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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ten copies of Donna’s helpful book, Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.
Thank you, Donna!
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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.
Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager.
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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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.
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