You hear the word “influencer” thrown around a lot. Who are the biggest influencers in the author community? Book bloggers.
Book bloggers thrive on reading books and then reviewing them. They build their communities of avid readers who look to these wise souls to vet and recommend their next read. While some book bloggers have a modest following, others see tens of thousands of visitors each month. That’s a lot of eyeballs on a book.
Paired with a professional cover and manuscript design and exceptional editing, you can turn those eyeballs into readers and readers into fans who will buy your next book and your next.
Why Engage Book Bloggers
Book bloggers often have established and dedicated followings in the book-loving community. Outreach to them allows authors to tap into their audience and reach potential readers who might not have come across the book otherwise. Because new authors often lack visibility, engaging with book bloggers is a cost-effective way to reach new readers.
Credibility and Trust
Positive reviews or endorsements from respected book bloggers can significantly enhance the book’s credibility and build trust with potential readers. People are more likely to trust recommendations from individuals they admire or follow.
When influencers and bloggers share their excitement about a book, it creates social proof, sharing that the book is worth reading. This can influence others to pick up the book as well. Like referrals about restaurants or electricians, we know that people are more likely to buy books referred by someone they know versus advertising or from the author’s own mouth.
By carefully choosing influencers and bloggers who cater to the book’s target audience, authors can ensure their book promotion efforts are directed toward the right readers who are more likely to be interested in the genre or topic. If you’ve written a memoir, it’s unlikely that a romance blogger will read it. And, even if they reviewed it, it will be less likely their readers will buy it.
Engagement and Interaction
Book bloggers often have highly engaged communities. When they promote a book, it can lead to discussions, comments, and further sharing, creating a ripple effect that extends the book’s reach. Book bloggers are also likely to be active on social media spreading their influence using hashtags like #booktok and #bookstagram. Even if readers aren’t subscribed to the blog, they can engage with social media and further share with their followers.
How to Engage with Book Bloggers
Research and Identify
Start by researching book bloggers in your book’s genre or niche. Look for those with an engaged audience and a track record of providing honest and thoughtful reviews. You can get a head start with this list of 250 book bloggers.
Create a spreadsheet for tracking each contact so you can easily follow up with likely connections. You can get a free Book Blogger Outreach Tracker spreadsheet here.
Personalize Your Approach
When reaching out to bloggers, personalize your messages. Show that you are familiar with their work and explain why you believe your book aligns with their interests and their audience’s preferences. Read a few reviews and mention them in your pitch. While it’s more efficient to send out a stock message, it’s more effective to personalize the email.
Offer Advance Review Copies (ARCs)
Provide book bloggers with advance review copies of your book before the official launch. This allows them time to read and review the book, building anticipation among their followers. Even after publishing, you can offer finished EPUB files that can be read on devices like a tablet or Kindle. Use services like BookFunnel or PayHip (affiliate link) to easily share review copies with single-user access to prevent oversharing.
Host Giveaways and Collaborations
Partner with influencers to host book giveaways or collaborations, such as interviews or guest posts, to create additional content and engagement around the book. Many book bloggers will offer a free book through a contest to their readers to keep them engaged and coming back for more. While signed paperback copies are nice, ebook giveaways are more cost-effective, especially if your marketing efforts are widespread.
Stay Professional and Grateful
Always be respectful of a blogger’s time and efforts. Even if someone declines to review your book, maintain a positive and professional relationship. They operate to serve their readers’ interest and their professional goals, even if they are a hobbyist.
Monitor and Engage
Keep track of mentions and reviews of your book across different platforms. Engage with the audience, respond to comments, and show appreciation for reviews and feedback. Once a blogger agrees to review your book, ask for the date of the review and how you can best engage with their fans.
Build Long-Term Relationships
Look beyond just the book launch. Cultivate long-term relationships with influencers and bloggers who resonate with your work. They can continue to support your future books and projects. Understand their needs and discover how you can help them in exchange. Driving traffic to your review and their blog, in general, will help to promote a positive relationship in the long term. When done right, these partnerships can have a lasting impact on your book’s success.
To maximize the impact of engaging with book bloggers, actively work at building your following and influence on social media and with your email list. You’ll use your platform to shout out positive reviews from various sources. In addition, having a robust following gives you leverage. Demonstrate how you can use your influence to help blog bloggers reach their goals, and they’ll help you reach yours.