Laura Bambrey Books

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Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Author and the Blogger: A Love Story

I originally wrote this post for Harper Collins' fabulous Romance Festival website - but having recently come back to blogging, I'm finding that some of the questions I'm being asked about blogging- by authors, publishers and other randomly interested people are very similar to those I addressed below- so I hope that you don't mind a bit of a re-post for #ThrowbackThursday!


We’re not a very complicated bunch, us book bloggers… We’re book mad, tend to have many, many (many) author crushes, and the echoes of our squealing when one of our favourite writers (or publishers… or agents) gets in touch with us has been known to linger for centuries in the outer reaches of the galaxy. We’re predisposed to be excitable and to be on your side. So, really, more than half the job is done for you before you even begin to woo us.

So what can you, the author, do to entice and hook this excitable and not at all elusive of creatures? Have a look at my top tips for romancing a blogger…

Checking Us Out…

Check the Guidelines

Make sure that you go searching for each blogger’s review policy and make a note of exactly what we are and are not looking for. We’re all different. One of my oddities is that I really don’t like review requests that come in via my Facebook page, but for one reviewing friend of mine, Facebook is her preferred method of communication. Ignoring these little preferences can result in your request being ignored even though your book may be exactly what we’re looking for!

Things in Common

Would you want to date someone whose one and only purpose in life is blowing up small furry creatures every weekend- when you yourself are a vegan, animal-rights activist? Nope, thought not! If you have nothing in common, or even worse, have directly conflicting views, the relationship is doomed to fail. Instantly. Spectacularly. Do your research. Does your chosen blogger read your genre? Do you like the way they review? Do they take part in blog tours? (The people who keep trying to send me non-fiction books on naval history would do well to take note of this one!)

Asking us out…

Get Personal

Dear “Name of Crush”,

I like the way your “Body part” makes you look all “Adjective” when you don’t think anyone’s looking. I’d like to take you to “Venue” and ….

If you received a love note that started out like this, with none of the blanks filled in, (besides being very creeped out) I’m guessing that you wouldn’t be accepting a date? Me neither. No one likes to feel like they’re just next in line on your Excel Spreadsheet. Personalise your communications. Show the blogger that you’ve bothered to find out their name, you’ve been to their site, you follow them on Twitter, maybe you like some of their reviews… why should we bother if you can’t be bothered?

Do It Yourself

Street Teams? I get it- I really do! Sometimes I wish I had a horde of bookish minions to deal with some of the blogging / reading / admin that comes my way. There’s certainly strength in numbers when spreading the word about a new book. But… BUT…Think about this in terms of sending someone over to ask out your crush for you. Are they going to be an embarrassment who picks their nose and flicks it at your object of desire or are they reliable enough to get your message across with no embarrassing blushes?

If you must use them, make sure they’re the right people and train them well- remember, they’re out there representing you! But no matter how fantastic the members of your Street Team are, I’m never going to be as interested in an email from them compared to one from you (or your publisher).

Going steady…

Straight and up front

As we all know, being honest in any relationship tends to nip problems in the bud before they’ve even formed. We’re all human, we all make mistakes and honesty is the best policy. A bunch of clich├ęs they may be, but still, it’s all true.

Did you have to cancel your blog tour? Have you double booked? Did you send someone the wrong email? Then contact us to discuss the issue as soon as any difficulties arise- we don’t tend to bite- unless you waste our time on purpose- it’s precious and there are an awful lot of books to read out there!

On the flip side, please remember that bloggers are also human- not reading and reviewing machines. We make mistakes too. And if we do, we’d much prefer to be given the chance to apologise and put them right (rather than being on the public end of a character assassination!) Don’t be afraid to give us a gentle nudge if we’ve forgotten something- but do be gentle, you never know what curve-balls ‘real-life’ may have thrown at us.

Show us the love

Make sure that you show your appreciation… flowers, chocolate, champagne… Oh, okay, maybe not… But a bit of tweeting, retweeting, Facebook linking, commenting on the blog post and a simple email to say ‘thank you’ is very much appreciated  Remember, bloggers tend to blog and review for the love of it- show us some love in return and before you know it you’ll have a long-term relationship on your hands!


So there you have it- I hope bits of it come in handy! Check out the reams of fantastic posts from the Harper Collins Romance Festival at https://romance-festival.com/

See you soon,
Laura x

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