We spoke with Ashley Spivey—founder of Spivey’s Book Club—who launched a virtual book tour in March 2020 so that readers and authors can connect virtually. Interested in following the book tour? Find more info about upcoming dates at the end of the interview!
Tell us about your virtual book tour. Why did you start it?
I started the virtual book tour after hosting an event with Kimmery Martin in Brooklyn and we had a dismal turnout! It was at the beginning of March when things started getting scary, and a lot of people did not attend the event because they were starting to get worried. That night I knew that this would be bad for authors with new books, and I started brainstorming of ways that I could help. I’ve been lucky enough to build an audience of booklovers—why not share that audience with authors? By taking over the account for a day, an author has a built in audience of over 12k potential viewers!
What has been the most surprising thing about the virtual tour?
I think the most surprising thing about the virtual tour is that we are getting to see a side to authors that we usually aren’t privy to—a lot of authors are not that forthcoming on social media (especially Instagram) about their private lives! When attending a real live book event, we get a few stories about the author, but most of the event is dedicated to the book! One of the author takeovers involved her balancing on a yoga ball while drinking Tito’s Vodka—all while telling us about the book! That would never happen at a Barnes & Noble event!
What are some of the books you are most excited about? In particular ones that would be great as an audiobook?
I think every book that has been featured on a takeover so far has sounded so good, but there are a couple that I’m particularly excited about in terms of audiobooks—To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters, You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle, The Herd by Andrea Bartz, And I Do Not Forgive You by Amber Sparks, The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey, The Roxy Letters by Mary Pauline Lowry, What We Inherit by Jessica Pearse Rotundi, The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan, and The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe.
How can people support authors with new books coming out right now?
Tune into @spiveysbookclub on instagram every day to check out the takeover for the day. I will link multiple ways to purchase the book—I’m partial to Libro.fm and bookshop.org. 🙂 Most takeovers involve giveaways, so if you don’t win a free copy you can at least feel good about supporting a small business and an author!
Are you an audiobook listener? If so, what are some of your favorite audiobooks?
What are some of your favorite independent bookstores?
How have books been keeping you grounded right now?
Whenever the news becomes too much or I’m angry at the incompetence of the government, I take a mind-vacation by opening a book or listening to an audiobook. I might be stuck in my tiny New York apartment, but I’m able to travel anywhere for those hours that I read. 🙂
Upcoming Virtual Book Tour Schedule:
5/5 The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe
5/6 Ask for More by Alexandra Carter
5/7 Tiny Imperfections by Alli Frank & Asha Youmans
5/8 Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews
5/11 Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras
5/12 Finding F*ck Yes by Clare Marie Edgeman
5/13 The Resolutions by Brady Hammes
5/14 Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder
5/15 Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese
5/17 Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer
Ashley Spivey is a career nanny, part-time podcast host, and social media activist. You might remember her from season 15 of The Bachelor with Brad Womack or more recently, being a vocal critic of The Bachelor franchise. She lives in Manhattan with her sleepy husband, Steve and her dog, Jackson. Her online book club #spiveysbookclub/@spiveysbookclub (30k members strong!) is her proudest accomplishment because she feels that reading, now more than ever, is so important. You can find her on Instagram/Twitter as @ashleyspivey.