I know, I know - it's been awhile since I posted one of these! Sorry for the delay. The time just slipped away from me! But today I am so excited to welcome my friend, Faye, to the blog to talk about Little, Brown & NOVL.
1. What should I include when asking for a review copy (Page view stats? Follower count? All social media accounts)?
List unique visitors, page views, followers—any site analytics would be great. Social media accounts, links to previous reviews, guest posts, Q&As, event promo, etc. are also useful. (Not useful: Amazon or Goodreads links.)
2. How long should I be blogging before I ask for a review copy?
This answer will vary, but generally until you have a committed following. This could be six months to two years, or anywhere in between. For instance, you can tell me why you love books, but also what you’ll do to help spread the word about them. Maybe you don’t have a huge number of followers, but your commenters might be very engaged, or you’ll post about an event or do an event recap. Mostly, I’d like some reassurance that your blog won’t go inactive if you get too busy with work/school/parenting. I know blogging is a lot of work, and sometimes life gets in the way, but if we establish a blogger-publisher relationship, it’s a business relationship first.
3. Who should I contact about receiving review copies?
Me. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll reply from my work email. Please note that my workload can be very intense, but when considering a new blog, I click on every link you provide and think about it really hard—and that can take time! I want to give everyone a thorough once-over. If you don’t hear from me for two months, please feel free to send another email!
4. Should I email an author about obtaining a review copy and have them forward my request onto their publicist?
Please don’t do this. It puts us in an awkward position of having to decline you if you don’t satisfy the requirements for our blogger program, and then the author knows about it.
5. Do you expect me to review books I never requested, such as an ARC or finished copy I was sent but never asked for?
No, but the hope is that you’ll take a look! If you ever get a book in a mailing (perhaps a marketing mailing?) it is yours for consideration only. To be honest, I get wary of bloggers who feel compelled to review everything they receive—it signals that they don’t have discerning taste. As bloggers, you know best what you like and what your readers want to hear about… and I sure hope it’s not everything!
I also don’t expect you to review every book that you did ask for, if you somehow never got around to it or felt that it wasn’t quite to your taste. But sometimes I’ll follow up and ask about it. :)
6. When is the best time to post a review?
For librarian bloggers, about three months prior to the on sale date (when librarians are placing book orders). For everyone else, when the book is on sale. If you post it too early, people are unable to purchase it or get it from their libraries. (And the goal is definitely to get books in the hands of readers!)
7. Where can I send in review links?
Same address as above. I’ll usually forward it on to the publicist.
8. Do you want to see all reviews I’ve done—positive and negative?
Yes, I appreciate all reviews. A review doesn’t have to be negative, just as long as it explains why it doesn’t work for you.
9. Am I more likely to get approved if I request an eARC of a book instead of a physical copy?
We have a limited quantity of physical ARCs, and those we mostly give away at conferences like BEA—otherwise, we run our entire mailing list through NetGalley. Our blogger review program is open only to residents of the US. This is because some books may have foreign publishers—and foreign publicity departments—that book their own media and events.
10. When is the best time to request a book or be asked to be put on a list to receive a review copy?
Usually two months before publication.
11. Do you have a catalog mailing list for bloggers that I can request to be a part of?
We have our mailing list that has a 6-8 week lead time.
12. If I want to interview an author or ask them to write a guest post for my blog, is it best to contact the author directly?
This really depends on the author (some interact a lot with bloggers and fans directly!), but we prefer the request to come to us first. You never know if an author is under deadline, swamped with a million projects, or on vacation. Sometimes, an author feels bad having to decline, so it usually gets forwarded to us anyway and then we decline on their behalf. If they’re up for writing or being interviewed, we’d also like to know about it!
So short answer: it’s easier for everyone if you contact us first.
13. Anything else you would like to add that you think bloggers should/need to know?
One of my first projects at Little, Brown was organizing and streamlining our blogger program, so bloggers are very dear to me. There’ve been a lot of changes since then—both internally and in the publishing industry—and I think more and more, getting blogger buzz will be a key marker of success in any book launch.
With that said, there are as many different bloggers are there are people, and it’s people that make up a business. It’s true that not every blogger will meet the standards for our program (again, not everyone is cut out to be a blogger, either). I’m not just looking for book enthusiasts, but people who are part of the YA book scene in their local communities. If you’re buddies with your local bookseller or public librarian, if friends and family come to you or refer you when they need a suggestion for what to read next or what to get their kid or teen, I want to talk to you!
Faye has graciously donated a fabulous pack of 10 ARCs of upcoming titles for one lucky winner!
Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker
Torn Away by Jennifer Brown
Lies My Girlfriend Told Me by Julie Anne Peters
The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson
Since Last Summer by Joanna Philbin
Just Call My Name by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Summer State of Mind by Jen Calonita
Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Secrets & Lies by Jacqueline Green
A Blind Spot For Boys by Justina Chen
Winner must be over 13
Want more ARC Essentials: CLICK HERE