Cheryl Malandrinos, one of the power players at Pump Up Your Book, wrote a cute little ditty this morning (and posted a quite unbecoming picture of me...or was it?) at one of her blogs, Book Tours and More, today. It's called 3 Ways You Can Make a Virtual Book Tour Coordinator's Day.
The link is http://booktoursandmore.blogspot.com/2010/09/3-ways-you-can-make-virtual-book-tour.html but be sure to come back as I promise you it'll be worth your while.
I wonder sometimes if when people hear what we do, they get a mental image of a woman at a computer doing her thing over a cup of cappuccino, only to take a few breaks to take the kids to soccer practice, cook dinner for their family and maybe jump back on before they hit the sack. I don't know why but I'm getting a mental picture right now of someone I would love to be. Except my kids are grown so thank God there's no soccer practice and I barely am the cook (oh shame on me) because the truth of the matter when you have this much responsibility, you're lucky if you can get someone to cook you a cup of Oodles of Noodles and take the dogs out.
So really, it's far from the truth of what really goes on behind the scenes when you have at least 25 authors each and every month who depend on you to help them sell your book. There's little time to waste and most of it is spent scouring the blogosphere to find just that right reviewer's blog.
Most of the stops on our author tours are on reviewer's blogs. I say most, but it's probably more like half. The thing about Pump Up is that we believe when an author goes on tour, it needs to be well-rounded. You need to cover all the bases. Reviews are great and authors love them, but we also include interviews and guest posts, podcasts, what have you to make it a well-rounded tour.
Getting back to review blogs, someone asked me the other day how do we determine which review blogs are going to host our authors. She was under the impression it was a first come, first serve basis and I quickly told her that whenever we get a review request come in, no matter if it's a new blog host or a seasoned one, we still have to have them pass certain criteria. If they are new to us, their blog must be updated frequently and they have to have a full set of archives. This is for SEO purposes. They also have to be author friendly and must make books their main focus, although if a blog is highly trafficked but reviews products, too, we might give them a try. Lots of factors to into why we choose blogs and no, it's not a first come, first serve basis, like I have seen other PR people from publishing houses do which I can only shake my head when I see it. If the blogger has hundreds of followers, that's another plus. If a blogger tells me they're going to post the review at Amazon, GoodReads, Library Thing, etc., that's an even bigger plus. If a blogger has been known to use the social networks - Twitter and Facebook to name a couple - to talk about these books and promote their reviews, that's another brownie point or two or three. Lots and lots of thought goes into who we choose if it's a new blogger.
As for seasoned blog hosts, they must pass the same criteria. If they query us for a book, we check them out. If they haven't blogged all month, then we have to decline. If they agree to review a book and an emergency arises, we give them the benefit of the doubt and reschedule. If this happens continuously, we have no recourse than to decline their requests.
The reasoning behind all this is why Cheryl posted her little ditty this morning. Our job is not as easy as it sounds but thank goodness, we do have a file cabinet full of reviewers' information who have provided our authors with wonderful reviews and have made our clients very very happy. A happy author is a happy tour coordinator.
Now excuse me, my Oodles of Noodles are calling my name...