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
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.