3 Successful Ways To Get Bloggers To Love You & Your Book! by guest @YaminaToday

By Rachel Thompson | Blog

Aug 22

3 Successful Ways To Get Bloggers To Love You – And Your Book! 

By A. Yamina Collins

 

 

In terms of book blog reviews, one size does not fit all.

I know, I know. You’ve just written the most fantastic book in your respective genre, and now all you need are a few bloggers to give your book some positive reviews so the rest of the world can know how marvelous it is.

I think it’s great you have so much faith in your book. Keep it going because faith is a central force behind how well we do in any endeavor.  But let’s also deal with how to get those pesky little bloggers to actually review your book in the first place. Because trust me, it’s not as a simple as, “Hey, here’s my brilliant book, please review it.”

First, let me start off by saying that I’m offering this advice as one who has been on

both sides of the spectrum:  I’m a blogger who gets a decent number of book review requests on my literary blog, Yaminatoday.com.

My blog is by no means BIG. On the other hand, it isn’t so small as to be virtually off the map either. I currently receive 12,000 visitors and 130,000 hits per month to my site, and it has taken almost two years to build these numbers. It’s a lot of work, but I’m grateful for the experience, especially now that I’m also a published author.

And the insight of being a blogger and an author has helped me develop three very basic steps an author needs to take to get the attention of the elusive (and very busy) blogger, and I’d like to share them with you.

After all, like people, blogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, moods and shades, and so do the people who run them. One size does not fit all.

You, the potential number one bestselling author, would do better to find only 10 bloggers who fit your niche perfectly than send out 100 emails to blogs that have absolutely nothing to do with what you’re trying to pitch.

Here are three rules you should consider when querying bloggers.

 

1) Know The Bloggers Name

One of my pet peeves as a blogger comes from authors who contact me with a generic “Hi” introduction. It always feels so spammy and impersonal.

It kind of goes like this: “Hi. Will you review my book? It’s a great book. You will love it. Thanks in advance!”

Listen, this isn’t about vanity. I don’t need you to know my name as a point of personal validation. But when someone doesn’t bother to take the time to know my name, even though it’s splashed across the top of my blog, I already know they haven’t read my guidelines. And if the author hasn’t read my guidelines, then he or she is probably going to request a book review from me. And if they’re going to request a book review from me, then they’ve just wasted their time and mine, and violated my first rule of submissions…because I don’t do book reviews. Never have.

Honestly, you want to lure the blogger with honey, and not to sting them with an insult.

Please, know the bloggers name. Because even the bloggers who don’t mind the occasional, generic “hey” inquiry will certainly tire after a few rounds of these.

Trust me: I used to try to respond to everyone who contacted me in this manner, mostly because I didn’t want to be rude. But as I’ve gotten busier (and not because I hate you), I just don’t have time.

Besides, I now reason that I was never much on that writer’s radar anyway if they didn’t know whom they were addressing. So it’s not like they’ll miss me or notice when I don’t respond, will they?

Please, authors. Do yourself the favor and take a few minutes to know the name of the blogger you’re requesting a review from.

 

2) Know What The Blogger Actually Blogs About

This seems like an obvious piece of advice; one of those, duh, Yamina, moments. And

yet again, the most common inquiry I get are from authors looking for me to review their books. Problem is, once again… I don’t do book reviews.

Listen, bloggers have a lot on their plate already. They don’t have time to read or review a lot of books, so in many cases, they’re just looking for excuses to say no to you (sorry, but it’s true).

I spoke with one blogger who told me how absolutely insulting and frustrating it is to have writers contact her without reading her guidelines.

Her stance was, “If I wrote the guidelines, why wouldn’t I expect you to read them? They’re there for a reason.”

By the way, it’s not just insulting to refuse to read the submission guidelines it’s also rather baffling.

Why would you shoot yourself in your own foot? Why would you lesson your chances of getting on a blog by doing the opposite of what the guidelines and the blogger requested?

As I said earlier, it would better for authors to target specific bloggers who fit their needs rather than sending out the same generic request for reviews to every blog and hoping someone bites.

P.S. I am rather curious how many responses authors get when they do send out these “blind” requests.  I can’t imagine they receive a whole lot of positive feedback. It’s just the nature of the beast.

Besides, I certainly know what my response is, due mostly to time constraints and now a whole lot of frustration: delete.

 

3) Offer Something Of Value

This is probably the surest way of getting your book onto a blog.

I’ve said it once. I’ll say it again. Bloggers have a lot on their plate. Let me break it down for you in another way; bloggers are often scrambling for ideas of their own to post. So don’t assume they’re teeming with ideas on how to make you look good.

Seriously, assume that they don’t have time to read your book. That’s a safer bet to make; never mind the fact that the books they want to read for sheer pleasure don’t always get read.

So what’s an aspiring author to do to get their book out there for the public to read? Simple. Offer to write a post that’s full of information for the blogger’s audience.

For example, describe the process you went through when you sought an agent for your book; talk about how you healed from a bad relationship, just like the bad relationship you now describe in your novel. Write something personal that the readers of that blog will benefit from.

Think of it this way: the post should not be about you and your book – the post should be about the reader.

Want to step it up another level? Give the blogger topic ideas he or she can choose from. Offer them various topic ideas, and then write the one that the blogger most enjoys.

Yes, this will add to your writing schedule, but you already work full time anyway, don’t you? And you’re just dying to get out of that rut of a job you’re stuck in anyway, aren’t you? Well, it’s going take hard work to get your writing career going full time. So…work.

Ironically enough, you can actually find great ways to mention your book in informational posts anyway.

For example, when I first contacted Rachel to tell her about a post I wanted to give her, she said yes right away. After all, I wasn’t seeking a book review, but explained that I wanted to write an article that had something to do with marketing advice for authors; a great fit for her blog.

Obviously, I couldn’t have written about how wonderful my new short story collection “The Blueberry Miller Files” is (wink, wink); I couldn’t just do a piece about its multi-ethnic cast of characters, or its African-American Anglophile who lives in Harlem with her parents but is convinced she was raised by English Thespians. I couldn’t do any of that because that’s not what Rachel is about. (ok, ok, ok, I obviously name-dropped my book here. I wasn’t even sly about it was I? But hopefully, you’re getting the point. You can always find a way to mention your book in an informational blog post).

What Rachel’s audience needs is information about how to market their own books. Think about it. Would you have read this post if it was only about my book? Probably not—and who could blame you?

So remember to offer something of value to people; know the bloggers and know

their names; take that little extra time to shoot for stardom without shooting blindly from the hip. Then sit back watch some of your literary dreams come true.

And with that I say, good night, and good luck.

 

 

Bio

Author A. Yamina Collins runs the popular literary blog Yaminatoday.com. She has been featured on About.com for women in business. The Blueberry Miller Files, a collection of tales about the humor, awkwardness, and tragedy of the human condition, is her first published book. Follow her on Twitter @YaminaToday. 

 

Please leave your comments or questions for Yamina or Rachel below! 

 

 

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About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month – created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader’s “Best of 2015” top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed.

She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly.

Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs,  #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Leave a Comment:

(18) comments

Amanda Taylor August 24, 2012

Great post ladies!

Most of this is just plain common sense. It’s a no duh scenario. Even when I first started out as an author looking for the elusive book blogger, I pretty much guessed what the idea was behind the “submission guidlelines”. It pretty much parallels on that of publishing, lol. It’s just common courtesy to know the person’s name. If they don’t put their name I just refer to them as their blogger handle, and tell the person that I don’t know their real name, so sorry if it sounds a little impersonal. Even in real life when people said “Hey, yo, girl!” and not say my name when they know it it just runs all over me. I have a name; you know it; use it!

It’s always a good idea to the questions you may have after reading the guidelines after mentioning you have read them before submission. I’ve learned hard lessons by not asking the questions just recently–the hard way. It mostly happens to authors who write for MG/YA audiences and possibly fantasy. We have a whole difference set of challenges and troubles for our age group demographic!

In the same bad experience, I and other authors have learned a painful lesson because a book blogger gypped us in her guidlelines and said things in the reviews not mentioned therein. Reminded me of “oops, oh well.” I think she offers some authors an apology.

Hopefully it will be a guest post here on BRM! We have to wait and see 😉

Reply
    Rachel Thompson August 24, 2012

    It is tough when a reviewer either isn’t clear about their expectations or discusses something we’re not aware they will cover. As authors we have to accept that reviews from book bloggers and professional reviewers will generally follow a more structured format, but there’s never a guarantee they will like our books. That’s just part of putting our work out there.

    There are no guarantees in … book reviews. Or book reviewers.

    Reply
      Amanda Taylor August 25, 2012

      That’s true! The last part of the comment was more of comments made on other authors’ books and not mine per se. I felt worst for them than myself.

      Most bloggers and reviewers are good professionals. They have bad apples in their bushels just like we authors do 🙂

      Most of the WTF? comments made I ignore since they don’t help anyone have a better reading experience or make me a better writer 😉

      Reply
Tony Tovar August 24, 2012

#2 is always the hardest for me I’ll admit. But I guess if you follow them first and find that they may add value, engaging them later versus right now for the sake of having an opportunity would hurt. In fact, I think that’s what I’ll do as I grow my site. 🙂 Ty.

@Nichemonger

Reply
Tony Tovar August 24, 2012

Oops, I mean engaging the blogger later after getting to know what they blogger would be best anyway (would hurt to *is best practice).

Reply
    Rachel Thompson August 24, 2012

    Yes, good points, Tony. It’s really a good idea to start engaging with bloggers prior to your book coming out or you can come across as disingenuous. I see that a lot.

    There are a lot of pre-release activities we all should do prior to the book coming out that authors can learn about and do. It’s a learning process, for sure!

    Reply
Joe Hefferon August 26, 2012

Yamina is a real pro and that’s really what underpins this post. If you want to be treated like a professional you must begin the process in a professional manner. Put in the extra effort and do a little homework before you begin any endeavor, particularly one that means so much to you. We all put heart & soul into our work, so attack the business aspect with as mush fervor.
Thanks Yamina

Reply
    Rachel Thompson August 28, 2012

    Agreed, Joe. We as authors must treat our book writing and marketing as a business because, well, it is. Many authors bristle at that, since writing is a creative process. But let’s face it: art itself doesn’t pay our rent. Sales do.

    Yamina approaches reviews in a way that makes sense and is easy to understand and follow. Her site has lots of great advice.

    Reply

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Stella K September 7, 2012

Lovely post and so very true. Yamina uses a clever way to ‘subtly’ introduce her book but mostly point out a few things about social media marketing. Will be checking her webiste and book, as a result.

Well done to Yamina and Rachel (who is becoming a stronger driving force by the minute!).

Reply
    Rachel Thompson September 7, 2012

    hi stella! Thx for visiting my blog. I hope all is well in book land :). I agree, Yamina did a great job w/ getting all points across and promoting her new book (which I bought & can’t wait to read). Thanks for your kind comments.

    Reply
Lori Foroozandeh September 11, 2012

Great advice for submitting books and blog advice. I’d use your first name but all I see is an initial and then Yamina, is Yamina your proper name to use?
Thank you again. My blog is regarding my true story of captivity in Iran during 911. Please check it out I’d love your advice and suggestions:
http://www.lorissong.com
http://www.loris-song.com
Thank you again, Lori

Reply
    Rachel Thompson September 11, 2012

    Hi Lori. I’m Rachel. Yamina is my guest on this blog, and all her links are in red. just click and you’ll be taken to her blog, etc. Hope that helps!

    Reply

3 Successful Ways To Get Bloggers To Love You & Your Book! guest @YaminaToday – @BadRedheadMedia http://t.co/OhpEioHu

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3 Successful Ways To Get Bloggers To Love You & Your Book! guest @YaminaToday – @BadRedheadMedia http://t.co/DcSWI8Zl

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