Showing posts with label publishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label publishing. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blogger Transparency: Should You Share Your Statistics on Your Blog? | Book Blogging Tips (#58)

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. Many bigger bloggers share their statistics and it's seemingly ONLY people with follower counts in the 4 or 5 digits. 

Personally, I feel conflicted about openly sharing my statistics, but I appreciate and love it when other people share theirs. So should we all?


Why would you even do that?

It definitely helps people who are looking to work with you and your blog professionally.

Whether it's:
  • authors seeking reviewers
  • publishers looking to add someone to their mailing lists
  • companies who are interested in having you review a product
  • anyone interested in advertising with you
  • anyone interested in professional collaboration

If you have your statistics openly displayed on your blog, people immediately know whether it makes sense to work with you. Let's not kid ourselves, people always say stats don't matter when talking about blogging, but we all know deep in our hearts that they do. Especially when we're talking about professional business with companies/authors/publishers who are actually earning money for what they're doing. 

As for individuals - I always like to see statistics because it makes it easier to categorize myself. To know how big my blog is in comparison to others. It's always great to be aware of the reach you have. 

But putting yourself out there like that isn't everyone's cup of tea. It's not necessarily a necessity to be completely transparent with your statistics. I absolutely understand it when people say they don't want to. Especially when you're still a small blogger you might hesitate to openly display how many clicks you get - it's easy to say "hey, no big deal" when you get 200k hits per month. 

So when is it TRULY necessary?

I think there is not really a necessity at all. You're not being dishonest by declining to openly show your stats to everyone. It's a personal matter after all and a personal decision. I had mine displayed for a hot minute, but felt very iffy about it all. 

You can always send out that information in private to people who are interested in working with you. Don't let anyone ever tell you, you have to do anything when it comes to blogging. Your blog, your rules.


Do you share your statistics on your blog?

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Friday, March 3, 2017

How to Improve Your Feedback Ratio Quickly: #NetGalley Advice | Book Blogging Tips (#50)


It's recommended that you keep up a ratio of 80%, meaning that you have provided reviews for 80% of the titles you've been approved for. 


At first this may sound high and very unattainable but I have developed a fool-proof way to improve it.

When you just signed up for NetGalley it's super hard to even get approved for books. How do you get experience reviewing books when in order to get a track record you have to show a track record?

Easy: Read Now

Read Now is a section that I personally consider a gift from God. There are many books that are instantly accessible to anyone and everyone. You'd think that these are all terrible books that are poorly written, but no.These are all books that people want reviews for desperately and you'll even encounter the occasional well-known already published book there. CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell was in that section a while ago.

If you shy away from the vast amount of indie books that are offered there - my personal advice is to head over to the graphic novels and comic section.

But why???? I don't even like graphic novels, I'm an adult sci-fi blog, what even

Here's the thing. You can read a graphic novel or comic within an hour tops, write up a review, and you're done. You can get your approval numbers up super quickly with those read now comics and nobody cares whether you usually review a different genre.

Another pro tip would be to start reviewing picture books. They're typically 250 words maximum, you go figure how quickly you can read and review these.

See, you're not really in the position yet to be picky. You just started. You gotta take what you can get.

Ughh, how long will it take until I can start requesting books I actually want to read? Do I have to read picture books for the rest of my life?

Fear not, gentle reader. I started requesting books from major publishers at about 25 approvals. You may start earlier but I guarantee you, the big five won't even touch you if you haven't reviewed and read more than 20 books.

MORE TIPS:
  • Books are "archived" after a certain time, meaning you can't download them anymore then. Typically you're expected to at least send over the feedback/review before the archive date. It's no harm if you do so after it's been archived, but people won't cheer on you if you do this either.
  • You can DNF a book. If you just don't like it, send over a note via the feedback option explaining why you don't want to read the book. Don't do this too often though and have valid reasons.
  • For the love of all that is holy, don't request more than 20 books at once. What if you get approved for all of them and they end up being due next week? Yikes!


If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!!

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Friday, November 11, 2016

More Generous Ratings For Indie Books? | Book Blogging Tips (#46)





I've noticed recently that I tend to give indie books better ratings than traditionally published ones. 

I wish I could say it wasn't intentional, but I think it is. Here's why I rate indie books more generously.


First, let me slam-dunk your prejudices in the trash. 
  • Quality is absolutely not an issue. If you think indie books are low quality, sorry, you just probably don't have a qualified opinion here. Of course, with EVERYONE being able to publish books these days, there's a fair share of bad writers. It's logical. But condemning everyone because of a handful of bad books you read is a little... narrow-minded. That's like saying I don't read Hachette books anymore because I didn't like the only 3 of their books that I've read. 
  • Because you don't hear about them, they're bad? Especially if you sign with a small publishing house or are self-published, there is near to no way to get the word out about your book the same way you'd be able to if you were published under the Big Five. 

TL; DR - here's why I rate indie books more generously than traditionally published books:

#5: Indie publishing is hard, competitive, and authors rely on reviews and ratings. 
A Big Five author won't give a rat's ass about my one star review, but bad reviews can crush indie authors' sales. Don't be unnecessarily mean. When in doubt, give one star more than fewer.

#4: Indie authors do their publicity themselves. 
Every review copy sent out goes out of their own pocket. Especially when you received a physical copy, that's the author straight up taking their own money, relying on your review. Writing a fair critique is the LEAST you can do.

#3: Collaboration with indie authors is more personal. 

Often the authors themselves reach out to me, asking me to review their book. If I'm going to write a bad review, I BETTER know what I'm talking about. I better have reasons for every single negative thing I say, because guess what - the author's at the other end of the receiving line and they sure as hell will realize when I'm being a dick for no reason.

Yeah, I have to admit, sometimes I'm a little hard on traditionally published authors and nitpicking a lot. Among other things, a reason for this is probably that I'm not face to face with the author.

#2: There are people who refuse reading indie books. 

A few bloggers I (used to) admire actually support this. Oddly enough, none of them has ever dared to state why. Let's prove em wrong.

#1: People think indie books are all shit. 

And honestly, if the one thing I can do to help ERASE this stupid, ignorant stigma, I'll do it via good reviews. I would never rate a book that's bad, positive just because it's indie, don't get me wrong - but I'll do my darn best to promote the crap out of every wonderful indie book I encounter.


Are you more generous with your indie ratings?

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Monday, May 2, 2016

What to write in your #NetGalley profile | How to Be Badass on #NetGalley






So, I've been on NetGalley for a while and I decided that I know what I'm doing well enough to give advice.

So here's what you do when you start out:



It's so important that you fill in your profile.
This is first thing people see of you when you request a book.
Make sure you:
  • add a profile picture
  • add a bio
  • add a description
  • tell everyone how awesome you are and don't be shy!! (this doesn't mean exaggerating, no lies here, people will actually check everything and if you lie, you're not going to get approved for anything ever)

But what the heck am I supposed to put into the bio? 

I got you.

It's a simple formula:

1. Thanking the publisher for considering you because you're polite and professional.

2. Introducing your blog in one or two sentences. 
Example: "My blog X is a YA books only blog. I post discussions and review books. I like this and that genre the best."

3. Introducing your schedule so the publisher knows when to expect a review. 
Example: "I review 10 books a week and read about 6 books a week."

4. Adding a fancy sentence if you have cool other platforms. 
Example: "I am an Amazon Top 100 reviewer / I have a billion friends on Goodreads / I have an instagram with a million followers."

5. Adding the link to your blog and your email address.

6. Copying your blog statistics.

Example:

STATS
- X reviews published since X
- Daily views: 
- Monthly views:
- Unique Visitors per month: 
- Total views: 

FOLLOWERS
- via Google Friend Connect: 
- via Bloglovin: 
- via Twitter:  (@username)
- via tumblr: (username)
- via Google +: 
- via Goodreads: X friends + Y following reviews
- via (other platform that I do not use): 

Total reach: ~ X


MORE  TIPS:

It's super important to add as much detail as possible but not to ramble. 500 words is the absolute maximum, nobody will read your life story here. Stick to the basics, stick to the stuff that's relevant for the publisher. If you won blog awards (not those tag award things!), add them. Add everything that proves that you're a successful blogger!

Make sure to regularly update your statistics - at least a month. Even if they go down, always be honest!

If you have any more questions feel free to ask!


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Thursday, January 28, 2016

When To Post ARC Reviews: Pros and Cons of Posting On Release Day or Months Before | Book Blogging Tips (#36)





What I do is usually very simple. The second I get the ARC, I read it and then queue the review to be published exactly on the release day, or if I can't, I schedule it for the day before.

However, recent discussions about this with other bloggers made me contemplate whether there's a better method.

Usually it's expected of you to have the review ready and online by the time the book is released. That's why you're getting the ARC, to deliver instant reviews even when the book has only been out for half a second.

When you get an ARC, you usually have three(ish) options when to post the review

1) The second you finish (~3-6 months before release)

+ Even if that's months ahead, you already got it out of the way
+ There's no chance you'll forget about the book
- Literally nobody cares about a book that'll be published in a couple of months time
- Honestly, not even if it's Rick Riordan or Richelle Mead, one week after the announcement people stop caring = ZERO publicity profit
if somebody sees the review and wants the book, they can't get it yet. 

2) Close to the due date (~a week before release)

+ everybody knows the book is coming, everybody's searching for early reviews
+ traffic!!!
+ simultaneously early enough to create buzz around the book (publicists likey), but also late enough to make the release seem very close and get people excited (readers likey)
- if somebody sees the review and wants the book, they can't get it yet. 
- you'll have to plan this one ahead, either read the book right away and queue the post, or pray to God you'll make it in time

3) Last minute (on release day)

+ everybody knows the book is out, hello traffic
+ if you got somebody interested in the book, they can get it right away
- again, either queue or pray
- you won't be able to get people interested in the book before its release

4) #yolo

Of course you still have the "screw it" option, where you just post the review whenever. But in order to do that you really have to have your life/TBR together enough to manage to keep track of all your review copies. Because nothing's worse than requesting an ARC and not delivering a review at all. Don't do that. 

When in doubt:

Ask the publicist that you've been in contact with and don't listen to people online who are probably working with different publishers and publicists that also have different expectations of you.



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Saturday, November 28, 2015

How to Find A Literary Agent!






You’d think it would be a nice straightforward process, but to be honest it’s a little like finding a wife or husband; it's important that you as individuals gel and understand each other.

It's for this reason that you must do the searching yourself and make it a thorough process.







Do I really need an Agent in 2015?

That’s a valid question given that there are many avenues available down the self-publishing route, but just bear in mind that around 80% of the books that the big New York publishing houses go on to produce are sold to them by agents. Agents know their clients and markets inside out and can achieve much more in a shorter space of time than an aspiring author with “no name” can. They will negotiate, protect your rights, ensure you are paid and save you a lot of time, money and effort.

That said it does depend on what you are selling; if you are going for one of the major publishing houses then you clearly need an agent, however if you are going for a more niche market you may not need one, or even struggle to find one willing to deal with you.

Research

PublishersMarketPlace.com is a really good resource as you can search their many listed publishers by category, niche, genre or keyword; you should be able to find some good matches. You might also want to consider the following sites:

Making the Right Choice

There are a couple of sure-fire signs that you’ve chosen the right agent:

Their enthusiasm. Do they share your passion for your work? Do you get the feeling that they believe in you and your work? Your agent has to really get where you’re coming from and understand the specifics of your work to be able to sell if effectively and passionately to publishing houses.

Their track record. You should find out what their sales track record is like; this is a rough and ready way to know whether you’ve found the real deal or not. Look at their client list and the publishers which they have recently made sales with; you’re looking for good numbers, but also the types of genre, author and publishing house. These should closely match your own work; if you find that they do then you may be on to a winner with that particular agent.

That said, it can sometimes be beneficial to get an agent who is up and coming; they may be more likely to spend time on you if they have fewer clients, but are ambitious.

Communication style. You’re looking for an agent who is timely and courteous in their responses, i.e. they are professional; you should be treated like a business partner and they should be open and transparent in everything they are doing for you. A good agent will give you feedback about any rejections as well as acceptances and will often make suggestions regarding the marketing and positioning of your work to make it more appealing.

..................................

Lola Smirnova is an author from Ukraine. Her novels are inspired by real-life events.  Lola’s debut novel Twisted was released in 2014. The book placed as Honorable Mention in the General Fiction Category of The 2014 London Book Festival’s Annual Competition.

Lola released Craved, the highly anticipated sequel to Twisted, in August 2015.

Lola lives in South Africa, and is currently working on the third book in her trilogy.
To learn more, go to http://lolasmirnova.com/
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