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Imaginary Chats: How Reviewing A Giveaway Book Changed My Life

Friday, November 2, 2012

Natalie asked:
How have you developed your contact with the publishers so you get sent popular books? What advice do you have on finding contacts?

I cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining an active blog and following. Publishers want to see that follower count and the number of pageviews you receive daily/weekly, but they also want to see that you're actively blogging, that you're reading their books and reviewing them. By posting regularly, you'll also be able to better attract and maintain a following, as they know they can rely on you to provide content. I could go into more detail on this, but that's a story for another post. For now, let's assume that you've been doing this already, and let's start talking contacts.

Where do you start?

The first time I remember contacting a publisher about a review, it was actually about a book that I won in a first reads giveaway on Goodreads. I wasn't actually expecting a response, as I was still a fairly new blogger, but I thought that if they'd taken the time to put up a giveaway on Goodreads then I should take the time to review it and send them a link to my review. That is the purpose of books giveaways after all: to publicize books. Imagine my surprise when the publicist contacted me back asking if I'd like to be added to their list of bloggers to be contacted about books available for review monthly! That was the first publishing contact that I established.

My best advice on finding and establishing contacts is to read their publishing company's books, find out the company's main publicity contact, and send in links where they can find your reviews of their books. If you are looking to request books from them, first look up their guidelines on requesting review copies. Publishers have only so many review copies available, and they want to give them to bloggers with a certain sized following (it varies from publisher to publisher) and who will read them (needless to say) and review them. We don't receive free books. We receive them in return for an honest review. Positive or negative, it still helps sales (just don't burn the book. There are nicer ways to say you didn't like one).

Another thing that I'd like to stress while I'm on this topic is to be polite while emailing them and not to bombard them with multiple emails if they don't respond right away (or ever, in which case you might want to reread their guidelines and/or work on building a larger following/blogging resume). They receive many requests for various things from review copies to interview requests to working with book tours. It is thanks to them that we have the privilege of receiving review copies and doing so much for the book industry. I am so, so thankful for these awesome people.


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1 comment on "Imaginary Chats: How Reviewing A Giveaway Book Changed My Life"
  1. Thanks Kris for answering my question. I so agree that it's important to have a good following and to do that to follow others.

    Here's a question for another time. What do you do with the unsolicited books that you can't review and can't afford to give away?

    Also, does your small amazon ad help pay for postage costs? I do a lot of giveaways and spend hundreds on postage..

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