Tips on Becoming a Book Blogger

Okay so these are some things I get asked a lot:

  • ·         How do you get publishers to send you free books?
  • ·         How do you become a “proper” book blogger?
  • ·         How do you get on publishers mailing lists?
  • ·         How do you get views and get your blog “out there?”

So I thought I’d do a blog post with a few tips. Now, by no means am I a top blogger or really well-known but I get sent about 10-20 books a month now to review and honestly, it’s not as hard as it seems.

1. Sign up to free book sites

Now you may not even know these exist but this is how I started off blogging. I found a site called NetGalley. Many sites won’t let you sign up unless you have an established blog but NetGalley does and offers free books (many not released for a few months). My tips for NetGalley:

  • ·         Don’t request too many books.
  • ·         Make sure you review a book before requesting another.
  • ·         Even if you don’t like a book, still review it.

Once you do a few reviews on your blog and have a substantial amount of views, apply to sites such as bookbridgr. With these sites, you can apply for physical copies as well as ebooks.

2. Make every kind of social media you can

Don’t be afraid of social media. Make a Twitter for your blog, a personal Twitter, a Facebook page, an Instagram, a YouTube…anything you can! The wider your audience on social media, the more popular your blog will become! I was always afraid to show my friends and family but now they’re some of my biggest followers/promoters so posting on your personal Facebook is always a good thing (I understand it’s scary though!)

3. Email. Email. And…email!

Emails to publishers are so important. I remember spending an entire day finding emails of publishers from every kind of YA publishing agency. (Obviously, if your blog isn’t YA, it’s easy to find others). I emailed around 50 publishers asking to review anything for them and honestly, the response I got was overwhelming. This is how I got put on a lot of mailing lists and found a lot of good contacts. If you want a template or are stuck with what to email, just ask me; I'm more than happy to send you what I said. 

4. Talk to authors/publishers

The majority of authors and publishers are absolutely lovely and easy to speak too. Obviously, don’t start tweeting Cassandra Clare expecting her to send you an early copy of the next Shadowhunter book…be realistic. I started off chatting to small authors and if you display an interest in their book, they are usually more than happy to point you in the direction of their publisher and give you a copy of their book to review…it’s honestly that simple!

5. Don’t just blog about books

This may seem silly because obviously, it’s a book blog but people like to get to know the person behind the blog. Do a few tags that are going around. Do a post about yourself. Just make your blog feel really personal, rather than a generic blog they can find anywhere.

6. Don’t just review books you like

It’s hard. I know. A publisher sends you a book…and you hate it. You want to cry because you don’t want to post a bad review but trust me, it makes the blog look a lot more genuine and it’s better than just disregarding the book altogether…the publisher knows you tried to read it and it just wasn’t your cup of tea!

And last but not least, this is the most important thing…

7. Don’t give up!

There were so many times where publishers wouldn’t reply, tweets would get ignored (honestly, some of them still do!) but keep going. Persistence is so important. It’s not easy but it really is worth it when you get your first book sent to you, or you get asked to be part of a book blog tour for the first time. Remember, all bloggers, even the best were in your position once and many will be more than happy to help you. (Well, I am anyway!)

I hope this has helped in some way and if you have any questions or want a chat, I’m always around on some kind of social media! :)

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