Confession time: I secretly love reading advice columns, and have always thought that it would be so fun to write one someday. Well, this holiday season, I decided to put a bookish spin on an advice column—the result of which is this project, "CBTB Recommends"! Every single day, I receive questions from readers looking to be directed towards their next favorite crime novel, but this year the questions seem to be ramping up in a big way as we approach the holiday season. In response to these inquiries, I want to provide a structured and shareable process for CBTB readers to ask me for personalized book recommendations - whether you're shopping for a book as a holiday gift, or are looking to build your winter reading list, you can use this little holiday feature to match you with the perfect winter crime fiction read! Think of “CBTB Recommends” as an advice column for crime fiction readers - this one particularly geared towards winter reading.
Before we dive into the how-to's of "CBTB Recommends," a bit of background information: one of my favorite elements of blogging is the chance to get to know fellow readers and provide them with personalized book recommendations... but the flip side of that is, I always wish I had the means to reach more people and help them find reads they'll love as well! It was in that spirit that the idea for "CBTB Recommends" came about. This year, I wanted to do something a bit more permanent and shareable to connect readers with books they'll love, and the holiday season seemed the perfect time to give this experiment a try! "CBTB Recommends" will not replace my Holiday Gift Guide - I will also be sharing a general Holiday Gift Guide soon! "CBTB Recommends" is about providing personalized reading recommendations, rather than a general gift guide - you can certainly use this as an opportunity to ask for gift recommendations, or you can focus your inquiry on building your own personal reading list - it's up to you!
This “CBTB Recommends” series is simply a way to share the book love. Think of it this way: if you have a particular question or are searching for a certain kind of crime book, you can bet there’s at least one other person out there who would benefit from reading your question and seeing which book(s) I recommend in turn. Through this blog post series, I'm hoping to reach as many readers as possible, and help connect each and every one of you with books that will make the perfect addition to your winter reading list. Whether you're someone who has submitted a question to CBTB Recommends, or simply someone reading the blog posts in this series for fun, I'm hoping you will find at least one book that catches your eye here!
How will "CBTB Recommends" Work?
Every weekend from this coming weekend (11/18 & 11/19) until the weekend before Christmas (12/23), I will be providing one personalized crime fiction recommendation to a CBTB reader! Depending upon your inquiry, this recommendation could range from one book to a whole assortment - I will tailor each recommendation based on the question I'm answering. I will be anonymously sharing your inquiry and my response, including buy links for my recommended books, in a blog post right here on Crime by the Book each week. I'll also email you back with a link to my blog post, so you have a record of the recommendations I give in response to your inquiry!
*Note: If demand is high enough, I will be increasing this so that each Friday blog post includes not one but two reader inquiries and their matching recommendations!
How to Submit an Inquiry to CBTB Recommends:
It’s easy! Simply email me (email@example.com) or fill out the form below, and provide me with as much information about your request as you feel comfortable sharing. This could encompass just about any bookish question you have; whether you are looking for information on the best place to jump into a series, or are shopping for a friend who loves mysteries this holiday season, or if you're simply curious to hear what books I'm planning to read this winter, I'm here to help! Use this opportunity to pick my brain on the crime books you should be reading and gifting this holiday season.
*Something to keep in mind: If your question is selected, I will include the full text of your request in my blog post recommendation, so please don't include any information you don't want shared here on CBTB! I will, however, keep your email address and name private.
Send Your Email To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject Line: CBTB Recommends Submission
Email Body: Tell me about what kind of book(s) you’re looking for, or what questions you have that I can help answer! The more details you can provide, the better.
I am so excited to give this experiment a whirl - I’m always looking for better ways to connect you with books you will love, and I thought that this year, it would be fun to have a structured and shareable way to provide book recommendations to those of you in the market for new holiday reads! Please don’t be shy - I’d love to hear from you and help you find that perfect crime book to read this winter.
Looking forward to answering your questions! Xx A