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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Brook Cottage Books Nominated!

In life we meet many people and sometimes you meet someone special, Pauline Barclay asked the amazing JB Johnston from Brook Cottage Books over to FFP HQ to talk about her nomination at the Festival of Romance earlier this month and what it means to her.

My book blog, Brook Cottage Books, will be one year old on 1st December and it’s certainly been a busy year for the blog. At first I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough posts to keep people interested. How wrong I was. I actually have too many! But, I must be doing something right because this year I was nominated and shortlisted for an Industry Award. The Award was for Romance Blogger of the Year as part of the Festival of Romance in Bedford, England.

I hadn’t actually realised I had been shortlisted until I saw a number of tweets appear on my phone, offering me congratulations. When I finally discovered what for I went through such a range of emotions ranging from shock to being struck dumb, to sheer delight! It was a huge confidence boost for me, especially when I saw the other 4 bloggers I had been shortlisted with. These ladies were giants in the blogging world and my inspiration!

Blogging takes up a huge amount of time. It’s not simply spending ten minutes to write a post. Blogging is like having a second full time job. When you are not writing then you are reading or researching, promoting or organising things for authors. You are planning and re-planning, answering a million emails and keeping on top of social media, making sure your blog becomes familiar with readers, authors, publishers and other bloggers. There’s book news to catch up on and of course supporting fellow bloggers.  And these are just some of the things we do free of charge! We do it because we love books so much. So, it was great to see bloggers being recognised in the awards at the festival and being seen as a vital cog in the publishing wheel!

Attending the festival was fantastic fun and it was lovely to finally meet many online friends. As soon as people realised who I was they threw their arms around me.  People were asking me for advice regarding their books and wanting to be on my blog! The welcome I received was amazing!  What attending the festival and being shortlisted for an award really reinforced for me firstly, that I’d love to do something in the book world full time and make a career somehow from my blog, and secondly, what a fantastic support authors / bloggers are to each other. There was no sense of rivalry, particularly amongst the bloggers who were happy that the award would be going to someone we all knew, loved and respected. In the end, I didn’t win the award. The lovely Sharon Goodwin who has a blog called Jera’s Jamboree won.  She really deserved the award and I didn’t feel sadness for myself that I hadn’t won. I felt happiness for Sharon and I real sense of pride that my lovely friend was being recognised for all her hard work. Unfortunately she hadn’t been able to attend the Festival so her award was collected on her behalf.

 When myself, Carol Wright and Kirsty Maclennan, the attending runners up, (Tanya Farrell was unable to attend) were called to receive our prizes, we received a standing ovation from the other people in the room. Authors and publishers were standing up and acknowledging us. Mere bloggers! It was humbling. They were giving us our place in the writing community and it was a proud moment. I felt like a celebrity! Thank you to everyone who has supported me with my blog. I owe you a debt of gratitude I can never repay.

LINKS:                     Twitter: @BrookCottagebks

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Congratulations JB and all the other fabulous Bloggers who were nominated, you are all amazing people who support authors in many ways and I for one are very grateful.


  1. Congratulations on the nomination JB, it was well deserved Brook Cottage Books is a great site. And I can feel your excitement from here. Go, girl, go.

  2. Wohoooo! Post looks fab! Thanks Pauline. And thank you too Chris. You are very kind. X

  3. To be nominated is a fantastic achievement, JB, and very much deserved. Well done xxx

  4. JB, you are fabulous :D All bloggers the world over deserve awards for the support they give and as you say, amazing that The Festival of Romance are recognising book bloggers in their awards now. Long may it continue.

    Fabulous post about the FoR.

  5. Brook Cottage Books is a fabulous site and you were all winners that night! I was in the crowd standing when you were all applauded and I felt so excited that you and book bloggers were being recognised at last for the hard and exceptional work you do in the publishing industry. Hip hip hurray!

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  7. Congratulations! And yes, thanks for your continued support. I feel extra special now for having my work reviewed on such a prestigious blog! You make us all proud.

  8. Book Cottage Books is a super blog. A generous one too in the way you shout-out other authors and their novels. You work so hard JB, you deserve the recognition Congratulations. x

  9. Thanks everyone for all your fab comments. I am truly humbled. Love you all. x