Armchair BEA – Tammy’s Top Three Ways to Engage Authors on Your Blog

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Welcome to Day Two of Armchair BEA, where those of us who aren’t able to attend the supremely magnificent BEA (Book Expo America) and are curled up under a blanket weeping and shaking with jealousy because we can’t get time off work/can’t afford it/can’t leave our kids and dogs for that amount of time—oops sorry, did I say that out loud?—what I mean is that we’re banding together and celebrating books from our very own homes. And we’re pretty excited about it, right, fellow Armchairists?

Each day this week, the great folks at Armchair BEA have put together two different discussion topics for us to tackle. (In the interest of time, I will only be doing one of these each day.) Today’s topic is a fun one for me, and it’s one of the reasons I keep blogging. Authors are the rock stars of the book blogging world, in my opinion. After all, we wouldn’t be blogging about books if we didn’t have them around to talk about, right? Authors write the books, we read ’em. And when I read a book that transports me and changes me in some way, I want the author to know about it. I’ve had some amazing authors interact with me and my blog in various ways, and so today I bring you my Top Three Ways to Engage Authors on Your Blog:

1. Twitter. It’s obvious, but it’s worth repeating. Twitter can be a powerful social media tool when used correctly. I use Twitter to engage authors in two ways. First, if I read and loved their book, I always make sure their Twitter handle is included in my review post tweet so that they know I have reviewed their book. Not all authors pay attention to these kinds of tweets, but many do, and I’m always thrilled when an author favorites, retweets, or responds to these tweets. I’ve had authors start following my blog because I’ve engaged them in this way.

I also make sure to tweet the author of all my Waiting on Wednesday posts. I want them to know that I’m excited to read their book, and I’ve had some very enthusiastic responses from authors because I do this one simple thing. I’ve even had authors and publishers offer up ARCs for books I’ve highlighted on Waiting on Wednesday.

Not only do authors love it when you highlight their book in some way, but many times I’ve seen authors retweet review and WoW posts of other authors. I love to see this support in the writing community!

2. Always respond to polite comments and tweets.  Sometimes authors will leave blog comments on review posts. I’ll admit this doesn’t happen very often, but when it does I get really excited. Authors have been told by other, wiser authors and sites like Goodreads that it is bad form to engage and comment on their book reviews. I say, why the hell not? I’ve never really understood this idea. We’ve all seen examples of authors and bloggers getting into it on Goodreads, but I feel these occurrences are few and far between. You never hear about the positive conversations, do you? In any case, if an author takes the time to leave me a comment on my blog, I make sure to respond. Likewise, if an author favorites or retweets or responds to a tweet about their book, I always try to respond back in some way.

3. Ask authors to do an interview on your blog. I love doing author interviews! Sometimes I feature author interviews for blog tours, but often I’m so excited about a book that I’ll ask the author directly if they’d like to answer some questions for the blog. Many will say “yes” if they have the time. I try to ask a mix of book-related questions, author background questions, and personal questions. Yes, people! To make your author interviews more lively, don’t be afraid to ask something personal (just use common sense!) One of my favorite author questions is “Do you have any pets, and if so, please send me a photo so I can use it for the interview post!” Everyone loves to talk about their pets, and I fear many authors are never asked this question.  I also like to ask authors to imagine themselves in a situation from their book, and how would they get out of it/survive/react.

Do you have any other ways that you engage authors on your blog?

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Posted May 27, 2014 by Tammy in Armchair BEA / 24 Comments


24 responses to “Armchair BEA – Tammy’s Top Three Ways to Engage Authors on Your Blog

  1. Great tips…I’ve never thought about tagging my WoWs, but you’re right, if I’m an author I think I’d be excited about readers being excited 🙂

    I love doing author interviews too, and I’ve actually resolved to do more this year. The thing is, I still get nervous doing them! My favorite authors are like celebrities in my eyes and it’s hard not to clam up and blank sometimes when it comes to thinking of questions 😛

    • I agree, questions can be tough. I think the more interviews you do, the easier it gets. I just try not to ask each author the same questions, and try to personalize the questions specifically to the book and the author. I’ve read your interviews and I think they’re great! Give yourself a pat on the back:-)

  2. Danielle

    I hadn’t thought about asking authors to do an interview! It’s so odd, I feel like if I asked a published author to do a segment with me they’d just blow me off, but if I was an author I’d be aaaalll over that. I guess I forget that authors are humans, too, and not gods. Or worse, divas. The bad kind of diva, of course.

    • When I started doing interviews I stalked other bloggers’ interviews to see what kinds of questions they asked. Then I started making a list of questions, and after that it got easier.

  3. Great advice! I may have to borrow your pet question for author q&a’s. I was thisclose to going to BEA this year, but strangely I’m OK with not being there. I love hearing about everyone’s experiences though and the Armchair BEA topics are a fun distraction too! Soon we’ll be annoying everyone with our SDCC talk 🙂

    • Oh, wow, someday I’d love to hear the story of how close you got to going to BEA! But you’re right, it will soon be time to start talking about SDCC:-)

  4. Somehow I never thought of tweeting the authors my WoW posts, although it makes complete sense! Thanks for the tip! Author Interviews are really fun, although I don’t do them enough! I’ll have to get into them again! Great answer, hopefully I’ll see you around again soon!
    My Author Interaction post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  5. I have very little experience with interacting with authors, so this post was very helpful! I never include the authors in my tweets for WoW posts and book reviews, but I’ll make sure to from now on. 😀 Great post!

  6. These are all great tips – lately i’ve been trying to remember to tweet authors whose books I have used to inspire the question for the Your Fate in Fiction feature.

    I don’t ever tweet WoW’s directly to authors (that I can recall) but I did have an incidence recently where a colleague of one of the publicists who was in charge of one of the books I was highlighting passed my post onto that publicist and then she sent me the book after emailing me! So that made me think that “hey, they really do see these posts and pay attention to them!” Which makes me want to be even more selective about what i highlight – and what I really really am looking forward to because I don’t want to end up getting books I don’t really want – although I doubt I’m gonna start getting a deluge or anything! 😀

    April @ My Shelf Confessions

  7. I absolutely love these tips and I am going to start using them. I never thought to tag an author when I tweet a review post because my blog does this automatically, but nothing says I can’t retweet it and tag them in it, right?

    I agree about authors and commenting. As long as it is all done respectfully, whether it is a positive or negative review, I see absolutely no reason an author shouldn’t interact.

    Lisa @Just Another Rabid Reader

  8. Very kind of you to use your post today to give other advice! I’m still fairly new to blogging, so I certainly appreciate it. I’ve been astounded by the amount of author interaction Twitter has facilitated for me.

    I think authors should be able to comment on reviews. At least the positive ones. Why not? That’s the best thing about book blogging to me – knocking down the barriers between author and reader.

    I do that with my W.o.W. posts, too. That’s so cool you’ve gotten ARC offers that way!

    Those are great questions! I may borrow them. 🙂

    I have wanted to interview authors on my blog, but I have a hard time finding their contact info. The last time I tried the closest I could do was tweet the author, since they didn’t follow me so I couldn’t leave a DM. Do you know of any good resource for contacting authors online in this way?

    My Armchair BEA Day 2 Post.

  9. I love these BEA posts and am going to try and read as many as possible! I don’t use twitter, but I have found that Pinterest and Bloglovin are great way for me to get some readers rolling in. I guess social media sites you choose are up to you, whatever works best for you and helps you gain readers.

    As well as this, I have to say I’ve never asked an author to write on my blog yet. But maybe in the future when it’s a bit more popular. Also, I love responding to comments!