What did I do for the month after I sent out all the Kickstarter rewards? I launched what I’m calling
THE WAR ON OBSCURITY!
For an indie author, obscurity is public enemy #1. Of course, the more reviews a book has, the easier it is for readers to make a decision about it, but there’s more: to be taken seriously by the best publicity engines out there, a book needs at least 25 reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
So, January’s Target was to Acquire Book Blog Reviews
What the Heck is a Book Blog?
I didn’t know, either. But it turns out there are thousands of book bloggers–book lovers who’ve taken to posting their own reviews of books in a blog. They don’t get paid, and they don’t HAVE to review anyone. Authors contact them with an attractive pitch and request, and the bloggers accept or decline.
If they accept, the book goes in their To Be Read pile, and months later a review appears on the their blog, Amazon, and Goodreads.
In January, I Queried 127 Book Bloggers
These I found in The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages (exactly what it sounds like, in heft and content) and Indieview. I started with a base pitch email, but each had to be individualized to fit each bloggers requirement policy, preferred genres and formats, and flavor/tone of their blog site.
I Heard Back from 22!
Believe it or not, that’s really good results! The marketer who coached me submitted a book recently to 200 reviewers, landed 20 reviews, and was happy with that. She says 10% is standard, so I’m very pleased with my 17%!
Here’s a Sample Line from my Spreadsheet
Website Blogger Date Queried JOS Sent Est.Post
SFBook.com Vanessa Dec28/Jan28 (Pbk 1/13) Mar 15
You can see too that I queried Vanessa twice—that was b/c she didn’t respond to the first query. I figure, why not send again after a month? Reviewers get busy. Maybe she didn’t reply because she was over whelmed with requests and had to delete a bunch, unread; or maybe my pitch didn’t catch her attention and she deleted it. Who knows? In any case, I re-queried and made sure to re-target my pitch, and it worked! I’ll do the same for the other 100 who haven’t replied.