By Amy Colllins
I recently saw a tweet that made me stop in my tracks. It was from a very popular blogger with a huge following. She said that her main wish was that “authors would stop acting like they ‘deserve’ a review from a blogger.”
A number of other bloggers joined in the conversation online to weigh in.
It was fascinating.
Bloggers everywhere rose up to say that they read for pleasure and that they review to be of service to readers. They do not do it to be of service to authors or to be a free marketing arm for a publisher.
This was the inspiration I needed with this month’s edition of DO THIS NOT THAT.
What I Did
I took the wrong approach with bloggers and reviewers.
Anyone who has been following me or listening to my advice for the last several years know that I am all about “being of service.”
I counsel authors over and over to not approach a librarian or bookseller until they completely understand what that librarian/booksellers goals and needs are. There is no point in reaching out to a store and asking them to stock your book until you know exactly what the store needs from the books that they stock.
What really surprised me as I was reading the reviewer’s tweets and all the follow-up comments was how clearly I have missed the boat at times when approaching them, before I fully understood what they wanted and why they review.
I did not take my own advice!
What I Should Have Done Instead
I can think of many times that I approached bloggers with an offer of a review copy of a book armed only with their first name and a cursory look at their submission guidelines.
I rarely take the time to truly get to know their reviews and their mission. Because of this, I sent books out for review, not realizing many of them write reviews simply for their love of books.
I mistakenly assumed that most bloggers do it as a vocation. But once I looked more carefully at the numbers, I realized that for the vast majority of bloggers, it’s an avocation.
While many bloggers actually review for a living and generate ad revenue as well as other income from their blogs, the majority of literature and fiction review bloggers do it simply for the love of it.
How disheartening it must be to receive a book from an author and then get hassled for their review.
Even worse? What about the readers and the bloggers out there who take the time to write a review and then get called out by the author because it’s not five stars? Or because their honest opinion upset the author?
In the world we live in, many books rise and fall on:
- reader opinion
The currency the publishing industry trades in quite often rests on the back of grassroots opinions and reviews.
When we approach
- beta readers
we need to first get to know them and their
From this point forward, we all need to make sure we approach others for reviews from their point of view… not ours.
What I Will Now Do Going Forward
From this point forward in
- every review copy I offer
- every email I send to a blogger
- every reviewer I approach
I will take the time to find out what makes them tick. I will only offer them the type of books that they clearly love and if they are not a perfect fit, I will move on and keep looking until I find a reviewer or a reader who reads books just like the ones I’m offering.
After that, I’m going to leave the poor things alone and let them read or not read, let them review or not review. That’s between them and their Kindles. I will give each of them all the different ways to reach me and offer the books that I truly believe they will enjoy.
But that is where “The Book Stops.” HERE.