The Compulsive Reader: January 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Advice for Authors

I've been blogging for two years, reviewing for nearly five, so I've had a lot of interaction with authors. One of the things I was surprised to learn is that some new authors feel just as awkward approaching bloggers about their book as I do about approaching authors and publicists (literally shocked me).

So, authors, let me clear the air: I LOVE hearing from you about your book. I love knowing anything and everything you can tell me about it, so email me any time, and I won't trash your email just because you are unable to offer me a review copy. Basically, I like my blog to be about news, books, trends, multimedia, and other fun stuff, not just reviews. So if you want to write me to tell me about your trailer, or the fact that you have a sequel coming out soon, I'd love to hear about it just much as I would if you emailed me requesting a review, honest.

However, there are some things that would prompt me to delete your email, sometimes without responding...here are a few:

  • No salutation. Come on, guys. You are writers. You MUST know how to write a letter. I don't care if it's a simple "Hi there!" or a more formal "Dear Compulsive Reader". I just appreciate being acknowledged. Bonus points if you greet me by my name, shows you actually know my blog a bit.
  • You approach me about something that is not related to my blog. I blog YA. Sometimes, I'll branch out to MG or Adult books with teen appeal (examples might be Maria V. Snyder's books, or the review I did of Alan Bradley's The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie). If you're unsure, tell me, offer me more info, but don't try to slip it past me. I'm usually pretty astute when it comes to that stuff.
  • Claiming you are a bestselling author and then leaving me to find out that you aren't.
  • You go on and on about your life, who you are, what inspired your book, and then don't take a breath long enough to really talk about your book or leave a title. You are pitching me your book, not yourself.
Those are just a few things that I have actually seen in my inbox that I don't like to weed through. What I AM looking for is this:

  • A greeting (once again, a brief "Hi!" will suffice).
  • A short introduction if I don't know who you are. (It can be as simple as "My name is Jane Doe, and this is my first YA novel.")
  • The title of your book and a short description.
  • The release date and publisher. This isn't as important, but they're always good to know. This way, for instance, if you can't offer me a review copy, I can figure out if I know the publicist at your publishing house and may be able to ask him/her for one.
  • Any info you might want to give me, such as a review request, an interview or guest blog offer, a new trailer, or your website/Twitter page.
  • Any other comments...if you just want to say hi or comment on a feature or ask me questions, that's cool! I welcome that sort of stuff. Some of my best author friends are the ones that talk to me about a bunch of stuff, not just books.

This is just a guideline of what I like to see and what information I think is important to know when I get a request from authors to blog about things. I hope that this guide helps...just remember that bloggers love hearing from you! Authors make all these amazing books possible, so you're pretty high up, in our opinion!

Feel free to comment or email me if you have any questions.