A journey into the world of book blogs and book reviewers
As part of my learning curve finding about the modern world of publishing and book promotion, I spent the last few months asking book bloggers and on-line book reviewers to read and review my book; and also making contact with their audiences by writing guest posts and giving author interviews.
There are thousands of book blogs on the internet, and the majority of them cover a specific theme, and have individual submission guidelines. Many of the older, more established book blogs have waiting lists of months to review books, and are monopolized by the marketing departments of the major publishers, who have recognized their value for some time.
So that leaves the hundreds of newer book blogs – again, each with their own submissions policy.
My first step into book blogging was to contact a range of blogs. After hours spent checking guidelines and finding correct contacts and making sure the genres were accepted, I wrote to a handful of book bloggers.
Absolutely no answer from any of them.
And bear in mind I had only written to bloggers who liked my genre, accepted indie books and were asking for submissions.
So, I did some more research and came across an excellent website that puts writers in touch with book bloggers, and lets the book blogger come to the writer, instead of the writer to the book blogger.
The lovely Kate Tilton has been helping out writers for over 7 years as an author assistant and marketing specialist, and she has a service to offer your book for review to her extensive list of book bloggers.
When she sent out an e-mail to her bloggers, it included details of my book, and what I was prepared to offer blogs – a guest post, an interview, free books for a completion, or anything else I was willing to provide.
She warned me that for my genre, Literary Fiction, there might be a very low response.
I was happily surprised.
Over 20 bloggers were interested in either reviewing my work or featuring me on their book blog.
Over the past 2 months, I have:
- submitted my book for 15 reviews
- written 6 guest posts
- given 4 author interviews
- interviewed my own main character from my novel
- provided books for 3 competitions
Some of the highlights included –
- A wonderful review from Lieze Neven following an interview, with Instagram follow-up
- A popular guest post on Magic Realism blog Examining the Odd, with a giveaway for Magic Realism fans
- Interviewing my own main character Lyuda, and providing a recipe for Ukrainian honey cake from the lovely Maryann Writes
- A guest post on creating fantasy worlds, and author interview on Scott Mullins’ Australian blog This is Writing
- A lovely review and interview with Books Direct Online – the very popular site of Lynda Dickson
- A 10 Statements post on my personal life philosophy on the My Train of Thoughts blog
- Getting a great review and doing an in-depth interview with the stylish blog The Reading Wolf.
And of course, there were a few low points –
- Getting a 3 star review from a blogger who disliked Magic Realism and didn’t read the book description when she requested the book
- Posting a hardback book of my debut novel all the way to Australia to get a 2 star review in return
But – with any group of readers you will have those who love it and those who don’t. But my goal was to explore the world of book blogs, and I feel I’ve had a rewarding adventure there.
Here are some tips for writers looking to connect with book bloggers:
- It’s much better to have the blogger come to you, than for you to come to the blogger – see Kate Tilton and others who provide this service
- Double check with the book blog that they know what kind of book they are about to receive and like the genre
- Be generous with your time, your content and your ideas. You will be promoting and improving their book blog, as well as your on-line presence
- There will always be a few readers who don’t like your book at all. That’s fine.
- Stay in contact with the book bloggers you enjoyed working with and recommend them to other writers. Build your own network of book bloggers.
- Promote their websites as you share your work on their blogs – it’s great for all sides.
And as I’m wrapping up the final blog posts and competition winners, it’s now time for the next adventure – YouTube Book Vloggers. Stay tuned!