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.

Blog Tour: The Library of Lost Things

Blog Tour, Misc.

The Library of Lost Things

By Laura Taylor Namey
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release date: October 8th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Books about Books

Synopsis:
From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.
While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter.
Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.
Book Links:  photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg
Official Book Playlist
THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS official Spotify Playlist: 
About the Author
Laura is a Cuban-American Californian who can be found haunting her favorite coffee shops, drooling over leather jackets, and wishing she was in London or Paris. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two superstar children.
This former teacher writes young adult novels about quirky teens learning to navigate life and love. Her debut, THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS will be published 10/08/19 from Inkyard Press/HarperCollins. Her #ownvoices sophomore project, A CUBAN GIRL’S GUIDE TO SWEATERS AND STARS is coming fall 2020 from Atheneum Simon and Schuster.
Social Media Links:
Giveaway Details Below:
Prize: Win a copy of THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS by Laura Taylor Namey
(INT)
Starts: 8th October 2019
Ends: 22nd October 2019
Click here to enter!
Blog Tour Schedule Here.
Bookstagram Schedule Here.
Tour Organized By:
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Interview with Olivia Van Ledtje

Bookish Interview
*Disclaimer: Permission to interview and feature Olivia on A New Look On Books was given by her mother Cynthia Merrill.

 

Meet Olivia Van Ledtje.

Olivia (aka LivBit) is a 10-year old reader, thinker, and kids’ voice believer. She is smart about all things shark and hopes to be a future ichthyologist. Olivia is an ambassador for the Gills Club, an organization promoting girls in science through inquiry-based experiences meant to grow enthusiasm and activism for sharks. She is also a passionate advocate for books and using social media to promote digital citizenship, voice and audience. Olivia’s work on LivBits has been featured all over the world, including conferences in Taiwan, Singapore, and England. She was so excited to be included as a keynote speaker and voice for kids using social media at the Digital Citizenship Summit at Twitter Headquarters. She’s been honored to present with accomplished authors at national conferences across the country, including NCTE, ASCD, ISTE, and ILA. Handpicked by Alan November, she was the youngest kid keynote at his 2017 international Building Learning Communities (BLC) conference in Boston, MA. Since then, Liv has become a seasoned kid keynoter, speaking all over the country about book activism, digital citizenship, and using tech for good. Her new podcast, The KidLit Show is produced by Panoply in NYC, and featured in their Pinna app. Olivia looks forward to more opportunities working with authors and organizations that share her drive to promote reading, thinking, and digital citizenship for kids. Connect with Olivia on her social media accounts (Twitter and Instagram) @thelivbits or by visiting her website: www.theLivBits.com

 

Onto the interview!

Congrats on your upcoming podcast: The KidLit Show! Tell me the story behind its creation and what inspired you the most when it became real.

Thank you so much! I am soooooo excited for my show! I actually got this opportunity from my social media presence — that’s how the people at Pinna found me. I received an email about the work I was doing for LivBits, and they asked if I would consider doing a podcast. I got to meet with the Pinna people in NYC, and before I knew it, I had my own show! So, the truth is The KidLit Show was very influenced by my LivBit work!

The show is created by my awesome producer, Hannah Cope. She and I collaborate on the scripts. I write the author questions and the Liv’s Lists. Hannah creates the themes for the show based on books I love. I contacted most of the authors to see if they’d be interested in talking with me. I feel really proud that so many of them were willing to be on the show. I really hope I get to do the KidLit show for A LOT of years, so I can share my thinking about LOTS of books!

One of my favorite things about the podcast is the theme music! I think as soon as anyone hears it, they will automatically feel happy! I also LOVED doing the “kids on the block” segments. It was fun talking with real kids about their reading lives, and honestly, I never knew what they were going to say. We got some pretty hysterical responses!

You will also learn loads of fun facts about the featured authors. Who knew Booki Vivat can’t ride a bike because she has bad balance or that Kate DiCamillo can’t braid? Listening to this podcast will give you sooooo many cool fun facts about authors you love!

 

When did you know you wanted to help other kids connect with books and promote digital literacy through becoming LivBit?

I started LivBits in February, 2016 almost two years ago when I was eight years old. My mum is a staff developer, and she was working with teachers to have kids use devices creating videos about their thinking. The project was called the Selfie Center, and I was sooooo inspired, I decided to make my own. I call my selfie videos,  LivBits because they are a little bit of me Liv, and a little bit of my thinking, Bits. Put it altogether and you have LivBits!

I really wanted to have an audience outside of just my family, so my mum suggested posting them on Instagram. As soon as I started posting, I got more and more followers, and incredible feedback that motivated me to read more books and make more LivBits! Shortly after that, I went to a technology conference where my mum was scheduled to present about the selfie center. I was lucky she let me share about LivBits too. That conference was life changing! Not only did I get a standing ovation, I also met incredible people who began using and sharing my work even more widely! The truth is, all kids need are grown ups who believe and encourage them. When kids have this, they can change the world!

I call myself a book activist. I want to encourage and inspire kids to read and think more. I want kids to know that reading can change their lives. I want them to know reading can help them care more about the world. I want them to know authors give us things to think about in books that can change us for the better. I want kids to know their stories matter.

 

Do you have a favorite book, author, or series? If yes, have you gotten a chance to meet the author in person yet?

This is a really, really HARD question for me to answer, because I LOVE so many different genres and authors! But, just recently, I met Victoria Jamieson, the author of the graphic novel Roller GIrl. I felt so lucky to be able to have a drawing lesson from her AND hear her speak about how she became a writer. She is also the first author to ever communicate with me on social media, and it motivated me SO MUCH to keep reading and creating.

I am a HUGE nonfiction reader, and I have a great friendship online with Seymour Simon. He’s the author of SO MANY incredible non-fiction books for kids. He’s written about pretty much EVERYTHING! My dream is to interview him on my podcast, because I think kids will be so excited to hear from an author who writes about cool topics like earthquakes, sharks, and the desert.

I think listeners can assume that any author I talk with on my podcast is a favorite! I got to talk with them about their books, their writing process, and things they love! I think listeners will enjoy the flow and the content of every show, and I promise, you’ll have books to add to your reading stack!

 

What is one thing you want your audience to know about you as LivBit and your digital literacy inspirations?

I’d love for my audience to look at my work and say, “Wow! Kids can do amazing things!” I also really want the world to know KIDS CAN TEACH US! We can do really HARD things if we are encouraged by others.

I want people to feel happy when they see things I create. I hope my work shows the joy I feel for reading, thinking, and life. I hope kids look at my work and feel inspired to try making their own Bits.

Anytime I post, I am telling my story to the world. I want my story to be one that is inspirational, motivating, creative, and unique. My work is always a reflection of my citizenship both online and off. I hope people feel happy when they see my posts, but also eager for what comes next in my LivBit story.

LivBits has changed my life. It’s given me opportunities to learn and grow from people all over the world. I am a better kid because of my LivBit experiences.

 

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

I think it’s really powerful to remember, your reading life can remind you to be hopeful during hard times. Reading stories can help you wonder more about the world. Stories can carry you through challenges and help you feel brave. Books can ignite your passions and motivate you to stand for a cause that matters. Every single kid in the world deserves to be part of a reading community that helps them feel important and wanted.

I wish everyone so many happy stories! I hope you keep reading and keep thinking about things you love. I hope you connect with people who encourage you to grow your ideas. But, most of all, I wish you reading experiences that make your heartbeep in ways you never dreamed possible.

 

Thank you Liv for stopping by!

Stay tuned for The KidLit Show coming soon!