Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview, Karenne! I know I’m not the only one that has always wondered about how Coffee Time Romance & More got started. I’m really looking forward to getting that question and many others answered here today!
Regina: How did Coffee Time Romance get started? What made you sit up one morning and decide you wanted to own and operate a book reviewing site?
Karenne:Coffee Time Romance came into being on day on a porch in the south. Gabbing about romance books and authors with family and friends. We started off as a Yahoo Group that grew and grew. Then we had request for reviews, so we did. Then we had requests for author interviews, so we did. And it kept growing into what you see now. We see a need or idea, and we put it into action. Its been fun.
Regina:What kind of a learning curve did you have in order to make it successful? Were there any bumps along the way? How did you resolve them?
Karenne:Learning Curve? Hmmm, well as soon as I finish with the never ending learning curve….I will let you know. LOL The learning curve was a full time job. It is amazing how fast things change and how much you have to learn so that you can keep up. I am a geek at heart so the research is always fun! I am a try again and again and again until I figure it out. That really is the best part…figuring it out. (grin)
Regina: What kinds of books do you review? Do you have any particular favorite genres?
Karenne:We review any and all books. Everything from cookbooks to erotic books. Personally, my favorite books to read are Time Travels and Gothics along with cookbooks. Yes that is right, I read cookbooks! But I will read anything that I can my hands on.
Regina: What kinds of books do your reviewers request the most? Is it obvious that there are favorite genres or does it go all across the board?
Karenne:I am very lucky. My reviewers will read any genre. I am sure some have their favorites, but they are always open to reading something new and exciting.
Regina: How can an author or a publisher submit books for review with Coffee Time Romance? Do you guarantee a good review?
Karenne:We have a submission page (with instructions) on our site here. We take all forms of books, paperback, hardback, eBook, etc. No, I do not guarantee a 5 cup review. What I do promise is that it will be an honest review from one of our Coffee Crew. I do not tell them what to write or how to grade a book. That is totally up to them. I do promise a clear and concise review. If the person submitting the book for review is not happy with the resulting review, we will NOT reconsider the work for an additional review until the desired result is achieved. We work hard to ensure honest reviews; therefore, we will not pull a review solely based on a negative review rating.
Regina: What do you do if an author or publisher requests that you remove a less than stellar review? Will you remove it at their request?
Karenne:You know I have had over the years many and I do mean many requests (or orders) to remove a review because the author/publisher/promo person did not like the rating. I always tell them that everyone has an opinion. And NO we do not remove a review if requested.
Regina: Do you ever turn books away and refuse to review them? What are the reasons that a book may be turned down for a review?
Karenne:Yes we do turn away books that have anything to do with:
· sexual relations with the minors
· sexual relations with siblings
· torture and/or mutilation
· non-consensual sexual relations
· use of bodily functions (feces, "golden showers", etc.)
Regina: How did you come up with your rating system? Is it hard to get reviewers to actually rate books correctly? In other words, so the tone of the review matches what the reviewer wrote?
Karenne:The rating system has developed over the years with the help of staffer input. Sometimes it is a little difficult to rate a book. It might feel to be between 2 ratings…like a 4 ½ Cup. But we leave that up to the reviewer to pick. Each reviewer has a different way they rate their books and to write the reviews.
Regina:So, does that mean you have ½ ratings? So say a reviewer thinks a book is 4 ½ instead of a 5 Cup rating, can they rate the book at the 4 ½ Cup rating?
Karenne: No, we do not have ½ ratings. We believe that all books should fall into one of our single number ratings.
Regina: What kinds of advertising packages does Coffee Time Romance offer? Do you have any free and or low cost advertising options for authors?
Karenne:We do have a lot of free or low cost advertising options. Not every author has a ton of money to get news out about their new book. We are always evolving and changing things to help authors get the word out to readers. Plus, we have a lot of fun things for readers to interact with writers. We have all types of packages for authors; some that require a little bit of interaction and some that do not require interaction. Authors are people too. And they have a life.
Regina: What are some of your favorite author blogs? Do you like author blogs where the author talks about their daily life, or are you looking more for information on their books and writing?
Karenne:You know I follow literally thousands of blogs. I love both types of blogs. I love to know what they are doing in their real lives and in their book world. I think it is great to learn about the person behind the book and the process of how they get there.
Regina: Who are your favorite cover artists? Why?
Karenne:I have no idea, but I love the old ‘bodice ripper’ covers. I think they are just fun! I am a self-proclaimed cover whore. I will pick up a book that I know nothing about and buy it based on a book cover. I have found some great authors that way. I love the art work and blending of the cover matching the story.
What great answers! This has been a wonderful interview, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to answer these questions from one of Coffee Time Romance & More’s biggest fans. I know I speak for many reading this when I say, I can’t wait to find out about more great books, so keep those honest reviews coming!
Coffee Time Romance has a plethora of great services for both authors and readers alike! Many of which are free and or low cost. Check out the links below to find out about some of the wonderful things you can participate in by joining Coffee Time Romance today!
Contests: There are all kinds of fun things from your favorite authors to win here!
Coffee Time Romance Bookstore: There are hundreds of great books by your favorite publishers here, and this bookstore often has sales!