As both a writer and blogger, I have enormous respect for book bloggers. Indie authors are thriving each year because what should have been a lonely journey on the self-publishing path is anything but these days. Joining social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, it’s hard not to find fellow writers and bloggers to network with. Before you know it, you are inundated with a plethora of useful tips and advice to help you along.
Book bloggers are pivotal to indie authors. Many of them not only offer guest posts and interview opportunities, but they review author’s work and share it across a wide range of sites such as Digg, Stumbleupon, Goodreads and Amazon. Goodreads and Amazon are becoming crucial for writers and readers. With so many visitors to both sites in search of their next read it’s great for authors to have reviews of their books readily available. On a personal note, one of my novels has 24 reviews on Amazon but on Goodreads the number is 50. Around 300 users on Goodreads have added it to their bookshelves, which is fantastic. Many of those reviews came from book bloggers.
Given the service that book bloggers provide they are going to have a big future for writers. When you self-publish a book one of the major headaches is how are you going to promote it? Well, you can make use of such companies as Goddess Fish and Novel Publicity who can arrange for you to go on a blog tour, visiting a variety of sites where bloggers will review your book, interview you or ask you to write a guest post. I have recently concluded a month long blog tour with 20 stops in all. Not only do book bloggers give you great exposure but you have the opportunity to interact with visitors, surely one of the best feelings for any writer.
The relationship between book bloggers and writers can sometimes be difficult, especially where reviews are concerned. Writers need to remember that book bloggers are busy people and that chasing them up for word of your book is not going to appease them in the slightest. Responses to reviews are also important. Book bloggers have their own approach to ratings but on B-Lines and Felines, if we encounter a book we don’t like, we probably won’t finish it (life’s too short!) and therefore, we won’t post a review. That said, sometimes there’s feedback that needs to be given. Many authors won’t want a bad review but I’ve always said they’re nothing to be afraid of so long as the feedback is useful.
By the same token, writers have a duty to respond to reviews in a dignified manner. I have seen incidences where authors have engaged in fierce debates with book bloggers who had the audacity to give their book 3/5 and not the 5/5 they were expecting. Again, reviews are personal opinions and should be respected so long as they are not vindictive. It’s a tough world out there for book bloggers with some authors sadly nursing big egos and believing they have a right to receive only the best reviews for their work. The vast majority do not think this way, I am pleased to say.
Book blogging is growing and I am glad that is the case. I think if you have enjoyed a book then you should share it. By letting others know they are also getting the opportunity to try the book too and for the author it is an even bigger boost. Some of the most renowned films in history were box-office flops but word of mouth elevated them to the priceless emblems they are today. The Shawshank Redemption is one of the best examples I can come up with. The same can happen with books and for indie authors this is one of the only ways they are going to achieve success unless they can afford to pay out for a lot of publicity.
As a writer I regard book bloggers as the salt of the earth and am indebted to them for the support they have given me. By joining Donna in running B-Lines and Felines, I like to feel I can give something back for the support I have enjoyed. I would say to book bloggers to keep doing what you’re doing because we’re here to stay. To writers I would say book bloggers are your friends, not your enemies, so always treat them with respect and they will remember you.
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