Facebook page (and if you aren't, why not?), you may have seen my "ad" seeking reviewer help. Girl Who Reads is getting too large for one person, so I'm looking at taking on one, probably two, reviewers. This expansion has caused me to have to think about how I run Girl Who Reads. Today's tip posts has two purposes:
- Provide "food for thought" for other bloggers who are in the same position of adding to their staff for the first time.
- Solicit advice from bloggers who already run a multi-reviewer site.
There are many questions I have asked myself about how to exactly manage multiple reviewers. First was probably how do I find reviewers. The Facebook post was effective - a few author friends also shared it on their Facebook pages. I had about 8 people respond that they were interested. Then I was faced with my next dilemma - how to choose just one or two. That turned out a little easier than I thought it might be. A couple never responded to my initial message to them and others dropped off as we communicated further. My last "test" was to have them send a review that I could post on the blog. The first one posted on Tuesday (check out Barbara's review of Starved if you haven't already), and I have a second reviewer posting on Saturday.
They have different review styles than me, and though our reading tastes do overlap they read a few different genres than me. I'm pretty excited about adding them both to Girl Who Reads.
Now that the selection process is over, I have to figure out just how to manage multiple reviewers. Here is where I'm hoping some of my blogging friends can help me with advice. I have a few questions about the best approach to a few administrative items.
Is it best to give a reviewer a set day for their review to appear or just scheduled it as they come in? For long time readers of my blog, you know that I have themed the days of the week, more or less - Meet the Author Mondays, Writer Wednesdays, Tips on Thursday, Friday Fun. I usually post reviews on Tuesdays and then weekends are reserved for extras, like Series Saturday or short stories on Sunday. When I was getting a lot of requests for author appearances it made sense, but lately I'm getting less requests (probably due to the fact I've signed up for less tours and more authors are only guest blogging during tours). Some weeks I find myself responsible of all 5 days of posting.
Right now, I think I will have them submit their reviews to me by Friday for it to post the following week. I like to set up the week with as many posts over the weekend as possible. But I think there is a need for an posting calendar of some sort so I know when to expect a review and make sure there is space in the schedule for guest posts still.
I'm also debating whether or not to post more than once a day.
As I've chosen reviewers who do not have any or only a few contacts, most of the review requests will come through me for now. Should I continue to have all review requests come through me? Or would it be better if authors and publicists could directly contact the reviewer?
I actually have a backlog of requests that I haven't responded to. I've put together a list of requests that I've received this month and will send it to the reviewers. Should only one reviewer accept the request or is it okay for all three of to want to read and review the same book? Authors, do you have a preference? Bloggers, what do you see as most beneficial to your site in terms of traffic and discussion when multiple reviewers review the same book? Also, how do you run the reviews, all on the same day, week, or whenever the reviewer sends in the blog.
Probably the scariest part of expanding Girl Who Reads to include other reviewers is giving up control. Right now, I'm having the reviewers email their reviews to me and then I'm formatting the post. I could add them as an author on the blog. I think I can just give them privileges to write the post and not actually publish. I might go this route eventually depending on how much "blogging" the reviewers themselves want to do.
I have a disclaimer I use when I have guest blogger about their views being their own and not necessarily reflected of Girl Who Reads. However, these reviewers will be staff members. Anything special I should be considering regarding this?
For over three years I have been Girl Who Reads. I'm going to have to change the wording on pages such as "review policy" and "about me". Also there is the matter of my book and what about my Twitter account? My twitter name was Girl_Who_Reads before the blog. Do I change the bio to reflect a multi-reviewer site or just keep it as is?
Anything I haven't thought of that I might run across in the coming months as I forge this new path with Girl Who Reads? I do greatly appreciate the advice of those who have gone down this road before.
Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the publisher, editor and head writer for Girl Who Reads and author of the how-to manual Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour