Tips for Bloggers, Part 1 Blogger’s Perspective
*Send everything the blogger needs to do a professional post: headshot, JPEGs of all the covers for recent books, links to purchase from main sources (CBD, Amazon, Barnes and Noble), links to your websites. Don’t tell them “I have a media kit, go to my website.” While it is a great idea to have a media kit, if you fail to keep your own website updated (as I recently had happen with an author) the blogger won’t be able to access everything they need.
**Promote and link to the blog where your book or you are being featured. This is assuming the blogger made sure to link to your website, also. Put it up on Twitter and Facebook for example. Again, we are expecting the blogger to have also promoted the post.
***Show up and engage with the readers who leave comments. This is your golden opportunity to meet future readers (and purchasers!) of your books. If they actually show up to comment on your book or your interview--take the time to comment back. Readers LOVE hearing back from authors. Again, this is assuming the blog has people who leave comments. Check in periodically throughout the day to reply individually (some people cluster these replies together and put the commenters name in CAPS so they can easily find the author’s response to them.) People do check. You’d be surprised. And if you replied only to comments from your friends—they remember that, too. And it isn’t nice.
****Speaking of niceness—it counts! Jeane Wynn shared at the ACFW conference, two years ago, that if she could do anything for her clients it would be to have them be nice. A thoughtful personal reply is far better than saying something that is only about yourself or your book. I have to say I rarely see snark on my blogs. Think of yourself as visiting at someone’s house and they are having a party thrown in your honor. You wouldn’t spend the entire time talking about your book or yourself. But if you were asked something, you’d try to reply.
Tips for Bloggers, Part 2 Author’s Perspective
*Bloggers should be aware that many CBA publishers have blog tours which bloggers can sign up for--if they meet that house's criteria. That way the blogger receives free books and is then scheduled for blog tours they want to be a part of and can provide their honest opinion of a book. Revell's website has a form to fill out for sign-up.
**Bloggers need to understand that authors are often inundated with requests for interviews and giveaways, especially before a new book is released. It's very hard for authors to honor all these requests though we'd like to.
***Bloggers also need to understand that the author receives very few "free" books themselves and usually have to purchase a book to give to that blogger for the giveaway. Sometimes bloggers ask for 2 books, one for themselves and one for the giveaway. Yes, authors usually get a discount on their own titles but by the time we buy the book, pay for shipping, then ship it to the giveaway winner, it becomes more costly than the price of the original book.
****Bloggers often want authors to guest on their blog even if they have zero or no following. It takes time and work to create and maintain an active blog. Bloggers need to put in the time to make a go of a blog before asking authors to become involved. This may sound harsh but lots of bloggers begin and then don't stay the course. Or they receive a book from an author and don't follow through on their promise to post reviews, etc. I've even had bloggers receive the book and then "disappear," never to be heard from again. If we take time to answer your interview questions and possibly provide a book at our expense, please be gracious enough to be there in the end.
SO—there you have it—two perspective on blogging. Did you read something that surprised you? Was this information helpful? God bless all the bloggers and authors out there who are trying to promote and write great Christian fiction!
Part 1 by Carrie Fancett Pagels (www.carriefancettpagels.com, http://colonialquills.blogspot.com), Carrie hosts two group blogs and writes Christian historical romance. Represented by Joyce Hart
Part 2 by Carrie’s friend, a multi-published author who blogs and also contributes to a large group blog.