Before You Begin: All Links Are In Green - Just Click
I think when Amanda Hocking tapped into the book blogger pile she hit her Valhalla! In her own words "Something Magical Happened." That was how Amanda Hocking descried the impact book bloggers had on sales of her self-published books.
Amanda published her first nine books between March through August of 2010. She had no idea what to expect, and like most of us waited with baited breath. Over that period of time she had Kindle sales of around 500 E-Books. Though that wasn't enough to make her give up her day job, she was persistent.
Between working and writing she tapped into the world of book bloggers and her sales took a huge spike upward. By the end of 2010 her book sales tallied 164,000.
Amanda stated in her blogs she had no idea those kind of people existed; people who just read books
and write about them taking time out of their busy lives to talk about books, have contests
and connect with followers and writers and other readers. They became her heros.
Bloggers reach millions of readers
Book bloggers love to read books and will mostly recommend them to their own followers. There are a plethora of avid bloggers in every book genre out there reviewing thousands of books and interviewing hundreds of authors every year. Book bloggers are a very diverse crowd: some have day jobs in the book business, many more are stay-at-home moms and dads and students.
Two of the most increasingly influential book blogs are Fantasy Cafe and Write Meg. (These two do not currently review self published authors as far as I know, but that may have changed), but they have contributed to them greatly. Why? Because they collectively build markets that can reach millions of potential readers and can turn books into bestsellers. They are serious and discerning critics and social networkers. They have formed regional and national organizations and established huge databases, including this searchable Book Blogs Search Engine which includes a list of more than 1,400 bloggers where you WILL find bloggers to review your book.
Marketing yourself to book bloggers is not for everyone. It takes time and energy you might prefer to spend writing, or cultivating other gardens. But it’s definitely one of the most powerful new ways to get your work in the hands of readers available today. Don't hesitate if someone offers you the chance to join a book blog tour - especially if it's in your genre. They can prove profitable in getting your book out there as well as your name.
Mainstream publishers take note
Samantha Rubenstein, a publicist at John Wiley & Sons says, "We think book bloggers are the absolute best way to get your book to exactly the right people who are interested in your topic, whatever it is. Reaching out to specific book bloggers is a large and important part of a book’s publicity and increasing by leaps and bounds every six months.”
The publishing industry has welcomed the bloggers into the fold, including them in the annual Book Expo in New York, coming up in May 2012. The Book Bloggers Convention, which will follow the official Book Expo, will feature face time with authors and panels on topics like blogging for niche markets and technology for bloggers.
Below is how to get started with book bloggers
Search The Book Blogs Search Engine to find bloggers in your field. Study their sites, see whom they recommend, read their review policies and link with them for further networking.
Join the community
Remember: don’t hard sell but rather enter into a relationship, a conversation with many participants. Follow the discussion, offer your point of view.
Submit your book
Once you’ve established some kind of relationship, prepare to submit your own book for possible review. Bloggers will indicate in their review policies whether they prefer to receive books electronically or in print. Send a query first, giving a quick summary of your book, because you don’t just want to send people free copies if they’re not seriously interested.
Offer an interview
This gives the author a better chance to describe the book’s contents than a review, which is often unpredictable in quality or point of view.
Don’t expect to see a spike in sales right after a review or interview appears on a blog. Just remember though: this is where people go to get information. It puts the author in front of readers who are most likely to be interested in their book.”
Cultivate those contacts
As in any form of publicity, the ongoing back and forth between authors and bloggers is crucial. Unlike traditional broadcast or print media however, you can’t call anyone on the phone. Bloggers work at home, so use email to stay in touch.
Above all be persistent
I've just recently put this plan to work and so far so good. I've met and talked to some really nice book bloggers. They are there to help you, take advantage of if, but don't be pushy. And if you're turned down just move on. There are many reviewers out there who are compatible with you.
Any thoughts about all this way of promoting? If your book has been reviewed by a book blogger, please tell us here in comments about the experience. Any advice for fellow writers will be much appreciated.