Terry is an author I’ve got to know recently on Twitter. She currently has five contemporary novels on Amazon. I asked her what her thoughts were on approaching bloggers from an author’s point of view, and this is what she had to say:
Most importantly, look at the submisson guidelines. It’s classic advice, and has been said over and over again, but bloggers say that it’s still not always followed. If they say no novellas, don’t ask them to read your novella. If they say no erotica, don’t send them erotica – etc!
This might seem obvious, but some newly published writers might not know about it – I didn’t! Make sure you download the mobi copy from your Amazon account page – you go into ‘Bookshelf’ and ‘reports’ and download the review copy – this is what you send to reviewers.
I’ve been reviewed on quite a few book blogs; sometimes they’ve just read and reviewed one of my books without me asking, which is always a lovely surprise. Many of these I will ask to review subsequent works, but I always have my eye out for new reviewers. There are new book blogs springing up every day. What I do is this – every time a book blogger follows me on Twitter, I have a quick look to see if they review my sort of books, and if they do I tweet or DM them to say thanks for following, and say that if they’d like to review one of mine to let me know and I’ll send them a review copy. I then put the link to my Amazon page so they can have a look at my books. Quite often they’ll come back to me and say, yes, I’d like to review The Other Side, or whatever. Then we swap emails and I send it! If I come across a blog that looks good but does not review my genre, I keep it in mind to refer to other people.
Book reviewers are doing a marvellous thing for you by reading and reviewing your book on their blog. They usually put the review on Amazon and Goodreads, too – they’re worth their weight in gold! So remember that it’s not only about your book, it’s about their blog, too, which they want to become widely read. Follow their blog, go to their Twitter page and RT their other reviews, maybe tweet about their blog, like they’ve tweeted about your book. If a book comes out by a friend of yours that you think would be good for their site, you can refer that friend to them.
As far as approaching them in the first place goes, I would say that it’s pretty much common sense….. I’ve usually chatted to mine on Twitter a bit anyway, so it’s more informal, but some have forms to fill in – again, give them exactly what they ask for. If they only ask for a 20 word synopsis of the book, don’t send a 200 word paragraph. Some of them give an email address – I’d say make it friendly but not too casual ( I mean no lols, perish the thought!!!), ask what their waiting list is like, tell them what genre the book is and how long it is, and provide the Amazon link. Keep it short and to the point, with no superfluous information, as they probably have lots to wade through. If they state on the blog that their review will not necessarily be a positive one, and you can’t take anything less than positive comments, ask if they will let you know if they don’t like it. Finally, don’t hassle them – if they don’t reply, take it as read that they don’t want to review your book. It won’t be anything personal, they’re probably just snowed under!
Terry Tyler lives in the north east of England with her husband, and has five novels on Amazon – she writes contemporary fiction about many very current issues, such as internet dating, the people one meets on social networking sites, addiction, infidelity, family breakdown, the quest for celebrity – and even a spot on The Jeremy Kyle show! Her sixth novel should be out around September. Terry also has a blog, on which she writes about a variety of subjects, from The Truth About Getting Old, to Why All Writers Need A Proofreader, to a nostalgic look at the comics and magazines of the 1970s – all comments welcome! Check out Terry’s website or her Amazon author page.