by Diane Saarinen
How can there be a whole back story for a little tiny ebook like the one our agency put out, Best Practices: Pitching Book Bloggers? That’s a fair question. But I’m here to tell you there is one and I hope to entertain you in the next few paragraphs.
I have been a blog tour coordinator for the past three years. Which means I work as a liaison between authors and bloggers so when a new book release comes out, it can receive maximum exposure in the blogosphere. My communications are as much with bloggers as they are with authors. And over the years, I feel I’ve gotten to know bloggers quite well. I keep up with what bloggers are reading, how their kids are doing, how their pets are faring. I genuinely love this interaction! I also can place myself, at times, in the shoes of bloggers as I volunteered a few years back for the excellent online publication Her Circle Ezine as Blog Producer. In this capacity, I would endeavor to match topics to bloggers, schedule these posts, and – in a pinch – roll up my sleeves and even write a few blog posts myself. And as a writer myself, I’ve been published not only in Her Circle Ezine, but Quiet Mountain: New Feminist Essays and Women’s eNews Daily. An essay of mine appears in the anthology, Working Women: Stories of Strife, Struggle and Survival (SAGE, 2009).
Is this guest post turning into a feminist treatise? Maybe. I will say this: I don’t know the statistics but it appears to me that most book bloggers are women. And anecdotally at least, women seem more predisposed for relationship-building; for giving freely of their time; and in general doing all these great things that we associate with the book bloggers.
But, let’s remember something. Book bloggers for the most part are not monetizing their blog. They are not getting paid. Reading – and reviewing books – is a hobby they are passionate about. Through the grapevine (i.e., Twitter) I began to hear more and more about bloggers grumbling about well-meaning publicists, even authors, taking advantage of their kind natures. By this I mean: sending unsolicited books. Or allowing insufficient lead time with review requests. What about requesting bloggers’ stats? To me, that’s just rude!
Well, now it’s clear I’ve gone off on a tangent. What does this all have to do with the e-product, Best Practices: Pitching Book Bloggers? In March 2011, our agency set up a survey that 30 book bloggers answered quite frankly about what constituted a good pitch and a bad pitch. The answers, to me, were amazing. One of the best summed-up examples of a pet peeve I read in the study was: “I know you say you don’t review self-published books, non-fiction, or Christian books, but I have a great Christian self-help book that I’ve published myself!” Publicists and authors, we can do better than this.
BIO: Diane Saarinen can be found at the Saima Agency which specializes in author services such as book blog tours, virtual assistance, copywriting and book trailers. Their ebook, BEST PRACTICES: PITCHING BOOK BLOGGERS is available here. Please note the e-guide is free to all bloggers. Just email info [at] saimaagency [dot] com with your blog URL for a complimentary copy.