My chum Kristi over at The Story posted about a great topic yesterday: How she gets so many books. It’s safe to say book bloggers—especially beginning ones, like me—have wondered this at least once in the course of their blog’s life. Am I right?
Kristi really said it all, but I have a little thing to add on to this:
Believe it or not, it doesn’t happen overnight either, (unless of course you’re Steph, you know, that girl from Reviewer X).
Very true, it doesn’t happen overnight—wait, what?
Ha ha, good one, Kristi. :)
I don’t know what it is about my blog that makes people think this. It’s not the first time I’ve heard it put that way, so allow me to give my side of ths story:
Like most bloggers, I started from scratch. I didn’t even tell my other blogging friends (Amee and Reader Rabbit), so any visitors I had for the first few weeks were entirely by chance. Didn’t have many of those, either—at most 10 a day.
Here’s a good place to add that visitor count is much more important than page view count. Any stats I give below are of visitors, not of page views.
After the initial weeks, I realized doing just interviews and reviews didn’t satiate me. So I added random things in—Young Adult Weekly, Author Weeks, and Reviewer Profiles. My stats started picking up. I like to think I entered this game at a time when book blogging was gaining momentum—not so much that it was getting crowded, but not so little that I needed to act like a trailblazer. (Unlike Miss Erin, Jocelyn, or Little Willow, who’ve been here forever.) So, factor in timing as an asset, too.
I wasn’t receiving a lot of books by this point—I did get lucky a few times and had random offers, but not many.
Then I took a chance and put the money where my mouth was. I’d said from the very beginning that I’d rip a book to shreds if it deserved it but had never done so. Then I did. And I guess this snarky trait became a reputation of mine, which as far as stats go, is never a bad thing.
Unlike Kristi, as soon as I formed my first publicist contact, I emailed away to begin understanding how things worked. I rarely emailed (or email, present tense) authors for books, but publicists? HA.
I did my homework early on and figured out who to contact for each house from there. About half of my publicist contact were initiated by me. (Figuring out who worked where took a long time. Don’t even ask me how I managed because I don’t know. Hand to God.) (Please don’t blindly email me asking for a publicist contact. If I know you, that’s one thing; if I don’t, it feels really unprofessional.) They’re 90% of my source of “book income”. Random offers come about one or two a week, or sometimes zero a week. Depends.
It took eight months to get here, and believe me, there is still a long way up. Not overnight. Many, many hours working on reviews, features, and other crap.
This blog’s reach kind of just snowballed. Those initial 10 visitors grew to the current 350+ a day. Then there are subscribers, followers, etc. I really have no idea what exactly made it pick it up. Like I said, timing was a big, big factor. Aside from that?
I have no clue. You, dear readers, can help me out here—why do you come to Reviewer X?
So, in conclusion: Work hard on your blog, keep working hard, and believe me, it is as simple as that. There are also publisher programs you can enter, but they do not send abroad to me so I kinda had to handle this one myself :) And remember - NEVER do something just for the free benefits. Do it for yourself, too.