Monday, January 25, 2010

Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned from Bloggers

This blog has come to fruition for many reasons. Yes, it is partially because I love Peachtree and would like everyone to know how great the books we publish are, and a little bit is because it’s my job, but it is mostly because of all the amazing book blogs I have been reading recently. Seriously, if you want to learn about what books you should be reading, bloggers know. They know everything, like Yoda, only with better grammar. I have been fortunate enough to work with many of them over the past several months on two blog tours for 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy and The Brain Finds a Leg by Martin Chatterton. Believe it or not, I have managed to go from knowing NOTHING about Twitter and blogging, to having a cursory knowledge of the subjects without stepping on too many toes. As many of you know, for a publicist, this is a mighty feat. It helps to learn from others mistakes, but it is best to go straight to the source—the bloggers themselves. So here, with help from Bri, of Bri Meets Books, and Gina, of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, I’ve put together some Dos & Don’ts for publicists in regards to the blogging community.

Do…
  • Take the time to review a blog before pitching to them. Just because you have a great book, doesn’t mean that it is a good fit for every blog. Some focus on children’s picture books, others prefer YA Fantasy, and others still may be so specific that they only want books about the Battle of Hastings, dinosaurs, or pancakes. The point is that you don’t know unless you look.
  • Read the review policy. Straight forward, I know, but you would be surprised how many bloggers state in their review policies that they don’t accept ARCs or nonfiction books and end up with nonfiction ARCs in their mailboxes. Time is valuable to a publicist and blogger. By sending a type of book that someone obviously doesn't review, you're wasting their time and your own. Taking the extra 5 minutes to check review policies pays off in the long run and lets the reviewer know that you respect their time and put thought into submitting a book to them.
  • Use a bloggers name. “Dear Blogger” is a form letter. They know that, and it is rude because it clearly shows that you did not follow the previous two “dos.” Many bloggers have their name on their blog, but if they don't, a simple “Hello” works great. I know that it can seem time consuming to individually address twenty e-mails, but making the effort to establish a relationship in the beginning is important.
  • Offer more options than just a review. Even the small gestures are appreciated and having unique posts helps keep blog readers interested. No one wants to read 10 reviews of the same book on a blog tour. They want to see a giveaway, a guest post by the author, an interview with an illustrator, a book trailer. This is for your benefit as much as it is for the blogger.
  • Include extra materials in your pitch. Like any reviewer, they need information. It is helpful to include an author photo, press release, cover image, or interior art. Don’t forget links to the author and publisher websites. They will use all of these materials when they post about your book. The more information the better and it saves them the time of finding a cover image online that is possibly of bad quality.
  • Remember that bloggers have schedules too. You cannot e-mail a blogger two days before you want them to post something and expect them to do it. Bloggers plan out their posting schedules and need time to fit your book in, as well as read your book and give it the attention it deserves in order to receive a thoughtful review.
  • Be clear about the dates you would like things posted. If you are putting together a blog tour and need something posted during a certain week, approach a blogger a month (or more) ahead of time and be very clear about what dates you need, as well as what other blogs are posting on what days. You don’t want two interviews with the same author being posted back to back.
  • If you want a review posted on multiple sites, let them know. A lot of bloggers put reviews on other websites like Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing, and many are happy to post a review in multiple places if you ask.
  • Ask if you want more information. Ask, and you shall receive. Most bloggers are happy to give you more information about their review policy, stats on how many visitors they get, how often they like to post, etc. They will not necessarily assume that you want this information otherwise.
  • Develop a relationship with bloggers. By being friendly and getting to know bloggers better, you are better able to tailor your pitch to the right people. You learn who enjoys what type of books, saving your time and theirs. Also, establishing trust and a good working relationship means that people will be more willing to work with you again and pay more attention to your pitches, as well as get the word out to others about your books.
  • Remember that most bloggers do this because they love books. Bloggers don’t get paid to write about books. They use their personal time to read and write about the books we send to them. This is very time consuming. Be mindful and appreciative of this.

Don’t…
  • Offer a book just to get placement on a blog when it is obviously a poor fit. This goes back to the previous comments of reading review policies and looking at a blog before pitching. It only takes a minute to look at recent posts to see that a blogger has been on a young adult post-apocalyptic novel kick recently and that your fairytale romance may not be what they want to read right now.
  • Don’t continuously e-mail a blogger about the same book. They got your e-mail, they’re just not that into you. Move on and contact someone else that the book is a better fit for. If you have already sent them a book, they need time to read it. They have a stack of books to read and yours may not be at the top of the list. If you need a response by a certain date, make that clear before sending them a book.
  • Use all caps in a subject header. That is the e-mail equivalent of yelling and we all know that yelling is rude. If you are contacting them about a blog tour, put “Blog Tour,” followed by the title of the book. If you want to pitch an author interview, put “Author Interview,” followed by the authors name. Straight forward is the way to go.
  • Assume that giving a book equals a good review. Like any reviewer, they may not like your book. They do not owe you a good review just because you sent a book. You don’t expect this from traditional print media, you shouldn’t expect it from electronic media either.

Thanks to Bri Meets Books, and Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, for your feedback! I hope that my paraphrasing has gotten your ideas across properly! Be sure to comment and add (or subtract from) this list. I'm always happy to learn more.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Spring 2010 Chapter Books


Written by Alison Hart
Illustrated by Paul Bachem
HC: $12.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-524-9
March 2010

For 160 pages, Alison Hart sure fits a lot of action in! In 1852, ten-year-old Emma Wright and her mama board a steamboat for a trip up the Mississippi River to the Missouri River and finally to St. Joseph where Papa will be waiting. Concern for her beloved pony, Licorice Twist, lures Emma below deck, where she is forbidden to go. Explosions, fires, a sinking ship, and a newfound friendship through it all makes this an exciting read.

 

Written by Fred Bowen
PB: $5.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-516-4
March 2010
One of two new additions to the Fred Bowen Sports Story Series, Hardcourt Comeback looks at Brett Carter, the Wildcats’ star forward who is playing to win. After experiencing some disappointment that shakes his confidence, Brett wonders if he can come back and help save the Wildcats’ season. This is a fast-paced book with play-by-play descriptions of action on the court that will satisfy young basketball fans. Each book in the series is inspired by something that happened in real sports history. Combine this with its high interest and low reading level, this series is perfect for reluctant readers.

Written by Fred Bowen
PB: $5.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-515-7
March 2010

Lest the baseball fans think they were forgotten, I give you Dugout Rivals. Jake Daley loves everything about baseball and especially playing for the Red Sox in the Woodside Baseball league. When star player Adam Hull joins the team, Jake is excited because he can do it all—pitch, hit, and field, which means wins for the Red Sox. Eventually though, Jake begins to wonder if he and his other teammates even matter as Adam’s talent seems to dominate every game. An afterword provides the real story of the 1927 Yankees—and how the combined talents of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehri, Tony Lazzeri and other players created what some call “The Greatest Team of All Time.”

 

Written by Sara Harrell Banks
HC: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-525-6
April 2010

In 1937, the Depression is in full force, Joe Louis is the new heavyweight champion of the world, and Champion Luckey has just arrived in Snow Hill, Alabama. Brother Sayre’s life never be the same after Champion comes into his life. A dramatic story of an adolescent friendship during a troubled, complex time in our nation’s history that will draw readers into the action and teach them a valuable lesson in Depression-era Southern history, when resources were scarce and segregation was firmly in place.

Written by Shan Correa
HC: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-526-3
April 2010


This first novel is set in Hawaii. It tells the story of Paul, who lives with his disabled father, who makes a living raising, training and caring for roosters, but Paul has been sheltered from the harsh reality of the ties between the family business and the underworld of cockfighting. After a friend’s older brother tries to initiate him into the macho culture of cockfighting, Paul has to face the reality of what he sees—illegal drugs, gambling, and the cockpit where roosters with razor-sharp blades, or gaffs, are made to ruthlessly attack each other in a bloody fight to the death. He struggles to understand his family’s livelihood and learns that being a man has nothing to do with wielding the power to hurt people and animals.

 

Written by Martin Chatterton
HC: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-527-0
March 2010


Never underestimate the importance of the ridiculous. In this follow up to The Brain Finds a Leg, The Brain and his sidekick Sheldon McGlone encounter parallel universes, flying cows, carnivorous cuckoo clocks, and shrinking scientists in this new fast-paced adventure that features the silly side of physics.

Check out Martin’s Website, or talk to the man himself via his facebook fanpage or on Twitter.

Interested in hosting Martin on your blog? Check out our Blog Tour for his previous book, The Brain Finds a Leg and e-mail me at publicity(at)peachtree-online(dot)com!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Spring 2010 Picture Books

Spring 2010 Picture Books

It’s January, which means that the Spring 2010 season is upon us! Below, I would like to take a moment to introduce you to our upcoming picture books for the season. Be sure to come back tomorrow to hear about our middle reader and young adult books!

Written by Janet Lord
Illustrated by Julie Paschkis
HC: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-523-2
February 2010

Sisters Janet Lord and Julie Paschkis team up again to tell the story of a mischievous cat as it stalks around the yard, encountering various other animals. Animal sounds and rhyme are fun to read aloud, and the hide and seek element is engaging for small children. Not to mention, I am partial to Julie’s bright, folk inspired illustrations.

Read the Publisher’s Weekly review here.

Also by Janet Lord and Julie Paschkis:
HC: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-433-4

Be sure to check out Candace's review of Albert the Fix-It Man over at Beth Fish Reads Blog.

Written and Illustrated by Sebastien Braun
HC: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-518-8
February 2010

This is an adorable import from England, by French author/illustrator Sebastien Braun, that always makes me laugh. Getting ready for bed is lots of fun at Ed’s house, but staying there is another story. This is a charming spin on the perennial challenge of getting children to stay in bed. I'm warning you now though, once you read this to your kids, they will want to hear it over and over again at bedtime.

Written by Martin Waddell
Illustrated by Susan Varley
HC: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-519-5
March 2010

Captain Small Pig is another wonderful import from our friends across the pond. Old Goat and Turkey take Small Pig down to Blue Lake to row out in a small red boat. Small Pig is endearing as he tries to fish for whales and steer the boat himself. This is a quiet and unassuming book that still managed to stand out to me with its simple, affectionate story and pen and ink illustrations.

Written by Kathryn O. Galbraith
Illustrated by Cyd Moore
HC: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-517-1
April 2010

Arbor Day Square tells the story of Katie and her papa as they settle out on the prairie. The trains bring more people and lumber, and buildings are erected. However, the town is missing one crucial thing: trees. The townspeople take a collection to order trees from back east and Katie adds her own pennies to buy a sapling. While set in the past, this is a timeless story of community building, love and ritual.

Written by Melissa Stewart
Illustrated by Higgins Bond
HC: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-521-8
April 2010

In this companion book to Stewart and Bond’s A Place for Butterflies, we learn about the behavior and beauty of frogs. This is a wonderful book for the classroom as it teaches not just fun facts about frogs (like where the live, eat, and how they benefit other animals and plants), but ways that kids can help protect them and their natural habitats. Are you a teacher? Check out the Teachers Guide!

Visit Melissa Stewart's website, or follow her on twitter! @mstewartscience

Come back tomorrow to see what books we have that will entertain the older kids in your life!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome!

On behalf of all the Peaches here at Peachtree Publishers, I would like to officially welcome you to our new blog. I am looking forward to sharing with you all sorts of wonderful Peachtree news, from author and illustrator interviews, book giveaways, guest posts, blog tour information, photographs, interviews with our staff, and anything else I am able to come up with. This is where you, the readers, come in to play. What do you want to see from a publisher’s blog? More importantly, what DON'T you want to see? We’ll be posting every Monday, so stay tuned. Next Week: A sneak peek at our upcoming spring titles!