Getting a review for your book is one of the most effective ways of publicizing your work and yourself. Because of their “editorial content” book reviews are even more believable than classic “advertising”.
Nonetheless, most book reviewers are reluctant to review books from self publishers and Indies because of the prejudice that all self-published books are ill-conceived and poorly produced. Unfortunately this is not always far from the truth. (Next on The Indie Corner)
Joanna Penn –New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author, as well as owner of thecreativepenn.com– brilliantly sums up in just a few words the entire concept of book marketing. In her “Successful self-publishing. How to self publish and market your book“ Ms. Penn says: “Writing is about you. Publishing is about the book. Marketing is about the reader“. Marketing means connecting with a bigger network of people; building an author platform, using social media and book bloggers will give you a big help promoting your work, but you need to be savvy about how to create interest. Here some tips and tricks on how to approach book bloggers as an Indie.
Be smart and do your homeworks! Do not send a review request without doing your research online first. Take time to browse the website and read reviews, spend a few minutes to make a personal connection. Don’t forget to check the policy page, if you ask a question easily answered on the review request policy page, you’ll create the impression that you are lazy or that you don’t care enough.
Learn about the reviewer, look for serious and professional reviewers and query those you think would be a good match for your book- don’t just query the ones with big followings. Remember: Quality rather than Quantity.
Email etiquette is a must.. Your email alias, your subject line and your content all have to be clear and appear appropriate to your recipient. Failure to do this can get your email ignored and/or deleted as junk or spam. Using “Howdy“, “Cheerio” and “See ya ’round” are an excellent way never to be taken seriously or viewed as professional.
Linking is essential, if you know how to make a good use of it. Always link to your contacts (blog, website, socials), remember to link the words that describe the topic and avoid those long strings. (Author’s Page rather than http://www.etcetc.com/author/page/1234)
Once you are certain you have a top-notch product you should be proud to send it to reviewers. A well structured email can get you faster responses : a blurb of the book and a short bio are essentials, keep it simple and avoid super long emails. A good way to incorporate all the infos the book blogger might use (book cover, synopsis, author’s bio, etc) is to work on a “tip sheet“ or a “press kit“ . (Next on The Indie Corner)
If you want a sustainable career as an author you will need to build your own email list of bloggers/readers who like your books. Taking the time to build your own network of trusty reviewers will pay off in term of book exposure. Plus you will have your personal cheer squad!
Always ask if the blogger would consider reading and reviewing your book, beware the “attachment madness” and do not attach it right away. It’s a bit presumptuous and most book bloggers see that as a rude imposition.
A lot of bloggers consider demands quite annoying too. “Post your review here, here and here” can sound a bit pushy, and for many is a big show-stopper. Once again, be sure to read the request policy page where usually those infos are (or should be) provided.
Same with time frame. I am not offended by a time frame, as long as it is reasonable. A good/professional book blogger should always provide -if not the exact date when the post will be up, at least a waiting list. Always keep track of all your queries, and make sure that bloggers who agree to write and post a review actually do that. Pure and simple work ethic.
It is really that simple; be smart, professional, efficient and always polite! The book bloggers community is a great resource, choose wisely and build worthy connections.
If you are either a writer or a book blogger, I would love to hear your thoughts down in the comments.