I heart book bloggers. When I published my first paranormal romance last August, a former book reviewer gave me a list of the biggest review sites. Guess what I found out? The biggest review sites don’t accept self-published books. Luckily, two friends had self-published in paranormal romance a few months earlier. Going through their reviews on Amazon, I found that some of the reviews were from book bloggers. I emailed them, saying I’d self-published my paranormal romance, Cattitude, and added the blurb. Then I said I could send them the Smashwords coupon code for a free e-book and would they like to review it?
That’s it. Much easier than querying an agent. About half agreed to review it, which I’ve found out is good, so either I had a great blurb or they like cats. Now I often say in my requests that I’ll be happy to do an interview or blog with a giveaway. Or that my second self-pubbed book, Dead People, is a Kindle bestseller in three categories. But in the beginning I didn’t realize that blogs and interviews gave extra exposure. All I wanted was a review. And being on the bestseller list in any category was a dream.
I’m not the only author who feels she owes a lot to book bloggers. Uber-bestselling ebook author Amanda Hocking often says that book bloggers started her springboard to success. You can read about it here, along with lists to different blog sites. And here’s a brand new Book Blogger Directory that I found out about from one of my favorite book bloggers, Aimee at Coffee Table Reviews.
Though not precisely a book blog, a feature at DailyCheapReads helped bump Dead People into the Kindle bestseller lists. They do reviews, but they mostly feature books — cheap books — and a lot of people go to their site. If you’re interested in a feature, contact them on their Your Two Cents Worth page. Your book need to have five reviews on Kindle. They don’t have to be all 5 star, but they need to be substantive. More than “I liked this book.” When I put in a request for a feature of my last book, Dragon Blues, I told them how many reviews I had, the average of the reviews, the Kindle link, and the length. You probably don’t need all of that, but at least the link and the price.
I know writers who spend a lot of time on Kindleboards. The few times I was on it, I didn’t get a bump in my sales and it felt as if I was on a thread that only other writers read, all of us desperately trying to promote our books. I do go on Twitter and Facebook, but I’m sporadic. I can’t do it all and still have time to write. You might have a different experience. In the end, I think that besides book bloggers and word of mouth, your best promo is another great book.
Feel free to ask questions. Happy self-publishing!