We had tons of fun last week at the RT Convention in Dallas, and we larned a lot too! We’re happy to report there was a lot of love as sometimes at-odds publicists, editors and bloggers came together to discuss the blogger-publisher relationship, negative reviews and how we should all revel in our common love of books. The two panels, Writers, Publishers and Reviewers: Real Talk, Real Answers, Really and Being Heard: How Bloggers Can Start and Maintain a Publisher Relationship fostered thoughtful conversation and great ideas. We spoke with some panelists for their take on this business of book blogging.
Sarah Wendell, Cora Carmack and Sophie Jordan
What’s the most important ground rule to remember when dealing with the review process?
Pam’s rule for authors: in regards to reviews: do not engage…and if you need to comment, do so gracefully! For publicists: respect the domain, integrity and direction of the site when pitching content.
— Pam Jaffee, Senior Publicity Director, Avon Books, Avon Impulse, Harper Voyager
What do you really think of negative reviews?
Negative reviews are a reality and we know that not every reviewer will connect with every book. The reviews I find problematic are those that, without warning, include major spoilers that could ruin the experience for an interested reader or those that fall into the territory of critiquing the author as a person as opposed to the book or writing. Thankfully reviews like this are rare. Most reviews I see are very intelligent and respectful in their comments and sometimes a negative review will actually convince me to pick up a book! I happen to enjoy stories told in first-person so if a reviewer says that didn’t work for them, chances are I’m already thinking about trying the book. — Erin Galloway, Berkley/NAL Associate Director of Publicity and Marketing
What one thing should bloggers know about blog tours?
They are as beneficial to you as you make them, so the more you promote and involve others the more benefit you’ll see in traffic and loyal followers. It’s always good to let the publisher know if you’re running special features of giveaways for their titles so we can help amplify awareness by spreading the word on our online channels. Tag us on social or shoot us an email. We’re thrilled to be able to cross-promote. — Sue Grimshaw, Penguin Random House, BBD/Loveswept/Flirt, Category Specialist Editor at Large
What emoji best describes the online review process to you?
— Pam Jaffee
Keep checking back here for more RT Convention coverage! We’ll be posting updates, pictures and more this week.