How to Build Relationships with Book Bloggers

Sarah Fox is a novel writing coach and editor who helps ambitious authors start and complete their novels. When she is not working on her own novel, she writes for Quirk Books and Imaginary Book Club. You can find her thoughts on writing and pop culture at www.thebookishfox.com.

And today, I'm happy to welcome her to the blog!

You love to read all her book reviews, because she is always right. When she said Cress by Marissa Meyer is one of the best fantasy books of the year, you nodded your head in vehement agreement. Or maybe you love to watch all her videos. You love the way she practically sings her book reviews, and you make her TBR (“to be read”) pile your own.  When you finally publish your book, you want to make the top of her “to review” list, but you don’t know where to begin building a relationship with her. Don’t worry; I have you covered. Read on for ways to become book besties with book bloggers.

Know Your Why

Why do you want to form relationships with book bloggers? Do you want to swap book recommendations with a new friend? Do you eventually need help promoting your book? Are you looking to join a community of book lovers? All of the above? If you know your why, you will know how you will want to proceed. Also, maintaining relationships are work. It helps to remember why you want to do it if you want to keep putting in the effort. 

Do Your Research

If you are looking for a great book community to join, then follow book bloggers who have a huge community. If you want a blogger to participate in your blog tour, make sure they participate in blog tours. If you are a self-published young adult writer who wants people to review her books, then you need to follow young adult book reviewers who review self-published books (this is getting harder and harder to find).

Where can you find this information? Most bloggers have a “review policy” page. Read it over carefully and take notes. I actually recommend keeping an Excel spreadsheet with this information for future reference.  

Be Personable and Helpful

There is a right way and a wrong way to comment. While “Great post! Thanks!” is an ego boost for the blogger, it’s not particularly helpful or a conversation starter. It’s kind of like going to a party and complimenting someone’s dress, and that’s it. It’s a great start, but it won’t exactly build a friendship. Instead, share your thoughts on the book or make a recommendation for a book that’s similar. Also, don’t be nasty, but you already know that. Trolls belong in fairytales, not on the Internet.

Be Consistent

Notice when they usually post a video or a blog post, and be sure to comment on those days. Again, I would recommend putting this information in a spreadsheet and marking off the days that you comment. It seems a bit mechanical, but it’s hard to get it done otherwise.

Share and Participate

As we learned from children’s TV shows, sharing is caring. If the blogger has a particularly fun video, share it on Twitter. If a blogger has a book recommendation that you love, post it on Facebook. Also, don’t forget to participate in their book tags or Instagram challenges. They’re actually a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to meet new people in general.

Don’t Forget Real Life

We are all so entrenched in the Internet that we forget there is life beyond our screens. Go to blogging or book conferences to meet book bloggers. Also, you could join a book blogging meetup in your area (if one doesn’t exist, create your own). There is nothing that creates a connection faster than seeing someone face-to-face. Plus, you get a break from your computer screen, which I think is something we all need. 

Make the Pitch (Respectfully)  

Okay, so you want the blogger to review your book or host a giveaway of your novel. Don’t make the pitch until you’ve interacted with the blogger for at least a month consistently. Make sure you read the policy page again (sometimes things change) and then e-mail them, following all the guidelines. If you don’t hear from them, follow up once after a week (or whatever length of time is indicated on the site), and then let it go. If they say yes, then be sure to make it as easy for them as possible. If you are asking for a book review, be sure to send them a free copy (nobody wants to pay to review your book). If you are hosting a giveaway, be sure to make good on your promise and ship the items to winners. When you are done, be sure to write a thank-you note, even if the review is unfavorable.

Warning: If you are asking for a review, you are not guaranteed that it will be a good one.  No self-respecting blogger will promise a good review; she will want to be honest with her audience. Still, there is something to the saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Also, the blogger might make some good points that will be useful to know for your next book.

Follow these guidelines, and, before you know it, you will be posing with your favorite blogger on Instagram at your local book conference. And people say that reading is a solitary activity.

Helpful Hashtags to Find Bloggers

Instagram

  • #bookstagram
  • #books
  • #youngadultfiction (feel free to change “young adult” to the name of your genre)
  • #fiction
  • #tbr
  • #youngadultbooks (feel free to change “young adult” to the name of your genre)
  • #reading
  • #redbooks (feel free to change the color)
  • #bookshelf
  • #bookshelftour
  • #bookhaul
  • Also, search hashtags with the name of your favorite author, book, or convention.

Twitter

  • #amreading
  • #reading
  • #books
  • #allthebooks
  • #tbr
  • #bookhaul
  • #novels
  • #fiction
  • #youngadult (feel free to change “young adult” to the name of your genre)
  • Also, search hashtags with the name of your favorite author, book, or convention.

My Favorite Book Bloggers

Alexa Loves Books

Modern Mrs. Darcy

Book Baristas

Imaginary Book Club

Read by Zoe

Poland Bananas Books

Myraidinklings

Climb the Stacks

Follow Sarah Fox:

Website: http://www.thebookishfox.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Bookish-Fox-545113039027225/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BookishSarahFox

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bookishsarahfox/

Pinteret: https://www.pinterest.com/bookishsarahfox/

 

 
 

An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. Her blog posts have been featured on popular websites like The Book Designer and Positive Writer. She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist and her novel-in-progress, The Suicide Tree. She lives in Oklahoma with her two dogs, Chanel and Wednesday.