Bookish Interview:Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours

Bookish Interview, Interview

Meet FFBC Tours.

FFBC Tours Social Media Links:
TUABFC Social Media Links:

 

The Interview.

Hi Patricia! 

Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little about yourself and FFBC.

  • Profession: Regulatory Affairs
  • Country: Spain & United Kingdom

Patri is the owner and blogger of The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club (TUABFC) and co-owner of the Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours (The FFBC Tours.

She loves books so much that on 2013 she had to open a website and blog about books (of course!) and in 2014 she started the free-of-charge (we get paid in book-form) PR services, The FFBC tours.

Loves romances, dancing and shopping (even though her bank account doesn’t like that). Funny, friendly and loud, at times, always looking to engage more and more in the blogging community.

 

“Our love of books is what drives us to help the authors and publishers behind those amazing stories.” When did your love of books start? What was the first book that really left a lasting impression?

Gosh, now I know how authors feel when I ask this question! It is quite difficult to answer this. My mom taught me how to read at a very young age (at 5 years old) and since then books where my friends. I was the weird kid at school that teachers literally banned bringing books to school because I would spend my playground time reading. Something about not socializing enough… Don’t know what they were thinking really!

I think that the first book I read in Spanish that left a massive impression was “Memorias de Idhun by Laura XXX”, in Italian “Tre Metri Sopra il Celo by Federico Moccia” and in English I think it has to be The Lux series, Harry Potter and Abbi Glines’ books.

 

How did you come up with the name “Fantastic Flying Book Club”? Had your tour company originally been an online book club?

After we decided we wanted to do a bit more than just blogging, I saw this short movie called “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad3CMri3hOs) and the story touched me so much and I felt so identified that I wanted to honour that short film. I think people who love books the way we love them is Mr. Morris and we all live surrounded by books and stories we will take with us when we leave this world.

The FFBC Tours, or The Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours, started organising some extra publicity on the book INK by Amanda Sun. It was basically Anasheh from A Reading Nurse, who’s now “retired” from the FFBC tours, and myself hosting several promotional posts (interviews, extra materials from the book, reviews, etc.) that we created with the author for a week. We thought it was amazing and we wanted to expand that to a larger audience, so we decided to email people asking them if they would be interested in working with us as our team. Since 2014 we have perfected our services and tried to make them user-friendly for bloggers and authors and we have tried to re-invent ourselves to keep up with the game (e.g. Bookstagram).

 

What is your favorite thing about being a book blogger? Favorite thing about running a tour company?

The books and the people. Before starting book blogging, I felt a bit lonely. I could not talk to my friend about the latest book I was reading, because back in the day books got translated at a slower pace so I was reading English books, but my friends did not. So after I finished a mind-blowing book, all the hype, all the “what-did-just-happened”, got deflated because I could not share my thoughts with anyone. That changed drastically when I started blogging. All of a sudden, I was doing that but with an online audience and online friends. Plus, sometimes I got books before they got released! How cool is that?

Now, my favourite thing of running the tours is having an open conversation with authors, bloggers, publishers and literary agents. I love hearing how happy people are for participating on our tours and getting the feeling we are a (small) important part of the blogging community.

 

On average, how many tours do you schedule for a year? How does this number differ from when you first started?

I have never counted the amount of tours we do per year as silly as it sounds! I know that for this 2020 I have planned 75 tours from January until August, and I have some pending requests. Then there would be Michelle and Jana’s tours for the year, too.

Since 2015, this has changed drastically. I think we started with maybe 5 tours per month (approx.) whereas now between us 3 we can easily reach 20 tours a month.

 

When approached with an inquiry about scheduling a tour, how long does the process take to get everything finalized?

I like to start the tour organisation 3 months in advance. We always schedule our tours around the book release date (either the week prior to the release or the week after), so I ask authors and publishers to start early to allow the author time to write any promotional posts they might want to do and for bloggers to have time to read without having to stress about time. Also, this leaves some extra time for errors or unexpected problems.

 

How did you go about creating your brand; tagline?

The FFBC Tours started with me and Anasheh from A Reading Nurse wanting to help authors a bit more. I remember chatting with Amanda Sun and seeing how scary it would be not having enough outreach, so your book can at least be seen. It is a shame that there might be book jewels hiding on Goodreads and our libraries/book stores, that we are completely unaware of because they didn’t get “talked about”.

That’s when 1 year into blogging, I decided to create the FFBC Tours. I would mainly focus on the site design, banners and reaching out to authors and publishers and Anasheh would make sure my Spanglish sounded more English and a bit more formal. With time, the FFBC tours had expanded so much that I could not cope with all the work and Anasheh was a bit MIA due to her work, that’s when I asked the blogging community if they wanted to be part of the FFBC Tours. That’s when the lovely and amazing Michelle became one of the co-owners of the FFBC tours while Anasheh stepped down. I can’t tell you how happy I was to have Michelle. She’s a sweetheart and she helped me so much. I completely disappeared on her at some time while pursuing my research project for my MSc and she took charge of the FFBC Tours like champion! Due to the workload increasing rapidly and my absence during this time, we decided to bring a 3rd co-owner into the picture, and that’s when the lovely Jana came in. She’s also amazing and has been a great addition into the team. I don’t know where the tours would have ended if I didn’t have these 2 amazing bookish ladies with me. From time to time, we skype to align some changes and to catch up with any news, but we are constantly texting each other, too! Which is super nice.

As for the tagline, it all came from Mr. Morris Lessmore’s video. Watch it and let me know what you think! It really made me cry and woke all these fuzzy feelings… honestly, just watch it.

 

Real life vs. Tour Organizer: What is your daily routine like?

To be honest, my daily routine is stressful. I work for a quite famous British multinational consumer goods company whose brands you more than likely have in your household. I have a very flexible office hours which helps with my 1h and 30 min commute from my house to the office and I can work from home some days. I get home around 6pm (UK time) and then off to the gym, since I am trying to stay healthy (new goal for 2020 as cliché as it sounds!). When I get back home I cook some food for my partner and I while watching some TV and then off to bed to start all over in the morning.

When I don’t go to the gym, I use the evening to do some tours work and I read on my breaks at work and listen to audiobooks when I drive. I have lots of time to spare then!

I barely have time for blogging or to re-design my site like I have been wanting to do for 3 years now, but I am hoping this will change in the future!

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers today?

We want to invite any blogger reading Rae’s interview to join the FFBC Tours and we want to ask everyone to only request books they want to read. I know we all tend to be bookhoarders, but it is really difficult for us when a blogger doesn’t post on their assigned date.

We want the FFBC Tours to be like a family. I want bloggers know we have their backs and that we will keep “fighting” to get them the best titles we can. I like to think we are quite understanding, and I want to build both a rapport and a friendship with our FFBC Team members and help them as much as we can.

We are really thankful for everyone working with us, including authors, publishers and literary agents, but specially bloggers, because without their constant hard work and creativity we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Also, sorry to all our FFBC Team members for sending you emails at random times at night. I am based in the UK whereas Michelle and Jana are based in the US. For any urgent matters, always tweet us or contact us on IG, if we do not reply asap to your emails.

Meet Freelance Illustrator Nicole Tealdeal

Bookish Interview, Interview

Meet Nicole Tealdeal

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 9.33.16 AM

I am a 26 year old teacher,  book-loving fangirl, and now a freelance illustrator. I’ve been drawing since I was a child, and digitally painting since I was a tween.  I use photoshop and a Wacom intuos to paint images from my favorite books and creators. I live in the country, and am astray cat a person. Meaning I snuck into my fair share of pastures to read and eat home-made buttermilk biscuits. I have two dog and a cat and spend what free time I have volunteering/fostering for my local Humane Society.

Social media links
https://twitter.com/tealideal
https://www.instagram.com/blogtealdeal/
https://blogtealdeal.tumblr.com/

 

The Interview

What was your very first illustration? Share with us about the illustrator part of you.

My first illustration, that I can recall, was a graphite drawing of a young  girl with a head-sized pearl leading a giant koi from the Sea.  I had just read the Old Man and the Sea.  I have always had a deep fear of catfish and carp. Giant things that lay in the mud ready to swallow up a young girl with her toes in the slime. (My love of monsters and jewelry has only grown.)

 

What was your first fandom illustration? Share with us about the fangirl part of you.

Oh lord, it was probably Sailor Moon? But, in as far as me spending any real time- I believe it was ACOTAR related. I’d never been a part of a book fandom before that and it was so active. I made it to thank a fanfic writer. I do that often.  I enjoy showering writers I appreciate with fanart ranging from doodles to full on illustrations. I deeply believe in thanking creatives, and in return I always find myself friends with at least a few writers.

 

When did you open your shop? How did you handle the nerves + business side of things?

My first shop was opened January of this year. At the urging of one of those fanfic writers who I had been plying with gifts.  Before then I hadn’t even considered taking commissions let alone selling anything. I’m quite new to all of this.  But, after I made a significant amount of sales at my society 6 shop, I decided to move to Inprnt because the profit margins on prints was significantly better.

I’m still figuring out the freelance business and initially charged far too little. Which is a mistake many artists make starting out. Joining with an online artist/book community helped me navigate how to approach commissions, rights, licensing, etc.

Most importantly to me, is that I have other sources of income that help me keep the freelance pursuit less pressured and more able to be directed my decision instead of desperation. Variety is the spice of my life.

 

Tell us about what an average (or maybe not so average) day of being a freelancer is like.

First thing is walking dogs and answering emails with a strong bit of tea and my cellphone. Then I go to teach.  Something that brings me endless joy. When I get home, I play with the pups again and tidy the house. This helps me clean my head and get some physical activity in before freelance work.  I get some lunch and settle in for paintings and answering emails. I usually have an audiobook playing. This is usually a 3 hours working/ 1 hour walking the dogs/ taking a visual break schedule.  I find that Breaks let your brain do some back-burner processing. Plus my dogs are tempting as sin, and never fell to encourage me into our sunny yard.  I like keeping busy, but I need a turntable of things to rotate through, so I don’t stagnate.

I fangirl over your illustrations ever since I came across your Twitter! Any WIPs that you are able to share?

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 9.41.41 AM

What has been your favorite and least favorite experience so far since starting your freelancing and illustrating journeys?

Early on I was commissioned by one of my favorite authors, Rosamund Hodge, to do character portraits for one of her novels. That was hands-down one of the most surreal freelancing moments. One of my worst experiences was brought about by my own inexperience. I did not ask for payment up front and ended up working 8 hours on something that was never paid for. In those moments you feel quite foolish.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers today?

Creative community is essential. I talk about pricing, hours/ work schedule, critique and books with my art friends. It’s very relieving and eye-opening.  Please find those in your orbit and unite.  By that I mean, don’t always be looking up at artists further in their careers.  Instead Pull your face down and lift your mutuals up who may very well be wrestling with the same problems as you.

Interview With Indigo Vibes Creator Kelly Payne

Interview

Meet Kelly Payne.

me3Kelly is a native New Yorker who has had two passions in her life that have stayed with her since she was a child- traveling and helping others.  Kelly is currently living in South Carolina, the 6th state she calls home with her husband and son.  She has a degree in Psychology and is a Licensed Massage Therapist.  But she soon realized that she wanted to help people in a different, more fulfilling way…and Indigo Vibes was born.

Social media links:
My website
Instagram
FB

The Interview.

How did Indigo Vibes “the subscription box that’s good for your soul” come to be?

I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember.  As a kid, I was always coming up with little businesses from baking to babysitter’s clubs, as I’ve grown that hasn’t changed.  I’ve always been trying my hand at things I’ve been interested in and trying to make a business out of them. Eventually, I quit each and every one of those endeavors.  But then I had the idea for Indigo Vibes and knew it was different.

First of all, I love subscription boxes and the thought of making my own sounded so fun.  But I have also studied the law of attraction and all sorts of spiritual things since I was a kid as well.  And I knew this was something that needed to be shared on a broader scale, that people needed to learn about it.  There seems to be so much negativity in the world with the media showcases all of these awful events going around lately….yet you don’t see too many people showcasing the amazing things happening around the world each and every day.  When people are pounded with all these negative images and stories day after day, it takes a toll on you.

I wanted to change that.  I wanted to show the world that there is good.  I wanted to share the lessons of the law of attraction and show how your thoughts and what you focus on can really change your life!  I made a free ebook that I put on my website to introduce the ideas to people and show them how they can incorporate it into their lives right away.

Indigo Vibes has come a long way since I made my first box back in October of last year.  This is not a venture I will quit on. I’ve taken many classes, invested in mentors, to help me with the business aspect.  This is something that is close to my heart as I feel many people are wanting to learn these lessons, but don’t know where to start.

Tell us about what different sub. boxes you offer. Do you have a favorite?

I have 3 different boxes that people can get.  I have a Creation Kit that’s a monthly subscription box that includes crystals, affirmations, candles, mindfulness exercises, and other high vibe goodies.  We also offer our Crystal Of The Month club which is a smaller option containing 2 Reiki infused crystals, their benefit card, and a small surprise gift. I also offered a Kids Crystal Kit (which isn’t advertised anymore), but I have a few left if you email me.  It was a one time only box- not a subscription- and included 8 crystals, their benefits, a carrying case, a break your own geode, and a National Geographic Kid’s Rocks and Minerals book to learn all about them!

My favorite is the Creation Kit.  It is our main subscription box and the one I can put my heart and soul into each month.  I come up with a theme and try to find the best products to put inside for you. My boxes are based on the law of attraction, so you’ll find each month has a lesson and activity to follow to help you create the life that you dream of.

What was the best and hardest parts of creating your own subscription box?

The best parts have got to be helping people.  I love getting emails from subscribers telling me how the affirmation or lesson has changed their life and everything that their experiencing now.  I love when they tell me they never understood Reiki or crystals, but really felt something the first time they picked up one from their box. I love encouraging people and hearing their stories!

The hardest part -for me-would be the marketing that has to go into it.  For me to be able to help people, and for people to know about my subscription box, they have to be able to know it exists!  I think just finding what works to get my product out there to the people that need to hear about it has been the hardest part for me.

I see you are very active on Instagram – which is how I came to admire your box! Is there a process to your photo taking or does it happen when inspiration strikes?

Every month I try to post photos of the contents of the newest box and showcase some of the small businesses that had a part in them.  I also include affirmations, or quotes that I love or find encouraging or inspiring. I have a wonderful photographer who takes most of my product photos for me to post.

As far as when or how often I post on Instagram, that is mostly when inspiration strikes.  You hear of all these rules that you have to post 3 times a day or every day or….goodness gracious don’t ever skip a day!!  I tend to not follow those. As you know, I believe in the law of attraction and I believe my photos will come across at the right time for whoever needs to see them at that moment.  I try not to drive myself crazy following all these “rules” that you need to do. I feel like I would come across as not genuine if I was forcing myself to post every day at certain times.

What is the most important thing you want potential subscribers to take away from your website?

I want people to take away the fact that I actually care about them.  Yes, I may not know you, but I care about you- your hopes, your dreams, what you’ve gone through, your struggles, and most importantly where you want to go!

I feel like my subscription box is different because of that.  I infuse Reiki energy into each and every crystal in my boxes. And I do them one at a time, while thinking of each individual customer and sending them light and love.  I also include hand -written notes in each box, and encourage you to email me if you have questions or want to tell me a story about your experience. This takes longer as my business grows, but it’s something that I feel is very important and don’t want to compromise on.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers today?

My answer above sums up a lot of what I’d want you to know, but I’ll leave you with this quote:  “The biggest adventure you can take, is to live the life of your dreams” Are you ready to take the first step?

Ready for your own Indigo Vibes box?

Click the links above to find out more info.