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Alice Kemp

I do appreciate this information, but it would be much more useful if you would give us the names of at least 2 or 3 of those high-profile book bloggers. Since you already know them, this would be much easier for you than for me to do a lengthy search.

Thanks so much!

Dana Lynn Smith

Alice, it's best to find book blogs that are a good fit for the type of book you write. Some bloggers focus on specific genres like romance, Christian or fantasy, while others review various types of fiction. Some also handle nonfiction. Here's one source for finding book review blogs: http://www.bookreviewblogs.com. Nonfiction authors should also seek out blogs that are related to the topic of their book.

Jonathan Gunson

Hi Alice.

Good question. Much as I would like to, I generally avoid giving out the names of fiction book bloggers because the ones I do know personally are saturated with books and have specifically asked me not to - sadly.

But I will say this: More usefully, it depends on the sub-genre of your book, or whether it's even fiction. Book bloggers don't review all types of book and most specialise to a degree. e.g. 'Historical Regency Romance'. For example one well-read blogger I will identify is http://dearauthor.com/ who covers Romance books. Others such as NYT book reviewers only review pure 'literature'.

The link provided by Dana is a good start. And I suggest also typing your sub-genre into Google to discover the precise type of book blog you want to contact.

Once you have a small list identified, one way to check how well read they are is to type the website address into http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo . That will reveal their 'traffic' ranking. Below 100,000 is good, and below 50,000 is a high traffic, well read blog.

Hope this is useful Alice, and best wishes with your writing. For any other questions, you'll find a very helpful range of articles here on Dana's blog or on mine.

Jonathan

Susan

Hi Johnathan,

I enjoyed your discussion about using book bloggers to promote self-published authors, but ironically it was your comment to Alice that really hit a valid point about this discussion; book bloggers are saturated with books and most are not even accepting submissions. It would seem the few places on the internet that could help indie authors are overwhelmed. This tells you exactly how fast this industry is exploding.

As a newly self-published author, my greatest obstacle is finding people to review my book. However, as an active member on Goodreads I asked readers (not necessarily bloggers) to read my book in exchange for an honest review. This is one venue that is working for me and it also allows me to have a great relationship with my readers.

I truly believe in the current market, self-published authors need to be patient. Stop looking at where you sit on Amazon's most read list or set the goal of becoming an overnight sensation. Find some readers who enjoy your genre and get them to post a review. Once you have a few star ratings behind you, maybe then you can entice some reluctant book bloggers to give your novel a try. But at the very least, enjoy your craft and give yourself a pat on the back for every book sold. If your book is good, it will catch on eventually.

Dana Lynn Smith

Susan, thanks so much for your note. You make several great points. It's true that many popular book bloggers are overwhelmed with submissions. In my book, How to Get Your Book Reviewed, I talk about developing relationships with bloggers and increasing the odds of getting reviewed or featured. I also point out that it's okay to submit review copies to some blogs with low traffic - there is less competition and the blogger will probably post a review on Amazon, which has value for you.

Your advice to be patient is also important. It takes time to build a following and ramp up book sales, but if you have a good marketing plan and take action every day or week toward your goals, it will pay off over time.

Jonathan Gunson

Susan. I agree with what you say. Especially about writers needing 'patience'.

I suspect this is why many authors 'shout' their book titles on Twitter for example. They want instant results. But the truth is that being an author is a CAREER in all senses. It is a marathon, not a sprint, and this includes the promotional platform the author creates around their books. All of it is a steady, long-term build.

The truth is that fiction promotion is driven by word of mouth, so if your work is good enough, then (just as you say) once discovered, word will spread. This means that an author's main promotional task, since publishers don't do this anymore, is to ignite some initial sales where possible so that the book begins finds its audience, who will then spread the word.

Other factors come into play of course. A series will do far better than a one-off piece of genre fiction, because each book cross promotes the other.

Overall, being a writer is a lifetime commitment - a vocation. So let's sit by the window at our desks. Frame an idea. Write a word... and suddenly, we have the beginning of something grand.

tracie orsi

Hello. Thank you for this information. I found your article from Penny Sansevieri's page feed on Facebook. I met Penny at the Unicorn Writer's Conference last year and she gave me great advice which led me to publish my own cookbook. I've owned a restaurant in Belmar, New Jersey for 20 years and have wanted to write a book for almost that long. I finally put one together and Penny helped me find a company to print it for me. I haven't done much in the way of marketing as of yet although I've had my first book signing at a local bookstore which was a success. I also spoke at a literary seminar selling books there as well. After the new year I will start my marketing plan. I sell quite a few books at the restaurant at a steady pace and think I am ready to get my name out to the world! Thanks for your advice and I suppose getting my book on Amazon.com is a good start? I'm sending out copies to local press and magazines for review and then on from there. Your article helped me on another level. Thank You! The title of my book by the way is "Sittin' Bayou Makes Hot!" My restaurant is Cajun/Creole so it is a fitting title, wouldn't you say? Sincerely, Tracie Orsi www.ragincajunnj.net

Dana Lynn Smith

Tracie, I'm glad you enjoyed this article. Your restaurant is an ideal place to sell your cookbooks, but to reach a wider audience I do recommend getting the book on Amazon and developing a marketing plan to get the word out. You can learn about marketing plans at http://www.CreateYourBookMarketingPlan.com. Please let me know if you'd like some one-on-one coaching, and good luck with the book!

MegmacPR

It's an excellent article, but it does overlook a few salient points. First, many authors fail to get the proper jump on their own PR. To engage bloggers in advance of requesting reviews is, as Jonathan notes, essential. If you're not going to use a publicist with blogger connections, than you have to take the time to build direct relationships. But building a relationship with that blogger can take several weeks or even months, and often authors fail to factor that into their promotional timeline. Second is the fact that, even with tons of research, many authors have trouble locating the right bloggers for their genre, or they fail to consider going "off-the-book-blog" in much the same way smart book PRs need to often look off-the-book-page for traditional media opportunities for their clients. Sometimes working the expert angle can get you as far (and sometimes further) than the author angle does. And finally, sadly in this ever increasing age of self-publishing, many bloggers clearly state in their review policies that they will not consider a self-published submission. There are of course always exceptions to the rule, but it's really important that authors check out the review submission guidelines to start with to avoid potential disappointment and conflict.

Dana Lynn Smith

Megmac, thanks for sharing these insights into working with bloggers and book reviewers.

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