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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Building and Nurturing Relationships Through Blogging

It's the fourth day of the Armchair BEA. Today's BEA topic is how to nurture book blogging relationships. So I will talk about how I nurture my relationship with other bloggers and readers. I will also talk about how I like to be approached by authors for interviews and book reviews. And lastly, I will list some barriers that could prevent nurturing relationships with readers and other bloggers.

How do I connect with bloggers?

I usually find the best readers and bloggers from other blogs comments. If someone leaves a comment on a blog that I find interesting, funny or entertaining, I will look at their profile and see if they own a blog and then from there I'll follow them and read their blogs. That's how I found Sidne at Reading Rendezvous Reviewz. She was commenting on another blog I visited. Strangely, I tried to follow the initial blog I found her at, but that person was impersonal to her readers. So, I don't visit the other blog, but now I have a faithful reader and a blossoming blogship with Sidne. When I find a connection with another blogger, I try to be a loyal blog friend. I pass on resources and tips I receive in hopes that there is a mutual swap of ideas and connections. And on days I don't hear from her or see a new post, I will track her down and vice versa. I love having the motivation. Blogging can be isolating, so connections are valuable. You know you have a blog connection when you have contact with a blogger outside of your own blog.

How do I connect with authors?

Well, I think it's easier because I am a writer as well. I have a novel debuting this fall, "Waiting on Heaven" along with a short story titled "3 Minutes" being released in June. I also contributed five poems to an anthology that was released last week called, "The Poetic Lounge" that is currently available on Amazon. So because I interact with other authors on a somewhat regular basis, I have no problems getting interviews or book reviews. I also attend several writing conferences, workshops and book signings every year. I think like an author, therefore I want readers just like other authors. My blog is just one gigantic memoir about who I am as a person, mother, writer, wife and lover of books.

How do you maintain a friendship with an author when you're a book blogger?

I give an honest critique. I do the same for films. I love movies and generally when someone wants to know about a recently released movie, they ask me because they know I've seen it and I will be honest and fair. I don't want anyone paying for something, especially in these hard times, that is not worth it. I tell author acquaintances upfront when I am contacted, I will be honest and that whatever rating I give, is the rating it will be and I will still publish the review regardless of the rating. Just like authors are obligated to give their readers the best content and experience in their work, I am obligated to stand by my commitment to my readers. And I think if you are upfront with the author, they respect that. And I try to help authors long after the interview or review has been posted. It's an ongoing relationship.

How would I like to be approached by authors and publishers for reviews and interviews?

By email. I have a review policy tab on my blog, so I want go into the details. But I think if an author or publisher wants a review or an interview, they also need to be an extension of that publicity. Don't wait on me to tweet, Facebook, StumbleUpon or submit it to a dozen social and bookmarking sites, while you do nothing. You can't  depend on my blog to do it all. It's a give and take. If you want the review and I agree, then you need to help me help you and do the same in return.

How can other bloggers make it easier for readers to comment, so they can foster a blogging relationship?

Don't put up a fence of barbed wire around your comment box. Sometimes it takes too long for me to make a comment. Readers, just like myself, are busy. They sometimes want to comment but commenting is too much of a chore. So I have come up with 5 reasons why people don't comment and why your blog is not being nurtured by you or your readers.

1. You didn't ask a question.

2. You said everything already, what else is there to say except great job.

3. You have on Captcha or want my social security number and first born child to make one comment.

4. You don't reply to the comments already posted so why should I bother.

5. You have 500 + followers but only two comments. Which says to me, you don't interact or socialize with your readers. Having tons of followers doesn't necessarily mean you have a healthy blog.

Okay, I said 5, but I have one more...

6. Your reader has followed you for weeks, commented on your posts daily and you have yet to make it to their blog, even if it's just to say hello. So now it's their turn to return the favor by leaving you and your blog and saving their tired tapping fingers the extra work. Or they have not felt the love and are now bestowing their time upon some deserving blogger who is doing all the right things, who relishes in their support.

What ways do you nurture your blogging relationships? Are there some reasons you can add to my list of why people don't comment? Do you have some tips on how to get more comments, more readers or more support for bloggers?

Also don't forget: Twitter parties are on today from 10-12 AM EST and 8-10 PM EST. Remember to use the hashtag #armchairbea

Also don't forget to check out the current book giveaways. We are giving away three bestselling novels. Click HERE for more details


  1. No Twitter parties for me but your post was very interesting. I do agree that a blog with 500+ followers and 1-2 comments (or even 0 comments) under a post makes you feel weird. One more thing - I do appreciate honest critique.

  2. Ouch. I'm the one who doesn't reply to comments as regularly as I should. I don't respond for the same reasons that people don't comment in the first place:

    1. the person who comments doesn't ask anything.
    2. The comment says it all, and I don't have a response.

    But I need to make more of an effort.

    By the way, The Saturday Review of Books each Saturday at Semicolon is another good way to nurture relationships and connect with other bloggers and with books, which is what we're all about, right?

  3. I love how honest you are in your posts. I liked what you said about having tons of followers doesn't mean a healthy blog. I used to obsess about followers, but now I obsess more about content and the work that I'm putting into my blog. Doing that I'm so much happier than when I cared about having tons of followers.

  4. I agree Anachronist, things make you go hmmm....ghost towns on blogs. :-) Thanks for commenting and stopping by.

    Hi Sherry, I think if bloggers put in a little extra effort for their readers, it will show in their comments. Even if all they say is thanks for stopping by. If you think about it, readers could be doing something else besides reading blogger's content and then taking the time to type out their thoughts. They just gave up 2 minutes of their life. :-) That's worth a thanks.

    P.S. Thanks for commenting. Seriously..thank you for commenting and coming by. And thanks for the link. I like the blog and what you are doing for the library in Zambia. Very thoughtful.

  5. Thanks Jenn, I agree. I just try to blog for me first and pray the readers enjoy it and if they really enjoy then perhaps they will comment. But for the most part, readers are lurkers. Most will never comment, no matter what you do, but they might pass that post on to a colleague or someone else, who will then become a loyal reader. So I try to think of in that aspect. I'm blogging for myself, my readers and their friends...

  6. Yesterday, I promised to comment and not lurke! A very honest and truthful post. I read another blogger that said she always tries to ask a question that her reader can respond to. I think that is a great idea.

  7. I reply to all the comments on my blog. I don't comment as much as I'd like. Right now I'm a full time student and that eats up most of my time.

    Rather than talk about bookstores, publishers or bloggers, I'm talking about volunteering. Come see what I mean.

  8. You'll have to tell me more about your upcoming novel! I'm interested in hearing about it :) Congrats!

  9. I just ordered "Poetic Lounge." Can't wait to read it--especially your five poems! Congratulations, Lena!!

  10. what a wonderful article. I think a lack of comments has a lot to do with this thing call 'rush'. folks are always going to and from quickly. just browsing by. bloggers should be more concern with stats instead of comments.

  11. Unfortunately, I couldn't comment on my own blog today. Blogger has been acting nutty all day. It wasn't just my blog, so I tried not to stress about it....but I did...then I just let go and used the time to relax. I still can't comment through blogger unless I use my cellphone, so I will be brief.

    Thank you all for commenting.

    @Nise..thanks for not lurking :-) Now I know you exist and I now I can stalk you. J/k. But thank you. Please feel free to comment anytime.

    Pussreboots...thanks for stopping by. I think it's a great idea to get people to volunteer at their local library. Nice blog too.

    @ABS, I would love too. Maybe I should be checking out your review policy. :-)

    @Lineofserenity~ thank you tremedously for purchasing the anthology and for your continued support. What a blessing.

    @Sidne ~ Yes, I think content is better than comments. There will always be lurkers (hi Nise) and that's great too, you can always check your feed to see how many people you reach, but to get that interaction you gotta put yourself out a little vulnerable, a lot of friendly and have a heap of gratitude.

    That was a lot to type from my cell. But it was worth it. Have a blessed evening everyone.

  12. I definitely agree with you about comments--although to be fair, I really do need to get better about replying to all my comments instead of just most of them. Word verification drives me insane since sometimes I close out the tab I had open to their blog before my comment was actually posted.

    When it comes to requesting ARCs, I e-mail the publisher and admittedly I don't usually get a response--more or less, I have to sit and wait to see if I get it or not by watching and waiting for the mail/packages. I do have one publishing contact and he's been extremely nice as well as helpful--he's also the reason why on occasion there are adult fiction reviews on my blog. I think it's really important to persevere even if a publisher doesn't reply though and to keep sending in those reviews as well as requests.

  13. Your frankness is so refreshing Lena. I rarely find as much time as I would like to follow up on comments in a detailed fashion. On the rare occasion I have leave from work and can really devote the time to connect I get so much more out of my blogging experience. The benefits are clear - I just need to find the time...

  14. Blogger has been nutty and I haven't been able to comment anywhere unless I get on my hubby's computer. I hope they find a fix for it soon. As for book reviews, have ya'll checked out Shelf Awareness? I have recieved ARCs and other early releases because I "heard" it there first. Also, if you do ebooks, can be a really good resource.

    Now I'm off to see if I can comment on the comments on my blog ;)

  15. Hi Kristin. My highlight is responding to comments. The best part of blogging. I also enjoying commenting on other blogs as well, as long as I can get in and get out quickly. Which is something I need to figure out myself, how to change the comment box so you only need to add your email address. I've look into commentluv and intensedebate and I still don't yet. Thanks for sharing with us about contacting publishers for ARC's, the mailbox anticipation is nerve wrecking for me for things I know I bought, can't imagine waiting hoping it comes, but that's the nature of the game. I'm hoping to connect with some publishers soon. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    @Joanne P, I find the more time I devote, the greater the rewards I get back. It's a balance and it's hard to maintains sometimes. Atleast for me it is. So I truly understand.

    @Jenny Rose, blogger hasn't got on my second to last nerve. I haven't been able to comment on anyone's blog all morning. I don't understand what the issue is. I haven't checked out Shelf Awareness, but I will now that you mentioned it. Thank you for sharing that tip. I have signed up with NetGalley, so hopefully that get's going fairly soon. Thanks again for sharing the info, I know it was helpful to me and I'm sure others as well.

    Now off to see if this comment will even go through. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

    P.S. Have a great weekend everyone.

  16. This was such a great post! I definitely agree with everything you've said and it's so true that when a blog has barbed wire around it, no one wants to go near it. I do have Captcha on though! I was getting way too many spam comments I had to delete! And congratulations on the novel! I'd love to hear more about it. ;)


  17. Thanks Loren for stopping by and for the compliments.

    I am so against Captcha. Mainly because once you make comment, sometime you don't know they have captcha on and you close out the window and your comment is never posted, because you didn't wait to put in the words. So I don't like it for that reason and it's time consuming. I understand though how irritating and time consuming removing spam can be as well. So there is definitely two sides to it.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to come by. And I'm enjoying your blog as well Loren.


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I am a writer, filmmaker, wife and a mom of five beautiful, intelligent, quirky kids. This blog is for writers, aspiring writers, filmmakers and movie lovers. Bringing you my favorite books, films and photos, as well as giveaways and updates on my journey. I'm currently in the process of producing my first short film from my collection of short stories titled, If I Had My Way. The first story to be filmed will be Tandarin Drive. My award winning book, If I Had My Way, is available now. You can purchase a copy at and You may contact me via email at:

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