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?