Sunday, April 20, 2014

Review of Book Blogs

I'm flogging my latest book now and started with a list of 65 pages of YA blog names in a word document. I spent a great deal of time slogging through the blogs. In about 2.5 hours of surfing, I find 10 that may be a good fit for my book. Then I email the information requested to each blogger or fill out their forms. Most bloggers want the same title and five pieces of info about my story, so I mail (BCC) every two hours for the ones with the same content. Forgive me for not personalizing more, but I try to put the key filters for you to accept or reject in one line. Next, I paste the cover, and last the pitch. I feel like a door to door salesman and get that door slammed in my face a lot. Now, I get my say for a few minutes while the bruises are healing.

You have to right to put anything you want in your blog, but here are some suggestion after viewing hundreds.

  1. Professionals have a tab at the top called "policies" or "review policies" or a bolded subtitle in the About/Contact sections. It makes everyone's life easier.
  2. The contact section should have an email address or a form if you want people to contact you. If you don't want your email shared because of spam, say that and a professional will bcc or make one-to-one mailings. If you only respond to email with personal greetings, put that in the instructions, too, but be sure to put your name and gender in the about section. I don't know how to address a cat photo on a blog called or KnittingFun.
  3. If you have fewer than four followers or four books posted, you do not have the right to require 150 previous reviews on a book before you'll look at it. At that point, you need us for free stuff more than we need you for buzz. The biggest Kindle blogs only require ten.
  4. "I don't have an e-reader" is not an excuse. You have a computer and all the major formats have free readers for your PC/MAC/idevice. We're the majority now.
  5. "I don't read self-published" is blatantly hypocritical. Your blog is self-published.
  6. Be polite in your refusals. If you actually slam Indies for bad editing, make sure you spell check your own policies page.
  7. Put "closed to reviews" at the top of your policy page, not at the bottom of screen 16, or people will jump to the bottom and spam you.
  8. If you've been on "temporary hiatus" for two years, your blog is officially dead. My favorite was the policy page with the picture of the EPT stick positive.
  9. If all you review is romance, be honest and say so. Don't enroll yourself at a blog promotion site as YA. YA does not mean R-rated. If your "about" section say "I prefer Male on Male" or your featured book is "Wallbanger"... in fact, if every cover on your first screen is a woman in the throes of ecstasy, reconsider your self-classification.
  10. If you live in New Zealand, or any other island over 20 hours of flying away, take a reality pill and use an ereader. I'm not mailing you an ARC.
  11. Realize that your blog name is part of your brand and will affect the submissions to it. For example: if you have the word "Heaven" in your blog name, don't complain about being flooded by religious books.
  12. Reviewing classics that have been around for over 25 years isn't very interesting.
  13. Talking about only your own book isn't really a "book blog". This goes for publishing companies and authors both.
  14. Consider adding a Goodreads user link to see if your reading list is compatible with the author's. If nothing else, the two of you can see what each other likes in an automated fashion. I've made several friends this way, and we both build our following network.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting list. I don't blog, so I've never even considered a lot of those things, but I can totally see why they'd be important.