Monday, July 30, 2012

The Journey of Self-Publishing #9: Contacting Book Bloggers

Thoughts At One In The Morning is proud to present a blog post series for unpublished writers on the self-publishing world. I have asked four indie authors to share with you the different steps they have taken on their journey. They will discuss the writing process itself, the steps in between, and publishing itself. Please join us every week for a new topic on the journey to becoming an indie author!

Our Indie Author panel:
Marie Landry, author of Blue Sky Days
You can find her on her blog Ramblings Of A Daydreamer.

A.M. Hargrove, author of The Guardians Of The Vesteron series
You can find her on her blog A.M. Hargrove.

Avery Sawyer, author of Notes To Self
You can find her on her website The Teashop Girls.

Michelle Flick, author of The Owens Legacy: Revelations
You can find her on her blog Oh! For the LOVE of BOOKS!


This week on The Journey of Self-Publishing:

~Contacting Book Bloggers~

Did you contact book bloggers to review your book? 

A.M. Hargrove: In the beginning, like I said, I was totally naive to Goodreads so I Googled bloggers and sent tons of emails.  I also found them on Twitter and contacted them that way.   Then I became wise and saw that Goodreads is filled with bloggers and R2Rs and such.  But I keep a running list of everyone that's done an R&R and everyone I've asked to do one so I don't approach the same person twice. There are so many, it's easy to make that mistake. Again, I wish I had joined Goodreads a long time ago and made connections for beta readers and reviewers/bloggers before I ever wrote Survival.

Marie Landry: I did, but before I did that, I put out an ‘all-call’ on my blog, telling people that I would soon have ARCs available, and that if anyone was interested in reviewing the book, I’d send them a copy. I got quite a few reviewers that way, and it saved me a lot of time and energy. I’ve also been involved in review promotions through Facebook and Goodreads where people have a certain amount of time to review the book in exchange for a free copy.

Avery Sawyer: Yes. This is important to do. I spend many, many hours emailing book bloggers.

How many approached you first?

Marie Landry: Maybe a dozen, give or take. That’s not a lot to some people, but I saw it as a dozen people I didn’t have to contact and wait to hear from.

Avery Sawyer: Only a small handful.

How many reviewers did you contact to read your book prior to publishing?

Marie Landry: I honestly have no idea. I kept track at one point, but then lost count because I was contacting people in more ways than just email. I sent out dozens of emails, posted on Facebook and Twitter asking if people wanted ARCs, and I also got quite a few reviewers when I made the announcement about the blog tour.

Avery Sawyer: I contacted reviewers after publishing. I’d say I’ve contacted several hundred. And with good results…this is a worthy marketing exercise.

What do you say in your emails to book bloggers/reviewers?

Marie Landry: First, I always personalize the emails. As a book blogger myself, there’s nothing I hate more than some generic message that’s sent out to dozens of other people, when it only takes a minute to add the person’s name, and say something about how you like their blog, or you enjoy their reviews, or something you noticed you have in common (for instance, when an author emails me a request and tells me U2 is their favorite band, too, I know they’ve really read my blog and not just skimmed it). I introduce myself, tell them a bit about the book, include the synopsis, the book cover, the trailer, where I can be found online, and what formats the book is available in.

Avery Sawyer: I introduce myself, give a one or two line description of my book and a link to its Amazon page and ask if they’d like to receive a copy for review. I’m brief and friendly.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Avery Sawyer: Nope. I love book bloggers SO MUCH. You guys are the greatest.


Thank you for the great advice on contacting book bloggers!

Join us next week when our Indie Author panel will tell us about Book Blog Tours and how to go about planning one.


  1. Thanks for sharing this great interview Jessica!

    I loved that you asked the same questions to the authors and put all of their answers after each one.

    1. Thanks! It's been fun to put together. :)

  2. Jess, I really do love this feature! It's really interesting to see the different author's methods of approaching bloggers, how they went about it, how many they queried, and so forth. I'm looking forward to their thoughts on blog tours!

    1. I'm glad you do! It is great to get different perspectives. There are so many things writers must do if they choose to go indie. :)

  3. Aw, now I like Avery even more!

  4. Even though I've been book blogging for a while and I know how amazing bloggers are, I am still very daunted by the thought of approaching them for a review. If they reject me I'd know it's not personal but it would still hurt. Thanks for all the great tips. I would never even think to keep a list of people I've contacted!

    1. As long as you read their review policy, you should be okay. The chances of someone not wanting to read your book will be much slimmer this way. Keeping a list is a great suggestion, I plan on doing it myself! :)


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