Saturday, January 25, 2014

3 Steps to Being a Hussy

A book hussy, that is.

After months of hard work, a little bit of crying, lots of cursing, and the occasional EEK I CAN'T DO THIS WHY AM I DOING THIS, A Night Without Stars has been released and is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo! 

And for about five minutes I was like this:

And then I remembered all the work that goes into promotion and I was like this:

You see, in the world of self-publishing (or publishing in general, for that matter) writing the book and making it available to readers is only half the battle. The other half is making people aware that your book exists and they have to stop what they're doing RIGHT NOW and go buy it IMMEDIATELY. So how do you do that? Well, one way is through reviews. 

Book bloggers can have a HUGE impact on your book's success (or failure). But bloggers are busy, elusive, magical creatures. They never come to you. You go to them and if you're very, very, lucky they may agree to read your book. If you've written something they like they might even give it a favorable review. If not, well, that's how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Either way, it's worth your time and effort to seek them out. 

But how? Well, you have to be a bit of a hussy. Here's how in 3 easy steps: 

1) Find the book bloggers. My preferred method is using Goodreads. I look up books that are similar to mine (in this case young adult paranormal) and read the reviews. Often if a reviewer has a blog there will be a link somewhere in their review. Yes, this is time consuming. Yes, you hit a lot of dead ends (links that no longer function, review sites that have been shut down or moved, etc) but it's worth it in the end.

2) Read their review policy. I know, total duh, right? But I see messages all the time from annoyed bloggers who vent about authors not following simple directions. Don't be an author that is vented about. It's bad for business. Half the blogs you visit will be closed to accepting new books. If this is the case, DO NOT E-MAIL THEM. It's rude. Not to mention annoying. Lots of blogs will have a checklist of books they do and do not accept. Some accept self-pub. Some don't. Some only want actual physical copies. Some are okay with ebooks. READ THE REVIEW POLICY THOROUGHLY. If your particular book passes, then feel free to contact them. If not, try the next one. There's no point in wasting your time (and theirs) sending a query that you know is going to get rejected. I found a blog this morning that I was super excited about. They were actively seeking books to review: check. They accepted self-pub: check. They preferred young adult: check. They were fine with ebooks: check. But at the very bottom I read one sentence that had me sighing and moving on with a regretful shake of my head: we are so over books about vampires. Could I still have sent them an e-mail about ANWS? Well, technically yes. Would it have been a good fit? Nope. And since my little book is already facing an uphill battle, why make it even harder?

3) Send a professional, to-the-point query. This is the part where you need to show a little restraint. Don't send them your book. That's not how this works. You e-mail them a query. Perhaps something similar to this: 

Dear So & So (except you would never actually use so & so because you would take the time to read their 'about me' page and use their real names),

I would like to submit my recently released young-adult novel, 'A Night Without Stars', for review.

Title: A Night Without Stars

Release Date: 01/24/14

Length: 70k words

Genre: paranormal young-adult

Description: Sixteen-year-old Lola is a daredevil. She likes playing hooky, stealing cars, and making out with bad boy Everett James. The reason behind all her rebellious antics? Because she can. But what can one girl do against a horde of murderous vampires?

Aided by her sometimes sober father, her best friend Travis, and Maximus, the mysterious strange who appeared out of no where to save her life, Lola must accomplish what the rest of the human race has failed to do in the after math of the world wide massacre: survive.

But how do you survive when everything you know has been destroyed... and the one person you thought you could trust ends up being the most dangerous person of all?

Format: PDF (compatible with kindle) or Nook Book


Thank you for your time & consideration!

Occasionally a blog will request a cover to be included, or will want to know how you found out about them. Make sure to include everything they've requested and remember to put links where they can find your book.

After the e-mail is sent (and it's ALWAYS an e-mail, never a goodreads message or a facebook message or, heaven forbid, a tweet) you play the waiting game. Personally, if I never hear back from a reviewer I do not e-mail them again. But that's personal preference. If they decline, I send them a short e-mail thanking them for their time. If they accept, I send along the book (in their preferred) method ASAP. Then you play the waiting game all over again. It's a long, arduous, time consuming process... but it's worth it in the end, even when you get the bad reviews along with the good.  

And that's it! That's how you become a book hussy. 

No comments:

Post a Comment