Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pitch These Blogs

There are a zillion blogs out there – and growing.  But one of the ways to promote your book is to get blogger coverage.  What should you do to garner more blogger exposure?

1.      Write your own blog. Often. Share it. Offer to review books or interview others and look to trade reviews with one another.
2.      Create great material to share with bloggers – top 10 lists, book excerpts, quotable advice, etc.  Don’t send the same materials to everyone.  Sites want original, targeted materials.
3.      Connect with bloggers who cover your topic and/or cover books in general.  Read these blogs and the profile of the blog’s editor/writer.  Know what they like and then feed them what they want.

You can search for blogs using these sources:


Search for terms, combined with “blog” such as “relationship blogs” or “business blogs.”  It is not just high-traffic blogs that you want to locate – find blogs that have a targeted readership demographic that matches the one you seek to impress.

Early interactions with bloggers set the table for developing and maintaining long-term relationships and to get the most from your outreach.

Most importantly, be sure the content you provide bloggers is relevant, current, accurate, and engaging.  If it doesn’t match the needs and interests of the blogger, it’ll be dismissed. 

Interview With Lionel Bender and Sally Isaacs, Co-Chairs of 21st Century Children's Nonfiction Conference

Lionel Bender and Sally Isaacs are co-chairs of the new 21st Century Children's Nonfiction Conference, which will be held on June 14-16 at SUNY New Paltz. They have been colleagues for many years as Sally has written nonfiction children's books for Lionel's London-based book production company, Bender Richardson White. Details about the conference can be found at:

What is the 21st Century Children's Nonfiction Conference? Lionel: It is a two-day event for children's book writers, illustrators, editors, designers, teachers, and librarians focusing on nonfiction books, ebooks, and apps for children of all ages and interests. A faculty of top children’s book and magazine publishers, book packagers, art directors, apps developers, authors, and illustrators will provide intensives, workshops, and critiques.

What is your mission? Sally:  We want to let publishing professionals learn from one another about creating books, articles, and apps, and bringing their work into the marketplace. There are big changes in nonfiction publishing for children. They come from two places. First the new Common Core Standards for education require children to read and respond to nonfiction books and articles as much or more than they do to fiction. Second, the digital age has brought us many new ways to produce books and take them to our audience.

Lionel: We want to help teachers, librarians, and educators learn about new developments in children's nonfiction to help them deliver the Common Core Standards requirements. We also want to help publishers, authors, illustrators, editors, and designers produce high-quality nonfiction products. The conference will highlight opportunities for all kinds of freelance and work-for-hire work within the industry, self-publishing opportunities, and networking among creative people.

What trends are you seeing for children's non-fiction? Lionel: There is an increasing move toward digital delivery of materials; a shift away from traditional publishers to a mix of print publishers, technology companies, and self-publishers; and transmedia products.

Sally: In the educational market, there is a focus on career and college readiness. Writers are needed to help children learn about the real world – nature, business, geography, for example. When students read well-written books and articles, they become better writers.  And that’s a skill they will need in college and on-the-job.

What do you love most about children's books? Lionel: The constant challenge of creating new, novel ways of presenting information; of new topics to explain in a clear, concise way to a young audience; and children's thirst for knowledge.

Sally: Any subject can be presented dryly or inspiringly. Children have no tolerance for the dry approach! I write on a lot of American History topics. I love thinking of ways to present it so that children can relate it to their own world. I ask question such as: “When pioneers traveled on the Oregon Trail, did the kids ride in the covered wagons or walk? What did they do all day? Where did they sleep all night?”

What advice do you have for struggling writers? Lionel: Don't be blinkered by the traditional book publishing industry. There are many opportunities to be published or involved in the creation of nonfiction products for magazines, websites, museums, heritage sites, local newspapers, blogs, and apps. Network as much as you can within these niches, and challenge yourself with all kinds of writing and markets.

Sally: Read blogs and trade publications, such as the SCBWI Bulletins to learn about trends and needs in the market. Match up your interests with the needs in the marketplace. Be resilient to rejection. Just keep sending out those queries and submissions.

Where do you see the future of publishing heading? Lionel: There is a growing division between traditional print products and digital products. Technology companies are becoming publishers, particularly of nonfiction. There is a rapid increase in self-publishing followed by a gradual decrease as everyone realizes reaching readers is difficult, sales and the rewards are small, and there can be the production of too many identical items.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2013

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