Monday, July 2, 2012

Guest blog by Joyce's client Carrie Fancett Pagels

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.

29 comments:

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Thanks for posting this, Terry and Joyce! I hope someone finds this information helpful!

Janet Grunst said...

Great posts, Carrie and Terry.
Very informative and helpful!

pol said...

Very informative messages to both author and blogger, I love to read and reviewing the book and helping an author that I like to read is just something that comes naturally to me so blogging to me is fun. I dont have a huge following but do interact on the goodreads site and do my reviews there also so hope this helps too.
thanks for sharing today
Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

Diana Flowers said...

What an informative treasure trove for all bloggers, Carrie! And being a contributor on Carrie's successful and popular blog, I know firsthand she does all of the above...the right stuff that is. It takes alot of work to have a successful blog, and Carrie works hard at it, and that is why people constantly say it is one of their favorite places to visit in cyberland. Nice post, Carrie!

Kathleen L. Maher said...

If I could add one more thing, which I think Carrie's joint-effort blog Colonial Quills does so well, is beautiful artwork. Both of Carrie's blogs have a polished, professional and aesthetically pleasing look. Very important.

kay Moser said...

Thank you, Carrie Fancett Pagels, for such useful information and thanks to the author who represented those of us who write. You've done an excellent job of describing the partnership that bloggers and authors need to create and support.

Laura Frantz said...

Great post, Carrie, full of practical, wise information. You have a wonderful ministry with your blogs and web presence. Thanks so much for sharing it here!

Terry Burns said...

Don't be complementing me on the blog, guys, I didn't do anything but post it for them.

Anne Payne said...

Thank you for such good advice. In the past 7 weeks, since my daughter passed away, I have missed several blog tours and a couple of author interviews, but everyone has been so understanding and encouraging.

As a frequent visitor to Carrie's blog, I can say that her kindness and interaction is what made me a diehard fan of hers!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

JANET, thanks for coming by and I am SO EXCITED that you are LINDA GLAZ's new client!!!!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

PAULA, God bless you for all you do! It is a ministry to Christian authors to read and review their books online! Most really do "get it" and are appreciative. So glad you came by!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Wow, DIANA, my senior reviewer, I feel like my head my explode from those compliments, lol! Thank YOU for all you do and for joining me on Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help last year. Let's keep praying God keep His annointing on us and the blog! You make me smile!!!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

KATHY!!! We were SO BLESSED at Colonial Quills to have CARLA GADE do the artwork and website development for us. On Overcoming Through Time, SARAH SAWYER did my lovely website design. Thanks for mentioning that, Kathy!!! I have been very blessed with great help!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

KAY, thank you so much! That is my hope--that this info is useful. Love useful, lol! I like how you describe that interplay--it really is a blogger-author-reader relationship. We want our readers to feel like their visits to the blog are acknowledged. Having visited MANY blogs where I was ignored, as a reader, I am very sensitive to that issue.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

LAURA, how very kind of you to say so! You have been such a blessing to me! I have to say that the anonymous author from Revell who shared the author tips did a FANTASTIC job of explaining the other side of the coin! LOVE having you on Colonial Quills--your posts are always so great, Laura! Thanks for coming by!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Oh, ANNE, I know people hurt right along with you and understand. We will keep praying for you! We LOVE having you visit with us and hence that is why we tried to recruit you, too, lol! Meeting super people like you is one of the best parts of blogging!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

TERRY, thanks again for putting this post up!

Caroline said...

Great post, Carrie. I've learned a lot of that thru the years but I'm glad you posted the info. Very clear and precise. Good job.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

CAROLINE, Thanks so much for your kind words! I am so grateful my author friend gave her insights from the other side of the fence!

DebbieLynne said...

Hey Carrie! Great post! I really try to promote my authors and am so appreciative when I see them do the same. It's great to get the traffic. But traffic doesn't mean posts. I have found that authors who are willing to answer each individual post get a much higher post count than those who don't post at all or those who put a generic post, thank you everyone for stopping by. I think if you are wanting your name to stick with people, talking to them via posting on blogs goes a long way.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

EXACTLY, DEBBIE LYNNE!!! Watching others, such as LAURA FRANTZ and JULIE LESSMAN, has shown me examples of what makes someone want to leave a comment. And having been ignored by some authors has definitely helped me learn what NOT to do. Unfortunately, I don't think some authors realize that every interaction with a reader is a chance to meet someone who might enjoy their books. Generic "thank you all" does not cut it and frankly on our blog that person will not be invited back as a featured author again because that is not what we nor the readers want. It is such a simple thing to do. Most of the authors we have had on seem to understand this intrinsically but recently we've started telling folks up front that we expect that from them and what we will do in return. It is a lot of work for the authors and for the bloggers. But worth it!

Timothy Fish said...

I would like to add, always honor your commitments. I once agreed to let one of these book review bloggers review one of my books. As I recall, she wanted two books to give away. When it was time for her to review the book, she decided not to read it but to just offer it free to her readers.

Cathy Gohlke said...

Thank you for this posting, Carrie and Joyce! Very helpful and insightful information, and much appreciated. God's blessings to you both!

sally apokedak said...

Excellent post! I founded and ran a blog tour group for children's book for two years. Some bloggers are flakes and some authors are flakes. If they all would follow the very simply points in this post, the world be a better place.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

TIMOTHY, sorry to hear that! I think this happens all too often. And it discourages authors I am sure. I think what is worse is when this happens on Christian blogs.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

CATHY!!! We are so blessed to have you in our zone! Thanks for your kind comments!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

SALLY, I really wanted to present both sides of the coin and was so glad my author friend agreed to share, too. You are right - there are bloggers and authors both behaving badly or flaky. Thank you for coming by!

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Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.