For those of us with new books out, we're scrambling for promos, blog tours, reviews, and guest posts. With the thousands of Book Blogs out there, you would think it would be easy right? Wrong.
Book Bloggers are just like the rest of us avid romance readers, only they have thousands of followers that like and respect their opinions. If a blogger gives you a four or five star review, it can feel like the girl with the hottest date to the prom. But with over 40,000 romance novels out there and dozens debuting every Tuesday, how do you compete as a new author?
This is where I tell you that your pitching days aren't over. Sure you have the book contract, but now, you have to pitch your book to bloggers. How do you entice them to pick up your book over the humongous pile of TBR books on their Goodreads shelves?
Think of Bloggers as the hot guy (or girl) you crushed on in high school. You're nervous. Don't want to look like an idiot. Your heart pounds as you approach them. What can you possibly say to convince them to date you, over everybody else?
Step One) Have confidence in you and your work. Whether you publish traditionally and have a fantastic editor telling you your book rocks the cabana or you are self published with score of trusted Beta Readers fangirling about your book, the only one who really needs to believe it is you. (Which means you gotta pull up your big girl panties and find that perfect date.)
Step Two) No two bloggers are alike. Read their pages, their bios, what they like to read. If you just start spitting pitches without knowing who you're spitting them at, you're gonna make a mistake. You're going to send your request to someone who hates paranormal and they are going too snort when they read about your Vampire who is in love with a Mermaid, who is in love with a WereTiger. (Basically, do your intel. You did the same thing with that special crush; asked around about what he/she likes and dislikes so you stand a better chance of getting picked.)
Step Three) Be sure you read their instructions on review requests. I know this seems like common sense, but I see bloggers posting all the time, asking authors not to post things like review requests on their Facebook pages. It's just like you wouldn't approach the hot guy after football practice when he's surrounded by his friends and blurt out, "Will you go out with me?!" Don't be a spaz, go through the proper steps and channels. Wait until they are alone by their locker and ask them privately (or for bloggers, they usually like emails.)
Step Four) Your email should list what they request, and never give them the ebooks before you have an agreement. Every once in a while your dream date may turn out to be a little shady and before you know it, he's taken the concert tickets you bought for your date and is going with the head cheerleader. Or in the case of a shady blogger, your book is up on a site for free being pirated. Majority of bloggers are on the up and up, but just be cautious. If they have a "brief synopsis" or "excerpt" option, take advantage. Maybe throw a fantastic review in? Woo them with your style, your voice, and with a little taste of awesomeness! Always be polite and respectful.
Step Five) When you receive the green light, now is your time to be excited! They liked your work. They liked your voice. Now, be sure to make everything as easy as possible on them. Get your blog posts and interviews written and back to them. Make sure you have your arc copies for giveaways. You want to make sure you don't burn any bridges with bloggers because they are a key element in our marketing process. (And they are really fun to do mad libs and games with, not to mention, if you build strong, lasting friendships with bloggers, when your next book comes out, they will want to work with you again!)
Step Six) Now, whether you score this date or not, keep writing. Keep publishing. Keep
your voice out there. If they say no to the big date, take it in stride and with grace. They will usually tell you why they passed (whether their request list is too long, your book doesn't strike their fancy, what have you) and if it's just because of the long wait, maybe ask if they would keep you in mind when their plate isn't so full. If it's the other, thank them and start the search again.
*Caution* If the date doesn't go well (their review of your book wasn't what you were hoping for) DO NOT CAUSE A SCENE! Not everyone has the same taste and while they might have thought your joke about toothpaste wasn't funny, maybe one of their friends will. I've been told even unfavorable reviews sell books and if bloggers take the time to read and review your work honestly and constructively, then they darn well deserve respect. Plus, you know what they say about a bad reputation, right? Don't become a dateless wonder.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to do some editing! Cause later on, I have a date ;-)
Avid writer of small towns, true love, and laugh out loud moments. Romance novel entusiast. Addictions include Coffee, Twitter, and TV Shows.