Monday, August 23, 2010

#DearPublisher... an Introduction

Last week, I had the privilege of being a guest on the #BBlog chat on Twitter, focusing on Publisher/Blogger relationships. It was a wonderful and fun conversation that allowed book bloggers to ask questions and make comments about working with publicists. One thing that came up several times was: 


"As a book blogger, how should I introduce myself to a publicist and ask for review copies?" 


Understandably, this was difficult to answer in 140 characters, so the host of the chat, @BookaliciousPam, asked if I would mind writing a sample letter as an example of an ideal way to contact a publicist. As usual, Pam was right, so below I've written a sample letter for the book bloggers out there.


Dear ______, (You can write Publisher, Publicist, or use their name if you have it.)


My name is _______ and I write for  _______ (include name and link to blog). I review ___________ (Children's Picture Books/Middle Reader/Young Adult Books etc.) and would love the opportunity to receive review copies for my blog from Publishers Name. I have reviewed _________ (include two or three links to your reviews of books  from that publisher, or similar titles), which makes me think that my blog would be a good fit for ________ (list the book or books--only 2 or 3--you're interested in reviewing or simply say "upcoming titles from Publisher Name"). In general, I tend to focus on _______ (fiction/non-fiction/SF/Historical etc.), but I am (or am not) willing to look at books outside of those genres. I will review a title within ________ (2 weeks/one month/two months etc.) of receiving it, unless a specific date is set prior.


Along with posting reviews on my blog, I also:
  • participate in blog tours
  • do author interviews
  • host giveaways
  • post all reviews on Good Reads, Library Thing, and Amazon.com

For review copies, I am happy to receive:
  • ARCs
  • Galleys
  • Finished Books
  • E-Books
On days that I blog, I get between ______ and ______ unique visitors, while on days I don't post, I get an average of ______ unique visitors. I post ________ (daily/bi-weekly/weekly) and am active on Twitter, Facebook, and GoodReads (include links to any sites you're on) and promote my blog and new posts through those sites. 


Thank you for your time. I look forward to working with you.


Best Wishes,
Name
E-mail
Twitter Name
Mailing Address


Hopefully this form letter helps to give you an idea of what information a publicist is looking for. I know that the subject of blog stats is a touchy one, but it really is very helpful for us to know the reach of a blog, just like we do with print media. Having a smaller readership will not keep you from receiving review copies. It is much more important to get the word out about a book to the right audience, as opposed to posting on a blog that gets tons of hits, but has an audience that wouldn't be interested in that particular subject.

If you have other questions, leave a comment and I will be sure to answer them for you!

13 comments:

  1. This is perfect! Thank you so much. It is a great resource!

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  2. Fantastic post! I'm definitely going to make a few changes to my emails because of it and I think it will help quite a few other bloggers as well. Thank you so much!

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  3. Fantastic post. Thank you very much.

    http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

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  4. Thank you! Very helpful post!

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  5. Wonderful! Thanks for doing this.

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  6. Great post but do you think sharing visitor numbers is a real requirement?

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  7. Thanks for all the comments guys!

    Simon, I don't think that sharing visitor numbers is a must. You can certainly leave them out. However, it is helpful, as a publicist, to learn the reach of a blog. We pay attention to the circulation of newspapers and magazines as well. In some cases, it may be more relevant to mention that you have people regularly commenting on your blog, or that you tend to have really great responses to giveaways. If your blog serves a niche group that would be perfect for a particular book then focus on that instead.

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  8. Nice! Good tips for someone not sure how to ask for a book.

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  9. great informative post! thanks so much.

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  10. Wonderful post...good for "newbie" bloggers and even those "seasoned" souls needing a little guidance. Thanks for the pointers!

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  11. I know I am commenting two years after this is posted, but I wanted to thank you for this post! I have been pondering this very subject recently. I am a less than a year old blogger who has been wondering how bloggers get all of these review books from these big publishers and on top of that, they are print books that you can hold and look at the shiny covers! This gives me some more insight into how to present myself and get myself out there. Using your template, I have sent off my first letter to a publisher! Thank you so much.

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Leave us a comment and make sure to include an email address so we can contact you if you win a giveaway! Happy Reading!