Approaching the Book Bloggers

(as featured on my weekly Huffington Post blog)

What to do if you're not Katie Price, you don't have a prize pair of puppies to promote you but you're still determined to make your book a success?

Book bloggers can be a self-published author's best friend these days. But there are thousands of them out there so you want to make sure that you are targeting the right ones for your particular book. Once again, a scattergun approach is wasting both your time and theirs. So do your research.

One way is to Google a similar book to your own and add the words "book bloggers" or "book reviews". For example : David Nicholls Us book bloggers. Note down all the bloggers who have reviewed it, check out their other reviews on their websites and see if you think that your book is a good match for them. Having made sure they are still currently blogging and open to receiving review requests, read their submission guidelines very carefully, then send them a personalised introductory email.

If there's no name mentioned on the website then use their user name. After saying who you are and how you came across their site, give a very brief description of your book (3-4 lines is optimum) and when it's being published. You can also attach a press release or simply a picture of the front cover. If their submission policy doesn't state which format the reviewer would prefer, then ask (mobi, epub or PDF are most common, but some still prefer a print copy). Thank them for their time and say that you look forward to hearing from them. Then sign off with your full name. NB. Don't forget to write in the subject line, "Introduction for Possible Review" or "Review Inquiry".

Another way of finding bloggers is on Twitter. #bookbloggers #book reviewers. Follow them and if you think they are right ones to review your book, get their website details and send them a personalised email as above.

Remember that book bloggers are incredibly busy, most of them have full time jobs and they do this in their spare time - for free. So be polite and respectful. And be prepared for some of them to turn you down or not reply to your email. But as we know, self-publishing is a long game - so you can go on approaching online book reviewers for some time after your publication date.

Check out this interview with seasoned book blogger Stephanie M Hopkins

Alternatively, if you are Katie Price, then you can just get those little puppies out.