- Their passion is extraordinary. And this is the main reason that I adore them as much as I do. They don’t read just for love, they live and breathe Young Adult fiction. They’ve made me seek out novels that I would never have even thought of reading. When I see a blogger’s quote on the cover of a YA novel, I know it’s from the heart. In my eyes a short soundbite from a blogger is worth a thousand times more than any line from a newspaper review or ‘matey’ celebrity quote.
- Their blogs aren’t edited or commissioned. There are no politics in their reviews. They speak the truth, regardless of whether they’ll piss off an editor or an author (authors should learn to accept criticism the very moment they decide to send out a manuscript). Bloggers are not literary snobs and don’t just focus on the big name authors from the biggest publishing houses. For them it’s not about money. It’s fair game for all. There’s no hidden agenda and for this they should be applauded and cherished.
- When they get behind a book they ‘REALLY’ get behind a book. They’ll shout about it from the roof tops, bang against the railings and streak naked through the streets *VOM*. UKYA bloggers are those ‘all or nothing’ kind of people. If they think a book is rubbish then ‘meh’. But if they love it then ‘WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE’!
- They bloody know what they’re talking about. They know far more about YA fiction than me (and probably most other authors). If I want to read a YA book – I look to them for suggestions. Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough was the last recommendation I sought out. I therefore blame the bloggers for the series of nightmares that the book has given me. The end is sooooo scary!
- They probably don’t realise exactly how much they can help authors personally. They unwittingly spurred me on when I genuinely didn’t believe that I’d ever be taken seriously as an author. In recent months I’ve been tempted to jack it all in having lost pretty much all confidence in my writing ability (no violins please). But the boundless enthusiasm from YA bloggers has made me think twice. I’ve used them to lean on without them even knowing. Although they’ll obviously know now. Bugger.
- They’re all a bit mad. Just scroll down their Twitter timelines and see how fabulously bonkers they are.
So I was thrilled to hear about the UKYA Blogger Awards. A chance for authors, publishers, publicists and marketing execs to thank and acknowledge the awesome YA bloggers who give so much of their hearts, knowledge and time to the industry for FREE. They are the backbone of the genre. AND I SALUTE YOU. xxx
Natasha Desborough (Author of Weirdos vs Quimboids and Weirdos vs Bumskulls) www.natashadesborough.co.uk