Lucy Pearson runs The Literary Edit book blog and @the_litedit on Instagram. She has over 11,000 followers and has been blogging since 2012, and most recently won The London Book Fair’s Blogger of the Year award.
Could you tell us a little about yourself as an introduction to our readers?
Of course – I’m Lucy from The Literary Edit, a book blog that covers everything from beautiful bookshops and book reviews to literary themed travel. I recently won the London Book Fair’s inaugural Book Blogger of the Year award and whilst I’m originally from Sussex, I’ve been living by the beach in Sydney for the past two and a half years.
How would you describe what you do as a book blogger?
As a book blogger you need to wear many different hats, and my role is a varied one. I do everything from the more technical website stuff, to reading and reviewing books, reaching out to PRs to organise literary themed travel or hotel stays, and speaking to book publicists about which books will be suitable for my site.
How do you think book blogging has changed the way that readers approach books?
Well, whilst the saying may be that a reader should never judge a book by its cover, I think that due to the growth of both book blogging and the #Bookstagram community, more and more people are influenced by what a book looks like. I think that while in the past readers may have looked to newspapers, magazines and more traditional marketing campaigns, these days, more and people people are looking to social platforms such as Instagram and Twitter to discover which book to read next.
You’ve been blogging for many years now – how has the platform grown and what have had to do to grow your own audience?
It’s definitely a lot more sophisticated and sleek then it used to be back in the day – my blog has had a couple of make-overs since its conception and more and more people are joining the blogging movement to share their love of everything from books to beauty to travel and beyond. As a blogger, it’s essential to be on top of new trends and I’m always trying to upskill; whether it’s to improve my photography or learn more about SEO, and these days a lot of blogs are more like stylish online magazines than the basic WordPress sites of years gone by.
How do you strike the balance between reading what you love and what you think might interest your readers?
Hmm, that’s an interesting question. I would say the books that I read fall into one of two categories – a book that’s been lying on my shelf for ages (which could be a classic or contemporary), and new releases that publishers have sent me to review. Both categories seem to do equally well with my readers; I’ll often post a book that’s a few years old and it can reignite a conversation around what people thought of it when they first read it.
What is it about book blogging that you love so much?
I have been an ardent and avid reader and writer for as long as I can remember, and book blogging has offered me a way to combine my love for both. The book community as a whole is a wonderful and passionate one, and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of either reading, nor writing about books I’ve read.
What’s your favourite book that you’ve read this year?
Ooh, that’s a tough one. Can I choose two? I adored Meg Fee’s The Places I Stopped on the Way Home, which is an account of the thirteen years she spent in NYC; and the friendships, the flat mates and the relationships that lied therein. Meg’s writing was beautiful, and the closing line of the book was truly one of the best I’ve ever read. I also adored A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza, which is the first book published under Sarah Jessica Parker’s imprint for Hogarth. It’s a poignant and powerful tale about immigration and identity and stayed with me long after I finished the final page.
Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start book blogging?
It’s essential to have a real love and thirst for all things literary, and anyone wanting to start a book blog should read as often and widely as they can. Reach out to publishers and authors you’d like to review, write with honesty and integrity, and be shameless in your self promotion!
BY EMMA QUICK