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Interview with Bianca, the Brains Behind Book Notions -- and learn how she started book blogging

Updated: May 16

By: Natalie Jacobsen

tions" text above an open book with stardust flying out of it

Bianca runs the popular, and growing, Book Notions blog and social media platform where she interviews journalists and authors, and reviews books and novellas. Hear her journey on book reviewing and blogging, and advice on how you can start a book blog, too.


Visit her site, subscribe to her newsletter, and follow her channels to learn about your favorite writers and the projects they're working on.


  1. Tell us about how you were inspired to become a book blogger. 2019 was the beginning of a rough few years. I was scrolling through Instagram in my bedroom one day and I saw that there was a free 5-day blogging course through email. I put my email in and thought, why not? It was after that five-day course I realized I enjoy talking about books and providing book related news about everything book related. After the course is when I started coming up with my own material. (I might one day write my own stories though; who knows? 😉) Looking back on that fall day in 2019, I realize that God was calling me to blog.

  2. Who are three of your favorite people you have interviewed?


There are so many amazing people that it’ll be hard to pick three, but I shall try! One of my many favorite people I interviewed was Jake Adelstein. 2022 was another rough year for me. The best part about 2022 was when I started doing Q&As. I messaged Jake on Instagram one summer evening, asking him to do a Q&A with me, not expecting him to agree or even respond, for that matter, and to my surprise he did! I don't think I got any sleep that night, I was so excited. The next day I told my grandparents and called my mother and told her about it.

It was fun talking to Jake about his book, the show of the same name, and about his upcoming projects! For being an author and an executive producer of the show Tokyo Vice loosely based on his memoir, he’s very down to earth and very much a gentleman.

 

Another favorite person I spoke with was book publicist Kaitlyn Kennedy. Publicists are very important for an author as they help authors secure media coverage for their books and develop relationships with news outlets, bloggers, reviewers, magazines, podcasts & producers, and anything that covers books. Kaitlyn has connected me with USA Today Bestselling Author Annie Rains to do a Q&A with her. Fans of the emerging genre "romantasy" (fantasy & romance mixed), will be interested to know she’s also Rebecca Yarros’s publicist. Rebecca is the New York Times Bestselling author of many romance and fantasy novels. Two of her many famous novels are The Fourth Wing & Iron Flame.

 

You, Natalie, are another favorite person! I really enjoyed our Authors In The Media Q&A in which we discussed your journalism and photography. When you mentioned covering the Fire Festival in western Japan, I pictured being there myself. I also liked how you provided links to the stories you covered. I also thought your advice to anyone wanting to pursue a journalism and photography career was insightful. I also can’t wait to read your book Ghost Train.


3. What are your preferred genres to review and write about?


Some of my favorite genres are murder mysteries, romance, and historical fiction. I also like nonfiction; especially biographies, autobiographies & memoirs. Though to be honest, if something sounds interesting, I will probably read it. However, I rarely get into sci-fi; and I grew out of most Young Adult books, as I am in my thirties. The plot must be really interesting and enticing for me to give a sci-fi and young adult novels a chance -- it can't just be a silly love triangle!


4. What’s one of the memorable stories someone has shared with

One memorable story someone shared with me in their Q&A was by New York Times Bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde. I loved all of her answers to my questions, but what I really enjoyed was how honest she was that the Hollywood adaptation of her novel Pay It Forward made her wince in places and was anything but faithful. Hollywood doesn’t always respect the author’s works.

5. How do you promote or market your blog and website?

I share all of my posts on Facebook and Instagram. I also ask that everyone whom I’ve done a Q&A with share my Q&As and blog links online for cross-promotional opportunities. I also have my grandfather helping me with the technical parts of the blog on the backend (user experience, SEO, and interface design).


6. What advice do you have for someone wanting to become a book blogger?


Like any dream, if blogging is what you want to do, keep going and think about ways to make your blog unique from other ones out there. Understand, blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme. You must put in the hard work, passion and creativity that makes your blog stand out & be successful. Ignore negative voices. I don’t care if those negative voices come from online trolls, or family and friends who might be jealous or who may mean well, but still comment negative things. You must ignore the comments and let it go in one ear and out the other.


7. What projects can we look forward to seeing from you this year?

There are several more reviews, Q&As, Behind the Book Q&As & Authors In The Media Q&As that are coming this year and beyond. I would discuss it more but I want to keep the readers in suspense 😉

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