June 18, 2011

Death by Book Blogger

Now that I'm trying to get word out about my books, I was happy to find sites like YA Book Blog Directory and The Indie Book Blog Database. They make it easier to find book bloggers—potential readers/reviewers for my self-published books. I've been trolling through them for the last long, torturous week…

Kill me…kill me now.

No, I haven't quite lost the will to live, but if the paper-thin walls of my ego weren't bolstered by stubbornness and a rather urgent need to prove myself, I'd have quit days ago.

There are two kinds of book blogger: the ones just starting out and the ones who've made a business of it. Right off I'll tell you not to bother with the pros unless a traditional publisher's name graces the spine of your book. They are easily recognized as the flashiest blogs with the most followers. They've been around long enough to have gotten the attention of best-selling authors (with ARCs and swag, no less!), so they will almost always have a version of the following sentence under their official review policy page: I do NOT accept self-published novels.

I read that sentence over and over again this week, usually after I spent precious minutes waiting for a site to load, searching for the policy tab and reading through a now-familiar set of rules. If I could beg one thing of book bloggers, it would be to put that "I've risen above slogging through indies" sentence first and foremost to let us down before we get excited that their favorite books to read are exactly what we wrote. Those who've reached pro status are the ones most likely to announce that their review turnaround is two or three months down the road and if they aren’t interested in your pitch, they won't even bother to respond to your email(!).

Which brings me to the book bloggers who DO accept self-published books. With some exceptions, they are the bright-eyed bushy-tailed ones; the dewy-fresh newbies with palpable enthusiasm (who are often very young). All book bloggers love to read, but these newbies haven't gotten overwhelmed with requests by desperate self-published authors…yet. But they are the ones with very few followers, so the word about your book might get out there, but it won't go far.

Here's my stats so far: One week of trolling the Internet for book bloggers, an average of three or four hours each day. Hundreds of sites visited. Sixteen review requests emailed. Five responses. Two were very nice, but said they were too busy. (This could be true or could be a gentle way to avoid saying they're not interested, I dunno.) One said maybe. Two said YES, but both told me it would be several weeks if not months before they would be able to find the time.

Yeesh.

Actually, I don't think there's anything more to be said...

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