Saturday, April 13, 2013

Book Girls Don't Cry - Working With Publishers


This weeks topic is all about working with publishers and getting review copies. As a new blogger it can be scary and overwhelming, and often you don't know where to start. I will just give you a general idea of how I went about things and what you might want to try.

Don't forget to check out the other Book Girls posts from this week!

Jenni
Giselle

Both Jenni and Giselle had such awesome posts this week. If you haven't read theirs yet, you should definitely check them out. A lot of what I have to day are things they have already said, but that's okay.

I have been blogging for a year and a half and honestly, I don't get a whole lot of physical ARC's, but I also don't request a lot either since NetGalley and Edelweiss are so easy and I'm usually approved on those sites. I got my first NetGalley approval after only blogging for about a month and got my first physical ARC after about 4 months, but it's different for everyone.

Working with publishers is actually not as scary or hard as you think. First, you do want to make sure that you either have a decent following or get plenty of comments or interaction on your blog. How long you've been blogging doesn't matter as much as you think, it's more about if people are visiting your blog and showing interest. Do numbers and stats help? Absolutely! Are they totally necessary? No. Really getting yourself out there and getting your blog noticed is what you need you do. Social networking is your friend.

So, you're ready to request a review book from a publisher. Now what? Well, most of the publishers websites have a handy little contact link at the bottom of the page and in most cases it will have a general publicity email, but some sites actually have a reviewer request form.The number one thing to remember is, there's no need to be afraid to request a review copy. The worst that can happen is they don't respond. I have only been actually declined on NG or Edelweiss, I have never been told no when emailing a publisher. I have been ignored many, many times though, but that's okay. In a month or two if there is another book I want to request, I try again. (Just don't annoy the hell out of them by emailing every week or two, wait at least a month or more.) Make sure in your email to introduce yourself, introduce your blog, and let them know a bit about it and what types of books you like to read and review. Make sure to include your stats in the email as well as your address too. Most of the time if they are going to send the book, they just do it, they rarely let you know that it's being sent out. Once you have been getting review books from a publisher for a little while you may get a direct contact also, which makes things much more comfortable and easy for you.

There are also a lot of great sites out there for bloggers who are just getting started. Great places to start are NetGalley and Edelweiss. They have a lot of review books on their sites and update constantly for new titles. Edelweiss also has the publishers catalogs, which I find sure handy for looking to see what books are coming out in upcoming months. There are also book trading sites like YA Book Exchange and bloggers trade both finished copies and ARC's on there I believe. I haven't used it, but I have a friend who has. There is also Little Blogger, Big Ambitions from Cuddlebuggery's blog. And of course lots of blogs do giveaways and if you follow authors and publishers on twitter you will see that they are always tweeting about giveaways also. Not a sure bet, but that's an option too.

I guess I don't really have much more to add. Really, there's nothing to be afraid of. Publishers are very nice to work with. Oh, I did almost forget though, always email the publisher when your review posts, and if it's a positive review you should tweet it and tag the author and publisher too. Obviously if it's a 2 star or something you don't tag the author, that's just rude. Even if you don't finish a book you should email the publisher and let them know. It's respectful since they have sent you the book. They aren't going to hate you because of it. Not everyone will like every book. So now that's really all I have. I probably wasn't nearly as informative as my other Book Girls, but oh well. ;)

24 comments:

  1. I think it's so helpful when bloggers take the time to encourage newer bloggers, so this was such a great discussion topic! I appreciate how encouraging you are too, I hear all the time how scary it is for newbies to even think about asking for an ARC. But as you say, the worst they can say is "no"...and they won't ever get a "yes" unless they try. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. When I sent my first request I had only had my blog for 4 months and didn't really have many followers. I was shocked when it showed up in the mail. Even now I still get ignored sometimes when I request things. It doesn't bother me. I still consider myself a little blog.

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  2. You did such a great job covering this topic, Amy. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks hon! I wasn't really sure what to say since I don't really work with a lot of publishers and I'm still a little blog myself. I'm totally fine with that though. I love all my readers and followers and I get a lot of great comments on my posts. :)

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  3. Amy your advice is good and Netgalley is a wonderful resource as I have found, enjoyed , shared and still finding new to me authors and their books. The best part about being a small blog though is being able to keep from getting out on a limb when it comes to expectations, mine is 4 and I cherish every follower who has stuck with me from the beginning and all those signed up along the way! The book lovers community is a wonderful one to belong to coming from a family of nonreaders except my Dad and myself it was great to find a whole world of avid readers like myself to share with and being able to actually interact with the authors whose books we love a huge bonus.

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    1. Thanks for the great comment Jackie. I love discovering new books and authors. It's so great. I also really love the community. Before I started blogging I always thought of authors and publishers as untouchable rockstars or something, and it's so awesome to get to know them and chat with them. They are still rockstars to me, but I know that they are friendly and more than willing to chat with you.

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  4. Great post Amy! It is so intimidating to start requesting from publishers! I'm not a big-time blogger by any means, but I remember making the leap from netgalley to requesting physical books and it was scary! I think everyone settles in and find the blogger-publisher relationships that work for them.

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    1. I only work with a few publishers, but I really love it. They are super nice and easy to work with.

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  5. Great post Amy. Thanks so much. You may not know this, but when I first started blogging you were one of the first people who gave me some pointers and I really appreciate it.

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    1. Awww I didn't know that, but I am so glad that I could help you out. I love blogging and the blogging community. It's like one big happy virtual family lol!!

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  6. Great post and great advice! I still don't request many physical ARCs -- I love NG and EW and they've made requesting what you are interested in reading so much easier.

    Enjoy your blogging break :)

    Jen @ YA Romantics

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  7. I don't request many books, usually just if it's a series or author I already love. But most of my books come unsolicited or they ask me. I do know that even though I have been blogging nearly 5 years I'm still intimidated to request books unless it's a publicist I have worked with many times.
    This is a great informative post!

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  8. Amy, just two words: Beautifully explained.
    This is really helpful for newbies like me! I can't think of any words to explain of how awesome this meme is you do with Jenni and Giselle, it's too awesome:) Thanks for sharing lovely! <33

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  9. All of these posts this week were just SO helpful & encouraging! Amy I love the options you mentioned NG, Edelweiss and those book trading sites. I'm going to save your post so I can check those trading sites out for myself :D You did a fantastic job with this post hun, everything well well explained and I love your attitude about the whole thing ♥

    You rock!

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  10. Yay great post, darling! I think the new thing Cuddlebuggery is doing is great I really have to go through my shelves and donate a few. Especially some unsolicited ones that I won't ever read anyways it's just collecting dust. I have never gotten a no from a pub either, just no replies. I think they just delete or forget about the email if they're not interested. I also think sometimes the email gets buried when they meant to say yes-I imagine they get a LOT of blogger emails, especially the US ones.

    And I just saw your mini blog break notice that's good to take some time to yourself! It's refreshing too I had a mini break myself when I went for my wisdom teeth and even though it was only a few days it was kind of awesome to just NOT blog or do anything online for 3 full days! I thought I would die but it was a good break lol. If you feel like skipping a BGDC week that's totally ok too! :) I prob will be skipping 1 or 2 weeks when I go to BEA.

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  11. Good point about not being told no by a direct email. There's less overt rejection when you go for the physical copies than the e-galleys. I think I have been told no, but only when accompanied with an "ask again later." Haha. I still get ignored a lot. #bookbloggerproblems

    BEA's coming up though, so it's not like I'll be hard up for review copies for most of the rest of the year after that. :-p

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  12. Great advice! Even blogging for 3 years, sometimes I still get in gored (*cough* random house) Anyways, its important to blog cause you love it. Everything else just comes with it.

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