I have just wrapped up a whirlwind, month-long, 25-stop book blog tour. I had a blast doing it, and all of the bloggers were great and easy to work with. Doing so many stops in succession, I was able to compare my experiences with the different bloggers. Not in a bad way, more in a “that one thing they did was really helpful” kind of way.
Book Blogs are one of the coolest services, and I love the folks who take the time to share their opinions of books with other readers, but who also help to promote authors on their sites. You are the reason I’ve been able to connect with many of my readers.
Most every blogger out there has a “Policy” page where they talk about how to contact them, what format to send things in, what kind of books they accept, etc. I’ve decided to flip the coin a little bit and create a “Policy” of my own. My observations and experiences this past month have resulted in some recommendations to bloggers on ways to interact with authors that can be really helpful and likely more efficient for both the blogger and the author.
So book bloggers, take these requests for what they are… helpful suggestions.
Have a Policy Page
I actually love the policy pages. These make it very easy for me as an author to understand what you accept, how to get in touch, and what to send you. You can also make it clear when you are or aren’t accepting books, the different ways you’re willing to spotlight authors (guest posts, promos, etc.). But please, please, please make it easy to read. Don’t write a novel – give clear, concise instructions. (Paranormal Cravings is a good example of this)
Make It (Relatively) Easy to Contact You
Don’t make me hunt down how to contact you. If you want to be contacted a specific way for review requests or guest posts, then say how on your policy page. If you want to really regulate info that comes to you, have a form for people to fill out. Have an obvious contact page or email somewhere. And if you don’t want to be contacted at that time, be explicit about it on your site.
Be Responsive (Once You Agree to Host)
Once you’ve signed up to have me guest host or to spotlight me in some way, please then be responsive to my communications. I get that some authors out there will bug the stuffing out of you with tons of emails. But if I don’t start off being one of those, please respond to me. I try very hard to be sensitive to how busy/inundated you are. Please have the same courtesy. I also totally get when something slips or you’re so slammed you didn’t have a chance. I’m human too. But come back to me and tell me that – I’ll understand.
Provide Clear Instructions on What You Need & When
Now that you’ve agreed to host me in some way… know exactly WHAT you’re going to need from me and communicate that clearly. Do you want photos? a bio? specific links? Will you go get that info yourself? Also, give me the logistics up front. Tell me details around the WHEN – not just the date of the post, but when you want the materials from me to post. And if you have a DOs and DON’Ts list that’s not on your policy page – share that.
Have Guest Post Topic Ideas Handy
I am NOT suggesting you have a super specific topic like “What is the Impact of Supernatural Genres on Generation Y in 2013”. However, you as the blogger should have unique insights into what type of posts your readers tend to respond to the most. (At least I hope you’re paying attention to that.) Letting me know that character interviews or top 10 lists tend to get the most hits or the most comments is super helpful to me as the guest poster and usually will result in a better guest post for you.
Day Before Post Email
To the few folks who emailed me the day before the post to let me know that it was scheduled and even sent me the link to where it would be posted… huge thank you! I didn’t have to wonder if you’d forgotten that you signed up or that you received my guest post on time. And I wasn’t remotely tempted to ping you about it because I already knew.
I know bloggers have some crazy examples of authors who were rude, arrogant, annoying, crazy, etc. But hopefully, these suggestions struck a chord of “Oh! Glad to know that would be helpful. I can totally do that.”
Thanks again for the awesome service that is book blogging! As an indie author, I’m particularly grateful.