I only have eyes for… book bloggers
What I’m saying is, I think you are pretty cool as a blogger. Anyways, I hope 2017 is treating everyone kindly. I thought it would be interesting to talk about what publishers look for in a book blogger’s blog. Please note, this isn’t to say you should have your site any certain way, or that publishers will ignore you if you break the “”rules“”. It’s your place. It’s your time. Combine those two however you desire. These are just things that I personally look for or use when doing any sort of blogger related work.
Is the blog active?
I won’t ever email someone who hasn’t posted in months since I feel like it’s a waste of everyone’s time. If you don’t signal you are around, for whatever reason, I don’t want to bug you.
If you are bad that consistently blogging, try to aim for at least something once a month. The type of post matters very little in this situation. If you’re like me and post on multiple platforms another option is to consider cross-posting. That way it’s hardly any more work for you, and all your pages stay up to date.
Is the blog a match?
It’s almost eerie how many about sections display the same word for word list of favorite genres. I’m not all that picky either, but if you just say fantasy, I don’t know if you like Tolkien, or City of Bones. Maybe you don’t like either! Sure, I’ve emailed people simply because they are fantasy fans before, but I’d go as far as to make a suggestion here.
Being vague might get you more requests, but I truly do only email bloggers things I think they’ll enjoy, so go ahead, take some liberties. Tell me you like Westerns, but include your favorites are the ones with girls and non-binary characters in them. If you are burnt out on a trope, let me know and I’ll avoid suggesting stories with it. Do you need trigger warnings? If you display what you need or want, I can suggest titles that will likely mean more to you.
Is your email displayed?
If it isn’t, do you have a contact form? If I had a book I knew you’d love to pieces, but I couldn’t find a way to contact you, even knowing you are looking for new things, it’s not going to work out. If your book blog is on Tumblr, an ask box isn’t going to work sadly. Many publishers don’t have tumblr, or are shared side blogs and can’t send asks even if they wanted.
Publishers use social media to be, well, social. Sure authors and individuals might ask you to review or sign up for a blog tour over it. But imagine the state of your mentions if that became the preferred method of reaching book bloggers?You’d get an @ from a friend, an annoying egg, and hot local books are waiting for your review all within 140 characters. (Emojis optional.)
Publishers should take talking to you seriously. Make them be formal with you if they are unknown. I personally think businesses shouldn’t ever forget that they are asking you for something here. Please and thank you level manners are really a low bar, and you definitely deserve more praise than that.
Now, that I flattered you the tiny tiniest bit. I have a confession. Appearances do matter.
Does your theme work?
I have not contacted people simply because the blog’s theme had issues. Blogs with text that isn’t readable, let alone accessible are a concern. Places so cluttered I’m not even sure which column the posts are in are another issue.
If you use a Tumblr blog and use it for more than your original posts, make sure you link to your own reviews, your preferred genres, and contact info. Depending the Tumblr theme those things like to hide. No matter the theme you can always add it in your description so publishers know you are active, a match, and ready to contact.
If your New Year’s resolution was to blog more about books or give your site a facelift, I hope this list helps you know what a publisher is looking for when they visit your blog. Merry reading and happy new books!