reality shows with my husband and Goldendoodle, Albus Doodledore.
- List Three Fun Facts About Yourself that Your Followers Don’t Know :
1)I participated in a beauty pageant
2)In the past year, I’ve started dabbling in writing my own contemporary romance books. I’m in the writing and query stages right now. Hopefully you’ll see them out in the world soon!
3)I’m adopted from China
- Talk to us about your love for books ? When Did you start reading ? and What was the first book you’ve ever read ?
My love of reading started when I was really young. When I was old enough to start reading chapter books, my dad would pay me $5.00 per book to read. I started off reading those Mary Kate and Ashley mystery books. Then I moved on to Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries series), Harry Potter of course, A Series of Unfortunate Events, a bunch of MG/YA dystopians, and VC Andrews books (my first steamy books – I was hooked). When I went away to University, I stopped reading for fun all together, given the amount of reading I had to do for school.
When I was in my mid 20s, I vividly remember being home sick from work one day. I was trying to find a good rom-com to watch on Netflix. I’d already watched every Nicholas Sparks film known to man. This was during the romance drought in Hollywood where they just weren’t making good romances any more. I turned to romance books to fill that void and haven’t turned back since.
- When Did You Start Your Blogging ( On Instagram ) Journey ? And What Inspired You ?
I started my #Bookstagram in June 2019 after reading The Simple Wild by KA Tucker. I had the biggest book hangover after reading it. To the point where I was depressed because I had no one to talk to about it (most of my friends don’t read a lot of romance).
Unable to move on or find an equivalent book, I became obsessed with reading reviews on Goodreads, and finally, I searched the hashtag and discovered #Bookstagram even existed! I was shocked that so many other people out there loved the same books I did. I really just wanted to talk to other romance lovers and swoon over the same books. Now, it’s become an awesome creative outlet for me
- You have an Amazing #Bookstagram , How much time do you spend taking your photos ?
I try to take my photos in batches. It probably takes me a little over an hour per week, depending on if I get new books or not. I try to sprinkle in some spontaneous shots as opposed to purely staged photos to mix up my aesthetic. However, I don’t really use a lot of props in my photos so it doesn’t take tons backbreaking of effort.
- What is your opinion about the #Bookstagram Community ?
I LOVE it. When I started, I braced myself for trolls and negativity, because that’s just what I came to expect from the internet. But I literally haven’t come across ONE bad egg. Everyone is so welcoming, supportive, hilarious, and amazing to talk to. I love the interaction with my followers and feel I’ve formed such a great group of fellow romance readers who love the same books as I do. I can always go to them if I need a recommendation, and I trust their opinions highly. I will never have to walk into a book store and aimlessly roam the shelves again, unable to find a book because I just have to ask my favs for their recommendations.
- Have you ever Had to defend Reading Romance ?
All the time. Not so much on Bookstagram, as people tend to know better lol. But in person, absolutely. I see the raised eyebrows and the smiles when I tell people I both read and write romance. People falsely assume that romance is trashy erotica, poorly written, anti-feminist, and contains no storyline.
I constantly have to remind people that romance novels actually are extremely feminist and diverse, often written by women, for women. It’s sad that society tells us that entertainment geared toward what women want, desire, and deserve should be degraded and unvalued. I’ve heard a lot of people claim that romance sets up unrealistic expectations – which essentially tells women they shouldn’t expect to be treated like queens. Just because a book is escapism or an “easy-read” doesn’t mean it was easy for the author to write. Now that I write romance, I’ve realized that “easy reads” are written that way on purpose. Writing 90K words based on conveying every day thoughts and feelings, without magic/fantasy or intense action is very, very difficult.
I’ll also add that the romance genre actually keeps the entire Publishing business afloat. I understand that people are allowed to like what they like. Romance certainly isn’t for everyone. But there is no need to bash the entire genre just because it isn’t your preference. It doesn’t make you better or more superior to others.
- What Is your Favorite Romance Tropes ?
-Enemies to Lovers – I love the angst, the witty banter, the tension, and the build up!
-Second Chance – Inherently, everyone loves the idea of a second chance, because it gives people hope that true love never really dies. People can find their way back to each other if it’s really meant to be.
- List Three of your favourite Books :
I’m going to list my top 3 romances, because favourite books of all time is impossible. Just know that I agonized over this question twice as long as all the rest LOL
The Simple Wild by KA Tucker
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- How do you balance everything in your life and find time to share your amazing content ?
This one is really tough to be honest. I feel guilty because I don’t interact nearly as much as I’d like to. I try to respond to all the comments on my posts and I try to comment on other people’s profiles. But sometimes with a full-time job (which doesn’t allow me freedom to be on my phone), as well as trying to pursue romance writing, my time and inspiration can fall to the wayside. I think it’s important to take breaks and take days off!
- List Three of your favourite Bookstagrammers :
I can’t!! I have about ten that I absolutely love. Both for their content and also because we like the exact same books.
- Your Advice For #Bookstagram Newbies ?
My advice for a #Bookstagram newbie varies depending on what the individual wants to get out of the community. All in all, if you’re on the fence about joining, DO IT. It’s a great place and it is so supportive.
In terms of building your brand, I’m still learning myself. It sounds lame but the biggest thing is being yourself and showing that through the books you read and photographs. Never feel pressured to read things you’re not interested in just bc they’re trending. Be honest with your reviews, too (but just don’t tag the author lol).
In terms of aesthetic, it’s helpful if you use the same filters and same lighting for a common look and feel.
For building followers: the biggest thing is to engage! Insta algorithm is a mystery and always changing. But your posts will do better if you use hashtags, like and comment on other peoples posts with engaging responses. As well, responding to comments people make on your posts boosts your visibility.
I started requesting advanced book copies from publishers at around 1000 followers! Once you start getting ARCs, you might get requests from publishers or indie authors to review their books. As tempting as it is, make sure you don’t accept to review things you don’t truly want to read. Keep #Bookstagram fun. It isn’t a job.
It’s important to remember not to get discouraged over not getting followers, likes, or free things. Remember that Instagram is a highlight reel, even if #Bookstagram tends to be a bit more authentic than other ‘influencer’ communities. What a lot of the “big” accounts don’t tell you is they can’t keep up with engagement and even a lot of “free” books they show on their page are ones that are requested. As long as you post the content YOU love and read what you want to read, you can’t go wrong.
Thank you so much Amy For this enjoyable and interesting talk .
Guys ! Don’t forget to follow the beautiful Amy on Instagram :
Also , Check Out My previous Interviews :
As Always , Thanks For Reading .
Until Next Time ,
Stay strong and change the world.