Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG - Finding Book Blogs



You're a writer.  You swim around the ocean of blogs, searching for tips on craft, commiserating with other writers, and  getting support when you need it.  Why should you cross the great divide and visit book review blogs?  I mean, they criticize books.  They aren't sympathetic to your struggles.  They probably don't even know how HARD it is to write a book! 

Here are four very good reasons to hunt up book review blogs:
1) They offer good advice on the best books to buy so you don't waste your money.
2) They get lots of ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) from authors and big publishing houses, and they sometimes offer them free in special giveaways.
3) They participate in authors' blog-tours, which often offer a chance to win the new book in a giveaway.
Let me repeat that:
THEY PARTICIPATE IN AUTHORS' BLOG TOURS
Oh, hello -- You're an AUTHOR!

4) Yes, they can support you on your tour and review your novel...  Or not...

When you release a book, you'll feel like a door-to-door salesman, trudging around, hoping to make connections and sales -- and getting doors slammed in your face.  OUCH!!  Book bloggers are far more likely to help with a tour or review if you've made an effort to follow them, read their posts, and commented.  Also, your request letter should be as professional and polished as a query to an agent -- because believe me, just as agents are picky who they represent, book reviewers are picky about what they spend their valuable time reading.  (Especially when they're getting best-selling novels direct from Big Publishers.)

So start looking around for book bloggers who like the same style of books you do.  Google "book review blog YA" or "book review blog science fiction," or whatever you love.

There are awesome, warm, and funny book bloggers out there who can give your great advice, free books, and help you when you need it.  Find them and give them some bloggy love. You'll be glad you did! 



* Don't forget book blogger Lexi is hosting a giveaway with a ton of books, including Soul Cutter --> Book Bliss 2000 Likes Giveaway(The rafflecopter link is at the bottom of the post. The giveaway ends on Nov 9.)




This is a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It exists so the community of blogging writers can share and support each other, blog-hopping to cheerlead and commiserate. To find out more, visit: Insecure Writer's Support Group. Plus, check out the IWSG Website for lots of helpful info and links.


50 comments:

Medeia Sharif said...

I love book blogs. I've also had a chance to meet some lovely book bloggers in person. They are helpful.

T. Drecker said...

Book blogs really open up new doors. I started mine (I know, not quite the same as visiting book blogs but. . .) a few months ago simply to get my hands on free books (the German library is horribly limited on English literature) and am so glad I did. You rub shoulders with tour companies, get insight on what readers want, win prizes (oh, yeah!), and even meet editors of publishing companies. Will it help? Don't know. But it doesn't hurt ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You are so right! I started looking for book bloggers right after I began blogging. Some of those people have become very good friends as a result. And you couldn't ask for more energetic fans.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I so agree with you about the importance of following book review blogs. I haven't been as regular in following mine lately but I do really like following them and commenting so they know I'm there.

Kelly Hashway said...

Book review blogs are wonderful. But you can't only follow when you want something from them. Be a true follower and then they will be more likely to show interest in your book when that time comes.

Jackie said...

I love book review sites on blogs and FB! They have the Intel on the here and now with books. They're so friendly and helpful.

M.L. Swift said...

Right now I have no fear of the reviewers...don't have a book! So I guess now is the time to make friends for when I do.

Great post, Lexa. You took the trepidation out of getting to know The Dark Side

M.L. Swift, Writer

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I follow a bunch of book blogs in my genre but I rarely comment. Actually, I rarely read the entire posts, because I don't want to read that much of the review. I read the blurb (if I experience cover love) then the rating. And if the rating is high, I'll add it to my list of books I want to check out.

Chris Fries said...

Like all your posts, Lexa -- this was great. I'll be sure and connect with the book bloggers. Well, if I ever finish writing a book... ;)

Hart Johnson said...

I love book bloggers! They DO sometimes critique, but I've found most of them truly love to read, so they are LESS critical than say, Amazon or Goodreads reviewers--there is an element at those sites where people feel 'obliged to warn'... or whatever it is. The book bloggers on the other hand, reach passionate readers and love reading themselves... they are good people.

Elise Fallson said...

Looking forward to the day when I can do this, but I guess I have to finish my book first. (:

Cathrina Constantine said...

Great advice, Lexa!

Shah Wharton said...

Yey for BB's! I'm a part-time book blogger, in the sense that I blog about books and feature their authors, participate in book tours and promotions, etc. I know some awesome BB's who read so much it makes me dizzy, and they really know their genre.

Great post Lexa. :) X

shahwharton.com

Isis Rushdan said...

Creating a list of bloggers long before you need to contact them is extremely helpful. Excellent advice.

Carol Kilgore said...

Great advice!

Catherine Stine said...

I've "met" some amazing book bloggers, and they are so incredibly supportive of authors.

Julie Flanders said...

This is something I really need to do more. I have connected with some book bloggers and it's been great but I have not put the effort into it that I should. Something else I need to work on!

Pk Hrezo said...

Excellent advice, Lexa. And I also like reading the reviews where they didn't like the book. They're awesome learning tools for writers, if constructively written, of what not to do in our story crafting.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I like following book blogs that way I come to know which books are hitting the shelves.

Kate Larkindale said...

I love book bloggers. I've fund several who seem to have similar tastes in books to me, so I trust what they recommend.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

And let's face it, the joy a good review for our books does, well, it's sheer heaven.

J Q Rose said...

I recently read in an article people notice authors/books on Facebook, but book review blogs actually SELL books because people trust the reviewer to be honest. I'm not a reviewer but I do love to host authors and giveaways on my blog. I have met fantastic folks that way and it's a lot of fun.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I struggle to know which book blogs to approach - the good ones are too full, my genre is wrong, the ones who will accept me have 3 followers... It's a mine-field :-(

E. Arroyo said...

They can be a great author resource but some do get booked right away. Great tips. Thanks

Emma Adams said...

I've met some lovely book bloggers through promoting my books, and it's always a bonus to get a great review! :)

Robin said...

Never even thought about doing this... Great Advice!!!

Narrator said...

Excellent, informative advice. Thanks for putting it out there.

Andrew Leon said...

I have followed a few book review blogs, but, so far, I've found them all to be "spotty" at best. One review every 3 or 4 months. Stuff like that.

David List said...

Good blog. I've had the following link bookmarked forever, just waiting to give it a serious look when my book drops -
http://writersally.blogspot.com/2013/07/list-of-book-reviewers.html

Kim Lajevardi said...

Great advice, Lex! Many great connections and friends can be met through some of the fantastic online writing sites available. I can attest to that. :)

Kim said...

O.O
AH! I told you I'd get you a list of book blogs, didn't I? Ages ago? Did I ever do that?! I feel like I didn't! Lex, you should have yelled at me by now! I'll send you a list by the end of tomorrow!

Cathy Keaton said...

I used to be a book blogger! Now, I'm on the other side of the equation, although I won't have to be the author trying to get book bloggers to review my book for a while, yet. I think you just need to be cool and let them decide what they want to do, if anything, with your book and their promotion of it. Never get demanding, ever.

Lynda R Young said...

Great advice. As writers, we need to be where the readers are. :)

writerlysam said...

So very true, Lexa:) Another fantastic way to engage readers is through unique collaborations that run "outside the box" *wink, wink*

Lara Lacombe said...

Good advice! :)

Nana Prah said...

All very true. Plus they are entertaining.

Donna Hole said...

That picture made me laugh right away. Thanks.

.......dhole

Nickie said...

Great post! Since I write, I try to remember when reviewing books that it's an accomplishment just to COMPLETE a novel! There's some snarky reviewers out there, but there are quite a few who give tactful, constructive advice and give authors a good idea of how readers will react to their work (Christina at Ensconced in YA come to mind -- she's fantastic).

shelly said...

Good post, Lexa!

Hugs and chocolate!

L.G. Smith said...

Finding book bloggers sounds like a lot of work to me. :P

But I often feel like most of us are blogging in a fishbowl of other writers. Seems like we ought to be connecting with "others" out there for when we have a novel coming out.

Michelle Wallace said...

It sounds like good advice. and probably IS better to build up a solid relationship well before a book is even written and published.
How do you know where to find these book bloggers?

Candilynn Fite said...

Super, great advice, Lexa. I know one who reads a lot of YA and gets ARC copies from big publishers. I've got my eye on her when (and if) I ever get this darn YA done. :D

klahanie said...

Hi Lexa,

Yes, finally, I've arrived. Applause n' stuff! :) Good thoughts and I'm going to find me some book bloggers. See what they have to say. Good grief, acronym alert to Candilynn :)

And thanks again for being involved in the dedication to um, me. I Was Seeking Gary. I'm in tears here with all this adulation.

Gary :)

Ava Quinn said...

Great advice, Lexi! You're so smart! :)

Georgina Morales said...

It is always important to connect with others. To keep our knowledge and reading hours to writers blogs limits our ability to reach new readers and make valuable connections. You never know when a seemingly unimportant, casual meeting can bring a new opportunity to your door. Great advice, Lexa!

DMS said...

Excellent post! It is so important to meet others out there in the book world. Book review blogs have a lot to offer. ;)

Thanks for sharing. :)
Jess

Melanie said...

Sure, book bloggers are awesome, but you authors are even awesomer! :)

Great post of advice <33

T.F. Walsh said...

Wonderful post with great advice:)

Rhissanna said...

Oh my gosh, Lexa, I didn't even know these people existed! I have to admit, finding readers' blogs has been really hard. There are blogs about writing, but they just seem to be flogging 'how-to-write' courses. It's not that I couldn't use a course, it's that I could find those things without a blog. But other writers and readers? Not so easy. So this has been a real eye opener and I'm off to tell Mr N about it.

TBM said...

I love getting to know book review blogs and many of my blogging buddies do review books. My problem is I don't have enough time to read all the books I hear about. I hope all is well!

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