Coffee Time Romance. Reviews & More

- by Vonna Harper

Find Out More About Coffee Time Romance & More Today

 Coffee Time Romance got its start on a porch in the south where a bunch of my friends and family and I sat gabbing about books and authors. We started out with a small yahoo group that allowed all of us to continue what became an ongoing discussion of our favorite books, authors, and covers. Over time, we began getting requests for reviews, and so began the review portion of our little group. Then we began getting requests for author interviews, so we added those. When we see a need, we come up with an action plan to meet it, and that in turn has allowed us to grow and expand. Before I knew it, we had a website and hundreds of books a month coming in for review. The rest as they say is history!

 One of the interesting things about this business is that you never stop learning. Just when I think I’ve got the learning curve kicked, something new pops up. The learning curve alone is a full-time job because there is always something new. Things are always changing and what was useful even two or three months ago, may not be now. Fortunately, I’m a geek at heart, so learning new things is just plain fun for me.

 What some readers and authors for that matter may not know is that we review all genres of books. Even though we’re called Coffee Time Romance & More, which implies “romance,” we review everything from urban fantasty to chicklit, to cookbooks. In fact, cookbooks are one of my favorite books to read and review! I also love Time Travels and Gothics to name a few others. My reviewers feel the same way, so even if you think your book may not fit with us because it’s a different genre than romance, think again!

 Another nice thing, at least in my opinion, about us is that we review all formats of books, this includes e-books, paperbacks, hardbacks, and even audio books. While we do receive large numbers of e-books for review, mainly because of the ease with which they can be submitted, we also receive large numbers of paperbacks. We feel that while there is definitely huge shift towards e-books, and e-readers, there will always be a market for print books. The reason for this in our opinion is because many readers still want the experience of being able to hold a book in their hands, as well as that of smelling the paper and the ink of a new book.

 I’ve been asked a number of times who our audience is and while many reviewing companies may view readers as their audience, in our minds authors are readers too. Because of this we feel we have a wider audience that includes not just authors, but readers, other reviewers, and even promoters.

 If you are an author or publisher that would like to have your book reviewed by Coffee Time Romance & More, all you have to do is go to our website http://www.coffeetimeromance.com and then go to our review submission page. There is a form there that you can fill out and send in, and then Brenda our book fairy will request a copy of your book. One thing to keep in mind though is that while we will review most anything, there are a few things that if they appear in a book, that book will not be reviewed. These things are: incest, rape, sexual relations with minors, sexual relations with siblings, torture and or mutilation, non-consensual sexual relations, and bodily functions such as golden showers for example. If you submit books with this type of subject matter anyway, and we discover it, your book will be returned to you, and we will refuse to review it. The bottom line is that just like with many service related businesses, we reserve the right to refuse to review a book if it has content that is either illegal, or  offensive.

 One thing about Coffee Time Romance & More is that while we do not guarantee a good review, we do guarantee an honest one. This can sometimes lead to authors being upset with us if their review does not meet their expectations. I’ve had some authors, publishers, and promoters actually demand that a less than stellar review be removed from our website. It’s important for anyone who submits a book to us for review to understand that we will not under any circumstances remove any review that we do, no matter the rating a book receives. It’s also important to understand that we will not redo reviews over and over again with different reviewers until the desired result is achieved. Not only would this not be fair to other authors, publishers, and promoters that have submitted their books to us for review, because they would then have to wait, but it would take up a lot of unnecessary time that our reviewers could be reviewing other books.

 Unlike many review websites, we do not have ½ ratings. So you will never see a 4 ½ Cup rating for example on one of our reviews. The reason for this is that realistically we feel that every book should be able to fall into one of the five ratings. Our rating system has been developed over years with the help of staffer input and we find that it works for us very well.

 We have tons of advertising options at Coffee Time Romance & More, including free and low cost options. Not every author has a ton of money to get news out about their new book.  We are always evolving and changing things to help authors get the word out to readers.  Plus, we have a lot of fun things for readers to interact with writers.  We have all types of packages for authors; some that require a little bit of interaction and some that do not require interaction.  Authors are people too.  And they have a life. 

 A new advertising option that we are working to put together is a blog tour package. Blogs really are the wave of the future for readers, writers and publishers, and we want to help authors utilize that to get the word out about their books. Personally, I follow thousands of blogs as I just love them. I don’t have a preference for whether the blog is just an author talking about his or her daily life, or blogs where the author uses their blog to promote their book. Quite frankly, I love to read both types. One of the things I love most about reading blogs are getting to see the new book covers. I’m a self-proclaimed cover whore and have been known to buy books based solely on the cover! I have found some of my favorite authors that way, so reading blogs helps me to find more of new favorites. My favorite type of covers are the old bodice rippers!

 We have a number of new major events that are going to be happening in 2011 that I’d love to share with you. Be sure and stay posted for these upcoming events!

 Facebook Free Bee – Like us on Facebook and post a comment under the Facebook Freebie topic. Once a month we will draw a name of one of our followers and that person will win a book. Pretty simple, right? 

  • Feeding my Addiction – Each month we will be drawing a name and the winner will receive a box filled with 2 to 5 books plus promotional goodies (for FREE).
  • We have new buttons (so pretty) for readers and authors to put up on their sites, blogs, social groups, etc., to enter them to win or double their chance to win our contests.
  • The Beauty of Man and Woman – B.O.M.A.W (Contemporary – Interracial – Drama Series) Written by Mercedes Keyes – Collaborator & Editor Lawrence James every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month on our blog!
  • Book Brew with the Coffee Crew has gone through a drastic overhaul.  Trust me, you do not want to miss this, there will be fun, prizes, and laughter.
  • Coffee Write – What about a fun way to use your imagination? Once a month we have a new way to expand your imagination and use your writing skills or improve your writing skills. We will provide a beginning of a story, the genre to use, and you provide your version of how you think the story should go.  Plus, there is a prize every month for the best version!
  • June Jubilee – This is one of our annual events which will be full of fun and prizes in our forums!
  • Seminars / Writing classes – We have a lot of great classes this year including Steampunk Rocks hosted by K.G. McAbee; Suspense 101 – Learning how to Make Things go Bump in the Night hosted by Linn Random; Nuts & Bolts of Writing Better hosted by Robyn DeHart; Creating a Personalized Author Marketing Plan hosted by Kayelle Allen; How to Create Living, Breathing, Loveable Characters hosted by Kathleen O’Reilly, All About Characters hosted by Terry Odell; and last but not least Deanna Lee will be hosting a seminar in October. 
  • Weekly, and monthly chats – We have a weekly chat with an author or group of authors every Tuesday at 9:00 pm EST in our live chat room. The authors chatting frequently give away prizes to those participating, and it is an all around good time for all those who stop by! In addition, every month we have a number of chats on our Erotic and Chatters E-loops, as well as, in the Latte Lounge on our forum. To find out more about these you can visit our event calendar on our forum.

  As you can see Coffee Time Romance & More has a lot to offer readers, authors, publishers, promoters and really anyone who enjoys books. There is always something new on the horizon, and we will continue to grow and evolve in such a way that best supports our many and varied audiences.

10 comments

  1. I was fascinated to read about how you started. It is amazing what can come out of a conversation and a love of books. Congratulations and keep up the great work.

  2. Great article, Vonna. Coffee Time Romance is a terrific site!

  3. I love working for Coffee Time Romance & More. The other workers are great. Whether they are reviewers, interviewers, editors, or work in our forums they are a great support group. We also love to tease one another. I am happy with how much our staff backs us up when we have an author get upset over our reviews. They are always there for us. I love it!

  4. I adore Coffee Time Romance! I had no idea about the Facebook stuff. How cool!

  5. I found Coffee Time by accident. Then, I got the incredible opportunity to review for the site. Now, I’m Contest Coordinator and I’m loving it. Our staff is amazing. We all share the love of the same thing…books. Like Danielle says, we tease and have fun with one another, but the support we receive from our staff is so wonderful. Whether it’s our lives going awry or an upset author, we’ve got each other’s backs. We are indeed a wild and wacky family.

  6. I found Coffee Time Romance at a low period in my life. What I discovered was an angel by the name of Karenne, who really made me feel like family, along with the other reviewers. They are always there for you any time of the day. I love reviewing and doing interviews. Coffee Time always has something to offer for everyone and everyday they know how to bring a smile to brighten the day.

  7. Coffee Time Romance Rocks… ! I have been here for a few years and have worn a few different hats , and i must say that everyone there has a place no matter how big or small , friendly faces and big hearts are what I have found. Since becoming involved I have read genres I never thought I ever would, found many new friends as well as new authors and broadened my horizons on many issues! I for one hope Coffeetime is around for a very long time and welcome any and all who pass through !

  8. Love Coffee Time Romance site. Thanks for more info about history fab products (and all genre reviews!) available. Telling all my writer friends. What many people might not know is that Karenne is really a being from a point in the future spreading cheer and fairy dust where necessary to enlighten us. Some call that a celestial being. Not me, don’t want her to get a big head to compete with her big heart

  9. Thank you everyone for stopping by and posting a comment. Big hugs to all of ya’ll!

    Vonna, you are awesome for inviting me to participate and for such a wonderful interview!

  10. Remember that Brenda that Karenne mentioned? Well I’m the guilty party. My official title is Review Coordinator for E-Books. Karenne did a little arm twisting years ago because she knew I loved to read. Books are a common weakness at Coffee Time Romance. We all love books and there’s always someone that likes a certain genre or is willing to review the latest diet book. Karenne has worked harder than any one person I know because she loves it. Her big heart brings smiles to everyone. Join us. If you like books, there is something for you.

    Brenda