EV: I am super stoked to have K.C. Neal on the site today. She’s this really cool chick from Idaho, and she’s written a rockin YA novel called PYXIS. If you haven’t picked it up yet, you gotta do so soon. What’s amazing about K.C. Neal is that she wrote her debut novel in about a month…pretty quick, right? Well, quick seems to be her M.O. She’s also building a fan base quickly as well. In just a few months, her blog has spiked in followers. She’s pushing nearly 800 followers, which is crazy awesome. In addition, she’s been teaching webinars on the art of getting in good with bloggers, participating in blog tours, etc. In short, she knows what she’s doing. So, without further rambling, lend her your eyes…you might learn something.
5 Ways to Build Great Relationships with Book Bloggers
by K.C. Neal
1. Understand What They Do
Most book bloggers are hobbyists, meaning that they blog about books because it’s something they love to do, not because they make money doing it. And as a group they are some of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met. A lot of them post multiple times a week, and they’re continuously communicating with authors and publishers, and participating in blog tours, memes, hops, Goodreads groups, and all kinds of other things. Running a great book blog is a major time investment. When you ask a blogger to review your book, you’re asking a commitment of 10-15 hours to read your book, write up a review for the post, format the post with images and links and info about you and your book, and then promote the post. Bloggers have families, homework, jobs, friends, dentist appointments, TV shows to watch… well, you know, all those things we have, too. If a blogger agrees to review your book, he or she is devoting a major chunk of time from their busy lives to promote your book for free.
2. Respect Their Review Policies
Last year I put out a book blogger survey, and over 70 bloggers responded. One of the survey questions was: List some things authors or publishers have done that really turned you off and made you NOT want to work with those authors/publishers. The response that came up over and over – it was mentioned by over 80% of the bloggers – was ignoring the review policy. One of my most popular blog posts came from that bit of data: The One Thing Book Bloggers Hate Most, and there was some great discussion in the comments of that post. Bottom line: always, always read the blogger’s review policy before contacting him or her.
3. Promote Their Blogs
Bloggers love to get traffic and comments on their blog. In my survey, I asked book bloggers about their goals, and increasing readership was mentioned frequently. Help them out by promoting their posts. Re-tweet their tweets, give them shoutouts on Twitter and Facebook, especially (dare I say ALWAYS?) on the posts where they’re featuring you or your book. One blogger I adore emailed to tell me that hosting a stop on one of my blog tours DOUBLED her blog’s followers. She was thrilled! And so was I! But it didn’t happen by magic. I promoted her post over my network and helped drive traffic to her blog. And you think she might jump at the chance to host me again?
4. Follow, Friend, and Chat them Up
Comment on their blog posts, say hey on Twitter, and friend them on Facebook. In the survey, several bloggers mentioned that they love it when authors talk to them online. And book bloggers are great fun to talk to. Don’t forget – talk about things other than your book!
5. Be Appreciative
Leave a thank-you comment on their reviews of your book. Ask for their mailing addresses and send a signed bookmark or an old-fashioned thank-you note. These small gestures truly make a big impression. Everyone loves sincere appreciation!
For more info about building connections with book bloggers, please check out my blog. I’ve taught two webinars on blog tours and working with book bloggers, Blog Tours Part 1: 10 Steps to a Successful Tour and Blog Tours Part 2: Advanced Tips and Tricks. Recordings of these webinars are available for purchase – contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Estevan, for hosting me on your blog!
EV: You’re so welcome. Thanks for dropping in and sharing some knowledge!