Friday, August 07, 2009

Blogger offers book promotion hints.

I just came across a blog entry by Monica O'Brien that explains, from her perspective, why some authors and publishers sometimes have difficulty getting coverage in the blogosphere. (Her blog is called "Journey Home," and she's written a novel with the same title.)

Authors and publishers who are trying to increase their digital footprints are developing online book promotion strategies even as we speak. Let's face it -- since the social media is still evolving, even book publicists are still learning about online book promotion, and we're still finding new tricks of the trade all the time.

Naturally, one of the strategies that everyone seeking online book promotion opportunities has begun to pursue is to contact bloggers who write book reviews and to pitch their books. So much of the time, we never hear back from the book review bloggers, and we wonder why.

Monica suggests possible reasons why our pitches to bloggers can fall flat. In essence, she says that bloggers ask, "What have you done for me lately?" Are we offering to write a blog entry for them? Are we giving them an opportunity to promote their books on our blogs? Why would they want to wade through your press release, Monica asks, when they've never heard of you, and they don't owe you anything?

Before you ask a book review blogger for a favor, Monica goes on to say, at least take the time to get to know the blogger. Read the blog and leave comments on it, or send a tweet. If you establish a relationship with bloggers, then the blogosphere will be kinder to you, and more open to providing you with online book promotion opportunities.

Get involved in the blogosphere? That sounds like work. Well, it is, and that's why so many authors and publishers don't do it. But Monica is correct in saying that the social media works best for those of us who are socially inclined. Meet, and offer to give, and you will be more likely to receive. That's the online book promotion mantra, and I have a secret to share with Monica: it isn't all that different with the traditional media. Relationships are what make traditional book promotion campaigns fly. Online book promotion campaigns simply aren't all that much different from traditional book promotion campaigns. Those who know people have a great advantage over those who do not. And those who are willing to meet people, and willing to share with people, can find themselves attracting book promotion opportunities that leave others scratching their heads and wondering what they've missed.

It's not that difficult to get involved in the blogosphere. Monica's right. Spend a few minutes each day meeting and greeting bloggers, and you'll find the online book promotion world opening up to you. Give it a couple of weeks. See what happens.

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