How to Work With Book Bloggers (By a Book Blogger) by Guest @Girl_Who_Reads

By Rachel Thompson | #NaNoProMo

May 25
How To Work With Book Bloggers (By A Book Blogger) by Guest @Girl_Who_Reads via @BadRedheadMedia and @NaNoProMo #BookBlogger #book #blogger

Make Friends With Book Bloggers

One of the top questions I hear from authors when discussing book discoverability and marketing is “What can I do that doesn’t cost a lot of money?”

My Response Is Always: Make Friends With Bloggers

Unfortunately, I see way too many authors only using bloggers as review generators and failing to make any kind of personal connection with them beyond the review pitch. Bloggers are an awesome resource to have in your toolbox, but one too many authors do not properly know how to incorporate this tactic into their marketing plans.

As more and more bloggers close to review requests, it is important for authors to find new ways to leverage the impact a blogger can have on a book’s success.

I have a number of publishers and publicists that contact me about traditionally published books. I can almost always tell when an email is from the traditional side of publishing from the first few lines. It is subtle, but it sets them apart from the indie and self-published pitches. Pitches from traditional publishing rarely begin with a request for review. Bloggers are pretty smart and already know that if an author/publisher/publicist is contacting them, they are hoping for a review.

Instead, these emails go straight to selling me on the book – why I should want to read it. After telling me how great the book is and how special the author is, they then still don’t ask for a review. Instead, they ask if I can MENTION the book on my blog. They ask if I would like to do a giveaway. And then at the very last, they offer to also send me a copy for review.

Bloggers Are Businesses, Too

It is also important to keep in mind that bloggers are building a business, just like you. Instead of selling a product like you are, bloggers make money through ads and affiliate links. Think of a blog like a digital magazine. Would you contact a magazine editor and ask that they review your book on Amazon? No, you would want coverage in their magazine. It is the same with bloggers.

Nothing says to me “I don’t care about you, only about me” more than when an author contacts me about reviewing on Amazon. Those messages get ignored and deleted.

I don’t know of a blogger whose review pile isn’t threatening to bury them. So asking for a mention instead of a full review takes some of the pressure off the blogger and will be more likely for them to say yes to your request. If I don’t have time to do a full review, I can do a promotional post for it with a giveaway.

How To Work With Book Bloggers (By A Book Blogger) by Guest @Girl_Who_Reads via @BadRedheadMedia and @NaNoProMo #BookBlogger #book #blogger

I love when press release materials or a Q&A is provided at the end of the email because it gives me more information for the post without searching for it. Also, a Q&A can often be slipped into a featured guest post slot. When life gets busy or the blogger comes down sick like I recently did, it’s great to have this kind of content available for a quick post.

Speaking of Q&A and guest posts, I think authors often overlook these opportunities. You do not need to be on a tour to ask a blogger for a guest post or interview slot. Most bloggers welcome original content from authors. It is also a great way to build a relationship with bloggers.

A Key to Successful Networking Is Always Be on the Lookout for Ways to Help Others

Even with a low-pressure pitch email, you have not gone the extra step in making friends with bloggers. A relationship beyond the review request will better secure a blogger in your camp. I have a number of authors who I email, Facebook, or tweet with. They show interest in me and my blog beyond what I do for them. They often share my blog postings on Twitter and Facebook. They also respond to my messages on Twitter and Facebook. They stop by my blog from time to time to comment on posts.

Authors who are responsive and attentive to me often will get more promotion from me. It’s an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” karma building thing. If I get a pitch from an author I know from social media, I will often add a note to my review team that this author has been supportive of Girl Who Reads and encourage them to give it extra consideration when deciding if they will review the book or not.

By building a relationship with bloggers you will have people who will promote you without asking in the future. When I see an author I’m friendly with winning an award or getting mentioned in the news, I’m happy to share that with my readers on Twitter and/or Facebook. Also, if they contact me about something special I will do my best to find a slot for it on my blog.

Noticed I said SPECIAL. If you are contacting me every week about hitting a new sales goal or an interview on a blog, then you are going to lose my interest. Would you ask your friend in real life to post every week about every little thing about your book? I don’t think so, and you shouldn’t ask that of bloggers whom you are building relationships with either.

Bloggers can be some of your most loyal and vocal supporters, it is well worth the time and effort to cultivate a relationship beyond the review request with them.

In my book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour, I provide more information on working with bloggers, writing guest posts, and preparing interviews. If you are unsure about pitching your book to bloggers and other media professionals, I highly recommend the book This Is How You Pitch by Ed Zitron.

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Get the info you need for a successful blog tour in this easy to follow how-to manual for authors.

From the publicist who introduced the world to Fifty Shades of Grey, Donna Huber is now revealing her secrets to successful blog tours. She shares tips and tricks learned through organizing over 30 tours, blasts, and promotional events for nearly 50 independently and traditionally published titles.

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THE GIVEAWAY

Ten copies of Donna’s helpful book, Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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Thank you, Donna!

@Girl_Who_Reads

Want to win this giveaway? Simply leave a comment WHY below!

All comments must be left prior to midnight on Friday, May 31st, 2019 in order to be eligible to win. Winners for the week announced on Saturday, June 1st.

Good luck!

Donna Huber

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager.

She is the founder of the Girl-Who-Reads.com website and the author of how-to marketing book, Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

She reads most genres, but her favorite books are psychological thrillers and stories that highlight the survival of the human spirit against unbelievable circumstances. Donna is a Top 1% Goodreads Reviewer.

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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 and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Leave a Comment:

(26) comments

McKenna May 25, 2019

What a terrific post–thank you! In the last couple of years, I decided to rebrand myself with a completely different genre, and the struggle to connect with bloggers in the new arena is real. You’re right, so few are doing reviews anymore. You’ve made me realize I’ve been taking the wrong approach here. Fortunately, I love doing interviews and writing guest blog posts, so I just need to adjust my thinking.

I’ve got a new release coming up in late June/early June, so Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour sounds right up my alley! I need to add that to the toolkit. 🙂

Reply
    Donna May 25, 2019

    As an indie author myself, I understand the pressure of getting reviews, but there are so many other ways to build buzz for your book and that is where bloggers can really help.

    Good luck with the new book.

    Reply
Ailish Sinclair May 25, 2019

What a wonderful and insightful post. With my first novel coming out this Autumn, it is really useful, just as your book would be 🙂

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Raiscara Avalon May 25, 2019

That book sounds useful, I’d love to win it! Excellent post, and something I do work on regularly since I’m not up to pitching them yet! Got to get back into it, though, as I kind of forgot…other than the regular stuff.

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    Donna May 25, 2019

    Building relationships before you have something to pitch is a great thing. If I recognize the name from interactions on social media when the pitch does come through I really work on getting something on the blog about the book.

    Reply
Felicia Reevers May 25, 2019

As an indie author who blogs/reviews, I could relate to each and every point you made.

Many authors (and promo services) don’t understand the benefits and value bloggers bring to the table, and that has directly affected the way I blog.

I say no more.

As you said, it’s all in the approach and the effort to build on the connection.

I review 7-10 books a month, and 1-3 of those are for a small PR group. Up until recently, we had no social media connections, but she came across one of my reviews a couple of years ago and began following my blog, and commenting through posts and the contact page. When she requested a review, it was a done deal – even though I didn’t care for the first book. (LOL!) But she continued her commenting and emails EVEN WHEN THERE WAS NO BOOK TO REVIEW. I can appreciate that, and her time and effort, and always make time/space for her reviews/book posts.

Excellent post – definitely sharing!

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Nancy May 25, 2019

As a virtual assistant who helps indie authors run blog tours, I would love a copy of this book! I know I have a lot more to learn.

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Sara Ohlin May 25, 2019

Thank you so much for this super helpful post! I would love to win a copy of Donna’s book to help me learn how to do successful blog tours.

Thank you again! This was awesome!

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Ainsley May 25, 2019

This is so helpful! I love the idea of asking for a mention. It’s a subtle difference but it makes so much sense. Every blogger I know has a towering TBR pile. This gives them many more options and not the pressure and timing of a review.

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Lexi May 25, 2019

Fascinating insights! Thanks so much for the “behind the scenes” sneak peak.

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Brian Greiner May 25, 2019

I’ve always struggled to understand how book bloggers fit into the scheme of things, but comparing their sites to a digital magazine makes sense.
Thanks for helping to clear that up!

Regards,

Brian

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Alexa May 25, 2019

This is a great post. I work with authors on their book launches all the time and this made me feel good that I’m doing it mostly right! I started as a blogger before books, which gives me some insight into it and I love that you remind people not to go straight to the Amazon review! It’s a partnership – and it’s best to make it a win-win!
As a blogger, I loved it when I was sent a Q&A or an excerpt – makes my job so much easier! Would love your book as I’m organizing blog tours monthly, and want to get the greatest success from them!

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Heather L. May 25, 2019

I’m an author and writing coach currently reading everything I can to help my clients (and myself) market our books! I am creating a “must-read” books list for my clients, so they can be successful in their writing and marketing careers. This book sounds like it should be at the top of my list!

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Monica-Marie Vincent May 25, 2019

I never thought about book bloggers being a resource. Now, this is something in the back of my mind. Thank you! 🙂

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Marianne Sciucco May 26, 2019

Great post! This will be helpful not only for the managers of my organization AlzAuthors.com but for the 200+ authors we represent on our blog. I will post it in our secret writers group on Facebook. The book also sounds like a gem we can use to fine tune our project. Thank you.

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Leslie May 26, 2019

Thank you for sharing this topic. You hit the nail on the head and while I appreciate new authors trying to get reviews so others will see their book, I am buried and book 2-3 months out from when you contact me….so if your book comes out next month don’t expect a review on your release date! But as was said, ask me to share the book on my blog and I will bend over backward to do what I can to help you promote that book!

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Kristine Hall May 26, 2019

You are right on all accounts! Bloggers don’t get the credit they deserve, yet they can make the biggest impact on a book’s success.

I’d like to win a copy of Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour because I am always looking for ways to improve what I offer authors and to help authors when they ask for advice. This sounds like a great resource.

Reply
Nkem DenChukwu May 27, 2019

Hello Rachel, Thank you for this article. I learned so much from it. I have written 7 inspirational books for children and teens, but yet to generate revenues as I would love to. With this giveaway, if I win, it would allow me the opportunity to gain more insights on how to promote my books.

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D.B. Moone May 27, 2019

From one Donna to another, and one book blogger to another. Thank you for delving deeper into what it takes to be a blogger.

My comment is offered to back Donna Huber from Girl Who Reads up on each topic she addressed in her guest post. Like Donna, I review more traditionally published books than I do Indie or self-published. However, I will also do my best to review a book for those I interact with on social media, time permitting. Most writers who request reviews have no idea how many hours a reviewer puts into reading, writing, collecting the author’s social media sites, blogs, or websites, other books they have written, etc..

As Donna Huber said, “Bloggers are Businesses, Too.” We are also people with the same life responsibilities as everyone else. And as Donna also mentioned, we get sick, and as for myself, I sometimes fall behind the date I’ve provided to an author. I too do as Donna Huber says if I do not have the time to read and review a book, I often agree to an author interview or be part of the author’s blog tour. Because I write reviews for publishing companies, these reviews are my priority. And oh, by the way, a lot of bloggers are writers also. If we spend ten hours on a book review and three or four hours on our writing (pitiful, I know), it’s no wonder we get sick.

Bloggers are more valuable to the author than many authors realize. We are a large part of the author’s promoting their book, for all the reasons that Girl Who Reads provided in her guest post. So, do make friends with bloggers, consider all the time a blogger spends reviewing, and be understanding when life happens to bloggers just as life happens to all people, whether author or not. But most importantly, don’t forget the benefit an author gets from an author interview or blog tour. I always have a stack of books, and I am confident that if you ask Donna Huber, she will tell you that she too has a stack of books.

Thank you, Donna, for speaking up for the bloggers that work day in and day out on behalf of the author.

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sarah krewis May 27, 2019

On my website I host author interviews where I’ll interview the author and then offer their book in a giveaway that I purchase myself.

Great post!

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Anne Goodwin May 29, 2019

Thanks for another great article. I have four DIY blog tours under my belt, and being a stopping off point on many more, but there’s always lots more to learn and I’d love a copy of Donna’s book.

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I need to remember this! I always feel like I’m bothering people when I reach out to bloggers. But you’re right – it is a business for them too.

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Karyn Good May 30, 2019

Thank you for the very helpful information. I recently launched a book and it’s difficult to know the right way to go about approaching bloggers. I actually like the idea of asking for a mention or support promoting a giveaway. It’s less pressure for the blogger, but also less pressure for me, as a writer, to ask for something that is doable, especially if I have no prior relationship to the blogger. I’m all about the baby steps!

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Shelley Munro May 31, 2019

Thank you for the excellent tips. As with most things, politeness and good manners go a long way. 🙂

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Rosey Lee May 31, 2019

I’ve learned so much reading this post. I already follow bloggers because I enjoy their reviews, but this post revealed opportunities that I hadn’t considered. I have so much to learn. Donna’s book would be a fantastic resource to add to my library.

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Callie Carmen July 7, 2019

Donna,
That was a wonderful article. Thank you. I’ve shared it with other authors and friends.

Reply
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