I’m thrilled to have Laura Fabiani of iRead Book Tours be part of our contest once more and share her expertise. She will also be offering all 3 top winners virtual book tours as follows:
Super Deluxe Package(1st place)
Deluxe Package(2nd place)
Standard Package(3rd place)
Every author wants and needs good media attention. With over 4,500 books published every day, how will your book get noticed? Today both publishers and indie authors are pitching book bloggers for book reviews. But with so many people requesting reviews, how do you get those influential (but overwhelmed and sleep-deprived) bloggers to even consider reading your book, let alone reviewing it?
I started book blogging in 2008, shortly after I published my first novel, when I created my blog Library of Clean Reads. I quickly became immersed into the world of advance review copies, author interviews and book tours. My mailbox was soon stuffed with bright yellow book packages— much to my heart’s delight—and my inbox with hundreds of requests from publicists, publishers, tour companies and authors. I became adept at recognizing good quality self-published books from poor ones. In time, I developed the ability to scan a review pitch and within a few seconds knew if I wanted to review the book offered. Most of my blogger friends who’ve been doing this for as long as I have can do the same.
Having been through the arduous task of marketing my own self-published novel (yeah, it’s not easy) and having worked with novice authors throughout my years as a book blogger, I’ve decided to share my blogging knowledge and insider secrets with you to help you avoid common mistakes made by new authors. First though, it’s helpful to understand the role of book bloggers in publicity and marketing.
Book bloggers are avid readers from all walks of life who creatively write book reviews and bookish posts with followers who interact by commenting on their blogs and participating in memes, such as the popular Top Ten List or Mailbox Monday. If your book cover and blurb gets on these memes, thousands of readers will see it.
Traditional publishers quickly caught on to these bloggers who were causing a stir and raving about the latest book from their favorite author or the discovery of a debut novel. Book Expo America began holding specific conferences for book bloggers and big publishing houses began inviting book bloggers to special author events and parties. With such exclusive attention in the publishing world, book bloggers have become a popular means for authors to get free exposure and media attention as savvy bloggers will crosspost their reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.
I have compiled a list of top ten tips from the world of book blogging for authors who want to get readers buzzing about their book. In the next few weeks, I will explore each of these in greater details.
Top Ten Tips from the World of Book Blogging
1. Target the right blogs: Is there such a thing as the wrong book blog for your book. Yes! How do you know which blogs to target? What should you look for in a blog? What is the difference between a niche and a genre? Finding the right blogs for your book can make the difference between getting your book discovered by your target audience or lost in a sea of other books. I will share a checklist you can use to find reputable book blogs that are right for you and your book.
2. Get to know the blogger you are pitching: I can tell you that we book bloggers do have our pet peeves about how we are approached and we openly talk about it on our blogs. How do you avoid getting ignored or having your email request deleted within seconds of being opened? I will share a simple secret on an introduction that will make bloggers read your pitch.
3. Make it easy for the book blogger to consider your request: Time is precious. As a book blogger I have a lot of books on my must-read list. When I dig into my inbox and scroll through my 50+ review requests daily, which are ones that stand out? Which ones will I focus on? I will tell you exactly what to include and exclude in your pitch so that yours stands out from the others.
4. Use the right words to convey a friendly attitude: If you’re like me and read hundreds of emails a week, you become adept at getting a feel for the genuine friendliness or lack thereof in an email message. I will explain why attitude matters before, during and after your pitch and how to use certain words in your request that draws readers in.
5. Use a spreadsheet to keep track of your pitches: Don’t assume you will remember all the blogs to whom you sent a request. Sending the same pitch twice or even three time to the same blogger can be embarrassing and will not be in your favor. What information should you keep track of on the spreadsheet and how can you use it to your advantage even weeks after you send your pitch? How can a spreadsheet help you personalize your pitch?
6. Return the favor and share the blog with your readers: Book bloggers don’t get paid for reviewing your book. They do it because they love to read and want to help promote authors. What can you do to thank these bloggers? How can you best share info on these blogs who are promoting your book?
7. Respect a book blogger’s opinion: You finally get reviews up online from the bloggers you’ve pitched and some are less than stellar. Even the most seasoned authors will tell you this hurts. How do you handle it? Should you reply to a statement about your book you feel is untrue? I’ll tell you what has impressed and turned off book bloggers about how authors react to their reviews and how you can use this knowledge to avoid ruining your reputation.
8. Be proactive and stand out as an author: There is much advice on the Internet about how to promote your book. With so many authors vying for media attention how can you stand out? Most importantly, how can you stand out without annoying your audience or pushing your book to the point where it becomes unprofessional? I’ll share with you what book bloggers love about certain authors—besides their book, of course!—and why they have impressed book bloggers who deal with authors almost daily.
9. Learn about virtual book tours. In the last seven years virtual book tour companies have been gaining popularity in offering what is now considered one of the best promotional tools for authors. What should you know about these tours? Should you consider touring your book virtually? Which tour company is the right one for you? Should you hire a blog tour coordinator or do it yourself?
10. Self-publish the right way: Tons of books are getting self-published today both by novice authors and traditionally published authors. How can your book stand out even if it’s self-published? Why are some book bloggers choosing not to review self-published authors?
I will be answering all these questions in a series of articles in the next few weeks. You work so hard to write your book, but it shouldn’t end there. Be prepared to get it out and into the hands of your readers. Be prepared to become a successful author.
Laura Fabiani is an author and book blogger who shares her love of books on Library of Clean Reads. She is the owner of iRead Book Tours, and Italy Book Tours and also the proud sponsor of World’s Best Story. Fabiani offers virtual book tour packages and promotional services for authors and publishers.