I have been getting this question a lot. Especially after the madness that was Book Expo America. I have gotten some emails. A couple of them not so nice. Detailing why I do not deserve to receive galley’s if the rest do not get galleys. PeachTree Pub recently broached this same issue from a publicists view!
Let me start off by simply saying. I didn’t accept books the first year I was a book blogger. I didn’t feel I had an audience or reach that would benefit the publisher or the author in any way. After I felt I had built an audience that was adequate. I then started accepting pitches. We provide a service here. ARCs are expensive to make and marketing is the final name of the game.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- How many readers do I have that are not other book bloggers?
- How many unique hits per day does my blog receive?
- Is my design or template clean and easy to navigate?
- What am I putting into the emails that I am sending pubishers?
- Do I have an online presence elsewhere? (social media)?
I have only queried a couple of publishers and each time I have been successful. Most bloggers that ask me these types of questions seem to feel entitled to get ‘free books’ because they have started a blog. A blog takes a lot of work and it is more than writing down your feelings on a book that you read. I spent my first year buying my own copies and obtaining books from the library while I honed my review writing skills.
Free books do not exist. There is a commitment involved. That you provide a professional service in reading the book with an open mind and keeping your commitment to review it in a timely manner.
When you email a publisher and you want to work with them or get a galley. Think of it as a paragraph written resume for your blog. Keep it short 500 words or less. Highlight what makes your blog special. A sample of something I may write for Bookalicio.us:
I am interested in your book to review on my blog Bookalicio.us. I think the premise is unique and a good fit for my blog and my audience. My stats and other information you may need are listed on the ‘Policy’ page of my blog.
Please let me know if there is any other information you need.
Publicists do not have unlimited time. They need vital information in a short format. Give them that. Also do not expect anything. There are a lot of bloggers out there and we are all wanting to read and review the same book. Having a blog does not mean we don’t have to buy books anymore! Build your audience. Hone your style and then come back to the publicists after you have done the work.