First of all we would like to say thank you to all the authors who support us and work so willingly with us. You’ve made our blogging experience that much better by building a relationship with us and taking part in the give and take of the author/reader world. Thank you!
With all the ‘cold’ PR on social media, DizzyC and I thought it might be beneficial to authors looking to interact with readers to share our own experiences in the hope that it will help those looking to build a relationship with book bloggers.
Here’s DizzyC’s list of Do’s and Don’ts:
- Use blogger’s name in your email. Address them directly
- Follow bloggers on their website/Facebook/Twitter and interact with them. Bloggers are very generous and will share tweets/status updates of like-minded folk
- Do take a little time in your social media time to generally chit chat with your Facebook page followers/Twitter followers. You will appear more human rather than just an advertisement for your latest novel and you will get to know your readers.
- Do share snippets about your writing progress, research etc. Great promo for your forthcoming novel, and a good way to gain interest from potential readers. Book bloggers love to help spread the news.
- Befriend on Goodreads and then immediately ask them to read your novel or even buy your novel
- Befriend on Twitter and send a DM – buy my book. Or tag them in a tweet – “buy my book”
- Send email requests to bloggers who specifically say that they do not read your genre
- Send email requests to bloggers who have stated in their review policy that they are not taking any new authors, or review requests at present time/until a given date. We are very busy these days and often feel bad for turning books away but it is unfortunate. Having to reply with this info when an author has already pointed out in their email that they know you are not taking requests makes it really hard.
I would like to expand on some of these.
We choose our Twitter and Facebook timelines/newsfeed … what we see determines our experience. If your tweets and status updates are mostly selling your novel, retweets with little or no personal interaction, you may find yourself losing followers.
Build an online relationship with your prospective reader. Respond to tweets, as DizzyC says, don’t DM asking us to read your book.
I think it’s fair to say that all automatic DM’s have the same affect. “I’m looking forward to reading your tweets” with a buy link to your book doesn’t bring the joy you may suppose it does. If you’re looking forward to our tweets, then why don’t you respond and interact? Straight away the seasoned blogger will know that this is just a PR ploy. It has nothing to do with getting to know your reader.
A recent Tweet. Although not a DM, this is a good example!
Name and link removed. This author is NOT following me and hasn’t tweeted with me before 😦
The same thing applies on Facebook. Don’t like a blog Facebook page and then use it to post on the wall information about your website and your books. You may see it as a source of free advertising but it will do nothing to build that all important author/reader relationship. Think future. Think two-way relationship.
If you’ve been scheduled for a guest post or interview, make a note in your diary/planner and don’t expect the blogger to chase you (although most, in fact, will … and you know why? Because they are committed to what they do). Check out the blog, look at the format. Not all bloggers set out their posts in the same way and not all include the same information. Does the blogger add an author photo? Bio? Links? If you provide this information along with your post, this saves the blogger time Googling and hunting it out for themselves.
Don’t leave sending the information until the last minute. Bloggers often have full-time jobs and families. Expecting to be reminded and leaving it until the last minute adds pressure and you will still expect your post to be up on the blog on the agreed date. Respect that the blogger has been generous enough to host you and make sure you give the blogger plenty of time to prep and schedule the post. Don’t forget, the majority of bloggers are doing this FREE OF CHARGE. Make the admin side as easy as possible.
With regards to review requests, if you’ve managed to get a positive response, despite a review policy advising they are not accepting requests (see DizzyC’s last don’t) then don’t repeatedly contact asking when your review will be on the blog. What you should remember is that the blogger’s To Be Read pile was already a huge towering stack and you have effectively manipulated the blogger to accept your request (yes DizzyC is correct, it is hard to refuse, there are so many fabulous worlds out there to explore).
You will have to be patient. In fact this applies to all accepted review requests, don’t badger the blogger. You may find that your book gets further and further down the pile … and your next book? What do you think will happen? Have you built up a two-way, give and take relationship?
We don’t mean this to sound negative but these truly are the things that will increase your readership and your relationship with bloggers.
The sadness is, that I have known book bloggers who have chosen to give up. The blog they started because of their love of reading has turned into pressure, stress, headache, time-consuming and they just don’t want the harassment anymore. Book bloggers and authors have lost a valuable member of their community.
Look at the most successful authors on social media and follow their examples (and we don’t mean success is the most followers/the most friends). Remember it’s not just for NOW but for the FUTURE as well. Bloggers may become your fans. Certainly they can be a valuable part of your writing journey. Start building that relationship.
Let’s treat each other as people, first and foremost, and everything else will slot into place.