Obviously, we believe in the power of book bloggers! Here is why authors should make book bloggers part of their marketing plan:

  1. You receive an honest review of your book from someone who knows, and is interested in, your type of book.
  2. Once that review is posted, you gain valuable exposure to the book blogger’s readers.
  3. Often, a link back to your website and/or other online profiles (a link to your website helps your ranking with Google).
  4. Promotion/posting of that review in other places readers visit such as Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing and perhaps the reviewer’s social media outlets.

Collectively, these 4 benefits of reviews from book bloggers can arguably outweigh the benefits from some traditional media. When pursued as a strategy—where you methodically make contact with a large group of book bloggers—you can really build sales momentum.

These 7 golden rules apply to all authors

  1. Produce a quality book. Well edited, an attractive cover, and nicely designed. Look up the best-selling books in your category and make sure your cover and design details are competitive with theirs. Use beta readers. Find a good copyeditor. Proof it more than once.
  2. Make every pitch friendly, respectful, and to the point. You’re a writer so make every word count. Don’t go on and on with irrelevant details. Imagine yourself in their shoes and having to wade through several book pitches day after day. What would make you want to read your book?
  3. Approach only the most ideal reviewers. Does your book fit their criteria? Most reviewers specify the book categories or genres they are interested in reading (or not interested in) and the types of formats for which they accept books (PDF, Mobi, print, audiobook). Don’t ignore this (see point 5).
  4. The more reviewers you contact, the greater the chance of getting reviewed and building momentum. That’s why you should follow-up a week later. Move on if you don’t get a reaction after 3 tries or try to get an introduction via a trusted intermediary if they are a key influencer. Otherwise you are wasting time when there are so many other good opportunities out there.
  5. Remember, the reviewer is doing you a favor. Make getting your book free, easy and convenient. Never, ever, ask the reviewer to pay for your book, or pay for shipping. The easier you can make their job, the better the chance you’ll get reviewed.
  6. Don’t expect a “5-star review.” Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and may not share your enthusiasm for your book. Sometimes, an honest 3 or 4-star review is as good as a 5-star review filled with platitudes.
  7. Be gracious, say thank you no matter the outcome. Remember, you are building relationships here because you might be back with a follow-up book.

There are hundreds of book bloggers, not to mention hundreds (thousands?) of other bloggers who are looking for things to blog about. Approaching the right blog, in the right way, with the right book is an easy win-win opportunity for any author that follows these 7 golden rules when soliciting book reviews.

Image credit: Jerry Kiesewetter