Tammie King, Owner of Night Owl Reviews - Behind the Scenes
Questions from readers regarding Night Owl Reviews prompted a reach out to Tammie King, the head honcho at Night Owl Reviews. She readily agreed to answer questions and I think her responses will give us all insight at the accomplishments “behind the scenes” of this site.
When and how did Night Owl Reviews (NOR) come about?
Back in late 2004 I started to learn a bit about web design as my husband is a software developer. At that time I loved books and travel and those became my inspiration for starting two websites. I’ve kept with the book site. Over the years the site has changed a lot with the help of other readers, my husband’s development time and my daily involvement.
Do you have a criteria in place for reviewers at NOR? If so, how does someone interested in joining the team apply?
We do have criteria for our reviewers. Each is a user of the site and not an employee. Reviewers start out by signing up via an online form. The form isn’t always active; we activate it when we need more reviewers. Once a reviewer reads our reviewer terms and conditions they can apply for an account upgrade from general user to fledgling reviewer. As part of the process they have to provide examples of their work. Once a reviewer completes ten eBook reviews they can get an upgrade to full reviewer. At that time their books out limit increases and they can get access to the print books if they live in the USA.
How many reviewers are on staff?
We don’t have a static amount as reviewers come and go based on their amount of time to review. But at this time we have over 250 active reviewers. Some reviewers do three books a month and others do well over ten books a month. It’s up to them how much they want to do.
Are all NOR reviews related to romance, or are there reviews for Women’s Fiction or YA without romance?
Back in 2004 when we started the site it was named Night Owl Romance. Several years later we expanded and renamed to Night Owl Reviews. We now review a large range of genres including Women’s Fiction, YA, Mystery, Science Fiction, Cookbooks, Children’s and more. We still review a lot of romance as well as erotic romance.
What steps does and author need to take to get an interview?
We interview a range of authors based on inquiries from publicists and we also sometimes email authors if we have an interest in showcasing them via an interview.
To what conference does NOR send representatives, or does it? If so, can you share a list of the upcoming conferences?
Currently I only attend the Emerald City Writers Conference hosted by the Greater Seattle RWA. But in 2015 I’m planning on attending the Romance Writers of America’s national conference in NYC. Many of our reviewers do attend conferences all around the nation.
We don’t do a lot of conferences as we believe we can do more for authors by showcasing them online than going to events like conferences. Conferences are fun, but lead to being exhausted and behind on work.
NOR also does author promotions. What size staff is needed to support all those promotions? Do you require previous experience in the promotions area for staff members?
We do have promotions on the site. Authors can purchase promotions via our advertising page.
We also host author chats most Monday evenings. I moderate those chats. Spots often times book out a year in advance.
I take care of all the advertising promotions on Night Owl Reviews. With the help of my husband’s custom ad software we are able to get ads up on any day and down on any day. Being automated sure can help a company when staff goes on vacation.
I work on Night Owl Reviews full time and sometimes seven days a week. :o) Entrepreneurs often times do that for the companies they start and love.
Along with my husband and me we do have user editors. Our editors have some editing experience, or have been a long term reviewer with edit free reviews.
And of course we have all those awesome user reviewers. They share their love of books with readers because they want to.
NOR also has a Booklover Magazine – Night Owl Magazine, in an online format. Do you foresee a print version becoming available at some point?
That’s a great question. We don’t see it becoming a print magazine as we see print as a way of the past. The readers of today are reading more on their smart devices…phones, tablets and computers. Going to print would be going in the wrong direction and would be costly.
Many print magazines are going digital and many long standing magazines are dropping print all together. These are examples of magazines that have gone all digital: Nintendo Magazine, Jet Magazine, Newsweek (80 years in print), The Ecologist, and PCWorld.
What’s cool about having a digital magazine is that search engines will find the articles for years to come. Our magazine doesn’t have a shelf life of one month…and then finds itself in the trash.
What are the future plans for NOR? Will there be expansion into other areas?
At this point we don’t have plans to expand into any other areas of reviews…but we might at some future point. For now book reviews and showcasing authors takes a lot of time. A new site look might be in the works for later in 2015 along with new features.
Along with Night Owl Reviews we’re owners in WEtap Media, LLC. We are very excited right now as we recently got our Oculus Rift Virtual Reality development kit. It’s a super awesome experience being in a VR world. With our hand in razor edge technology we are kept busy.
Thank you, Tammie. Your answers have been most informative and helpful.
Columnist Lizzie T. Leaf: Award winning author, Lizzie T. Leaf started life in Kansas, continued her growing in North Carolina, and currently shivers through the winters in Colorado.
Since discovering the fun of writing paranormal, she plays with creating vampires, faeries and other immortals. When she needs a touch of reality, her Contemporary Erotic Romances come into play. Her most recent release is Nordic Heat, available at http://amzn.to/1owng5k
If she’s not creating mischief for paranormal beings, or getting under the covers with her erotic heroes, she can be found exploring the other genres she wants to write. She also served as the 2012 President for the Heart of Denver Romance Writers and is the 2014 VP of Programs.
Lizzie loves to read, spend time with her family and travel with her best friend husband during her free time.