Blogger Tips and Tricks: Publisher/Blogger Interactions

This is the third part on my tips and tricks for book blogger series, a feature that will be posted every Thursday (Except this week, it's Friday!) and will cover topics relating to book bloggers. Hopefully this series will be able to help new (and even old!) bloggers find their footing and get a great start in blogging!

In the first post I covered what ARCs are, and some of the ways you can get your hands on them.
In last week's post I gave step by step tutorials for using eARC requesting platforms NetGalley and Edelweiss with some tips.
This week I am going to be talking about receiving review copies from publishers, and publisher/blogger interaction.

Firstly, let me point out that not all publishers are the same, so whilst this post come from my three years of experience in talking to publishers some things will vary from publisher to publisher. This post just gives a general idea of what the majority of publishers like.

Contacting a publisher for the first time can be absolutely terrifying, but chances are that once you've spoken to the same publisher once or twice they will add you to an email list so they contact you when they have ARCs to distribute. I barely ever contact publishers first anymor

There are a few things that it's important to check before you request a book, I know that these are pretty obvious, but it's always good to check before you send an email and look stupid:

  • Are you emailing the right publishing office? There's no point emailing in to the USA office if you're in the UK, you'll get shot down straight away because books are very expensive to send overseas and overseas rights will probably also be a big problem.
  • Are you emailing the right people? You want to be getting in touch with the publicity department, though some publishers will ask you to contact the marketing team. If in doubt, check the FAQ.
  • Is the book even published in your country. As a UK blogger, I know this well - you see book being published in the USA by HarperCollins so you go to request it from the UK publisher but they haven't even got the rights to that book! ALWAYS check the catalogue first!

So you've checked that the book is being published in your country, you have the publicity email address for your country's office... so how do you write the email?

For me, I always start with something kind of formal 'Dear publicity team' or something. You then go on to introduce yourself and your blog. Publishers love blog statistics, so use lots of them. So my first paragraph would begin with 'My name is Jade, I am an independent book reviewer over at (enter blog address here). You then go on to talk about your blog followers (GFC, Bloglovin', Linky etc), your social media following (Twitter, Facebook etc), unique page visitors per month, page visitors in all time, anything else you think is applicable. Mention where you cross-post your reviews (Amazon, GoodReads) as well.

Then go on to mention what book(s) you want to request, if they're in the backlist mention when  it was released and if they're frontlist and you want an ARC you may want to mention WHY you want to read it. Publishers may not have that many ARCs and they're going to want to give them to more popular bloggers, so if you're just starting out you want to show some enthusiasm for the title that you are requesting.

You want to finish the email with a polite 'Yours Sincerely' or something less uptight like 'Many Thanks'.

You also want to add in your postal address, it's much easier for them to have it in your initial request then to have to email you back and get your address, and publicity teams are busy people!

A few tips from me:
  • Son't request too many books, I only requested one or two at the start and still feel cheeky asking for more than that. You don't want to look like you just want free books? You want to be showing that you want to raise awareness for the book.
  • I personally started out requesting books that weren't being published MONTHS in the future, I started by requesting books that were being published in the following weeks.
Hopefully, after this, you'll start getting emails from the publicity teams offering you books.

Here are a few questions and answers about publisher/blogger interactions:

When should I post my review?
Ideally, the reviews should be posted in the month surrounded the book release, though some publishers may ask for one sooner (if you have an ARC) or may want you to wait a little longer, to the two weeks or so before release. If in doubt, ask! If you aren't in the mood to read that book, don't rush, publishing staff recognise that bloggers are people as well and don't expect you to be a super-reviewers!

Should I email my reviews to the publicity team?
Yes. Even if you just reviews a book that you bought, send it over! firstly, they want to see what people are saying and secondly they may use your review to help promote the book from their end.

What should I do with my review books after I've finished them?
I get over five print books a week and don't have space for them all so I sell/trade off finished copies that I'm finished with but I collect my ARCs. . ARCs should never be sold, it's not allowed and even if it were, it should never be done. You can collect ARCs, donate them to libraries/bookstores, trade them to other bloggers, give them away on your blog, give them to a blog tour team... use them to kindle your fire? I mean, that would be a waste, but as long as you aren't selling them, you can do whatever you like with them.
if you are sending the book out for tour or doing a giveaway, be sure to contact the publisher first - this is just to make sure they want to get more buzz for the book at the point, they may be planning more promotional stuff and may want you to wait a little longer to start this.

-Do you have any other questions relating to Publisher/Blogger interactions? Feel free to leave them in the comments!-
Otherwise check out The Story Siren's publisher interviews here, which I used a lot when I first started requesting and still refer to even now.


-Your opinion-
I am looking for other people's opinions for next week's post, so please leave a comment/tweet me (@jade_jmbtf) with your answers to any (or all) of the following questions - I will link to your blog with your quote!

I want to know:
-What do you think about negative reviews? Should bloggers post them, or just not review the book?
-What  do you think about people posting reviews for books they did not finish?
-What are your tips for writing reviews? Anything relating to reviews is fine!

5 comments:

  1. Ooooh, I am always to scared to ask directly so I never do it. XD Must be the only person doing that! Or rather not doing anything. ^^

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  2. I've been scared to ask it too, but one day I decided to give it a shot. It's hard being INT and most requests were declined (or not answered), but I've made some great connections so far. Don't give up other INT bloggers, there is hope! ;)

    I agree that I don't want to look greedy. I always ask around 1 to 3 books. This is very helpful, thanks!

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  3. I have been trying to figure out how to go about this since I'm INT. Any tips in this case?

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  4. @Nyx - The best thing to do is find pubs in your country, you're from the Netherlands right? (Correct me if i'm wrong please!) - The best plan is to check out a site like Publishers Global: http://www.publishersglobal.com/.

    Also, check the international imprints of big publishers like HarperCollins, some have imprints with full EU rights.

    I can't say that I know 100% how to go about this, since I'm from the UK which is INT but also easier to get books in. The best plan if you're unsure is to contact to publisher themselves and ask if they have EU/your country rights and how to go about receiving books from them.

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  5. Your Blogger Tips & Tricks posts are great! Keep 'em coming please :)

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