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Writer, book blogger, tea drinker, late night snacker.
Professional cryer who spends way too much time online, eating books for breakfast.

Basically, your bookish best bud.

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Blogging Tips: Working with Publishers

I wish I had some of these tips when I first started contacting publishers. The truth is I didn't even know where to start.

In the early days of my blogging journey, I always wanted to be a part of that very lucky, awesome group of people who received books from Publishers. Anything for a free book, right?

Well, things have changed a lot for me this past year especially, and that's because I took action and spent a long time on the Internet looking for ways to have that piece of book blogging cake for me, too. 
Turns out, it's not as hard as you think it is. All you need is time, good grammar skills, nice manners and that little bit of luck mixed with awesome conversation skills. If you have those, then you can keep reading this.

do your research

Nobody told me where to look for or who to ask when I first started my book request journey. I didn't know where to start. At all. But since I had a lot of time in my hands, I started browsing Publisher's websites, see if I could find some sort of contact page. The Publicity section is your friend. You can usually find it at the very bottom of the page and it will open a world for you. Use it correctly.

use names

When you find the contact page, sometimes Publishers give you the chance to contact a specific person directly. Use it to your advantage. Don't write a cold email addressed to the Publishing House. Use the name of your contact, it's more personal and it shows them that you've done your research. Full names are highly recommended. They're not your friends (yet) and you have never seen them IRL. 

conquer them with your writing skills...

Every reader is also a writer. If you read a lot of books, you also know how to write a fucking email. If you don't, get the hell outta here! Check your grammar, make sure it's your and not you're and be careful with punctuation. Comas can really change the meaning of your thoughts. Overall, good grammar skills are the key to making sure people take you seriously.

...and kill them with kindness

The fact that you contact Publishers doesn't mean you will get books for free. Don't expect anything, be humble, show them you're a nice person. They can't see you, they don't know who you are, what you look like, if you're telling a joke or not so don't act like you expect to have their books. Ask it kindly, ask how they're doing, wish them well. Chances are if they can't help you now, it doesn't mean they won't think about you next time.

show them your interest

I always make sure I know what book I'm asking for. I read the blurbs, I read the full synopsis, I even research the writers. Let them know why you're asking for that book - at least at the beginning - and why you're passionate about it. I have never had the chance to receive a Cassandra Clare book, but whenever I ask, I always make sure to tell them why I'm in love with her books and how it all started. I'm not suggesting to write an essay, Jesus! Just show them you're genuinely interested.

make sure they know where you come from

This changes the game. My friend over at The Bibliotheque wrote a post about how International Bloggers don't often have the same chances of American of British Bloggers - and how Publishers would send tons of book to them even if they're not interested - and I agree with everything she wrote. I'm currently in Italy and it's not easy to convince Publishers to send books overseas. I'm lucky that some of those (like Titan Books and Little Brown) decided to work with me, but I'm that lucky all the time. Make sure you tell them where you're emailing them from before you start jumping on your chair because they said yes.

reach out again

If they decide to send you a book, make sure you email them back when you get it. I always do this, first of all, so that they know it has arrived safely and second because they spend money sending books out to you, the least you could do is reaching out saying a simple thanks. 
I also make sure I show it in my stories as soon as it arrives and even if they don't ask you to, a little post on Instagram doesn't hurt, right? Also, make sure you're tagging them on the post, and use all the #gifted required. You asked for it for a reason, after all.

I really hope you found these tips useful, and definitely let me know if you have questions about this topic. I'm planning on maybe serialize these posts so that every month you have some tips from the inside.

What do you think?


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