Meet FFBC Tours.
FFBC Tours Social Media Links:
TUABFC Social Media Links:
Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little about yourself and FFBC.
- Profession: Regulatory Affairs
- Country: Spain & United Kingdom
Patri is the owner and blogger of The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club (TUABFC) and co-owner of the Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours (The FFBC Tours.
She loves books so much that on 2013 she had to open a website and blog about books (of course!) and in 2014 she started the free-of-charge (we get paid in book-form) PR services, The FFBC tours.
Loves romances, dancing and shopping (even though her bank account doesn’t like that). Funny, friendly and loud, at times, always looking to engage more and more in the blogging community.
“Our love of books is what drives us to help the authors and publishers behind those amazing stories.” When did your love of books start? What was the first book that really left a lasting impression?
Gosh, now I know how authors feel when I ask this question! It is quite difficult to answer this. My mom taught me how to read at a very young age (at 5 years old) and since then books where my friends. I was the weird kid at school that teachers literally banned bringing books to school because I would spend my playground time reading. Something about not socializing enough… Don’t know what they were thinking really!
I think that the first book I read in Spanish that left a massive impression was “Memorias de Idhun by Laura XXX”, in Italian “Tre Metri Sopra il Celo by Federico Moccia” and in English I think it has to be The Lux series, Harry Potter and Abbi Glines’ books.
How did you come up with the name “Fantastic Flying Book Club”? Had your tour company originally been an online book club?
After we decided we wanted to do a bit more than just blogging, I saw this short movie called “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad3CMri3hOs) and the story touched me so much and I felt so identified that I wanted to honour that short film. I think people who love books the way we love them is Mr. Morris and we all live surrounded by books and stories we will take with us when we leave this world.
The FFBC Tours, or The Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours, started organising some extra publicity on the book INK by Amanda Sun. It was basically Anasheh from A Reading Nurse, who’s now “retired” from the FFBC tours, and myself hosting several promotional posts (interviews, extra materials from the book, reviews, etc.) that we created with the author for a week. We thought it was amazing and we wanted to expand that to a larger audience, so we decided to email people asking them if they would be interested in working with us as our team. Since 2014 we have perfected our services and tried to make them user-friendly for bloggers and authors and we have tried to re-invent ourselves to keep up with the game (e.g. Bookstagram).
What is your favorite thing about being a book blogger? Favorite thing about running a tour company?
The books and the people. Before starting book blogging, I felt a bit lonely. I could not talk to my friend about the latest book I was reading, because back in the day books got translated at a slower pace so I was reading English books, but my friends did not. So after I finished a mind-blowing book, all the hype, all the “what-did-just-happened”, got deflated because I could not share my thoughts with anyone. That changed drastically when I started blogging. All of a sudden, I was doing that but with an online audience and online friends. Plus, sometimes I got books before they got released! How cool is that?
Now, my favourite thing of running the tours is having an open conversation with authors, bloggers, publishers and literary agents. I love hearing how happy people are for participating on our tours and getting the feeling we are a (small) important part of the blogging community.
On average, how many tours do you schedule for a year? How does this number differ from when you first started?
I have never counted the amount of tours we do per year as silly as it sounds! I know that for this 2020 I have planned 75 tours from January until August, and I have some pending requests. Then there would be Michelle and Jana’s tours for the year, too.
Since 2015, this has changed drastically. I think we started with maybe 5 tours per month (approx.) whereas now between us 3 we can easily reach 20 tours a month.
When approached with an inquiry about scheduling a tour, how long does the process take to get everything finalized?
I like to start the tour organisation 3 months in advance. We always schedule our tours around the book release date (either the week prior to the release or the week after), so I ask authors and publishers to start early to allow the author time to write any promotional posts they might want to do and for bloggers to have time to read without having to stress about time. Also, this leaves some extra time for errors or unexpected problems.
How did you go about creating your brand; tagline?
The FFBC Tours started with me and Anasheh from A Reading Nurse wanting to help authors a bit more. I remember chatting with Amanda Sun and seeing how scary it would be not having enough outreach, so your book can at least be seen. It is a shame that there might be book jewels hiding on Goodreads and our libraries/book stores, that we are completely unaware of because they didn’t get “talked about”.
That’s when 1 year into blogging, I decided to create the FFBC Tours. I would mainly focus on the site design, banners and reaching out to authors and publishers and Anasheh would make sure my Spanglish sounded more English and a bit more formal. With time, the FFBC tours had expanded so much that I could not cope with all the work and Anasheh was a bit MIA due to her work, that’s when I asked the blogging community if they wanted to be part of the FFBC Tours. That’s when the lovely and amazing Michelle became one of the co-owners of the FFBC tours while Anasheh stepped down. I can’t tell you how happy I was to have Michelle. She’s a sweetheart and she helped me so much. I completely disappeared on her at some time while pursuing my research project for my MSc and she took charge of the FFBC Tours like champion! Due to the workload increasing rapidly and my absence during this time, we decided to bring a 3rd co-owner into the picture, and that’s when the lovely Jana came in. She’s also amazing and has been a great addition into the team. I don’t know where the tours would have ended if I didn’t have these 2 amazing bookish ladies with me. From time to time, we skype to align some changes and to catch up with any news, but we are constantly texting each other, too! Which is super nice.
As for the tagline, it all came from Mr. Morris Lessmore’s video. Watch it and let me know what you think! It really made me cry and woke all these fuzzy feelings… honestly, just watch it.
Real life vs. Tour Organizer: What is your daily routine like?
To be honest, my daily routine is stressful. I work for a quite famous British multinational consumer goods company whose brands you more than likely have in your household. I have a very flexible office hours which helps with my 1h and 30 min commute from my house to the office and I can work from home some days. I get home around 6pm (UK time) and then off to the gym, since I am trying to stay healthy (new goal for 2020 as cliché as it sounds!). When I get back home I cook some food for my partner and I while watching some TV and then off to bed to start all over in the morning.
When I don’t go to the gym, I use the evening to do some tours work and I read on my breaks at work and listen to audiobooks when I drive. I have lots of time to spare then!
I barely have time for blogging or to re-design my site like I have been wanting to do for 3 years now, but I am hoping this will change in the future!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers today?
We want to invite any blogger reading Rae’s interview to join the FFBC Tours and we want to ask everyone to only request books they want to read. I know we all tend to be bookhoarders, but it is really difficult for us when a blogger doesn’t post on their assigned date.
We want the FFBC Tours to be like a family. I want bloggers know we have their backs and that we will keep “fighting” to get them the best titles we can. I like to think we are quite understanding, and I want to build both a rapport and a friendship with our FFBC Team members and help them as much as we can.
We are really thankful for everyone working with us, including authors, publishers and literary agents, but specially bloggers, because without their constant hard work and creativity we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Also, sorry to all our FFBC Team members for sending you emails at random times at night. I am based in the UK whereas Michelle and Jana are based in the US. For any urgent matters, always tweet us or contact us on IG, if we do not reply asap to your emails.