BlogTalk: My Blog’s Vital (And Not So Vital) Statistics

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Recently WordPress was kind enough to alert me to the fact I’d published 1,000 posts on What Cathy Read Next since its inception in November 2016.  Woohoo! This prompted me to have a little delve into the other statistics available on WordPress…


Posts with the most views: My review of After The Party by Cressida Connolly (1,466 views) followed by my review of Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon (496 views)

WWWWednesdaysMost popular day for views: Wednesdays (that will be down to the WWW Wednesday meme hosted by the fabulous Sam at Taking on a World of Words)

Average comments per post: From 1.6 in 2016 to 6 in 2019 (Don’t you all like to chat…)

Most faithful follower: Jill at Jill’s Book Café (since 1st December 2016).  Thank you, Jill!

Chatterbox (Most number of comments left, excluding myself): The lovely Nicki at The Secret Library with 66 comments

Strange but true search terms:

– is the word is murder a true story                         (Er, no)
– what is the third things about elsie                        (Sorry, no spoilers here)
– “feel his ankle” + fiction                                            (No idea either)
– is alex dahl author married                                     (This is a book blog, not Tinder)
– personal message to stressed blond woman        (???)

Views from far flung places (countries that generated 1 view):

Aruba             Liberia                        Gambia
Benin              Botswana                   Reunion
Cape Verde    Vanuatu                      St Kitts & Nevis


What fascinating or curious facts do your blog’s statistics reveal?

Blog Talk: What Makes A Great Author Q&A?

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I’ve been doing quite a few author Q&As recently so it got me thinking: what makes a great author Q&A?

Here are some tips and suggestions based on my own experience. A lot of these are pretty basic, I know. However, I shudder when I think back to some of my early efforts. Even these simple guidelines would have made my questions a whole lot better.


  • Great questions make great answers, I think, so be prepared to invest time in researching and preparing your questions
  • Personally, I’m not a fan of standard questionnaires. I believe a set of questions tailored to each author produces more interesting responses. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a few questions you use frequently – especially if they’re really good ones!
  • Even if you haven’t read the book, you can get ideas for questions by reading the book blurb, the author’s bio, their website or blog.  Not only are you likely to come up with better questions but the author will probably appreciate you having taken the time to find out about them and their work.
  • Try to find an interesting statement the author has made about their book or their approach to writing that you can ask them to explain.
  • 8 to 10 questions seems like the right number to me and ideally the author’s answers should be no more than 150 words. Any more than that and it can start to read like an essay
  • Again this is personal preference, but I like to concentrate my questions on the book and the author’s approach to writing. I’m not that interested in their favourite colour or whether they prefer cats or dogs – but each to their own
  • Remember, the purpose of your Q&A is to allow the author to talk about their book in such a way that it provokes the interest of potential readers.  So ask open questions that allow them to elaborate, explain and discuss their ideas.
  • If part of a blog tour, ensure you allow sufficient time for the author to craft thoughtful responses to your questions
  • Be polite – you’re not trying to catch them out or be the next Jeremy Paxman!
  • Finally, practice makes perfect.

Bloggers – do you have tips for coming up with stimulating interview questions?
Authors –  what great (or not so great) questions have you been asked?