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May 21, 2013

Interview with Sammy the Bookworm

Posted in: Advertising, Promotion, Marketing Strategies, Children's Books, Self-Publishing

SammyI bumped into Sammy the Bookworm on Goodreads and invited back here for the following quick interview. Sammy usually calls SammyTheBookworm.com home.

Me: So can you tell my readers, what IS Sammy the Bookworm?

Sammy: Sammy the Bookworm is me on a web page. It’s reviews of just about anything I’ve read recently and interview with the authors who are gracious enough to talk. I’m also lucky enough to share my love of books through some killer giveaways and I threw in some one week special events here and there. It’s everything you can think relating to books and it’s put online for the whole wide world.

Me: I’ve heard you’ve had some real success with getting publicity and PEOPLE to your website. Tell us more. Don’t be modest. I suppose bookworms, as worms, used to crawling around may not be comfortable taking the spotlight, but go for it.

Sammy: Sammy the Bookworm has been very successful. In the last week, the Twitter followers have skyrocketted by 200 people. I had over 400 people enter a giveaway for a paperback book once. This is the stuff that outsiders can see. Behind the scenes, I’ve received over $3,000 worth of books for review and have created business relationships with some of the more popular authors today like Hugh Howey (Wool) and Marissa Meyers (Cinder). And all these numbers, continue to rise all the time. It’s been a huge success for a one year old website.

Me: So as an author, what’s the best way for me to participate – provide a book for a giveaway?? Send you a book to review?

Sammy: As an author, you can participate quite a lot! You can send your book in for review, provide items for a giveaway or even just give me 10 minutes of your day for an interview. Sometimes I even have special events like the Bookworm Birthday Bash in August. A great group of authors signed up so I can raffle away over 40 books plus merchandise like bracelets, bookmarks, artwork and more! It’s a month long event and it took alot of authors to fille the schedule. But anyway, there’s a lot of of oppurtunities for a budding author to be seen. For details, see: https://sites.google.com/site/stbauthors/

Me: Is this a full-time occupation for you? Reading $3000 worth of books is going to make you one busy bookworm!

Sammy: You may find it surprising, but this is not my full time job. I am actually a busy high school student trying to work toward college. Sammy the Bookworm takes up a large part of my day though and I look forward to working on it. $3000 worth of books has kept me very busy but I plan my day ahead of time and am able to be socially active with others and go out when I feel like it. Even though I have events planned for every week on the website, I still keep up straight A’s!

Me: Wow, holy cow, you are a high school student. Very impressive. I predict awesomeness in your college application process based on both your communication skills, initiative and more. What inspired you to create Sammy the Bookworm and the website?

Sammy: The creation of Sammy the Bookworm was actually an acident. As a 9th grader I was studying HTML. I was trying to think of a site idea to be able to practice my HTML and CSS and my dad thought of a book review site since I had read over 70 books the previous summer. I didn’t like the idea but it was all I had. When I had an author ask me to review a print copy of his book, I was estatic. Once I got to talk with a few authors, which was like Heaven to me, I was hooked. Now I can’t imagine a week without my site. It has become a part of me and I won’t be giving it up anytime soon.

Me: What’s worked best for you in creating those relationships? And building website or Facebook traffic?

Sammy: I found that the key to starting anything in the book world is just to ask. Alot of the authors I have met and worked with are from getting on Google, looking up new authors and indie books and finding the contact info. You have to get in there and work. And once you ask, they’re actually quite nice and sometimes say yes. As for building traffic, it’s again a scenario of getting in there. I joined loads of networking groups and I just shared my website info. People were intriqued and fascinated and hopped onboard. Now I’m almost at 400 Twitter Followers and I have a strong Facebook connection. The website gets hundreds, if not thousands of people. It’s a lot of hard work but it pays off.

Me: Thanks for stopping by Sammy. I believe both you and your website are worth keeping an eye on!

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