Saturday, April 23, 2016

Book Blogging Etiquette: Making Business Connections and Talking To Industry Professionals

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Communication is key when dealing with inquiries by authors, publishers, and publicists. It's very important to always stay professional when dealing with business contacts.

#1: The Encounter: Be Professional

When you meet a new business contact, it's important not to be casual. We may be bloggers, but you really have to watch you language. Always be respectful and don't make immoral offers.
Don't reach out to people that you aren't intending to work with, and decline every offer that you have no plans to purse. 

#2: Don't Rip Off & Don't Get Ripped Off 

The best tip I can give you, is to be honest when something doesn't work for you. It's not a big deal to decline and say no - everyone will appreciate it if you say no before it all gets rolling instead of backing out last minute. 

Don't be afraid to negiotiate - but don't be unrealistic. Nobody owes you anything. It's a privilege to receive review copies and the like, and you don't want to push your luck. Never ever ask for gift cards or money compensation

Never ever let someone exploit you and accept a ridiculous offer of promotion. I have encountered business contacts who just thought that it's an honor for us bloggers to be able to work with them. I was asked for regular promos for free, ad space etc. in exchange for a single review copy, which I also had to review, of course. 

While you shouldn't ask for too much, you should never sell yourself below worth. You have to find a middle way of things you're comfortable doing, After all, book blogging is business. 

That's why it's important to negotiate a middle way. Don't rip other people off, and don't let yourself get ripped off.

#3: What If the Deal Goes Wrong?

So you've found a business partner and you're happy to work with them. You've exchanged whatever you've agreed upon - but oh shock - your business partner isn't doing what they promised you to do. 

The bad example of the bakery and the food blogger (here) shows us exactly what not to do. Putting your business partner on blast online is one of the most unprofessional, childish, and unreasonable things you can do. If you're looking to ruin your reputation - go for it. 

But in all seriousness, you're doing business online. If the opposite party isn't keeping up their part of the promise, confront them maturely. If they don't react - move on. Your experiences are confidential. If you decide to blog about it, make sure to NEVER mention names and make it as anonymous as possible. 

The most important thing is to be mature. If you encounter problems, voice them to the person you're negotiating with.

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