1. Authors need bloggers more than bloggers need authors.
3. The thing is, a lit blog can be interesting and appealing without ever running a single author interview. You do not need to blog about the latest releases or trends to maintain a decent readership. Authors on the other hand need bloggers to help spread the word on their books and the sooner after publication (or even before), the better.
4. As someone who had a book published six months ago I am abundantly aware of just how important blog mentions can be - and how much publishers really, really, REALLY want authors to obtain blogger attention.
5. And as a longtime online reviewer (both here and as the Bookslut YA columnist) I know how hard authors work at getting that attention.
6. Here's a tip - emails addressed "Dear Blogger" are not a good use of your time. Ever.
7. The author side of me would like to be able to send out a hundred emails to a hundred bloggers and receive immediate positive replies promising reviews, interviews and blog mentions.
8. The blogger side of me wishes authors would never contact me and instead wait patiently until I sent them emails requesting information or interviews and then responded promptly with exactly what I've asked for.
9. To say I'm conflicted on this subject would be an understatement.
10. Surprisingly, the answer to how blogger and authors can most effectively work together is actually pretty simple. You have to be willing to put in the time. Bloggers have to be willing to write consistently smart and entertaining posts and authors have to be willing to engage with lit bloggers on subjects other than their own books. Through time bloggers will make themselves someone who authors want to engage with and vice versa. Conversations will take place that have nothing to do with the author's book or the blogger's blog but books and blogs and all manner of literary greatness in general.
11. Many good things happen at this point.
12. Of course you can certainly circumvent all this time and work. As a blogger you can conduct giveaways, lots and lots of giveaways, and you can drive up traffic to your blog by being the place that gives away free stuff and authors will want to take advantage of those numbers and likely ask you for the chance to guest post or interview and it will seem like a good idea to do this but authors need to keep in mind that readers who are looking for free books don't generally translate into sales (which is what authors need) and bloggers who run endless giveaways need to realize that this is a lot of work.
13. But hey, if being the book world's version of Wrap-N-Pack is your idea of having a literary conversation then go for it.
14. For authors this is all a lot trickier then you might have hoped or planned for. Again, we are the ones who need that blogger attention and must deal with publishers advising us to court it while never explaining how. The notion that authors must start investing time in the lit blogosphere years before publication might seem crazy and, quite frankly, a hella lot of work with no promises of a return.
15. (It's sort of like writing that way.)
16. But that's what you have to do. Bloggers (most of them anyway) are blogging about books because they love them and they want to share their thoughts with other book lovers. Authors are writing books because they have stories to tell that they want to share with the world. Engaging in online conversations (via comments and tweets) is the best way for us all to geek out in the most wonderful bookish way. Authors should approach blogs from the point of fun, read blogs they like and comment on posts they enjoy. This isn't hard (it's fun!) and over time you get to know the bloggers, the bloggers get to know you, and thus when you have a book come out there are already some folks cheering online in your corner.
17. As this is what happened to me, I'm sure it is what will happen to you.
18. The main thing authors need to understand is that bloggers receive emails all the time from authors they do not know asking them to read books they have never heard of. Whatever you plan to send, trust me when I say I've heard it before. The odds are slim to none that your email will stand out or that a blogger will even take the time to read it.
19. The main thing bloggers need to understand is that authors are under a tremendous amount of pressure to engage with online communities and create buzz via social media and use the internet as a platform to increase their book sales. (Did all of that sound dreadfully spinny? It should, but it's all true. Horribly, sadly, depressingly true.) They are sending out those emails in desperation because at least then they can feel like they tried and more importantly they can tell their publisher they did something.
20. The bottom line is that, well, it can't just be about you. No relationship works that way and when we take a step back and think about it, everybody knows this.
21. Except maybe publishers. Sigh.