I thought it would be fun to put my own spin on today’s topic and get some of my fellow authors to add their two cents about book blogs. So for all you book bloggers out there, here’s some insider information from the viewpoint of your book-writing public!
WHY BOOK REVIEW BLOG?
For me, the book review blog can be a fun and interesting marketing effort, or an exercise in futility. I’ve learned the important lesson to assess the blog before spending valuable time engaging in it. The first step is determining if the blogger is interested in the book’s genre. Then, I view the blog as any reader would. I read previous interviews to see if these capture and retain my interest. Do the interview questions compel me to read the entire interview? Do I want to learn more about the author’s work – and perhaps, buy the book? Then, I consider this question – is this blog worthy of my limited time to inform others of my book and its message? How many people follow this blog, and is it the audience I want to reach? While I rarely know what efforts are working best, I am more discerning and focused on where to put my marketing hours!
BOOK BLOGGING PARTY SUCCESS
My experience with book bloggers is limited, but thanks to Facebook I was invited to a weekend-long author “party” honoring book bloggers. The party was hosted by Amy Miles, an indie author who has many contacts in the book blogging world. By the end of the party, she and her husband had compiled a list of 100s of bloggers who review books. Authors and bloggers could sign up for an hour in which to be featured and to interact with everyone else at the party. I didn’t know what to expect. What I discovered was a really friendly, supportive group of people. I sold some books, got some new followers and discovered some new authors. It was a really good experience and I now have a long list of bloggers to go through in hopes of finding some to review my book. In terms of marketing, it may have been the Most productive hour I ever spent.
TO CHARGE OR NOT TO CHARGE
Last year, I discovered Nick Wale
of Novel Ideas. He’s a book blogger/reviewer/promoter, and he charges for his service. I had contacted him because an author friend of mine mentioned him, but when he replied and let me know his fee for an interview, I was slightly put off. Should an author pay to be interviewed? It was a “token” amount, in my opinion, so I decided to go for it. After all, we all have a right to make a living. It turned out to be completely worth it. He gave me a most excellent interview
and I have had the benefit of referrals from his site. But it brings up a good question. Should book bloggers charge for the services they provide? If it had been a review and not an interview, would that have been ethical? After all, no one is going to pay for a bad review, and that would imply that a paid-for review isn’t necessarily honest. So how can book bloggers sustain themselves for all the time and effort they put into maintaining their blogs? Ads? Additional promotion packages such as interviews? And for authors, how much are we willing to pay out? No easy answers, but interesting questions.