When Dave (yes, TheWriteReads Dave) first came to me with the idea for the BBNYA – The Book Bloggers‘ Novel of the Year Award – I was so excited. But at the same time it sounded so huge that I almost thought – But how will we do that?? However, now that 2020 is apporaching, this thing is forming, slowly but surely. There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes, and it is so exciting to see it coming to life. It’s such a fabulous endeavour and I can’t wait to see it really rolling next year.
BBNYA – What is that?
You know… we’re getting a huge group of book bloggers together, and I mean HUGE. The idea behind it is that we create our own super big, super diverse (and of course super knowledgeable) panel of book lovers to judge entries from indie authors and authors from small presses, with the hope of finding the very best underappreciated books out there.
Some Artsy Ideas
I hope I’m allowed to share a small secret of Dave with everybody – he is, ummm… well, kind of hopeless when it comes to art. (I’m going to make sure I’m allowed to reveal that before I hit publish :D) Since I was so super excited about his idea of the BBNYA, I asked him if I could try to come up with a few examples for the BBNYA Twitter icon and the website header. And let me tell you this – I had a LOT of ideas. I worked on several and when I presented them to Dave, we had a kind of hard time deciding which ones to go for. I wanted to go in a more artsy direction at first, but even though we liked the designs, they didn’t really feel right at first. But then I had a sort of brain wave, and we both instantly like the new ones that bring together small design elements with photography and a nice font. I really hope you like the designs we went for in the end, but just to give you a glimpse of the work behind the scenes, here are some of the ones that we ruled out:
Q & A with Dave
I am lucky enough to be allowed to ask Dave – the man behind all this – some questions!! Here they are, together with his enlightening and informative answers! Thanks for this little interview, Dave!
N: This is a huge endeavour. What makes you so passionate about books that you added the whole thing to your daily workload?
D: Well, firstly, it’s not like I am doing this alone, not even close. There are so many amazing people helping out and putting in so much work. If I even dreamed of not saying as much I’d have to wake up and apologise. I won’t say names because I don’t want to leave anybody out, but they know who they are and I hope they know how much they are appreciated. This is a team effort, I’m only one small – and honestly, pretty minor – cog in the wheel. As for the why? Well, I think it’s more of a why not?? I think it’s just something that needs to be done. I’m already hearing from some bloggers saying that just being on the panel is getting them more interest from authors, review requests, offers for arcs, etc. And of course the benefits for the authors of getting involved in something like this are obvious. It’s just so hard for an unknown author to break through, so if we can provide a means to help them get one step closer to their dreams, then that would be pretty awesome.
N: Besides preparing for the BBNYA, you already feature book bloggers’ posts daily. What makes you so passionate about trying to get them noticed?
D: The #blogoftheday and #reviewoftheday? Well, I don’t even know if it is a book thing for me anymore really. As a little secret I used to have a book blog myself and I always felt it was pretty hard to, how to say… to find the community, if that makes sense. Hard to make friends, hard to get interaction etc. After a while I stopped blogging, but I still thought about it and then just came up with the idea of, well, basically bringing bloggers together. Giving them somewhere they could go where everybody could give a little love to just one blogger a day. Maybe this would be a blogger who has never before had many hits, never really had a chance to get engaged with the community. I just thought everybody feels much the same way, really, on the inside, everybody wants just a little nod, a little appreciation now and then.
And I thought the blog of the day could be a really good way of achieving that. I think the blog of the day is just a little change of Twitter philosophy, where instead of people constantly tweeting ‘look at me, me, me’, they look at somebody else and say, ‘you know what, you’re pretty cool’. I had no idea how big and popular it would become, but I’ve had some pretty powerful private messages sometimes, from some bloggers after their days, and they make it all worthwhile.
N: How did you get the idea for the BBNYA?
D: I don’t know really. I mean a novel award is not a new idea or anything, there are loads of them around. But I think I just wanted to find something that might have a chance of showing the power of book bloggers. I think there is the chance that something like this could one day result in book bloggers finding a book nobody has ever heard of before, maybe by some author who could be losing hope of ever getting noticed, and just making something incredible happen.
Maybe there is a secret J.K. Rowling or George RR Martin somewhere out there, and maybe we can find them.
What is coming up next?
Since there is so much work going on behind the scenes, more and more info will be revealed over time, so make sure to stay tuned! Follow the Official BBNYA Twitter account for continuous panelist reveals and more info on how to get involved and what to look for in the weeks and months to come! If you’re an indie author you should definitely consider signing up for the BBNYA in the new year! Are you a book blogger and want to get involved too? You can apply to become a panelist here! Also, you should definitely become a member of TheWriteReads gang! I can say this from my own experience – you will make great friends and get to know other amazing, friendly, talented and kind book bloggers, find awesome blogs to follow AND get lots of exposure for your own blog! Also, there’s lots of giveaways and other fun stuff, so what are you waiting for? No downsides here!!