The internet is a big place—it’s literally endless. There are countless blogs, websites, webzines, etc. that are easily accessible. Book reviews are quickly making more and more headway on the internet for a variety of reasons, but mainly because it is cheap PR (often FREE) and it’s an easy way to reach a lot of people. So it makes sense that as a publicist I would do whatever I can to get the word out about many of your books on the web—quickly and furiously during the first part of your promotional periods, right?
You’ve all heard my spiels about blog tours and q&a’s and personal blogs and group blogs and reviews, and I’m sure some of you find it a little annoying that the focus is on web and not in a newspaper or a magazine. But I truly believe that this is the future of book reviews. With so many newspapers shutting down their book sections and off the page book reviewers few and far between, this is an awesome way to market your book directly to the people who want to read them the most.
So, since this is a BIG focus of our time and energy, I thought I’d give a little list of some of the best things to do on the web, because let’s face it, sometimes everyone needs some guidelines an rules. And there is such a thing as bad publicity—and on the internet IT NEVER GOES AWAY.
1. IT NEVER GOES AWAY. I’m repeating this because even when you hit delete, somehow, somewhere, there’s more than likely a record of that awful review or that anonymous comment you left telling the blogger off.
2. Please please please THINK ABOUT what you write before you write it. You never know who might have you on a Google Alert and might look a little bit deeper into that snarky comment you said about your high school sweetheart way back when or you expressed frustrations about traveling for your job or you thought your kid’s best friend was a bad influence. These are all obvious extremes, but these are things that can be brought up in jest, but someone might take it the wrong way. And as I said before IT NEVER GOES AWAY, and there’s no stopping a coworker or even a publicist (who gets paid to keep track of where you are on when it comes to your books, tee hee) might see something catty…
3. Be polite. You know in Bambi when Thumper repeats his mother’s advice sheepishly when he makes a rude remark: “If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all”? Take that advice when you’re posting a blog or commenting on a site. I know it is frustrating seeing a negative review posted, but rather than even leaving something anonymously, just ignore it. You probably won’t feel all that much better saying something mean back at the person who gave a negative review, and it doesn’t look good getting defensive.
4. Commenting. It’s always nice to receive comments on your blog posts, but you aren’t going to get very many if you don’t return the favor. (please note that I know I’ve broken this rule as of late…but there are these crazy authors I work with that have all decided to publish a lot of lovely books this Spring and their ARCs are arriving and taking up every minute of my day… not that I’m fishing for groveling or anything like that hahaha) It’s also nice to send a thank you comment on a site or blog post that gives you a great review. It is also important to stick around on the days you guest blog—this is an amazing way for YOU to connect with your readers. And readers get excited when they realize an author is hanging out on the blog throughout the day to respond.
5. HAVE FUN! This is my general rule for promoting in general! I know it’s a lot of work and it seems like there’s a lot of work involved that only lasts for a couple of months, but in the end, it’s all worth it. Something that we as a relatively new romance line that we have THRIVED in is making a web presence for each book. What more could you ask for than an endless forum to shout to the world “This is my book that I’ve worked hard on and now I want to share it with you”?
So, those are a few tips to “internetiquette.” I hope you will all keep them in mind when you’re writing up those guest blogs, author q&as’s and comments to one another and even to reviewers. Any questions about the polite ways of the web? Just let me know!