Monday, July 3, 2017

Book Bloggers Tell All!

I was very excited to attend the Historical Novel Society 2017 in gorgeous Portland, Oregon. This was my third conference and I was on a panel with the amazing Jenny of Let Them Read Books and Sarah of Reading the Past, two dynamo book bloggers!

Now I'll talk more about the conference itself on Friday but for right now, I did want to share a little bit about my panel. Our panel was called "Book Bloggers Tell All."

Background on blog reviews:

-        Authors are increasingly being asked to do the lion’s share of publicity for their books regardless if they are published by a big publisher, a small press, or self-published.

-        Book bloggers are your friends when it comes to getting great publicity for your books.

-        There are a lot of active, passionate book bloggers out there ready to read and review your book. We’ll also talk about how to make your pitch shine!

-        Meg Wessell will talk about how you can find the right bloggers for your book and the ins and outs of pitching to bloggers. We’ll also talk about how to make your pitch shine!

Why choose a blog to review your book?

-        Blogs can be more personal and intimate than reviews by a big publication.

-        Book bloggers love books and passion can be channeled into writing a thorough review.

How do you find bloggers to review your book?

-        There are sites that specialize in maintaining lists of bloggers. You could “cold call” off of those lists OR

-        You could look for bloggers that have reviewed other books that are similar to yours. They may be a good place to start.

-        The Historical Novel Society website also has a membership listing where you can see which members blog about books and do book reviews.

Before you pitch:

-        Review the blogger’s review policy. Many bloggers will have a listing of things like genres they prefer, what format of a book they prefer, how long it takes them to review a book, etc.

-        Being familiar with a blogger’s review policy can help you make sure you’ve found the right blogger for your book.

Make your pitch shine!:

-        Honest reviews are always better than reviews that are flavored. Making sure you mention that you are looking for a honest review sets a great tone in a pitch.

-        A good pitch should include several things:

o   A synopsis of your book

o   Whether you are willing to offer a hard copy or a soft copy of your book for review

o   Note: Please, please, please do not ask a reviewer to buy a copy of your book to review themselves. This will leave a bad taste in the reviewer’s mouth. Remember: this is an exchange for services!

o   When you are looking for a review to be posted. Many bloggers schedule book reviews weeks and sometimes months out so if you’re looking for a review in two weeks, it is important for a blogger to know that off the bat.

o   Personalization when you can helps!

§  Send individual emails to individual bloggers. Nothing turns a blogger off more than being on a mass email to a bunch of other random bloggers.

§  If there is a specific reason that you feel the blogger is the right one to review your book, mention it. Is it because of the kinds of books they like? Is it because of a review that they wrote?
Being familiar with a blogger’s review policy can help you make sure you’ve found the right blogger for your book.


  1. Thanks for sharing info from your HNS panel, sounds like an interesting session!

  2. Yes, it is vitally important that every author budget for a large number of copies to send out. It's time-consuming, and many authors unfortunately cannot afford the number of copies and costs that make such a thing effective. It is unfair. But I've never been able to figure out how to do that differently. It is part of the job. This applies across the board, no matter what category one's work falls into, fiction and non-fiction.


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As of 6/6/2011, this book is now an awards free zone. While I appreciate the awards, I would rather stick to reviewing more great books for you than trying to fill the requirements.

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