Little Bird founder Sarah Burningham was most recently Associate Director of Marketing for HarperStudio/HarperCollins. Sarah was previously the Associate Director of Publicity at William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers and Regan, and she has worked in publicity at Workman Publishing, Miramax Books, and Gibbs Smith.
Sarah is the author of How to Raise Your Parents: A Teen Girl’s Survival Guide and Boyology: A Teen Girl’s Crash Course in All Things Boy, both published by Chronicle Books. As an author, she has been featured on the Today Show, FOX News, CBS News, ABC News Now, Teen Vogue, Newsweek, NPR, Oprah Radio, and on local TV and radio programs around the country. She is also the advice columnist behind dear sarah, an advice column with ABC Family.
From her unique perspective as both an author and book publicist, we're excited to share tips from Sarah on how to get your book reviewed on blogs. What questions do you have about book publicity and promotion? We'd love to hear from you about your experience getting the word out about your books --- perhaps we can encourage Sarah to join us again with more tips soon!
So, you want to get your book reviewed on some blogs. Here’s a step-by-step guide with tips for reaching out to bloggers and making good connections.
As an author, you should:
- Read blogs. Lots of them. Every day.
- Make a list of the blogs you particularly like and the ones you think actually fit with your book. Note that these might be two different categories. Be brutally honest with yourself. Just because you like baking pies doesn’t mean that a baking blog is going to review your memoir of horse racing.
- Comment on the blogs you find. Know them inside and out. (I use my google reader to help filter everything in to one place so it’s easy for me to read my favorite blogs daily.)
- Then, and only then, can you approach them for a review. Email the blogger, address him/her by name, and say why your book is a fit for the blog, in one short paragraph or less. Short and sweet! Include a link to your site and more info on your book.
- No matter what, do not send a form letter. And don’t mass email or bcc. Would you want to be blind copied as part of a mass mailing? Neither does a blogger.
- Be nice. This goes a long way with anyone, including bloggers. Treat them like you would any journalist or reporter who is considering your book.
- Ask for the blogger’s feedback. And then, listen to that feedback. Even if you think you are the next James Joyce, not everyone will feel the same way, and that’s ok. You have to have thick skin to be an author.
- If a blogger doesn’t respond, wait for a week to ten days before emailing again. Don’t just re-send the same pitch. Write a new email and mention that you sent something back on (enter date here). Be sincere!
- But…waiting and sending a follow-up email does not open the door for going back again and again. NO STALKING! In the same way that form letters make you annoying, stalking is another hint that you can’t be taken seriously. If a blogger is interested, he or she will get back to you after you’ve made 2 thoughtful attempts at contact. If you haven’t heard back, the blogger is probably just not that into you.
- When a blogger does get back to you, get a review copy of your book in the mail, stat. Don’t make anyone wait. Hit the post office that day and let the blogger know the book is on its way.
- In the meantime, keep the conversation alive by participating. Keep reading the blog. Keep commenting. You shouldn’t be reading the blog just to get a review. Consider this a real relationship. The blogger will notice and appreciate it.
- When the review goes up, thank the blogger. Send the link out to your readers by posting it on your website, on Twitter, on Facebook. Share the love and get some traffic for that blog!
- And finally, now that you have a good relationship with the blogger, keep it that way. Never – I repeat, Never – add a blogger (or anyone else, frankly) to your mailing list. Not even your mother.
Visit Sarah at:
Little Bird Publicity: www.littlebirdpublicity.com
Sarah Burningham, Author: www.sarahburningham.com