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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Interview of I Smell Sheep, Winner of P&E Best Review Site of 2014!

We are lucky today to have Sharon and Katie from I Smell Sheep "Our Little Corner of Crazy" as they call it, join us today. You're going to love meeting these gals. You can tell the fun they like to have. And what a great service they do for authors, actors, and talented people everywhere!

1. What kinds of books do you review and why?
Katie: First, thanks so much for having us over! We review paranormal romance and urban fantasy the most, but anything in the speculative fiction arena we will take a look at! Plus we review comic books and interview both authors and actors!
We're at comic book conventions and readers gatherings. The Sheep are taking over the world!
Sharon: I personally prefer dark urban fantasy, but I dip my toes into the paranormal romance pool occasionally…as long as there are monsters involved. I adore horror comics that have a dash of campy humor too. 

2. Do you review audio books and why?
Katie: We don't review audio books right now, but maybe in the future!
Sharon: I haven’t reviewed any because I don’t have slots of time conducive to listening. I can read faster than I could listen.

3. Give us a little rundown on the blog's history: when formed, how it grew, how you helped make it grow and where you are headed in the future?
Katie: I started the website 5 years ago, after my Mom pretty much forced me to finally start writing down all my random and at times off-beat opinions. I'm not a strong writer by any means and totally admit that! I try and write from the heart and make, not only my writing tone colorful but add some facts along the way.

Not long after the site started, I reached out to some folks who were leaving comments and the first guest reviewers came on board. About a year into the site Sharon Stogner burst into the scene. She's now a huge part of what we do, while it's a collective, Sharon keeps us all in line and on track to meet deadlines. We wouldn't be where we are as a site today without her.
I don't know what the future holds for the Sheep, but I'm excited to find out!
Sharon: Don’t let her fool you…her writing style is truly unique and her enthusiasm, when she writes about a book she loves, is infectious! We also have some devoted followers who spread their love of all things sheep. The I Smell Sheep Facebook group is where the crazy happens. Everything from the reviews to the interviews to the guest post topics is quirky and fun. You never know what you will find each day when you visit us. But behind the scenes, we are serious about what we do and our professionalism when dealing with authors, publishers and readers has helped us become what we are today.

Here's our 5 Sheepversary Post of April l, with a giveaway going on right now.

4. How many followers on each post do you get per daily average?
Katie: It depends on the post and honestly we try not to focus on the day to day numbers of visits. For those out there needing a number, we have an average of 50,000 page views per month.  (Holy Smoly- ed.)

5. In your opinion, why is your blog so successful? Why did it win the awards it has?
Katie: I think the website has been successful from all our hard work. Through marketing on other online sources, creating a Facebook and Twitter page. Social media has really helped us spread the word about I Smell Sheep. Though it could also just be that we are something a little different. Strange even. Offbeat and proud of it. We are weird and we are proud to be this way. Normal is scary to us.
We recently won the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll for Best Review site 2014. That's still shocking to say, we never in a million years thought an award this big would come our way!
Sharon: Katie developed, before I came onboard, a quirky style for interviews. Authors/actors often thank us for the atypical questions. We also have unusual guest post topics and features. We also try to be flexible when working with others. And under all the fun and quirkiness we have built a foundation of trust and integrity.
Shout out to our followers who voted for us! Big sheep kisses to everyone. It is quite humbling.  (You guys are baaaaaaaad. -ed.)

6. If you could give advice to a struggling blog, or someone wanting to start blogging, what would you advise, based on your experiences.
Katie: I would say, do whatever you love. No matter what it is. Don't hold yourself back or shut any doors with inner thoughts of doubt. Be realistic though, there's a very slim chance you'll make enough money to blog for a living. But if you want to find another way to be creative, then go for it and don't look back!

Sharon: There are a lot of bloggers out there willing to help and give advice. Visit blogs you admire. Talk with the people behind the scenes and ask questions. We have an amazing network of blogging friends. We help each other out. Integrity and trust is crucial to success in blogging. You can’t build trust overnight, you have to earn it from readers, other bloggers, publishers and authors. Break that trust and you are done.

Thank you Sharon and Katie. I'm sure your site will be a must read for many of our authors and readers here. Thanks for giving us such a quirky glimpse into your world of fun. 

Here are the ways you can contact I Smell Sheep:

And you can contact them by email:


Sharon Stogner said...

Thanks so much for inviting us to visit with the cool kids. We don't get out much *twitch, twitch* PUDDING! (extra points for anyone who gets that reference)

Dani Harper, AUTHOR said...

I stumbled onto I Smell Sheep a few years ago and never left. I'm in love with both the off-the-wall humor, the high quality of the reviews, and the variety of genres reviewed. I look forward to sheeply posts in my inbox, and am a proud member of the I Smell Sheep group on Facebook (where you never know what's going to happen!)

Anonymous said...

Yay! Thanks for having us over! I'll send over some fresh made Kool-Aid for the readers to sip on :)

Melissa Keir said...

I love I Smell Sheep! They've been my go to site to see what's going on with my favorite paranormal favorites and of course, SHEEP (or Wallace and Gromit).

I think anyone who loves books, should be on their site! Thanks ladies for giving us a behind the scene peek at your lives!

Polly McCrillis said...

Nothing like having fun at work! You ladies sound like you have a blaaaahst!

Sharon Hamilton said...

I'm guessing the twitch twitch pudding is a wagging of the tail and then the plop, right?

LOL. Love you guys! Thanks for doing an awesome job with the interview questions!

Sandy said...

Blogs can become dreary and boring, but you know how to do it. Congrats on your award.

Sharon Stogner said...

Thanks Dani and Melissa (I swear we didn't pay them to say that...much )

Polly for the win with "blaaast"

Thanks Sandy! We're still waiting for the President to call and congratulate us...;)

Sharon, I'll give you a hint about PUDDING! I am a big Supernatural fan

Aurian said...

Great interview ladies! I love your site especially because of the short and to the point reviews (I can only write long ones) and the fun interviews.

jean hart stewart said...

So great to have someones who love their job....Much continued success to you.....

Anonymous said...

Love the title of your blog :) You're new to me, but not for long!

Sharon Stogner said...

*waves to Aurian* thank you. You come back even when we post the scary stuff

Jean, we do love it! Reading is meant to be fun so we try to keep it that way.

jbiggarblog, I'll keep an eye out for you. You do have a fire retardant outfit, right? We have a dragon in our FB group so if you plan to drop in there...yeah The name gets people's attention! I'm sure most people check us out just because of the name and the logo. When we go to conventions we hear "hey, it's the sheep people!" Katie came up with the name. It is a much guarded secret as to where it came from

Joleene Naylor said...

One of my favorite review blogs and certainly the most fun. I am proud to be a sheeple!

Marianne Stephens said...

Thanks for being here today. What a great, fun interview! You ladies are fascinating!

Marianne Stephens said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pamela K. Kinney said...

Great interview, Katie and Sharon. :-)

Bianca78 said...

Awesome interview! Yay!

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