It’s time for publishers to discover bloggers


It seems to me that publishers have yet to discover bloggers. Maybe we should help them?

Over the last few months, I searched out every publisher I could find and sent them a similar email. In that email, I said who I was and that I wanted to write about authors (especially new authors) in the UK. I opened by acknowledging they were busy and then I got right to the point.

Hello,

I will try to be quick because I know your time is limited.

We have started a blog about British Authors. For this, I am keen to write about fresh new authors. I would be happy to consider promoting any new releases you might have coming up.

I would be delighted to receive any promotional press releases you might care to send my way for new or established authors.

I can offer your authors the opportunity to take part in a friendly email based interview about their new book if you feel this would be of value in promoting it.

I look forward to discussing how we can work together to help authors and readers find each other.

All the best

In any other sector that I have tried this, the result has always been the same.

  • A few people message me back and we have a nice chat.
  • One or two out of office notices are delivered.
  • Occasionally I am told “sorry wrong department” – in most cases, my email is forwarded to the correct department.
  • About one in eight send me a press pack.
  • Roughly half email me about whatever event or promotion they have going on at that moment.
  • On the ball promoters will send me an attachment with a big old list of relevant information.
  • Sometimes I am sent the complete product catalogue or price list (even though I did not ask for one).
  • Almost everyone adds me to the press release mailing list.

It was the press releases that I was most interested in. However, I would have settled for a complete catalogue, a price list, the standard bumf, details of a promotion, or anything at all. I was fishing for author related news to write about. I as good as said, “tell me what you want to push and I will promote it for free because I need stuff to write about.”

What I got was this:

  • 1 reply with a word document attached.
  • 2 replies which amounted to “wrong department, mate” (and an implied “now, get lost”).

I had just dangled a free permission to advertise at me in front of the UK’s publishing industry and only one publisher took me seriously.

Publishers, why do you ignore us?

In no other industry in the world could beg to be spammed with press releases and get nothing. Because everyone else seems to understand that sending out interesting information in an easy to use format gets it published.

I understand that Author Buzz UK is new and we currently reach anywhere from 50 to 500 people a day (sometimes as many as 1200 because social media is weird like that). Surely, though, for the effort of dropping an email address into a list, that would be sixty seconds well invested?

The one useful reply was from Bloomsbury Publishing. The result of that one email was that I, the worlds greatest skin flint actually pre-ordered a book. Stuart Turton sold one more book because his publisher took the sixty seconds required to attach a word doc and hit send. He also got free publicity on a blog. Everyone else missed out.

Yet, even Bloomsbury Publishing did not add me to a mailing list. I was tempted to complain about the awkward format of the information (images embedded into a word doc are not great for blogging with) but it was literally the best I received.

Hashtag Tell the bloggers #TellTheBloggers

The first publisher to make the effort and build a press release mailing list that includes bloggers is going to own a publicity machine better than any other publisher in the country.

Bloggers want press releases. We want you to promote your stuff to us. Why would you miss out?

That’s why I have decided to start a campaign to raise awareness of bloggers as a valid audience for disseminating new author news. Add your support with the hashtag #TellTheBloggers and help publishers discover bloggers. It can’t only be Bloomsbury who want to actively promote their authors?

Together we bloggers can show the publishers the value of feeding us the information both we and the publishers want to get out there.


About Matthew Brown

Matthew is a writer and Geek from Kent (UK). He is the founder and current chair of Thanet Creative as well as head geek for Author Buzz. His ambitions include appearing on TableTop with Wil Wheaton and seeing a film or TV series based on something he wrote.

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