Hug A Book Blogger

I’ve learned a ton of what the reviewing world has evolved into from my old days as a fantasy writing group moderator. After reviewing for some years and recently starting up Fantasy Cookie, and nearing my own book release, it calls for the start to a list.  I’ve cruised and read professional, paid book bloggers, as well as those who do it as a hobby.  I stalk book bloggers for my own book.  I receive an insane amount of review requests for other people’s books, but despite how busy I am, I’m loving every minute of it. So in my Hug A Book Blogger post I’m going to round up what I’ve seen work, and what does not.

BAD  Completely generalized requests.

This one gives me a grey hair every time.  It’s the email I get that says “review my awesome book now!” but has no links.  No summary.  No cover.  No nothin.

I’m cool with getting Tweeted at (it’s in my guidelines) to get my attention, but my email is not my Twitter screen.  And if you Tweet at my personal Twitter name and not at Fantasy Cookie (@CookieFeeder) you’re doing it wrong and haven’t read my guidelines.  If you are not a first-time stranger, I don’t mind however.  If you refer to me as a male and/or make zero reference to Fantasy Cookie my first thought is SPAM.  Did I mention the grey hairs?  I’m not an agent and I can’t promise you fame, but help me out here by giving me some indication that you in the absolute least visited the site.

I also know then that you likely read one of my reviews and like my style.  That in turn allows me to give you my opinion without the fear of offending/doing it wrong in your eyes.  A lot of indies are super-sensitive to reviews, often because they are just starting out.  I respect that because I am one myself, though I have a thick skin from writing for ages and value the harshest of constructive reviews alongside the cheerier ones.  Let me see that you aren’t scared of me so I can connect better with you and your book.

BAD  Not responding in a timely manner.

I like my book blog to be fresh and although I’m still assembling future interviews and possible books tours, I like to be in contact with real people.  Spam doesn’t cut it.  Emailing me back after 2 months doesn’t work either.  I have a lot of other people who will happily reply to my emails “that’s cool with me” within a minute and that will always get you to the front of my attention.  Not a bot?  Your book just moved higher on my list.

REALLY BAD  A summary that makes my spellchecker crash.

Okay so you’re a little too-human and I can forgive you for that.  But your spelling just scared the cheese out of me and your book officially has me shaking.  I’m a writer as well and heaven knows I blindside a ton too, so sit on it and check it again in a while. I will often do this with my reviews as well and it helps to catch typos.

GOOD  “When you get around to it” requests.

I’m alright with you sending me your book and adding to your email “when you get the time.”  I actually love these requests, because it’s these ones I add to the shuffle of scifi/fantasy/romance/poetry/male/female/artist …okay you get the idea.  It is the perfect way to help me assemble variety.  But I’m also a bit of a webmaster and can identify a virus and then hunt you into a grave for trying to make me into your zombie.  Many book bloggers are not keen on codes.  Again, read their guidelines.  If it’s not mentioned, assume they don’t want your attachment.

GOOD  Prey on their weaknesses.

Every book blogger is a reader and every reader has a certain taste.  Find it.  Use it to your advantage.  I like dragons.  I like fantasy romance.  I like classy, stylish, never done…  Okay so I like most fantasy and science fiction by default.  Many book bloggers aren’t the same, however.  Don’t send them your dragons when they only read vampires.  It doesn’t end pretty.

GOOD  Help me hype you.

Blogging is a small business for many people.  Hype creates traffic.  Traffic creates customers and readers.  Customers and readers then spread like a wildfire through word of mouth and you then have yourself on a ton of shelves and rss feeds.  Bloggers often take an affiliate cut from the sellers.  Authors obviously get paid and you can see the money happening soon after.  There is one word to help you here: confidence.  Be proud of your work.  Understand that there are readers out there who will love your work.  Love yourself so that they can love you.  Help your book blogger by being a strong base of confidence that they can build on.

GOOD  A nudge/tweet/dm/email of a reminder.

Send me another email if you don’t get a timely response (within a week).  Sometimes I will mistake you for generalized spam or a bot and sometimes I just get a flood of emails that drown out everything.  Nudging me tells me you’re a real person and I will respond then.  But be mindful of doing this with other book bloggers.  Some are very picky and just don’t have any interest your book or wish to correspond.  Some have even less time.  Tweak your requests and improve your chances. and have great lists as well, and you can see that every book blogger is different.  It’s a simple trick of learning what they like, what they don’t and working with it.  If you’re hunting down an agent or publishing deal, it’s also great practice.

Happy writing, reading and blogging!  ^ ^