Author Topic: Dealing with publishers  (Read 6835 times)

Debbish

  • Dan Brown
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • Debbish dot com
Dealing with publishers
« on: August 29, 2014, 10:10:33 PM »
I know I've chatted to a few people about this - particularly at NBBF in Sydney earlier this year... but how much do you have to do with publishers / publicists etc?

I kinda 'fell' into book blogging. I'd always loved reading and wrote occasionally about books, but it was only when I was sent an invite by a publishing company (in August 2013) to access a book via NetGalley that I even know something like that existed.

I still really only get ARCs via NetGalley. (I was sent 1 hardcopy a couple of months ago but it was offered to me first.) I'm now on a couple of publishing houses' mailing lists but don't really feel comfortable contacting others to get on their lists or even asking for a copy of something I'd like to read from the ones I'm on. Asking them to send me something seems so forward and presumptuous. (ie... who do I think I am?!) For some reason - putting in anonymous requests via NetGalley feels so much easier.

1. Anyone else relate?
2. Any advice or suggestions?
3. Is there some sort of centralised list of publishers' publicists?
4. I'm only on NetGalley - should I be with other similar (ummm.... thingys)?

Deb
Deborah
debbish.com
@debbishdotcom

Karen OBrienHall

  • Dan Brown
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2014, 10:28:24 PM »
Hi Deborah
I've approached publishers directly, usually after writing a review of one of their books, and particularly requested something I know the Starts at Sixty Community (where I publish my reviews) would like to read.  I've only been refused once - let's face it, the cost of a book is nothing to them and they get all the free publicity.
As to questions 3 qnd 4 I look forward to knowing the answer to this also.
Karen

Suzpol

  • Administrator
  • J. R. R. Tolkein
  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Karma: +5/-0
  • OOOOOK!
    • View Profile
    • Suz's Space
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2014, 10:47:53 PM »
I also fell into book blogging while trying to get some SEO love. At some stage the pre-loved book selling became far less urgent than the writing, during this time a publisher sent me a book without asking. I read it and just continued on copying other book bloggers.

I'm on NetGalley but don't do much there. I probably should.

I somehow ended up on lists for small publishers, some of these panned out over time but others are continuing. In each occasion they've approached me personally, in one they sent out a mass mailout to their buyers and I responded.

They are:

Solaris Publishing
Alfie Dog Fiction
One I can't remember but they're UK based and after I'd done a couple of books they stopped asking me, also their website now shows I can't buy from them; a problem I mentioned would happen in my first reply to them. DRM is an issue for ebooks.
Robot Army - also on NetGalley

If there's a list of publishers' publicists I haven't found it. I have created a list of publishers on my Twitter account. If there isn't then we should create one here.

knowledgelost

  • Waiting for book o'clock
  • Administrator
  • Patricia Wrightson
  • *****
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
    • Literary Exploration
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2014, 10:15:50 AM »
I think social media plays a big part in getting noticed. I was lucky enough to be approached by a few publishers who very often send me random books in the mail. I've told them all (plus it is on my review policy) that it doesn't mean I'll read the book. I think the best way to get noticed is to tag the publisher in the tweets. It makes things really easy when they send you an email and offer you a book.

Have you considered using The Reading Room too? they offer a selection of ARC's every month you can request and if you are successful you'll get it the book in the mail the next month. The reading room is similar (but not as good) to goodreads and you'll need to post reviews there.
Michael @ Literary Exploration
Blog || Twitter || Facebook || Goodreads

Debbish

  • Dan Brown
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • Debbish dot com
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2014, 04:31:41 PM »
Hi Michael, I add my reviews to The Reading Room but wasn't aware you could request review copies from there, thanks for the heads-up. I struggle with the site's functionality a little I must admit!

Deb
Deborah
debbish.com
@debbishdotcom

SusanMayWriter

  • Dan Brown
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2014, 10:26:43 PM »
My advice is if you want to be a book reviewer, be professional, be confident (you are free advertising and have a lot to offer), work on your social media so you can quote that you have x amount of twitter followers, x amount of friends at Good Reads or wherever. Trust me, they are looking for you.

This leads nicely into thoughts about a Media Kit. I'll unearth the ideas I've seen and start a new thread.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 08:56:03 AM by Suzpol »

Suzpol

  • Administrator
  • J. R. R. Tolkein
  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Karma: +5/-0
  • OOOOOK!
    • View Profile
    • Suz's Space
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2014, 09:49:56 AM »
Susan,

I am most apologetic.

I had meant to quote you and ended up editing out most of your brilliant words! I am so, so sorry.

What I remember about it is to write to publishers and continue to write to publishers requesting books. They want to get the word out about the books and book bloggers are prime targets for this.

SusanMayWriter

  • Dan Brown
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 10:24:45 AM »
Oh, don't worry about it Suzie, because, guess what?  I'd actually copied it before I hit publish, just in case something went wrong and when I saw your message this morning, I remembered I hadn't done anything else on my laptop after I put the post up on the blog. So sure enough it was still in my Word memory ready to republish. So here's to round two of why you should badger publishers.. lol.

SusanMayWriter

  • Dan Brown
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 10:25:37 AM »
I've been reviewing books for over 3 years now. I started off reviewing for an American magazine Suspense Magazine and then became their film reviewer after suggesting to them that it might be a good thing for their mag.  They used to send me ebook arcs. I still review for them.

Then, I saw Bloomsbury was looking for bloggers and I thought why not. Then I thought, why don't I get on everybody's list so I can read any book I like.

So I kept writing to each major publisher until they finally answered. Each time, I would quote who I was already reviewing for... first it was just Bloomsbury. Eventually, everyone answered me. Some didn't, I had to keep writing. I would also send my bio to them with links to my best reviews and interviews. Eventually, you build a reputation and they come looking for you. Like Amazon Audibles, Amazon's imprints and private publicists hired by authors.

My suggestions is to look at it from a publisher's point of view. I deal with them a lot, and one of my best friends works for Harper Collins (I didn't use her to get on any lists though). They want their books read and talked about, so they WANT you to ask for their books and read them and write about them and talk about them on social media. Don't be shy.  What is the worst that can happen? They can say, "no" via email (not even to your face).  They rarely do.

Now I can't review every book I am sent. They just send ones they are really keen to promote on the off chance a reviewer might get a chance to read. Sometimes this works, and I'll bump one up my pile.  However, I have so many books I will never get to them, but that is the name of the game for publishers.

My advice is if you want to be a book reviewer, be professional, be confident (you are free advertising and have a lot to offer), work on your social media so you can quote that you have x amount of twitter followers, x amount of friends at Good Reads or wherever. Trust me, they are looking for you.

And once you are confident, take the next step... interview an author or two. They are mostly keen to talk about their book. You can also do a blog tour, and even start a podcast. I've done all of these things and find them tremendous fun. I love talking to the publicists and helping promote other authors and getting to know authors. I'm an author myself so I know how hard it is to get people interested and to stand out from the crowd.

I hope that has given you courage to approach publishers. They are not arrogant gatekeepers as portrayed by some indie authors. They are passionate people who love books and want their books to find readers. They just can't publish everybody. That is business. In my opinion, they are truly starting to see the value of bloggers and helping bloggers grow.

Here's my main website if you want to see what I do... http://susanmaywordadventures.blogspot.com.au
And this is my book review site: http://anadventureinreading.blogspot.com.au
And my film review site: http://anadventureinfilm.blogspot.com.au
 
Hope this helps.
Happy reviewing.

Suzpol

  • Administrator
  • J. R. R. Tolkein
  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Karma: +5/-0
  • OOOOOK!
    • View Profile
    • Suz's Space
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2014, 10:05:07 PM »
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I was horrified when I came back into this thread to do something (which I've now forgotten what it was) and found what I'd done. So glad you had a copy.


Anyway, what Susan said about publishers!

Shelleyrae

  • Dan Brown
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Book'd Out
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2014, 05:19:09 PM »

I have to confess I'm not entirely sure how I ended up on most of the publisher's lists I am part of but mainly it came about via invitation since it was at a time when publishers were just beginning to recognise book bloggers. For what its worth here is some information:

Netgalley: Make sure your profile is comprehensive and up to date - request only what you are interested in and consider the publishing dates etc so you don't get overwhelmed. Australian specific publishers on Netgalley include: Penguin Au, Hachette AU, Random House AU, Bloomsbury Au, Simon & Schuster Au, HaroerCollinsAu, Harlequin AU; Melbourne University AU. Many UK publishers will also allow access such as Faber & Faber; HarperCollinsUK/Avon/Friday Project, Penguin UK, Transworld. The US publishers are harder to crack because of geographical rights issues, however the smaller presses are usually amenable and it never hurts to make a request anyway

Edelweiss : http://edelweiss.abovethetreeline.com/: This is a netgalley like site but almost wholly US - they do have a 'download now' section so make sure to browse it. Be aware this site only offers DRM epub's, usually with a time limit of 60 days
The Reading Room : go to Preview then Advance Copies /Giveaways
Goodreads Giveaways: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway
Blogging For Books: http://www.bloggingforbooks.org
Allen & Unwin : http://www.allenandunwin.com/default.aspx?page=38
Murdoch Books: http://www.murdochbooks.com.au/Page/New-Books

I can tell you that Penguin, Pan Macmillan and Simon and Schuster send out monthly newsletters to their reviewer lists which you can request from. It is worth requesting to be added by emailing the relevant company via the publicity dept (links on sites) stating who you are, giving information on your blog and that you would like to included on their publicity outreach list. Include two or three links of recent reviews you have posted by books published by them. Also state if you are willing to participate in blog tours/promotions etc.
To request a particular title you need to do so before it is actually released so keep an eye on the publishers 'coming soon' sections. Include the basics and also state why you want to review that particular title eg you are a fan of the authors' work.

Social media is important - set up your blog to auto publish to twitter, Facebook and Google + when you publish a new post and make sure they are tagged. Interact with the publishers twitter and Facebook feeds, retweet etc and most run giveaways on Fridays- make sure you enter. When you do receive a book for review that you requested make sure you do so in a timely manner. In most instances, publishers prefer you post your review on your site one week either side of the publications date but check the publicity sheet that comes with any print book - many are embargoed until a specific date.

I think it helps that I publish my reviews in multiple locations - my blog, Goodreads, The ReadingRoom, Shelfari, LibraryThing and AmazonAU or AmazonUS as appropriate plus of course each post is promoted on Facebook, Twitter and Google +. It is mainly a matter of copy and paste. It is all about exposure for the publishers - so be exposed!

Follow authors you like on Twitter/Facebook/Blog and interact with them. When you know authors have a new book coming out, offer them an opportunity for a Q&A, guest post or blog tour spot on your blog, many mid-list authors have to arrange some of that stuff themselves. However, make sure you are genuinely interested in that author and their work - they can tell if you are just sucking up.

Hope something I've shared helps :)

frellathon

  • Dan Brown
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
    • Jess resides here
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2014, 07:18:55 PM »
I used to live overseas so I had a hard time when I came back home because many publishers didn't want to send me books any longer :(

I did get on Allen & Unwin blogger mailing list so I've gotten to review for them.
I sent an email requesting from Simon and Schuster one book I was really after and got that book though they didn't add me to their mail list :(
I request from Netgalley and Edelweiss, both are great

I did make friends with some publishers who have been fantastic to me.

Harper Collins in America still sends me books and Seventh Star Press who are great and I've become friends with most of their authors send me any of their books. SSP actually has a free book for review program so if any of you want to check some of their books out all you have to do is ask.

Many smaller press offer ebooks for review if requested. Permuted Press just sent out an email asking if anyone wanted to review a couple of their new releases one of which is by an author I'm a fan of so I got that one. Angry Robot has a reviewer program as well.

I say ask, worst case they say no

Suzpol

  • Administrator
  • J. R. R. Tolkein
  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Karma: +5/-0
  • OOOOOK!
    • View Profile
    • Suz's Space
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2014, 11:09:00 PM »
That's brilliant, Shelleyrae! Really useful stuff and some more useful stuff in other posts. If I can figure it out I'll sticky this thread to the top.

frellathon

  • Dan Brown
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
    • Jess resides here
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2014, 08:52:44 AM »
Totally confused myself it wasn't S&S it was Allen & Unwin I asked for the book from and they did put me on their mailing list. My bad

knowledgelost

  • Waiting for book o'clock
  • Administrator
  • Patricia Wrightson
  • *****
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
    • Literary Exploration
Re: Dealing with publishers
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2014, 09:36:43 AM »
I was gonna say, I have a twitter contact from S&S who is great, if you needed to make contact with them.
Michael @ Literary Exploration
Blog || Twitter || Facebook || Goodreads