Book bloggers are making a splash in the new world of publishing. They're posting photos on Instagram, reviews on their blogs and YouTube channels, and controlling the way we view new titles.
Think about that for a second. Book bloggers, people just like us, are out there making their voices heard. On their own. With no payroll.
In a way, book bloggers are like the reviewer version of self-publishers. They're out on their own, making their own rules. Free reviews? Free promotion? What's the catch?
Book bloggers are no longer the industry's best kept secret. They're a high commodity and their time is limited. So how do we get our books read? I've done the research, hands-on. Allow me to help!
Where to Find Book Bloggers
With my book releasing in a couple of months, I'm on the hunt to find great reviewers to read my book. So far, I've had pretty awesome success compiling my list. Here's where to look:
This is an amazing resource when it comes to finding book bloggers. Using hashtags, it's incredibly easy to seek out the right kind of readers for your book, and it's a hub for YA fans. Try typing these hashtags into the search bar:
Ahh, my social media crush. Twitter is the perfect place to engage in interaction with book bloggers. Let them know that you're interested in them, uniquely. Retweet them. Reply to them.
Give yourself a competitive edge by being genuinely interested in what they have to say. They like books and you like books. Common ground, eh? Here are some hashtags to search for them:
The drawback of finding book bloggers through social media is that you'll need to send individual, personalized emails to each blogger that you find. This can be time-consuming and also a waste of time.
If you have to individually contact book bloggers, a few things may happen:
- The reviewer won't read your book. Again, they're busy people. Maybe they aren't taking on any more books. Maybe they don't read self-published books. You never know.
- The reviewer may read your book, but not review. The reviewer isn't bound to your book. There's a chance he/she may not finish your book or may simply forget to review.
- The reviewer may only read paperback. This isn't a problem, per se. However, shipping paperbacks can be expensive, so this isn't cost-efficient or time-efficient.
Thankfully, there's a service that can reach hundreds of book bloggers at once.
NetGalley allows you to post your title for a fee, and reviewers can then request an ARC (advanced reader copy) of your book for review. There are also co-op programs available, such as The Patchwork Press, that allows you to participate for a smaller price.
This lets you reach a wide range of book bloggers for a minimal effort. Love it!
How to Win Book Bloggers Over
Now that you've found them, how do you get them to love you back? Something to note: even if a book blogger agrees to read your book, there's no guarantee that he/she will review it. And if you do get a review, it might not be positive. Okay, now that I've scared you, let me help you better your chances at landing a review:
Abide by their review policy. (Usually on their blog.)
Make sure the book blogger accepts your genres.
Read their blogs. See what they're saying about other books.
Tell them your release date and other pertinent information.
Give them plenty of time.
Be prepared to answer any and all questions.
Make sure each pitch is personalized for each blogger.
Respect their time. Keep your email short and substantial.
Don't oversell. Let them know who you are and what you're about.
- Don't word your email with expectation. Present your pitch as a question and not a sure thing.
Discussion Time: Have you pitched to book bloggers? Tell us your success and failure stories. What advice can you share?
P.S. Need more publishing help? Check out this post on finding cover designers.