Pitching tip for self-published authors

As a self-published author, I believe that I am somewhat an authority figure on giving out pitching tips. I don’t know everything there is to know about marketing (it’s not even my field) but I’ve spent countless hours at Barnes and Noble, reading about it.

So my marketing tip is about pitching.

How would you pitch your novel to a blogger and online group? Let’s break it down:

Pitching to a Blogger:

  • Get to know the blog.
    • As an author, I like focusing on book review blogs, but I love it when those blogs have more to offer than just book reviews.
      • I love it when I read tags, personal posts about holidays, and other things.
      • When I was creating my own blog, I paid attention to what bloggers write about and what interests them. I wanted to be interesting, too. Did I make it? 
    • It’s important to read about the blogger(s) of a blog before even thinking about pitching and following the blog is even better.
      • Please use their name in your pitches. Please make sure that you spelled it right.
      • How would you feel if you received a book review request and see right away that it’s about marketing and the author didn’t take the time to get to know you or follow you?
        • You wouldn’t. You would feel like a tool and you need to remember that bloggers don’t get paid to read your novel. So as a common courtesy, take the time to get to know them.
      • You want to read their ‘About’ section and leave comments. For me, I love bloggers with cats and I start conversations about cats all the time.
        • catsSource
        • It’s also fun to read about the blogger(s) adventures that they note in their ‘About’ section. It’s so much fun knowing where that blogger is in the world and where he had been.
          • For instance, I’ve been to Canada once and if I see a blogger from Canada, it makes me smile because I can connect on some level and mention it in my pitch.
    • So you found an awesome blogger, but before pitching, note if they accept pitches.
      • Most bloggers are super busy. They get bombarded with book review requests and have created guidelines for pitching. For the love of stars, read those guidelines.
        • Don’t send your pitch to the blogger if the blogger said specifically that they do not accept pitching at the moment. Follow the blog, stick to updates and you may just get lucky to pitch in the future.
        • Please pay attention to the guidelines (yes, I already said that) because the blogger tells you what genres they like, what length, if they are okay with erotica, sexual content, or cursing. It’s very important because you don’t want to mislead the blogger.
        • Always offer a free copy of your book and pay attention to the accepted formats. Some bloggers only take printed copies. Be ready for that.
        • Please include all of the points the bloggers wants to know about your book.
        • Please remember that you can’t use the same pitching letter for each blogger!
          • Each blogger has those guidelines for a reason and they may have questions of their own that you don’t answer in your drafted pitch letter.
          • Many bloggers don’t like self-published novels (for many reasons) so they would be taking a chance on you and not the other way around. Give them the same courtesy and make your pitching letter shine. Be prepared to have several versions of it and make sure to have a page of text from the novel to share so the bloggers could get an idea of your writing.
            • Remember, you’re the self published author with no crew to help you so you need to be prepared to share yourself with the blogger. However, where one blogger may not like your writing, another will so there’s always a chance.
    • It’s important to know that half of time, you won’t receive an answer.
      • Don’t get discouraged. There’s always a chance that someone will say yes.

Pitching to an online group: (example: any group on Goodreads)

  • Get to know the group.
    • Read the rules, introduce yourself, follow rules
  • Pitch your novel in the right topic
    • In a thread for fantasy novels, pitch your novel if that’s where the pitches go.
    • If no thread, create your own topic under the correct topic and pitch away.
    • Do you know how rude that is? You’re not only ‘hot’ new thing, trying to get your novel out there. It’s not all about you. Other authors are on that group. Readers are on that group.
    • It’s not cool to copy and paste your pitch into every popular thread in the group. For the love of stars, it’s so rude! Don’t you have faith in your writing? Don’t you have self respect? Copying and pasting your pitch into different emails for bloggers, is one thing (with of course individual touches) but doing that in online organizations, pisses people off.
      • One of the reasons why I wanted to write this post is because of spamming. These type of authors make me think of those annoying phone calls about cruises and you just want to block their numbers or in this case forget that those authors exist.
      • Spamming turns readers off, not on. Don’t do it, just don’t do it.
        • If you are one of those authors then go back to a bookstore and read about marketing techniques or pay attention to this blog post more.
        • Put yourself into the shoes of other people in the group.
        • An author who spams, looks like a beggar in the online community. No one likes beggars and it’s common courtesy to follow rules and guidelines so please please please follow guidelines. Those guidelines will talk about spamming so pay attention.

That’s all for this.

If you have any questions or comments, just leave your response below.

Anything missing?

4 Comments on “Pitching tip for self-published authors

  1. Pingback: New York Times “By The Book” Tag – The Heathen

  2. Pingback: Pitching tip for self-published authors Part 2 | Where Dragons Reside

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