(This was supposed to publish last night at 8:00 PM EST. Clearly I’m still learning the ropes here.)
I covered on Tuesday how hard it is to get a self-published book reviewed by traditional press. For this and many other reasons, the book blogging community can be an indie author’s best friend. Some reasons bookblogs are awesome:
1. They generally aren’t run by industry professionals but by passionate readers. They’ll express a lot more enthusiasm for a book they adore than your average NY Times Book Review staff writer.
2. Authors and bloggers can communicate on a much more personal, informal manner. It’s cool being able to just chat with a reader and reviewer. I’m guessing that Big House-published authors don’t generally have this type of contact with professional critics.
3. There are a lot of them, and if some don’t have sufficient time/interest to take your book on, others may.
Note the last point. We authors aren’t entitled to a review, no matter if the blogger has 10 followers and we think our book is the reason written language was invented. Remember that there are a million other things these book lovers could be reading, including the next novel by their favorite author. So expect that the vast majority of them won’t have time to read your book, and express your immense gratitude when someone does. To date I’ve managed to secure one blog review, and the writer clearly put a lot of time into both reading the book and writing the review. I was supremely pleased with it, and even if the review had been negative, I was grateful she gave my book the benefit of the doubt in the first place.
I was having trouble finding more book review blogs. I was using search terms like “Dystopian” or “young adult” on Tumblr and WordPress, and most of the sites I’d turned up weren’t what I was looking for. When I browsed in the books category, I got a lot of blogs that posted pictures of books but didn’t actually write about them. But today, a wave of not-stupid washed over me like an epiphany and I tried searching posts tagged “book review.” Unsurprisingly, this yielded much better results, and I’m presently compiling a list of bloggers to query in coming days.
At the time of this writing I am still searching for a housewife and will be drawing up an application in the near future. Stay tuned…