Today’s suggested topic on Armchair BEA is all about RELATIONSHIPS.
As we build our blogs, people comment on our posts, drop us emails, contact us on Twitter, etc. Sometimes those brief connections grow into relationships.
It was funny yesterday on twitter I had a brief conversation with Serena who blogs over at Savvy Verse & Wit and Julie who blogs over at My 5 Monkeys about Oprah’s last show and what would people do without her book recommendations.
I admit I have read some of Oprah’s book club selections, but not a whole lot because they just weren’t for me. Before knowing anything about blogs I use to get all my recommendations from the newspaper, magazines, friends, the library and tv shows and then in 2008 I discovered blogs and blogging.
Little did I know that back in August of 2008 that I would have formed some amazing friendships with people from all over the world because of my blog and our love of books and reading.
Before I started this post I went back to check the blog from the beginning and I can remember my very first comment on my blog, it was from author Michael Tonello about my review for his book Bringing home the Birkin and I was in an absolute shock because not only was it my first comment but it was also by an author. Even to this very day I still get all fan girlish and giddy when an author will take the time to comment on my review.
Still in shock from that I was surprised when other bloggers would stop by and comment and some of my first blogger comments were from Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie, Kathy @ Bermudaonion, and so many others.
Knowing that other people are reading your blog is truly amazing and from all over the world. I always check who comes to my blog and to see someone reading it from not only your country but places like France, Australia, United States (which is currently my visited from), the UK, Germany, India, Netherlands, and so many other places is truly unbelievable in my opinion.
So, in order to be a successful blogger in my opinion you have to maintain a relationship with all your readers no matter if they are a first time commenter or a regular commenter and that can be though emailing the person, visiting their blog or leaving comment replies in your own post. Although I have found that leaving replies in my post isn’t always effective. Leaving comments on other people’s blog is something that I try to maintain and honestly it can be hard at times. I am truly amazed at the bloggers who can maintain this on a daily bases, hats off to you.
Through blogging I have met some truly amazing people not only online but in real life too. The first bloggers I ever met were Tina (Bookshipper), Avis (She Reads and Reads) and Donna (Books Bound)as they are all local bloggers.
Last year I was able to attend BEA and was super excited because not only would I get to meet some authors that I truly adored but the chance to meet with some of the reps I have worked with and the bloggers who I have spoken with online. I was more nervous meeting with the bloggers I knew from online then anyone else. The very first blogger who welcomed me with open arms and a hug was Kathy from Bermudaonion. I just have to say that the Kathy that is online is just like the Kathy in real life.
From that event I got to meet so many other bloggers that I probably would never have met in real life because of location and they will remain friends for life. You know who you are.
Now that I have spoken about blogger friendships (the key is to comment on other bloggers blogs), I am going to speak about publisher relationships and this won’t happen over night, you have to work on building this up. For me one of the places I started on was Book Blogs Ning because there are quite a few publishers on there. I signed up for a few book tours and slowly got my foot in the door. It won’t be an easy road but if you work on it, it will be rewarding in the end.
With authors, gradually over time they will contact you about reviewing their books. You can reach out to authors (some of them love hearing from you) with review links of their books. If you are lucky some will even be accommodating and will do a guest post or interviews with you.
What I have learned over the almost three years of blogging is if an author or publicist contacts you about books and you really don’t like the book its okay to say no thanks but please keep me in mind for other books. Trust me they will keep you in mind. This is something I learned the hard way because I was always afraid of saying no and ruining a contact and this lead to obtaining more then what I could read. So now unless its something that I think I would read, I will accept it otherwise I send a nice reply back saying no thanks.
The only thing I can truly say about asking for books (finished copies or ARCs) is when you email please be polite and professional, its a privilege to be sent books its not a right. Just because your a blogger doesn’t give you the right to think that you are entitled to books. Always make sure you send the rep who sent you the book a link to your review. This way it shows the rep you read and reviewed the book and they will keep you in mind for future books and tours.
There will be times you will get a email that says Sorry, no I have no more ARCs left etc don’t take it personally.
Since I have rambled on long enough (sorry about that) I just want to say just remember to be polite and professional (with everyone you come across) because if you say or do something negative it will come back to bite you in the butt. Karma is a bitch that way. Also this is something I will be working on (more of), if someone comes to your blog and comments please take the minute or two and go and comment on their blog.
So the key point in building relationships is to keep in CONTACT with everyone. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, most bloggers are willing to help you out.
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