LUXlife had a chance to sit down and interview Lucy Pearson, who ditched her day job to follow her passion and become an influencer who shares her passion for travelling and books four years ago. Lucy now makes a living sharing news about independent bookstores, new book launches, literary hotels, alongside running literary book workshops through her website The Literary Edit.
She also recently won the Inaugural Book Blogger of the Year Award at the London Book Fair.
What’s your top tip for anyone wanting to become an influencer?
For anyone wanting to build a memorable online presence, having a stylish, aesthetic and easy-to-use website is key, with strong social media platforms a close second. However much of a technophobe you might be, with the likes of Wix.com on offer that’s free, building a visually pleasing website should be the first place you start if you want to create a brilliant online brand.
What inspired you to start blogging?
I was actually struggling to find a job working in the publishing industry after I graduated, which inspired me to start blogging. I was working in beauty PR, and, while I loved everyone I worked with and the job was fun, my heart was in books. My boss had her finger on the pulse of all things digital and so, while at the time blogging wasn’t the platform it’s grown to be today, she encouraged me to start a book blog. The rest is history.
In what way has blogging/social media most changed your life?
Launching my blog led me to work for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, so the career breaks that have come about from my blog have been invaluable, as have the travel opportunities. In January I was lucky enough to visit Indonesia on a press trip with a group of journalists from the UK to found out about the county’s literacy initiatives, and then in March I was invited to visit Guatemala to take part in a writing retreat with one of my very favourite authors, both of which were life changing trips.
What is the best and worst thing about being an influencer?
Like most people, I hate the term influencer, and don’t really think of myself as one, but I love nothing better than when one of my followers gets in touch to tell me they’re reading a book I recommended or have visited somewhere I’ve reviewed on my blog. I started my blog for the love of books, so instilling a passion for reading in others is the reason I do this for a living. The worst thing is definitely the ‘always-on’ mentality which comes with working online. As fortunate as I am to have travelled to the countries and cities that I have, I very rarely switch off.
What’s your top tip on how to take the perfect Instagram snap?
Invest in decent props! It was only when I recently took part in a styling workshop just before Christmas that the difference between a good and a great pic is often something as simple as having the right accessories for your picture. That and natural lighting – I only take pictures for Instagram during daylight hours.
What’s been your favorite city to visit?
As someone with a passion for all things literary, Paris is probably my favourite city to visit. It’s a place that’s steeped in literature, with an unrivalled bookshop offering and an abundance of literary hotels to choose from. Add in the scenic streets, picturesque boulevards and – of course – the French foodie scene and it’s a hard city to beat.
Who is your role model/who influences you?
The author and founder of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, Kate Mosse, has been a huge inspiration for me ever since I first read her book, Labyrinth, many moons ago. I actually tore the author bio out of her book and kept it in my diary for years, so going on to work with her on the Women’s Prize for Fiction was a dream come true. I’m also really inspired by a number of other women writers, including Elizabeth Day, Dolly Alderton, Poorna Bell and Lucy Mangan, and one of my biggest influences when it comes to books is Faroukh Naseem who runs the Bookstagram account The Guy with the Book.
What’s your favourite book?
My very favourite book is A Little Life by Hanya Yanigaraha, but other books I love include The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirata, Life Drawing by Robin Black, Wild by Cheryl Strayed and The Scapegoat by Daphne Du Maurier.
What’s your favourite luxurious brand?
I adore both Aspinal of London and Smythson, and can never resist adding to my stationary collection whenever I pass one of their shops.
What would you like to have achieved in 12 months’ time?
I have a number of literary hotspots that I would love to review on my blog, including a hotel in Zurich and Georgia. I would like to have continue building my blog to be the go-to destination for literary travelers around the world, and there are a couple of authors I have my eye on who I would love to interview at the monthly Bondi Literary Salon that I host in Sydney.