This post was inspired by the following question that we received from one of our lovely readers:
“Can you also do a post about book bloggers? There are SO many out there and I find myself overwhelmed with them.”
That’s a great question!
First of all, we love questions. If you have a question for us, feel free to leave it in the comments section below or send us a message here. We may answer your question in a future blog post.
Now, let’s discuss what you need to know about book bloggers— Who are they? Why do they matter? What’s the best way to work with a book blogger?
You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. Let’s get started.
What is a Book Blogger?
A book blogger is a person who loves to read and then share their opinions with others via their blog. Most of them are not professional readers (i.e. editors), although they can be. In general, book bloggers read as a hobby and are rarely, if ever, paid for their efforts.
But that’s changing.
Some book bloggers have turned their hobby into a full-time job and get paid through submission fees, affiliate sales, and/ or from ads on their site.
Why Do You Need a Book Blogger?
Should you consider working with a book blogger? Absolutely. Book bloggers provide several benefits to authors, especially if you’re self-publishing and must do all of your marketing on your own.
Here are a few of the major benefits you’ll get from working with a book blogger:
Just publishing a book isn’t enough. You need all of the exposure that you can get. When a book blogger shares a review of your book on their website, more people will learn about you and your book. Even if that blogger has a relatively small community of 100, that’s still 100 people that may not have known about your book otherwise. More exposure = more opportunities to sell.
By the way, let’s not downplay the importance of “blog” here. When you submit your book for consideration, you’re not just reaching the blogger’s curated community of readers. You’re also increasing your exposure on the world wide web.
When people do a Google search for your name/ book title, they’ll likely find this review. Also— and I’m very excited about this point— when people don’t know about you or your book, they can still find you via a Google search, thanks to a review from a book blogger. That’s because a prospective reader can search for specific keywords related to your book (i.e. “Christian dystopian”) and find a blog post that features your work.
Word of Mouth Marketing
A book blogger often has an engaged community of readers who want recommendations for what to read next. When a well-respected book blogger recommends your book, it’s almost a guaranteed sell. Because the reader trusts the blogger, they’re much more likely to buy your book if it receives a positive review.
This word of mouth marketing extends beyond the boundaries of their blogs. Some book bloggers also share their reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and more. This can definitely impact sales.
Speaking specifically of Amazon, books with more reviews are promoted more. Because Amazon users naturally gravitate to books with a higher number of reviews, Amazon makes these books more visible. The goal is to get as many book reviews as possible, and a great place to start is with a book blogger.
Book bloggers are an essential part of your overall book marketing strategy.
Finding the Right Blogger for Your Genre
Now, let’s discuss how to find a book blogger in your genre.
This is the point where a lot of people, including the reader who posed the original question, get overwhelmed.
The good news: There are a lot of book bloggers out there.
The bad news: You guessed it— There are a lot of book bloggers out there.
How do you find the right one for your book?
Don’t stop with one. Who says you should only approach one book blogger? There are no hard and fast numbers here, but my minimum would be 10.
To start your search, check out our list of book bloggers at the bottom of this post.
Although our list is a good place to start, it’s impossible to catalog every book blogger— especially since new bloggers are always popping up. To expand your search beyond our supersized list, consider the following:
Google “book blogger” + your genre (i.e. “book blogger” dark romance).
Another option is to search for blog reviews of book titles that are similar to your own (i.e. “book reviews for the wheel of time”). By searching for a similar title, you can discover book bloggers. Be careful to weed out the big names (The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, etc.).
Search Instagram using hashtags like #epicreads, #bookstagram, #bookblogger, #bookgiveaway. With this method, you’ll get a much more generalized list of book bloggers, but it’s a start.
Make a List of Book Bloggers
Once you’ve found a book blogger that you think is the right fit for your book and genre, add their information to a list. You can get fancy and create an Excel spreadsheet. Or you can simply list bloggers as we have on our free resource at the end of this post.
How to Work With a Book Blogger
Armed with a list of book bloggers, how do you reach out to them and begin a professional relationship? Let’s discuss below.
Send a Query
Don’t, I repeat, don’t immediately contact the book blogger after finding their website or social media profile.
Take time to look at their reviews. See what types of books they review. They may accept different genres but prefer one type, which will be obvious after you’ve perused their blog.
Also, see what types of reviews they leave. Are the reviews thoughtful? Are the reviews overly harsh and hurtful? You may want to think twice about a book reviewer who is downright nasty about a book. Many reviewers simply don’t review a book that they didn’t enjoy. Be careful of those who make a sport of it.
Also, don’t contact a book blogger via social media. Most book bloggers prefer to be contacted via a form on their blog or through their email address (which can also be found on their blog).
Do read their review policy. Every book blogger has a review policy. Know it and abide by it.
Do provide enough information in your initial outreach. Many book bloggers have made this process easy. They include a form with questions to answer (such as the book synopsis, a link to the book’s Amazon sales page, etc.).
Do personalize your pitch. Explain why you asked them to read and review your book. Don’t simply copy and paste the same pitch, but appeal to each blogger individually.
Do get to the point. Your book is already 200 pages long, your query letter doesn’t need to be. Share the topic of the book, why you think they should read it, and thank them for their consideration.
Do pitch at the right time. For best results, send out pitches at least two months before your book is set to publish. This allows the book blogger adequate time to read and review your book without feeling rushed.
Do wait patiently for their response. Don’t send a copy of your book automatically. That’s presumptuous, and the quickest way to get on the blogger’s bad side. Book bloggers are busy. They’re often reading more than one book at a time while running their blog, while fielding review requests, while working their day job, while attending to their personal life. They may not have time to read your book, especially if they’re doing it at no charge to you.
Do accept rejection with grace. You’re a writer. Get cozy with rejection.
What if a book blogger doesn’t accept your book?
Even though you’re giving away a free copy of your book, a book blogger is under no obligation to accept your book.
What if a book blogger hates your book and writes a scathing review?
Remember to do your research about the types of reviews that the blogger shares with his or her community. However, don’t let the possibility of a negative review stop you from pursuing this amazing marketing opportunity for your book.
Before you go, be sure to download our list of book bloggers at the end of this post and also check out these related resources:
- How to Become an Author-Entrepreneur
- What You Need to Know About Working With Beta Readers
- Social Media Marketing for Authors