Hello bookaholics! As some of you might have already noticed, I’ve had a poll set up on my blog for about a week now and I’ve been collecting your votes on what you’d like to see more of on my blog ever since. Many of you said that you’d like to see more giveaways, but what surprised me the most was that almost 20 people voted for ‘blogging tips’. In addition to this, some of you have emailed me in the past few weeks asking for advice on social networking, blogging, and book reviews. So I thought about it and decided to start a new feature on my blog, namely Blogging Know-How. If you guys support me and this whole idea then I might make it a weekly feature on Books, Biscuits, and Tea – because… well, why not? 🙂
How it’s going to work? Each week (or every two weeks, it depends on you) I will try to answer some of your blogging/reading/reviewing/social networking related questions here on my blog. If there’s anything you’ve been wondering about, you can’t figure out or just want me to help you out with, you can send it to me via email or the little contact form I’ll post at the end of these posts. You can stay anonymous if you want to, of course. Easy peasy, right? 🙂 If you’d like me to keep this up then I’ll post my Blogging Know-How answers on Thursdays.
How do you get publishers to notice your blog and send you their ARC’s?
– Kimba @ Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
That’s a great question, Kimba! I’ve been thinking about this a lot when I started blogging. I kept seeing people’s IMMs and I was sitting here completely baffled and clueless about this whole ARC business.
I do have to say, though, that I’ve only been blogging for six months so I’m definitely not a pro or an established blogger, if you want to put it this way. I’ve learned a lot of things about this industry – and about blogging in general – in these six months but there are many things that I’m probably unaware of or I have no clue about whatsoever. That being said, I think the most important things to keep in mind here are:
1. Experience: In the first 1-2 months after you started your blog, you’ll need to learn how to fit in the “blogger society”, to interact with other people and to build up your blog. Find a consistent pattern for your reviews: decide what info you’d like to include in your reviews or whether you’d like to keep them short or you prefer longer posts, and so on. Most people say that you need to have at least a 6 month experience before you can start requesting ARCs and in a way I do see their point. When I first requested an ARC I think Books, Biscuits, and Tea was about 3 and a half month old – I did get a response back then but it was a smaller publisher – I didn’t even dare contacting a bigger company.
2. Be consistent: Make sure to build up a routine – it’s always good if you have a schedule on your blog. Do let your readers know when you’re going to post what (for example if you take part in weekly events or “memes”) and tell them if you’re going away too.
3. Readership: If you ask me what publishers are looking for in a blog, I’d say the combination of these two I just mentioned, plus a steady readership. I don’t think the number of your followers counts as much as a, your experience, b, consistency and c, the number of people who actually do read your blog. Just think about it: you can host tons of giveaways a month and have 3000 followers – but what’s the point if there’s only a handful of people who read your blog and comment on your posts? Whereas there are blogs who only have 3-400 followers but their readers are following them because they’re actually interested in their posts and not because they had to. Try to interact with fellow bloggers, visit them and leave them comments so that they can visit you back and return the favour.
How do publishers notice you?
Well, you’ll have to take the first step. Once you have enough experience, traffic, followers and a consistent blogging pattern, you can go ahead and contact them. Unless you’ve been blogging for a long time and you’ve contacted them before, they won’t send you ARCs – you’ll have to request them. Go on the publisher’s website, check out their catalogue and send them a request. Tell them who you are and tell them a little bit about your blog and why you’re interested in reading that particular title. Most importantly, be nice and patient. Just imagine how many emails they must have to go through each day – so naturally, it takes a while until they get back to you. My advice would be to start with smaller companies first and contacting bigger ones later on. Requesting ARCs usually gets easier once you’ve made personal contacts with some publishers – if you post your reviews on time and let them know your post is up then they’ll know you and remember you soon enough. Starting out is the tricky bit 😉