Be Your Own Brand Ambassador

Book blogs encompass so many things. I for one use my blog to market books that I love, while I still honestly review those that I didn’t like that much. Since I use my blog as a marketing tool and I use social media to further my reach and bring new readers in I am aware that I am my own Brand Ambassador. I am not working at the moment and I am able to take years of marketing and community management experience and see how far I can reach out. How many readers can I reach? How many books can I get into the hands of the average reader? There are a lot of things to consider if you want to be the kind of blogger who uses their blog for marketing books, it’s extremely hard work and a lot of the blogs I read are the ones that are more diary based.

Social Media Top Ten

10. Pick one network that you feel comfortable with. Too many at once may cause overload and abandoned networks looks worse than no networks at all.
9. If you want to market for your blog and your blog’s name is then your social media efforts for your blog (not your personal) should reflect that. Example: Twitter: @BookieRocks instead of @ILikeCheese09
8. Be informative. Got the scoop on something? Share it.
7. Sharing is caring, link to and from your fellow bloggers and local indies.
6. Use third party services like HootSuite to schedule Tweets or Facebook updates for when you can’t be around.
5. Be respectful, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Every blogger I know will answer them gladly.
4. Share what you know, what are you an expert of? Horror, LGBT, YA Paranormal? Show us what you got. Specialize.
3. Follow like-minded people, generate conversation and be a team player.
2. Join in on some of the Tweet Chats available even if it is just to watch. I always learn. Follow Twitter Hashtags on like #YALitChat #LitChat and so on.
1. Follow Neil Gaiman and do whatever he says.

Always have fun, always maintain your sense of integrity. If you didn’t like something and don’t feel comfortable about reviewing it then just don’t, don’t fabricate a review that makes it seem like you did. Contests and memes are okay but make sure your blog doesn’t become and orgy of these things. Content is key and if I can’t find any ‘real’ content I am so outtie. Sidebars are there, but that doesn’t mean you should clog them up with every fugly graphic known to man. All things are good in moderation. The sidebar is there for navigational purposes for people to find out more about you, your blog, your interests, other blogs you like.

Participate in the community by commenting on other blogs, participating in discussions and making an effort to learn. We learn as we go and this is a fabulous time to be a book blogger! Now let’s all go kick some branding ass.

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Pulling back

I am writing this post to bring up a few things I have heard recently. I have been a part of the community of book bloggers for over a year now. I have made quite a few friends and I have had a great time. However it is time for me to pull back out of the social networking. I will still be hanging around on Twitter and doing what I should be doing. Cultivating readers, posting relevant links. Not having conversations and procrastinating. I will be blogging more, I have been doing that this year already and my numbers do not suffer when I am not active.

I have been told a few times recently that people thought I was unapproachable. That as one of the big book bloggers (and really I am not) they thought I would bully them or be not so nice. That is not me and I do not want to put off that kind of vibe.

I have been told that there is an in crowd. I am pretty oblivious apparently and I have always said “No there is not”, that is not exactly true, there is a crowd that feels the need to be a part of everything, or organize everything. They do tend to leave others out and I have never been one for keeping up with the Jones-es.

I have set out when I built this blog with my husband to have quality, honest reviews and that is all I need to focus on. It is what I do and I am proud of my work and happy for all the people I have met. I have already been through High School and its ridiculous at the age of thirty doing that again on the internet.

I am re-thinking all blogger activities I have set up in my schedule. I am excited about the book walk in March. I am speaking at three conferences for the industry and as a community manager by trade have done a bang up job cultivating my target audience. It is time to work more on my blog and less time trying to keep up. It’s really not a competition and I do not want to be counted as one of the crowd that people feel are not approachable.

This may ruffle some feathers and for that I do not apologize. It’s really not a contest and no one is going to win anything except a reputation for ridiculousness.

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An Open Letter to Self Pubbed Authors

Dear Self Pubbed Author,

It’s not that I hate you or your book, or even that I don’t want to review them here on my site. Because I do really I do. I know how hard you work to try to get the word out about your product, and I understand how hard it is to continually hear the words no over and over. However some of these no’s you are bringing on yourself.


If you read my review policy it clearly states that I do not accept e-books at this time, so do not email me asking me if I would like to have a pdf copy of your book. The answer is no. If you read my policy it tells you the genre we review here on, which is YA fiction, even with some names of authors that are comparable. This is because these books are what the target audience at expect to see. So when you send me a review request for your financial strategy manual, again the answer is no.

A couple of more things before I go. Please do not use Twitter/Facebook/Myspace or any other social media to ask me for reviews, that is to say hello and to let people know what you have going on as an author. I have an about page with a policy and an email address. Oh and don’t spam me, and you know how I know. It’s when I see “undisclosed recipients” instead of my email address there in that little box that says to in the email.

So please bring me your tired, your hungry, and your weary, YA fantasy and fiction self pubbed authors. The rest quit spamming my blog and the blogs of others. Take time to read the review policies and word will get out how awesome you are for doing that.

Thank you,

Pam van Hylckama Vlieg

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Has social media made us lazy?

We have all heard the term ‘social media douchebaggery’ and laughed, but are we we all guilty of a douchebaggery much more sinister in it’s origin? Are we becoming too lazy to comment on each others posts and read each others posts or even email each other thanks and praise because we can do all that much quicker in a public arena in 140 characters or less? I know I am guilty of this. What about you?

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