Interview: Dru Ann Love

Please welcome Dru Ann Love, Anthony-award nominated blogger and owner of Dru’s Book Musings.

How did your site come to be? What prompted you to put reviews online?
I had a personal blog where I would list the books I read, but in most cases I could not remember what the DruAnnLovebook was about and that’s when I decided to keep an online book journal for my use only. This also helped me when I was not sure if I’ve read a book or not. It somehow caught the attention of an author who directed people to my blog and that was how my site gained readers.

What typically draws you to review a particular book?
That’s a hard question to answer as I read what I want and/or like. What will draw me to a book are the cover (I’m very visual), the synopsis, and the authors. For a new-to-me author, the synopsis and then the cover have more weight. For any singular month, my goal is to review at least one book from the four publishing companies where I have contacts.

Have you always been a mystery reader? What other genres do you or have you enjoyed?
Yes, I was always a mystery reader starting with the Encyclopedia Brown series. I did read Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys in my earlier readings. I also read suspense, thriller and romantic suspense. I will read books that have light, light paranormal elements.

How long did it take you to build up a following, and how did you do it?
When I started my blog I had less than 800 viewers during 2007 and 2009 combined. Each year after that, my viewership doubled. However, when I started my “A Day in the Life” feature in August 2011, my viewership increased by 195% from August-December 2011 compared to full year 2010. Just be consistent in what you are delivering and readers will continue to visit your blog.

How much time do you spend, per week, on the blog work?
I spend at least 12 hours per week performing functions related to the blog. That includes formatting the content, resizing the images, putting in and testing the links, sending out reminders to the author that their blog goes live the next day; selecting a winner for the giveaway; notifying author of giveaway winner; sending out invites, sending out reminders that their guest post is due, keeping track of schedules, posting tweets on Hootsuite and other blog related items. I’m also perusing Amazon, B&N, Facebook, “Stop You’re Killing Me” and “The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books” for upcoming mystery titles to add to my reading list for future invites.

How has your site changed over the years, and what prompted the changes?
My site started out as an online journal of books I read and now my main focus is on my feature “A Day In The Life” where I like getting an inside view of an author’s protagonist. The main reason for creating this feature was to consistently have new content on my blog and one of the lessons I learned earlier in the blogging field was to always have new content to keep readers coming back and thus my feature was born.

What sort of responses have you had from people offline (non-bloggers or non-writers), or do they know about your success?
I told my co-workers and they were very proud of what I’ve accomplished. They even offered to come down to Raleigh to root for me. My family and friends are very supportive and anything to get me out of the house is a good thing in their eyes.

Who was the first author you met after reviewing their book, and what was that like?
I don’t recall but I’ve met a lot of authors whose books I’ve reviewed and when they meet me, they give their thanks and I get a hug. I’m friends with a lot of authors that I’ve met via my blog and at reader/fan conventions. It’s an honor when a friend tells me that they’ve bought a book because of my blog.

What are some of the best experiences you’ve had so far because of your blog?
My best experience was having Sue Grafton go through my “black book” filled with author’s book list and their autographs. Another experience is being nominated for an Anthony Award. Another one is feeling comfortable among the authors and other readers at reader/fan conventions.

What advice do you have for new book bloggers or authors who wish to connect with book bloggers?
For new bloggers: find a niche that is not being answered and go for it. Try to make your blog as unique as possible. All bloggers work as a team, so if my blog doesn’t answer for a reader, maybe another blog will.

For authors: reach out to us bloggers. We are here to help spread the word about your book.

***

Dru Ann Love is owner/writer at dru’s book musings blog and at her daytime situation is a consumer market research analyst. A New Yorker born and bred, Dru Ann is an avid reader, writes poetry, quilts and love attending reader/fan conventions. Dru Ann may not be a writer, but her name has appeared in several cozy titles and she even blurbed a book. Dru Ann is nominated for a 2015 Anthony Award for Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work.

Blog: drusbookmusing.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DrusBookMusing

Twitter: @drusbookmusing

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34 thoughts on “Interview: Dru Ann Love”

  1. This is fabulous, Dru Ann! So glad to hear how All the Goodness came to be. You’ve worked so hard and you’ve created something that so many people admire. Congrats on your success–past, present, and future!

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  2. Dru Ann, this is awesome. I love how this “I’m going to keep track of this for me” grew into such a respected resource for others – writers and bloggers. Congrats on the Anthony nomination. I’ll see you in Raleigh – and maybe someday I’ll be able to hit you up for a spot on your blog.

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  3. Dru Ann, one of my favorite parts of Bouchercon was getting to meet you! Thank you fellow Mysteristas for this article – so wonderful to get to know Dru Ann even more. I can’t wait to see you again this year, Dru Ann. I’m so excited we are both nominated for an Anthony. We need to have a celebratory lunch just to savor the moment! Although I’m sure I’ll have to fight off all the other authors who want to hang out with you! xo

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  4. Hi Dru Ann, thank you for all you have done for authors (me included) and for writing one of my daily go to blogs. I’ve been introduced to so many great authors through you. You are amazing! Oh, I have also hijacked your phrase “the day situation’ It is SO expressive. I’ll give it back if you like, but I always give you credit for it.

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  5. Wow, very impressive! I love learning all that you do, and I have to echo all the thanks for what you do. Congrats on the nomination! Hopefully, one day I’ll get to meet you, too.

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  6. Although I haven’t been reading Dru Ann consistently these last few months due to an injury I really enjoy her blog She has sent me to many new to me authors and added more books to my t-b-r list than I can possibly read in my lifetime.

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  7. Dru Ann, Thank you so much for spending time with the Mysteristas and telling us about all that you do. I love hearing about the growth of your readership and how you took it to the next level. Inspiring! All the best to you!

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  8. Great interview! As a reader I appreciate Dru Ann and I depend on her blogs for new book and author ideas. Also, I love to read her first post of the day on Facebook. It’s so inspirational.

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  9. I enjoyed getting to know you a little better with this post. I remember the first time I noticed you – it was on the Cozy Chicks blog. Then it seems I saw you everywhere with your nose in a book avatar. Congratulations on your 2015 Anthony Award nomination!

    ~Nancy Jill

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  10. Your blog is such a delight. I find new authors and their books on your blog all the time and that is so helpful for us readers especially for those of us who do not get out to bookstores very much for varied reasons.. You do a wonderful job and service to your readers with your blog and I appreciate all your hard work and I know many people agree with that. Keep up the wonderful work, Dru.

    Cynthia B.

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