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