I’d like to welcome author Dalya Moon, who was kind enough to write a guest post for Bunny Ears & Bat Wings. Below, she offers tips on how to get your book into the hands of book review bloggers; a very important skill for self-publishers and traditionally published authors alike!
10 tips for getting your self-published book reviewed by book bloggers
1. Contact book bloggers before your book launch and offer Advance Review Copies. It’s more exciting to read a book before it’s officially out, isn’t it?
2. Be organized; be your own PR agency. Come up with a system that helps you remember who you’ve contacted: spreadsheet, email address book, whatever works, but stick to it.
3. Read every blogger’s Review Policy. It’s there to help you. Most will have a clearly marked page with their review policy, or if not, something on their contact page. If they don’t like to read your genre, or ebooks, don’t bother them. About 70% of bloggers I surveyed didn’t want self-published books and/or ebooks. I focused on the 30% who did.
4. Address bloggers by name. Unaddressed emails are not only rude, but imply you didn’t check their review policy.
5. Sell it! After a brief introduction, include a carefully-crafted blurb, as well as the genre, word count, and page count. (Page count is word count divided by 250.) Include your book’s release date and your website/blog address, where they can see the book cover. (The cover is very important.) Send out twenty of these emails. If you don’t get any positive responses within a week, work on your letter before you send out more.
6. Know the formats; have the formats handy. You could send them a coupon for Smashwords (if your book is on there), where they can download the format of their choice. I’ve tried that, but I do prefer the more personal touch of emailing the file. I use Calibre to convert to the popular formats.
7. Tweet and blog about it. By simply stating that I have review copies, I’ve had some reviewers contact me.
8. Be patient and let go. Many bloggers have a policy that just because they receive a book, it doesn’t guarantee a review. I haven’t yet “followed up” with a blogger, because it doesn’t seem right to bug someone who’s doing me a favor by investing hours of their time, for free. When they post the review, they will usually email you to let you know. That is the appropriate time to follow up by thanking them.
9. Contact LOTS of book bloggers, because this part is a numbers game. After the first few reviewers accepted my book, I wanted to stop emailing. It sucks, like making cold calls, to send these queries, and it’s tempting to quit. Don’t pin all your hopes on a couple of potential reviews. You may have to send 100 emails to get 40 prospects, which trickles down to 25 reviews, only 6 of which get cross-posted onto Amazon or Goodreads. See how the numbers work?
10. Make sure your book is on Amazon, Goodreads, and other review sites soon. This is the sticky-icky part. As a self-publisher, you are NOT able to load up your book to Amazon for pre-orders before a launch date. Some reviewers post on their blogs, and also on Amazon, but your book has to be on Amazon for this! What if you sent them an advance copy? What I’ve done with my recent book is uploaded it to Amazon (where it takes 2 days before going live), and let it sit there quietly until my “official” launch. If anyone has any better ideas, let me know. Seriously.
To get you started, here are some lists of book bloggers:
Dalya Moon writes novels that are called “sweet” and “light-hearted.” She may have to one day murder someone (on the page) to be taken seriously, but for now she’s happy to not be taken seriously at all. She is the author of Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner and Practice Cake.