How To Approach Bloggers About Your Book
Why Bloggers Are a Valuable Resource
Bloggers are an easy and often free way to promote your book, as well as to improve your craft. They can point out the bad and good parts of your book for you in the reviews, provide the Amazon links, and leave reviews on review sites like Goodreads as well as on their blog. They can also do cover reveals, giveaways, and even guest posts from you without charging a dime, most of the time. Easy, and effective. However, it is very important to contact them with as much care as you would an agent or a publisher. In my two years of blogging and promoting authors’ work on my blog Ink and Paper, I’ve come across several issues that make me inclined to give a bad review, or to reject the book altogether.
Have you ever worked with a blogger before, or a virtual book tour service?
Follow the Submission Guidelines
If a blogger takes the time to write out submission guidelines, then the least you can do is follow them. Following the guidelines makes life easier for the blogger, and he or she will be more willing to review your book than if you did not. The submission guidelines will also clear up questions, like if there’s a reviewing fee, how long it will take to review the book, and what book formats are acceptable.
If They Do Not Have Any Guidelines
Some bloggers don't post guidelines for requesting reviews, but that doesn't mean they don't accept review requests. Here's a list of what you should give them if they don't have specific guidelines.
- A short synopsis
- When you would like the review posted, if you have a preference
- What formats you can provide
- An offer in return for their time. It doesn't have to be much. A mention on your website and social media is enough
Submit Your Book to Blogs With the Appropriate Genres
This seems like a no-brainer. After all, you wouldn’t submit your memoir about your time in Nazi Germany to a teenage paranormal romance publishing company, right? Same rules apply with blogs. Even though I accept almost all genres, it still irks me when an author tells me their thriller would be perfect for my blog even though out of the seventy plus books I’ve reviewed, I only have one thriller review. However, if you say something like “I realize you mainly review romances, but I would like you to review my thriller because there is a strong love story between John and Mary, and all of John’s actions in the book is because of his love for Mary”, then the blogger might be more willing review your book. After all, you acknowledge the fact that your book is a different genre, and you make a case for why your book would fit on the blog. Otherwise it seems like you just didn’t do you homework.
Okay, even if the blogger can’t review your book for whatever reason, or thought that your book sucked, you should still not be rude. Sending nasty emails or messages won’t do anything but annoy the blogger. Whenever an author is particularly nasty to me-- and there’s been a few-- then I make a mental note to never work with that author again. Also, I might write on my blog about my experience with that author. Being courteous is always the best way. After all, a good first impression will make the blogger more willing to give you a good review.
Stop By When the Review is Posted
Luckily, I haven’t had too much of a problem with this, but it always bugs me when I do. When I do a post, I always email the author so they will know that it is on the site. It’s good form for the author to then go on and comment, or at least ‘like’ the post. It’s a nice way of saying “thank you” to the blogger, and you can read the review, or see how your guest post looks on their site.