Focus Friday: The Author’s Guide to Working with Book Bloggers, by BarbDrozdowich



So who are book bloggers?The Authors guide to working with book bloggers bigger (2)


The only thing that we all have in common is that we love books; we love books so much that we have created blogs to express our thoughts about the books that we read. Book bloggers also have access to a computer. Other than that, they can be male or female (although in my survey there were many more females than males), they can vary in age, be quite computer literate, or just barely holding their own as far as technology is concerned. They may be teenagers, sharing their love of Young Adult (YA) as they conquer their high school classes; they may be a stay-at-home mom spending her free time, sharing her thoughts on her favorite books as an escape from the kids. They may be budding authors using a book blog as a way to experiment with their writing. A book blogger may be a parent/child duo, with the parent encouraging the child to read more. They may be newly retired looking for a mental challenge and a way to share their life-long love of books.

Book blogging is usually a hobby; it is something that is done in a blogger’s spare time. If book bloggers make money from ads on their blogs, it generally isn’t much—it might keep them in lattes. There are a few exceptions, of course, but book blogging and reviewing books is something that book bloggers do for no pay.

Many book bloggers started blogging to simply share their thoughts with other book lovers. Have a look at this selection of the answers that I received when I asked the question “Why did you start book blogging?”

  • “Because I wanted to be able to share great books with other readers.”
  • “I am very supportive of many changes taking place in the book industry. I am particularly supportive of ebooks and talented Indie and small press authors and LOVE helping spread the word about their books. I also personally enjoy discovering new to me authors who can help support my book addiction.”
  • “I love to read. This was a way to share what I like and to find new books and authors to read.”
  • “To talk with other book lovers, and to have a creative outlet online.”
  • “To have a place to talk about books, to be a part of a community.”
  • “To encourage my students, to share my love of books.”
  • “As a hobby/just for fun.”
  • “Nothing is better than finding ‘that’ book. The one that rings your bell. I like helping people find it!”
  • “To share my love of books with the world.”
  • “Because I wanted to find new readers like me who are big romance fans to discuss books with and share this big passion of mine!”
  • “To create a space where my kids and I give our opinions about children’s books— we don’t always agree!”

 My favorite of the list above is: “To share my love of books with the world.” 

About the book

Do you feel out of your comfort zone when dealing with book bloggers? They are the New Gatekeepers to book publishing success—but how can you tap into that source of free promotions by putting your best foot forward?

The Author’s Guide to Working with Book Bloggers combines the advice of 215 blogging professionals collected in a survey covering all aspects of communication between authors and Review Blogs. Whether you are a new author, or have many titles under your belt, let us demystify the promotion of your book on a book blog.

You’ll learn about whom and where book bloggers are, and the following:

  • The Query,
  • The Review,
  • The Giveaway,
  • The Author Interview,
  • The Guest Post,
  • The Book Blurb Excerpt and Cover Reveals and more!

“I’ve found Barb’s advice on forging a professional relationship with the blogging community indispensable. Her step-by-step approach will help you garner the reviews needed to increase book sales.”

–Christine Nolfi, bestseller author of Treasure Me

The Author’s Guide to Working with Book Bloggers is available on:

About the author

BarbDrozdowichPicSocial Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught at Colleges and Universities, trained technical personnel in the banking industry and, most recently, used her expertise to help dozens of authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular Romance Book blog, Sugarbeat’s Books.

Barb can be found: 

And follow Barb on Twitter @sugarbeatbc


Avid Reader to Fledgling Reviewer, by Shannon Mayer


ShannonMayerOkay, you’re going to take the plunge, dive in and start your own review blog. Or maybe you just want to leave reviews on GoodReads, Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Maybe you secretly harbour the desire to tear a book apart, page by page. #pleasedont

Either way, I’m going to tell you how to get started, and then I’m going to share some advice from reviewers and bloggers who have far more experience than me!

Step 1. Figure out if you are going to do a blog or review only on other sites such as Amazon, GR’s or B & N. For the sake of this post, I will assume you want to run your own blog. You’ll need to pick a platform, Blogger, WordPress, or your own self hosted site. If you are new and not too techie, I’d recommend Blogger as it is the easiest platform I’ve used. You can always bump up to a more in-depth site later.

Step 2. Once your blog is set up, start reviewing books. Reach out to other bloggers and reviewers to create your network via Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and other social media platforms. This will help the authors find you. And that is what you want, authors coming to you with free books! YAY!

Step 3. Don’t stress. This is supposed to be fun, remember? This is not your paying job, so read what you want to read, don’t read the rest, and enjoying sharing your opinion with others. The more you review, the better you’ll get at it.

Step 4. Keep it professional. Don’t let people’s bad behaviour (and yes, hard to believe it happens on the Int-ra -net, but people can be very unkind) drag you down to their depths. The more professional you are, the more respect you will receive from your peers and the authors who seek you out. A good reputation is worth more than any amount of advertising.

Step 5. Repeat Step 3.  This should be your mantra.

Now, on to some advice from those who know a lot more than me, bloggers who know what they are talking about!

Carla Golden—1. Write about what you know 2. Write to one person (use “you”)

Trevlyn Tuitt—Research what you’re blogging about.

Misty Rayburn—When I was first starting out, I asked advice from an author friend because I was really nervous about doing it. He told me as long as you write what’s in your heart, you are doing it right. I found over time that is so true. Anyone can give a 5 star review just as anyone can give you a venomous 1 star review, but honesty in what we do is held higher than anything else.

Melissa Lynn Simmons—1. Be passionate about what you’re doing 2. Be honest & reach out for help when you need it! “Girls *Heart* Books

Anna Dase—This is advice I should take from myself. Do not let others get you down. Keep your head high and enjoy what you are doing.

Anna @ Read Between The Lines

Michelle Kampmeier—My advice would be to always be honest. That means being honest in your review – whether you truly liked the book or not and why – and honest in your writing. Be nice and respectful while being honest as well. Anyone can appreciate constructive criticism if it’s politely given. – Mickey @

Wren Doloro— Keep your reviews concise and interesting to attract readers, be careful of promising reviews to authors – Don’t overload yourself, Don’t be afraid to approach the authors on your wish list for review copies, interviews, or guest posts. If you can’t even read much of a book an author gave you, send them an email to explain honestly. They will appreciate it. But personally I don’t rag on books I haven’t finished. Unfortunately people prefer reading the 5/5 reviews anyway. Be honest and be critical.  It is your job!

Gayle Carline— Honesty is always best. My advice would be to be as quantitative as possible and present it as your opinion instead of fact. “I was increasingly aware of the clichés, which kept me from enjoying…” versus “There are too many clichés.” Also, it’s nice to put what you liked about the book first, then follow with the criticisms. And if you can’t be nice, be funny.

Angela Ackerman—Be honest but be respectful. Even if a book is not to your liking, the author put a lot of passion into it. Acknowledge that taste is individual.

Lorca Damon—My advice as a reviewer for Good Ereader is that you have to keep your bias out of it, which can be hard to do when you feel very strongly about a book. Present your opinions in a clear and mature way without attacking the author, the publisher, or the characters.

Autumn Wrought—Have fun! Honestly, isn’t that why you’re doing this in the first place? I have fun with my reviews. I don’t take myself too seriously.  Sure all the other advice is wonderful and true but have fun… be yourself.

Vicki A. Trask—Give reason for every opinion. There is nothing worse than a baseless insult to a piece of art. No matter your opinion, have a reason for it and be respectful to the writer. ioac_rb

Sandie Contreras Morayla—My advice is just be yourself, I just started about a month and 1/2 ago, and at first, I was intimidated.  My friend said just be yourself–the way you talk to me about a book with all that passion–do that on your blog. I am grateful for that Be honest, give constructive criticism, and never bash an author because they have taken time to write.  It’s not easy. Let them know what were the points you enjoyed and what they could work on to improve. I hate reading reviews that say “don’t buy this book the author is just stupid for even writing this” (sadly I have seen this a lot) respect the author.

Jaime Guerard— My advice would be to keep it consistent. Make sure that when you post a blog you do it on the same day. So if you want to blog twice a week, I would suggest to do every Monday & Thursday or every Wednesday & Saturday. Whatever day you do, stick with it because your readers will go looking for your reviews on specific days. I also see a lot of reviewers do specific fun post on certain days like ‘battle of the boyfriend Tuesday’s’. If you have something different like that then readers will be more drawn to you, and that sets you apart from everyone else.

Tara Huffman—I hate when someone over analyzes a book, adds animation/pics, and tries to act scholarly. All I want to know is:  A) Is the book good or bad?  B) Why?  C) Would you suggest to others?

Melysah Bunting—Make a page with contact info, what genres you like, ebook formats you will accept, etc. Lots of people will email you.

Ishita Singh—Make sure you have fun with your reviews! Never, ever force yourself to write a review because you HAVE to. You review books for the love of books, so make sure that love doesn’t die away 🙂 Once it does, you get into a slump…they suck 😛

Gail Girolimon—As always in life do your best…reach into your heart…

Nat Reading Romances—My advice would be: Blog about what you love. If you don’t enjoy it, blogging can become a job rather than a hobby! Read books you’re interested about and don’t review to please others. Also be always kind and respectful!

Nickie McCall Anderson—Stick to your guns, and write honestly. Try to highlight the good and bad spots in every book, no matter how much you loved (or hated) it.

Sydney Aaliyah—Be honest but don’t be cruel or defeating.

Lauren McKellar—If you don’t like a book, ensure your review addresses the book and not the author. Personal attacks or scathing comments such as ‘What was s/he thinking?’ are absolutely not okay.

Louise Thompson—Just do it. It will take a little time to find your voice so don’t spend a zillion hours polishing and being afraid to press “publish”. Be brave: write from the heart. Press publish and see what resonates with people and allow your voice to develop and strengthen. It will 🙂

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Shannon Mayer is the author of the bestselling urban fantasy Priceless which has sold over 20,000 copies in its first two months. On her down time, she hangs out on the farm coming up with ideas for her next books, herds old people to the local cribbage club, and in general makes a nuisance of herself.

Connect with Shannon on Amazon  Facebook  Twitter  or of course on her Blog