You knew I would be.
So, the last time I posted, I indicated that I was doing research on blogs who review novels in my genre so that I could set up reviews and possibly interviews and blog tour stops. Well, I sent out 10 e-mails yesterday. I got three responses and all were positive for reviewing and hosting interviews. Yep, I've got a long way to go, but it's a start. I'll send out five e-mails every day from this point forward until I've exhausted my list. Then I'll compile some more.
How many should you sign up for? As many as you can. Remember, how blogs work. For example, Becky sets up a blog and has 50 followers. Her information appears on their blogs. Among her 50 followers are ten people who have 1000 followers. So, your information not only appears on their blogs, but also their followers blogs. This is how your book goes viral and you start to build the ever important "buzz." You can never sign up with too many. So, find as many as you can and make it a constant process.
A few pointers for crafting your letters:
- First, make sure that you at least TRY to personalize each letter to the extent that you can. Take the time to find out the name of the person who runs the blog. This will go a long way toward building goodwill. On some blogs the information isn't always apparent or easy to find, but most blogs who regularly review books have a book review policy page and provide their contact information there.
- Include your book's information: Title, name of publisher (your imprint name or your name), ISBN number, format (tradepaper, hardcover), number of pages, back cover copy, and jpeg of your cover file.
- Be careful of what you post online--anywhere. This not only applies to reaching out to bloggers but your career as an author. Like it or not, people will do research on you as bloggers, potential publishers, readers, etc. are bound to do. Be careful of what you post and what you say. Avoid negative interaction because it may affect whether people want to work with you. I say this because one blogger agreed to host my book and host me on a blog tour partly because I had a positive interaction with a reviewer who gave me a negative review. You never know how that stuff will play into the future, so just avoid the negative stuff altogether if you can.
For today's activity, I'm going to try and compile a list of book festivals and fairs that I can or will try attend next year to begin setting up my schedule. Now, of course, festivals and fairs are tricky because you have to pay to participate. That means, you need to know if you're gonna have the budget. Even though I'm with a traditional publisher, I doubt very seriously they're gonna pay because I'm not a money-maker yet. But the point of this exercise is finding what you can and listing them on a schedule so that if your budget does allow you to attend in a particular timeframe, you will already have the information compiled if your schedule and budget should allow.
How am I going to go about compiling my list? By leaning on an author's best friend--Google. I will Google "book fair", "book festival", "author pavilion", "book fest" along with my geographic area and see what I come up with. I'll list out fees, application deadlines, and website addresses so I can go back and find the information later. Some time down the road, I'll list the ones I can potentially attend on my website schedule.
Be selective and don't try to book everything because you need to leave room for bookstore signings on your schedule too. This activity shouldn't take too long--maybe an hour or so. Best thing is, you only need to do it once a year if you do a thorough job the first time. And if you retain the information from year to year, then you only need to update it with new events as they are available. This is a good time of year to compile the list because the festival schedules usually start in February and run through November.
So, what are you waiting for? Let's get to it!