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May 19, 2021

Book Reviewer Spotlight Series: Annie Cathryn

A warm welcome to book reviewer and writer Annie Cathryn! Annie recently signed with a literary agent and is in the process of editing her debut novel. She has a degree in journalism and master’s in communications from Marquette University. For eleven years, she worked in corporate marketing for a Fortune 500 company before starting a marketing consulting agency. She lives with her husband and daughter outside of Chicago.

CM: How did you become a book reviewer? Can you offer tips to those looking to become established as book reviewers? 
Annie: I started using Instagram more frequently, and I enjoyed posting about books and engaging with others about the books they were reading. After about a year on Instagram, I decided to devote my entire feed to featuring books. To those looking to be established as book reviewers, my advice is to be consistent—read, post reviews, engage, follow authors/publishers/bookstagrammers, sign up for book newsletters, and write reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Book Bub, etc. 

CM: That’s great advice. Who is a rising star in Thriller or Mystery that we should keep an eye on? 
Annie: Stephen J. Galgon, author of The Circle, is one to watch for thrillers. His book has a unique premise, and it has won numerous awards. He’s in the process of writing a sequel. 

: How many books do you read per year? 
Annie: Last year, I read eighty-five books. Not sure I’ll exceed that this year. Fingers crossed.

CM: 85 books read—consider us impressed! What websites/platforms do you use to showcase your reviews? 
Annie: I mostly use Instagram. It has grown in popularity for Bookstagrammers since the pandemic. I also guest blog once a month for editor Kimberly Hunt of Revision Division. 

CM: Do you regularly use ARCs? Can you share resources for readers who are interested in receiving more ARCs? 
Annie: I love ARCS. NetGalley is the best website to get your hands on e-book ARCs. I highly suggest setting up a profile. There are also several publicity agencies that allow you to sign up for book campaigns. Two that I recommend are UpLit Reads and BookSparks. If you are a part of a book club, I recommend TLC Book Tours—you can enter giveaways for up to ten free copies of books. All of these agencies are on Instagram. In addition, if you’re an Amazon Prime Member, Amazon offers Amazon First Reads where you can pick an advanced copy of a Kindle book at no extra charge.

CM: How did you establish relationships with authors/publishers? 
Annie: I tag them on Instagram when I feature their books. I also direct message authors to see if they would like to provide a quote that I can use in my post. 

CM: What is the best way for authors/publishers to approach you to read a book? 
Annie: I welcome emails or direct messages on Instagram. I book up, so it’s important for an author or publisher to reach out to me a few months before the pub date.

CM: Name a book you recently read and can’t stop thinking about. 
Annie: This isn’t a contemporary read, but Anna Karenina. It sat on my shelf for two years before I was invited to participate in a buddy read. It looks intimidating because it has just under 800 pages, but I managed it by committing to reading twenty-five pages per day. It is an emotional roller-coaster of a read and quickly found its way into my heart. 

As far as a more recent book, I Am a Girl from Africa is incredible. It’s Elizabeth Nyamayaro’s extraordinary memoir. I was blown away by her journey. From growing up in a small African village to becoming a senior advisor with the United Nations, she overcame the odds of not only surviving but thriving. Elizabeth changed laws and lives by applying the concept of the African philosophy of ubuntu—"I am because we are.” A simple statement, but so profound when put into practice—coming together in community to uplift and create positive change. I’m still processing the book, but it made me think about my own life, and how I can make a difference. I recommend this memoir to anyone who is seeking inspiration and meaning in life. 


Reading List

Genres/sub-genres you’re looking for:
  • Adult Fiction, 
  • Young Adult, 
  • Women’s Fiction, 
  • Thrillers/Mysteries, 
  • Historical Fiction, 
  • Fantasy, 
  • Memoirs
What you’re not interested in:
  • Horror
  • Short Stories


Do you accept unsolicited review requests? Yes

How can authors/publishers contact you? or @msanniecathryn on Instagram