January 24, 2013
Tips on Thursday: Networking
Networking with Publishers/Publicists/Authors:
Early last year, I asked Lucinda Blumenfeld about what it takes for a blogger to get noticed by traditional publishers and publicists. After you get noticed though, you need to nurture the relationship you have with that contact. One of the points in Lucinda's post was about doing for others - and that is a super important when networking (tweet it!).
What can you do for publishers/publicists/authors? Respond to their requests. I know most of us have exploding inboxes, but try to respond to as many requests as possible. Even if it is a "no, thank you" or "I don't review that genre". It will let the sender know they have a valid email address for you, increasing the likelihood you will receive future requests.
I also know that we can't possibly review every book we are pitched. I often offer to do a giveaway, a feature, or guest post. Almost everyone takes me up on the offer. They are looking for publicity and getting the name of their author/book in front of your readers. It is how I've gotten NYT and USA Today best selling authors to appear on my blog.
Don't be afraid to reach out to publishers and authors. Even if you are just starting out and your blog is small, there will still be people interested in what you can offer them. Once you get a few names, you will start to see an increase in demand.
Join Netgalley.com. It will help you get on mailing lists of publicists at traditional publishing houses.
Networking with Book Bloggers
It's not just publishers and authors you need to network with, but other book bloggers. The blogging community isn't really about competition. While there are the occasional bad apple that have stolen content or what not, by and large bloggers are helpful and welcoming. Connecting with other bloggers will increase your visibility (tweet it!)
Today, a number of bloggers have branched out and are organizing tours and publicity for authors (both indie and traditional). Getting involved with these blogs can really increase traffic to your blog by connecting you with authors and readers.
There are a number of events that can help you network with other bloggers. ArmchairBEA is a huge event during Book Expo America week. Also check out the twice a year blogging maintenance event Bloggiesta - get tips and make friends!
Hops, read-a-thons, tours, memes, challenges, etc are also great events for networking. And they are all over the place, you are sure to discover something that interests you. Type in reading challenge, book meme, etc to your search bar and you will have plenty of choices.
What can you do for bloggers? Again, doing for others must be forefront when doing any networking. Bloggers are also looking for publicity. Consider doing a spotlight or other blogger feature (if you are interested in appearing on my blog, fill out this form). Participate in the memes, challenges, etc that a blog hosts. Leave comments. Connect with them on Twitter or Facebook - and chat with them! Share tips and tricks with the blogging community. Get involved in a blog group (either online or offline) and offer assistance to newer bloggers.
If you are feeling a little lonely, take a few minutes to reach out the other bloggers. Leave a comment on your favorite blog (or on a new blog), send a tweet to a blogger or leave a facebook message. We are a friendly bunch and usually will drop most things to chat for a few minutes about books, blogging, or just life.