Do’s When Emailing A Book Blogger

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Hey guys! Welcome back to part 2 of this two part series I have going on for authors to teach them how to write better emails to book bloggers so that they have a better chance of having their book accepted and generally so that they form better relationships with bloggers. Yesterday I put out part 1 which was essentially 5 don’ts when emailing a book blogger and today I am going to be putting out 5 more tips, but this time, I will be talking about what you should do when emailing a book blogger.

Again, I have made the effort to make these points as general as I possibly can so that they will apply to pretty much every book blogger but I really can’t speak for the specific preferences of some bloggers so keep that in mind.

1. Read a few of their posts first

In my last post, I talked about how rude and unprofessional it was when authors asked a blogger for their blog name. Now I know that this is a step up but it is very nice if you have read a few of their posts before you contact them. For example, if you are looking to ask the blogger for a review, read a few of their past reviews first and then make sure that the blogger knows that you have done this in your initial email. Not only will this give you an idea of what to expect from them, but it also means that you are prepared and know exactly what they will need for whichever type of post you are hoping to get.

I remember I once had an author that emailed me and she made so many references to previous blog posts that I did  that I instantly warmed up to her and I ended up accepting and reviewing her book much earlier then my schedule actually allowed.

2. Be friendly and approachable
This is quite basic but unfortunately, a lot of people don’t understand this. You need to be friendly and you need to be approachable. If you email someone being all uptight and formal, no one is going to warm up to you. Be loose. Be conversational. Make a joke. Just don’t be so sticky and gross.
Some of the best emails I have received from authors include them joking about the publishing process, telling me about a particularly funny part of their week or just in general coming off as being really friendly.
Bloggers are not CEOs of big companies. I mean most of us are aren’t even out of school yet. We don’t need you to be formal. I hate to say it but get on our level.
3. Include links to Goodreads
If by now you do not know about the amazing-ness that is Goodreads, you probably need to rethink your career choice. Goodreads is amazing and pretty much every blogger and reader and author is on it. Goodreads is the place for book lovers and authors. So when you are emailing a blogger, keep in mind that we really couldn’t care less if the New York Times thought your book was ‘spectacularly written’. We honestly don’t care that Kirkus thought that your book was a ‘game changer’. Because if I see that some of my trusted book friends hated it, then that’s it. When it comes down to it, our Goodreads community trumps everything.
In fact, before I accept a book, I always go to Goodreads and check out the average ratings and the reviews of other readers. My book community is important to me and if it’s important to me, you should make it a point to make it important to you. In your email, forgo the one-liners from notable publications and replace it with a Goodreads link. I’m going to check it out there anyway. The least you could do is make it easy for me.
4. Send followup/reminder emails if possible
Now I know that this point may seem pretty weird. I mean generally bloggers have a calendar or a schedule or some way to keep track of when they are supposed to post giveaways, spotlights and tours. So it’s natural to assume that they have it together and that they don’t need a reminder. But do it anyway.
We are all human and sometimes things slip from our heads. Most bloggers have a job outside of blogging. Or school. Or real life. So it doesn’t hurt to give them a polite little nudge one or two days before a post is supposed to go up. This is especially important if you agreed on a date months in advance.
I can’t tell you how helpful it is to receive a gentle reminder email.
5. Form a relationship
Okay so I know that as an author, becoming friends with a blogger (or vice versa) is generally frowned upon by certain members of the book blogging community. Some people (falsely) believe that forming a friendship will influence a review and will jeopardise the trustworthiness of a blogger.
I seriously disagree.
I believe that it is awesome to form a relationship with an author because then you know and trust the blogger, the blogger knows and trusts you. It’s just very pleasent. For example, I have a couple of authors who have been in contact with me for ages. So whenever they publish a new book, they just email me and I instantly know what they want and I’ll get it done. Or, I have actually met authors that just randomly (months after I published their review) email me asking me how I am and how my day is going with absolutely no ulterior motives. I just find that so nice and positive and refreshing and I think that it is a great way to connect with your audience.
Well that’s my 5 do’s for you authors when it comes to emailing a book blogger. I hope you enjoyed this two part series. I really just want to help improve the quality of emails that get sent around and I’m honestly so glad that part one of this series got such a positive response. If you enjoyed this and want to see more of this kind of thing, let me know and I might do something similar in the future.
Also, if you have any tips for authors or even bloggers when it comes to email etiquette or what it takes for a book blogger to accept a book, don’t forget to leave them in the comments so we can all help each other.
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Don’ts When Emailing A Book Blogger

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I feel like it’s been the longest time since I’ve done a good ole how-to post. So I decided that today would be a good day to put out part one of this two part series that I have decided to do.

Now as a book blogger, I receive countless numbers of emails from authors asking for reviews, spotlights, features and more. I have really seen quite a variety of email styles and because of that, I feel quite qualified to sit here and walk you through 5 dos and 5 don’ts when it comes to emailing a book blogger. So I’m going to start with the don’ts and then tomorrow I will be putting out a post on the Dos.

I would also just like to point out that while it is true that my preferences may not be the preferences of another blogger, I have made the effort to make these points quite general. Also, I am not here to blacklist any authors or make fun of them. I just feel that many authors that email bloggers are usually debut or self-published authors and many of them may not be familiar with the book blogging community. So really this is just a guide to help authors craft better emails and to help them get the attention of said book blogger.

  1. Misspell their name/ Not include their name

This is one of the most important points. A person’s name is very important and it has been proven that when making friends or forming a relationship with a person, it greatly helps if you mention their name every now and then because it instantly creates that connection.

Now I have a name that very few people seem to be able to spell. I don’t know why but for some reason, people just like to mutilate my name. However if you are trying to pitch your book to someone, you better find out their name and spell it correctly. It’s basic respect. You spell my name right and I’ll spell yours right.

Also, I know many authors like to send mass emails out to like every blogger ever. Don’t do that. I mean I know it means that you end up spending more time but you are asking for a favour here. You aren’t paying me most of the time. So take some time to address me and make me feel like I’m important. I’m actually less likely to accept a request if I know that the person has just sent out the same email to 50 other bloggers. Because that instantly tells me that I am not important and that if I say no, it won’t matter because there are 49 other bloggers there to say yes.

2. Demand anything/ Be pushy or rude

As I mentioned before, you aren’t paying me. A lot of authors believe that by giving us a free book, that is payment enough. It’s not. A book doesn’t pay bills. A book is the smallest fraction of what advertising and public relation teams get paid for doing the exact same thing. So be polite and don’t be difficult. Obviously I’m not asking you to bend over backwards to please a blogger. I’m just asking you to be respectful of the fact that blogging most likely is not their job and that if they don’t have the time to get to your book or if they cannot commit with a solid time frame, accept it or pay them for expedited reviews. Be nice and kind and usually the blogger will be nice and kind too. We are a very nice community and we want to like you.

3. Forget to include the title and synopsis of your book

I recently had an author who emailed me asking me to review her book and in the whole entire email, there was not one single mention of the title of the book or even a hint of what it was about. I just got a very vague genre hint. She included a link to her website at the bottom of the email and I went into her website only to find that I had to hunt for her upcoming release (she had published a few books already). It was overall very time consuming and irritating.

Now why would anyone think that that is okay. I mean I don’t have time to accept every book that is pitched to me so I need to know what I’m getting into before I get into it. Don’t start pitching books if you aren’t ready to release information like the synopsis, the title and perhaps a short extract. If you can’t release this stuff, the book isn’t ready to be pitched. It’s really quite simple.

4. Disregard their review policy

I have a review policy and so does pretty much every established book blogger. I have this review policy because I don’t read every genre that is published and my readers do not read every genre that is published. My review policy is important because it tells authors what I will say no to and it details what information I need in the initial pitch email for me to either accept or reject your book.

When you disregard my review policy and pitch me a book that is outside what I review or send me an email that is incomplete regarding the information I need, it shows me two things. One, that you are just trying your luck and that you really don’t care about the quality of the blogger that accepts your book. And two, that your book probably sucks because you can’t even be bothered to make sure that the bloggers that review it are of quality and are of your genre.

Read the policy. We don’t just put them up because we like to write extra stuff.

5. Ask me for my blog name

I hate it when this happens and honestly, this happens more then you would think. So many times, people pitch me books (usually these are the people that send mass emails to bloggers) and when I agree to review their book and arrange a review date, they then ask me to tell them the name of my blog. I mean seriously. Basically you are breaking every ‘Don’t’ that I have mentioned in this post. Find out about the blogger that you are asking to review your book. I mean at the very least know their blog name. Come on!

I hope you guys enjoyed these tips that I came up with. I know that this post is more catered towards authors and I’m sorry about that but email etiquette is something that has been bothering me for a while so I’m glad that I can finally share some of my gripes and hopefully improve the quality of author emails. I mean everything mentioned was inspired by emails that I have actually received so you can see why I might want to write this.

Tomorrow I will be putting out a post with 5 tips on what you should include or do with an email to a book blogger so look out for that. Till then, stay  happy!

 

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Review: The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

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More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.

Goodreads

This was the Rainbow Book Of The Month and it was Mel’s turn to pick and she picked a Brandon Sanderson book because she was fresh out of Mistborn and really wanted to introduce us to the magic of Sanderson and I for one am so glad she did.

Plot

The plot itself was pretty awesome. I mean I never thought that something as boring as chalk could actually be interesting and be used as a weapon. I loved how the story flowed and how just when you thought you had everything figured out, Sanderson whips around and starts leading you down another path.

That said though, I did find certain parts to be quite draggy. For example, I didn’t like the heavy quoting from the Rithmatist  history textbooks. That was very boring. I also didn’t appreciate the illustrations as much as I wanted to. I felt the they were unnecessary and that they added no value to the book. I mean okay, it can be argued that the drawings gave the reader a picture of what the lines looked like but I have an imagination thank you very much.

Characters

I’m only going to talk about 3 characters here even though I desperately desperately want to talk about more of them but SPOILERS. So I shall resist the temptation.

Joel

Joel was a lot of fun. I really had fun reading about him and about his strong desire to be a Rithmatist and to be something more then he was. But what I found most noble about his character was the fact that he remained true to who he was. It was very easy to give him Rithmatist powers midway through the book and then have him save the day but I loved how he remained true to himself and proved every YA book ever wrong by saying that no. You don’t actually need superpowers to save the world. You can be the ‘sidekick’ and still be the hero. I loved that.

Melody

I don’t really know what to say about Melody except that I thought she was a great supporting character and I loved her friendship with Joel. I thought the two of them  had excellent chemistry. Also, she had unicorn chalklings. I mean seriously. How could that get any better?

Professor Fitch

I loved Fitch. He was such a gentle old man and he was just that kind of teacher that everyone wants to have. The guy who truly cares about imparting knowledge and not just about his pay check. I loved that old guy and I was rooting for him from day 1. Plus, the guy was a little snippy at his students and then couldn’t sleep and had to trawl the whole school in the middle of the night looking for them just to apologise. I mean how cute is that??

Overall

Overall I loved this book. I thought it was very well done and a nice break from all the repetitive YA novels that are published. I enjoyed the characters who were all so well written and just nice people. I mean nowadays, its so hard to find a book where you actually like the characters. I feel like there’s always something about a character that makes you go, ‘Ugh. Really?’. But with this book, yes there were the villains, but generally everyone was just excellent.

The book lost that final star from me mainly because it was draggy at some points but the easy flow and addictive way Sanderson has of telling the story completely made up for it.

All I can say is that Sanderson has swept me off my feet and I can’t wait to get to the Mistborn trilogy.

My-Rating-4-Stars

 

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Review: The Girl In The Well Is Me by Karen Rivers

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hilarious and heartwrenching story about a bullied girl whose search for a new beginning takes a dire wrong turn.    

Newcomer Kammie Summers has fallen into a well during a (fake) initiation into a club whose members have no intention of letting her join. Now Kammie’s trapped in the dark, growing increasingly claustrophobic, and waiting to be rescued—or possibly not.

As hours pass, the reality of Kammie’s predicament mixes with her memories of the highlights and lowlights of her life so far, including the reasons her family moved to this new town in the first place. And as she begins to run out of oxygen, Kammie starts to imagine she has company, including a French-speaking coyote and goats that just might be zombies.

Publishing Date: 15th March 2016

Goodreads

*This book was given to me to read and review by the publishers but all opinions are mine*

This was honestly such a unique and refreshing book. I mean how often do you get to hear the life story of a girl who is literally stuck in an actual well in the middle of Nowheresville? Not often that’s for sure.

Plot

So okay let’s start with the plot. I loved the plot. I loved how fast paced it was and I thought it was very cute. The book was a little crazy though in that it jumped all over the place and was a little odd at some points but I actually found that to be quite okay.

I think a lot of readers thought that the book was a bit too jumpy but in my point of view, she could barely breathe. She was about to die. Cut the girl some slack!

Characters

Kammie

I’m just going to talk about Kammie in this review because in my head, she was the only relevant character. Everyone else was secondary. So I loved Kammie. I thought she was an extremely well-developed character. I especially loved the fact that she was mature yet not mature enough that she started to act older then she actually was. You get what I mean right?

I also really loved that her stream of consciousness was all over the place. I really enjoyed hearing about everything that was going through her head while she was stuck even if that meant that I had to hear about phantom zombie goats at the bottom of the well. I loved it because it was honest. I mean it just had this element of authenticity you know?

Like no one thinks coherently. Everybody has spaghetti thoughts. Thoughts that are messy and jumbled and that never have direction. But I’ve never read a  book that showed that human side of the brain if you will.

Overall

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It made me angry and sad and happy and I really enjoyed the rollercoaster.  I don’t have much to say about it because its not really a book that you can summarise and trivialise. It’s the kind of book that you just really have to experience. But I can say that you won’t regret it if you pick it up when it gets published.

My-Rating-4-Stars

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Book Spotlight + Giveaway: After Impact by Nicole Stark

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At first, HOPE (Humanity’s One Plan for Escape) habitat appears to be a well-oiled machine, preparing 5,000 carefully chosen inhabitants for a new Earth. However, a medical assistant named Ilium reveals that certain members of the habitat have been falling ill from a mysterious virus they were inoculated against. Soon, HOPE habitat’s tranquil illusion is shattered as Avalon plays a perplexing message left by her father. If Avalon is to survive this dangerous new environment, she will have to find the strength to navigate a habitat enveloped in secrets.

Goodreads

 

Excerpt:

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, the one-minute warning timer sounded, as Avalon ran the small ration of shampoo and conditioner through her hair. She just managed to rinse it out before the water shut off.

She stood standing in the shower thinking about the cold new environment and her father. Tears fell down her face as she sobbed gut-wrenchingly. She wasn’t used to making new friends. At her old school she had known everyone in the class since kindergarten. It still didn’t mean they liked her. In fact, they often disliked her because of her intelligence. She had begged her father to let her be home-schooled, but he insisted on a public school education saying it would make her a more well-rounded person in the end. Not that any of that mattered anymore.

Eventually, Avalon stepped out of the shower, and Avalon wrapped a towel around her body and a second one around her long damp brunette hair. Upon returning to her room, she placed on a clean pair of scrubs which were located in a drawer tucked into the wall next to her bed. Avalon looked on the wall, and then in some drawers for a blow-dryer. Nothing.

Figures. Energy conservation and all that jazz.

It could have served as another thing to make her snap, like dry grass in the forest on a hot day. But she bit her tongue until it drew blood. She didn’t want to cry anymore today. She was going to have to get used to this place, and that meant trying to keep her emotions in check.

She slipped under the covers of her bed and rested for a minute. Of course, all she could think about was how she was stuck, one hundred years in the future, buried in a mountain, with no friends or family. To comfort herself, she began to hum an old Coldplay song she and her father used to sing on long car trips.

That was another thing that didn’t sit well with her peers. She rarely listened to Pop radio on the satellite radio. She always tuned into the classics. Kinda hard to make friends when you don’t know what the latest songs are, and instead of vegging out on TV you constantly have a book in your hand. A real honest to goodness ancient book, not the ereaders we received in pre-K.

As she hummed the second chorus, her necklace unlocked around the center, and a blue light shone.

What the heck?

About two feet from her face, a holographic message from her father played.

Hello, my sweet Avalon. I embedded this message into this necklace for you as a form of insurance. This message will auto-erase after being played once, so please listen closely.

Her father took a deep breath before continuing. As I labored over the habitat’s extensive designs and complex computer systems, I noticed some changes were being made behind my back. My access to certain areas of the blueprints was slowly taken away. I don’t know what is happening in the habitat now, but my priority has always been and always will be your safety.

Her father closed his eyes briefly before reopening them. His tone turned more serious. I think something suspicious is going on. Rumors abound about what this habitat is really meant for, and if they are right, you must be careful who you trust. Your life may depend on it.

About the Author:

Nicole Stark is the debut author of the After Impact series. Her obsession with literature began at the age of four and she completed her first fanfiction at the age of seven. Nicole graduated with a degree in English and can often be spotted reading, baking, or binge-watching The Walking Dead on Netflix.

Buy the book: http://amzn.to/1XOaI9i

Follow Nicole Stark at Goodreads

And now on to the fun part. Nicole is giving away 5 copies of After Impact to 5 lucky readers. Follow the link below to enter!

Click here to win 5 copies of After Impact

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I’m Back!

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Hi guys! Oh my gosh it feels so good to be finally back. I’ve really really missed this.

So as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I took a bit of an unintentional blogging break for 3 weeks. January and February  are usually extremely hectic for me because all of our final assignments are due, final presentations have to be presented and exams have to be sat for. So in between pulling all-nighters, compiling work, panicking, sleeping late, waking up early and having meltdowns and fights, I found that I could really not do much else. In fact, I have actually only read one book this whole month. One book. It was just that I barely had time to do anything besides, work, eat and attempt to catch as much sleep as I could. And yes. It was in that order. You know how when you have been working so hard and your brain is just so exhausted that just looking at a book makes everything in you just recoil? Yeah.

On the bright side, I did rediscover all the ways I used to rot my brains. I discovered Friends this month and I’m on season 2 now. I’ve also managed to get a sizeable following on that new Kendall and Kylie game (yes I succumbed. It’s a fun game where a pair of shorts cost more then a house. What’s not to love?)

So obviously, all that left no room for blogging and that was really hard for me because I just had so many ideas this month and for some reason, this month I was just really inspired. So what I did was, I made myself an editorial calendar. Yup. I finally decided that Tina probably was on to something with all her organising and scheduled posts and this weird thing she does where she actually plans ahead. So I made a calendar. Following it is another thing but at least I’m trying right?

I’ve also decided that I need to do better with this thing called interacting. So I have actually revived my blog’s Twitter page and I have been trying to participate in as many blogger chats as possible as well as scheduling tweets (thanks Tina). I have also revived my Bookstagram (It’s slow progress but I’m working on that one). So you know, if you love me, you could head on over and give me a little follow *hint hint*.

I have also finally figured out how to properly do my blog’s navigation! Yes I know. I know. I am quite slow. But you see I’ve been wanting a drop down menu for the longest time and I’ve wanted to properly organise my blog posts so that they are easier to find but I never knew how. So finally, Tina (I think we have all established that she is a much better blogger then me) taught me how to do it and whoopdeedo it was the simplest thing I’ve ever seen. I told you I’m slow. So yeah, look out for better navigation in the coming days!

Anyway, I am so exhausted right now. I need to sleep for like ten years before I can function again. This was just a quick update for you guys. I have planned a lot of posts up till March 14th which is when my holidays end and I start my 6-month long editorial internship at Youth.sg (it’s an online place for articles…and writing…and that kind of stuff…you know what I mean!) You can actually check out that site to see some of my work when I start working which would be cool.

But yes, I am so excited to be back. Thank you for sticking with me and thank you for being patient. I can’t wait to dive back into reading and working to take my blog to another level. I’m sorry that this was just a simple post but I just wanted to give you all a quick update. Tomorrow I have a very exciting giveaway that I will be posting about so stay tuned for that.

P.S. Go check Tina’s blog out and show her some love for being such an amazing and dedicated blogger as well as a generally awesome human being.

Gif Credit: http://afistfuloffilms.blogspot.sg/2015/12/im-back.html

 

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