Ask the Publisher: Successfully Pitching to Book Bloggers
Book bloggers are becoming increasingly more influential and they have now become a key component of the book launch, the book marketing process, and blog tours.
Pitching to book bloggers takes time and dedication. However, they can generate significant buzz for your book.
There are a lot of book bloggers out there with followings of various sizes and book blogs start up and close on a regular basis. When you’re building your list of bloggers to approach, it is wise to do the following:
Determine if the site is relevant for the subject matter of your book. You are wasting your time to pitch a memoir to a book blogger who covers middle grade fiction.
Check if the site is still active by checking the dates of the last posts.
Get an idea of the size of the blogger audience on the website and social media. How often does the blogger interact with that community? While you want to make sure you are pitching to the sites that have the larger audiences, don’t underestimate the value of a more grass-roots approach and eliminate new bloggers or those with a more limited following.
Finding Your Tribe of Book Bloggers
It can take some digging, but finding the bloggers interested in your category will save you time and anguish in the end. Here's how:
Use the list of handy resources posted below.
Make a list of books comparable to yours and do an internet search as follows: Author name, book name + book blogger.
Search Facebook for genre-based book reviewers and book clubs. Please research the group before pitching your book as they may or may not welcome authors.
Ask others in Facebook groups you already belong to if anyone is, or knows, a book blogger who might be interested in your book.
Use a premium service like NetGalley. Yes, it costs but it has a huge number of reviews. Caveat: some genres and categories will do better than others here as a large portion of the reviewers are teachers and librarians.
Search Instagram using #bookstagram IF you have a beautiful cover for them to share.
Crafting the Pitch
A good pitch goes a long way. When you craft your pitch, remember to:
Personalize it with the bloggers name. Resist the impulse to blast out one email to dozens of bloggers-especially if you don’t bcc them!
Introduce yourself as someone who shares a goal and a mission with the blogger.
Keep it short and snappy. This is a great place to use that powerful elevator pitch you’ve worked so hard on.
Include a call to action. Be direct in your request for a response and in what time frame. No more than this. If the blogger is interested they will ask for more information.
Direct the blogger to your website (even if it is only one page).
Follow up in one month but don't be downcast if you still don't receive a positive response. Book bloggers are inundated with requests for reviews and it is nothing personal if they haven't the time or space to select your book. Be persistent and keep widening your search. It can take a hundred or more pitches to secure five to ten reviews. You've got this!
Think I missed something? Leave your comments, suggestions, or tips in the comments below.
Resources: Top 100 Children’s Book Blogs and Websites for Parents, Teachers and Kids: This well-researched and current post gives a thumbnail of 100 different blogs and sites. Information included: Country of origin, a brief about blurb, how long the blog/website has been running, frequency of posts, related website (if it’s a blog) social media following. The Book Blogger List: The purpose for this site is to help book bloggers find like-minded bloggers and authors to find book bloggers who might be interested in their work. It is easily searchable which is a definite plus. There are also a number of books available on the site relevant to book marketing. The Indie View: This site was established in 2010. While you do have to register on the site, that gives you access to hundreds of active indie reviewers. The site also does its own reviews. Book Review Directory: This site has 150 book reviewer bloggers listed, almost 10k followers and posts its own book reviews, too.