A guide to POTSDAM
The pressures of book blogging – an open letter to publishers
29th April 2017
As bloggers, many of us have come to book blogging because we have a passion for reading. We enjoy the written word, and then we enjoy bringing together our thoughts in written form – words that will anchor and expand upon the thoughts that are floating around in the ether of one’s mind. It is satisfying, enjoyable and very often rewarding, for, oh, so many reasons.
There are now many book bloggers out there, there are more blog tours, there are many more books coming onto the market, everything in the book world is growing exponentially, which is good news. With growth, however, can come pressure.
In one of the Facebook groups to which I belong, there has been lengthy discussion about the changes that are happening within the world of publishing. Some changes are very obvious, many positive, some, though, are less detectable but have a powerful effect on the balance of relationships in the book world. Things are buzzing, it’s frantic, it’s exciting, it’s overwhelming… but sometimes for many bloggers it can begin to feel quite pressured. Each book blogger of course needs to find their own balance, decide for themselves what they can and can’t do. But for me there are some things that would make my life as a blogger easier to manage.
Thus, in an open letter to publishers here, I flag some of the simple things a publisher could do which I personally would find really useful when it comes to reviewing a book and then spreading the word of that book on Social Media. Some publishers have already come alongside (you will know who you are if you are reading this).
With every book for review you send out, please include a flyer about the book and all the relevant details on there. Even better, print the relevant information on the ARC – imagine, hundreds of books awaiting review, the flyers can sometimes get separated. If it’s digital, then send a PDF with all the details.
So, here goes:
Hashtags: Please detail the hashtag you would like used on Social Media for the book in question. Do you want simply want the title? Or do you have a special hashtag you want to use? I recently reviewed Domina by L S Hilton and the initial hashtag was #Domina which soon morphed into #DominaBook once it was live, because the former would have landed all the Tweeters with all the sexual domina tweets, probably undesirable (although for a brief few moments it was illuminating). Heaven only knows where some of my early tweets landed.
Which Publisher: this may seem simple but once you delve into the imprints of any publishing house, it is is not always evident which publisher should be tagged on Social Media. Amazon says one thing, that back of the book says another. AND it would be really helpful to have the contact person at the publisher who is responsible for the book. So often we are asked to notify the publisher when we post, but if the name isn’t to hand, it can then take a lot of research to find the person responsible for the book…. and that takes time, of course.
Publication Date: this sometimes seems to be a moveable feast. Flyers can often detail the date, but Amazon will often have a publication date that is much earlier – it might be that the digital version came out first, of course, but this isn’t always the case. When there is a definitive date, a blogger can decide the best time to release the review.
Social Media links: I use an inordinate amount of time trying to find an author’s Social Media handles, whether Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. We always link to our authors when we write a blogpost, as most bloggers do. But sometimes the name an author will use, for example on Twitter, is totally different to actual name and consequently it can be very hard to find (take note authors!).
Blog Tour posters. Today we happened to feature on a blog tour. We shared the day with two other bloggers. We would gladly have highlighted their contribution on Twitter, but after a few minutes search, I couldn’t find the link to them or their blog and gave up. Please include a Twitter handle or link to such blog contributors – some publishers already do.
Contact: We schedule posts around 6 weeks ahead. Recently we have been contacted 2 weeks in advance of publication (5 days in one case) and have been asked to take part in a blog tour. We can’t do it. I would imagine the schedules of other bloggers are similarly fully booked. Ideally, please get in touch 6 weeks or more in advance to gain a commitment.
Please. Help us to help you!
If anyone has any further points to add, please use the Comments box below.
Tina for the TripFiction Team
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