Thursday, April 1, 2010

How to Win Followers and Influence Fellow Book Bloggers

10 hot tips for a pimpin' book blog:

1. Write all positive, interchangeable reviews. For example:

[Name of Book] was a compelling, gripping read. The characters were relatable, fully realized, and nuanced. I especially like the [adjective] of [name of character]. The plot was [laudatory adjective] and kept me enthralled through all [#] pages, making this a riveting page-turner of the highest caliber. I would recommend this to all fans of [genre].

If you always use this template, think of the time you can save writing your review! But make sure you include one really quotable quote – wouldn’t it be awesome to be name-checked in the paperback release?

Oh and of course, you can also save time by just copying the publisher summary – no matter that it is about 12 times longer than your actual review.

2. If you’re not really a positive person, you can also take the opposite approach: major snark! The best is when you read snarky reviews of a book on another blog and then request it from the publisher so you can outsnark all the snarksters. Bonus points if you insult the author and list their home phone number. Authors love to get prank calls!

3. Can’t be bothered to write reviews at all? That’s ok! Just do a weekly post listing all the fabulous review books you’ve been sent. And hey, don’t think of it as bragging or spreading blogger envy…it’s still free publicity right?

4. Another way to avoid writing those pesky reviews but still post a lot is to participate in memes. Just one or two is NOT enough. You want to post at least once a day right? Or maybe even 3 times a day to show everyone what a serious blogger you are? Because of course everyone is interested in what you ate for breakfast, what color your personality is, or that you have two fluffy white cats.

5. Author interviews allow you to incorporate meaningful bookish content on your blog, but who wants to invest all that time in actually researching the specific author? A great short-cut is to ask every author the same exact things – and make sure you ask a lot of questions (25+) and make them really obvious like “Where did you get your inspiration?” or really banal like “What’s your favorite type of mushroom?”. The more obvious the question, the more likely the author has answered them before. Then they just have to cut and paste! Everyone wins!

6. If you want a ton of loyal followers, overload on contests. Make it so you have to be a follower to enter your contest and then make those people work hard for their prize – the more hoops they have to jump through for extra entries the better. It helps you weed out those lazy entrants who don’t deserve to win anyway.

7. Speaking of contests – they don’t have to be for books that you’ve read and want to recommend because you think they deserve a wider audience. Let your blog be used as a billboard for anyone willing to donate a book, good or not.

8. Want to increase your blog hits? Stir up drama! Write discussion posts that are inflammatory in some way to get the comments hopping. Pose as an anonymous troll and insult yourself. See who comes to your defense – those are your true friends.

9. Speaking of comments…if you really want to get the cream of the crop and not just any riffraff “great post” comment, sign up for a commenting platform that makes your reader have to sign up for it too in order to comment. Additionally, make sure to enable comment moderation AND word verification. The more time it takes for a reader to comment, the more it shows they really care.

10. Take this post seriously ;)

Anyone have any other great tips they'd like to add that I might have missed? Let's hear 'em in the comments!

82 comments:

Becky said...

I'm giggling. That was fun. Glad you posted it.
I wish I could add something but it feels so mean.

Jennifer (Crazy-for-Books) said...

This gave me quite a chuckle this morning. What a fun post! :)

Shweta said...

Still laughing.Loved 2nd and 4th!!

I guess this is the best summation of book blogger situation today:)

sharonlovescats said...

11. Copy off of other popular bloggers. If you see a feature you like, copy the format, and use it on your blog. Don't even bother changing the name or layout of the post.

12. Suck up to authors and publicists via twitter and facebook.

Jamie said...

Bwahahahaha!
Happy April Fool's Day to you, too ;)

Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog said...

You forgot to mention "take pictures in lingerie and post them on you blog." Oh, wait....

Seriously Lenore, this is fantabulous and I love you a little extra for it today.

Amy said...

Wow! I am so glad you posted this, I am new to blogging so can use all the help I can get ;) This was brilliant, by the way. I love it!

Lenore said...

Great Sharon! Way to be BOLD!

Rebecca - The more lingerie the better, I always say.

ReggieWrites said...

Haha! This was hilarious! Happy April Fools!!!!!! =))))))))) I was laughing the WHOLE time!

Leanna (Daisy Chain Books) said...

hahaha! Very good. Made me giggle!

SuziQoregon said...

I love this post. I just love this post.

You should just schedule this to automatically repost about once a quarter.

Lori's Reading Corner said...

LOVE IT :)

sharonlovescats said...

I got another one! Is it worrisome that I'm finding this to be so much fun?

13. Spend a small fortune on a blog layout and make sure to post tons and tons of countdown widgets. Other bloggers love it when it takes half an hour for your blog to load. ;)

Janicu said...

Damn. I'm doing EVERYTHING WRONG! I knew it!

sharonlovescats said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Serena said...

LOL! Hilarious!

Anna said...

Too funny!

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Michelle said...

I love you!

'nuff said

Andrea said...

Thanks for the review template. That's a time saver.

Great post! hee hee

Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

omg goodness, that was too funny... I can't even pinpoint my favorite! Thanks for the laughs :)

Yunaleska said...

This has made me smile today - very funny!

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

Hilarious!

April (BooksandWine) said...

hahahahahahahaha

Thank you so much for this!

SO funny! You rock, Lenore!

Here's another, whenever visiting another blogger, be sure to leave a link to your blog in your comment, write after you write "Awesome review," as everyone loves sincerity!

April (BooksandWine) said...

And by write after, I mean "RIGHT" after. lol

Shweta said...

Can I add one.

Leaving one word comments. Awesome ! Funny! Wonderful! Don't we all love adjectives :) Makes my day

Misty said...

L-O-V-E this! You should publish a how-to guide. And then offer it to bloggers who don't really want to blog, but want free things. And make it a requirement that they host a contest for it, but only pass it on to other bloggers who don't give a shit. It could be never-ending; you really only need publish one copy...
;p

Beth F said...

Oh and never, ever lower yourself to be supportive of another blogger. Why taint your reputation?

Kerry said...

This is spectacular - had me laughing. Excellent points. Happy April Fools!

Chris said...

But what is your favorite mushroom is a great question.

Mine is portabella.

Jackie (Farm Lane Books) said...

LOL! This is the funniest post I've read in a long time!

How about:

Always ensure that you publish your book review on the same day as everyone else. Other bloggers love it when they can see multiple opinions of the same book on the same day. Try to ensure it is a new book that no one else has ever heard of and make sure at least 100 other bloggers are signed up to post their review on the same day.

To give them even more pleasure ensure that you give away copies of the book, giving entries only to those people who write a new blog post about the book of choice that day.

bermudaonion said...

Happy April Fool's Day! I love your list and some of the others that are added in the comments.

Andi said...

Ha! Glad you decided to post it. Best April Fool all day!

BookChic said...

How did you get that review template?! That's the secret template I made when I first started my blog!

:P

Though seriously, that template does look like it'd belong in my blog, lol.

Loved this list- yay for brightening my day! I kinda want to use the mushroom question now instead of my usual jelly bean one, lol.

Florinda said...

Awesome April Fool's Day post, Lenore! Especially since most of us have remarked on how much we like every single thing on your list - just imagine the success of a blog that incorporates them all!

carolsnotebook said...

Thanks for the great laughs, both from the post and the comments.

alitareads said...

Sweet, now that I have that template I'm going to pump out 20 reviews in the next half hour. I don't actually have to read the books, right?

Thanks for the giggles!

Jeff said...

Great post! Number five is my favorite. It seems like all interviews are so formulaic. When I first started blogging I tried conversational interviews, fail. Now I've moved on to themed interviews. I am curious to see how it works out.

LovesSam said...

11. Publicists love to hear from bloggers. Make sure you email them everyday requesting books for review. So what if you don't like the genre or never plan on reading the book, they don't care, it's not like they have hectic schedules.

Thanks for the giggles on a rainy/hailstoney day

Library Cat said...

And no wonder my blog is so successful (silly giggling). Great post that made me laugh both times.

Dave and Tami said...

That's the funniest thing I've read in ages. You must have been reading my mind.

Nymeth said...

lmao.

I wanted to say, though, that some of us DO care about fluffy white cats :P

Anonymous said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! I think it fits for those that love to shove it down our throats on how well liked they are, but they really aren't. Those that basically kiss author's behinds and promote themselves endlessly without shame and then cry about it when people don't like them

Amy said...

ha, a little masked venting?

Meghan said...

This post made me laugh.

Angiegirl said...

Ha! Well played, Lenore. I love it.

Okie said...

lol...great post. :)

Rebecca Herman said...

ahaha! Happy April Fool's.

Rebecca Herman said...

ahaha! Happy April Fool's.

Kari said...

Snark? You did mention something about snark didn't you? ;)

Lenore said...

SuziQ - Yeah, it's my "drama" template post now ;)

Janicu - I'm glad I could help you finally realize that.

Andrea - No prob! There's more where that came from!

April - Good one! I love when bloggers do that!

Beth F - So true. That sort of thing is sooo beneath the truly great.

Lorin said...

LOL. I will confess that I have been ruthlessly deleting blogs from my reader recently and several got cut because of their devotion to #4.

Here's one more - Make sure your blog plays music, as loudly as possible, when someone clicks over. Everyone wants to hear music when their trying to read, right?

Lenore said...

Chris - My favorite is the chanterelle.

Jackie - Why stop at 100 when you could promote the same book as 1000 other blogs?! We should all get together and show the world the power of book blogging!

BookChic - I dug through your trash ;)

Florida - I would LOVE to see such a blog. Anyone up for the challenge?!

Alita - Can't wait to read those reviews. Bet they'll be as good as Harriet Klausner's. Be sure to post them on amazon too!

Lenore said...

Jeff - Something new? Who wants THAT?! ;)

LovesSame - I'm sure all the publicists have now struck you from their review copy lists ;)

Dave and Tami - I was.

Nymeth - Emmy and Finn thank you for your devotion.

Amy - Now, what would make you think that?

Lenore said...

Lorin - I was thinking of adding that...but honestly, I haven't come across a blog in a long time that still has the crazy audacity to play music upon entry. Of course, I do keep my mute button on most of the time.

Mary (The Sweet Bookshelf) said...

OMG! I'm sooo gullible! I was reading this thinking,"Oh my...is she serious?? No..she can't be...um maybe she is?!" HAHAHAHHAA!!

It always takes me a few to get it!

Happy April Fools!

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

-Accept books for review that you're not really interested in and then write tepid reviews with a bunch of book review cliche phrases.

-Start a book blog just to get a bunch of free ARCs.


Excellent April Fools...

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I wish I had thought of a mute button Lenore. I got blasted just today when I innocently wandered over to a new site! Won't make that mistake again.

iluvhersheys_andbooks said...

Omg hilarious!!! I really thought this was serious at first. Really funny great post!!!

Rebecca said...

Lol great post Lenore, that is awesome! My idea was the music one too but yeah. They're all great recommendations.

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Hahaha, I love it, what an original and funny post! And oh I wish pimping a blog was so easy ... ;)

Rebecca Herman said...

Oh, and in addition to the music playing suggestion someone had: make sure the button to turn the music off is hidden somewhere where nobody will be able to find it.

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Excellent post Lenore! I realize the only thing I'm doing right is sometimes taking the book's summary from the back of the book... it's surprising I still have readers! :P

Happy April Fool's day! ;-)

Ali said...

These are just the tips I need to get my blog back on track. Thank you, thank you, Sam I Am.

Linda said...

Triple tee hee!

karinlibrarian said...

I really enjoyed this post. I especially loved the ones about the bragging and the drama. This is really a nice checklist. I found myself asking, "Oh my, do I do this?"
Karin

Squishy133 (Sas) said...

Hahaha Lenore. :)
I'm very curious about the mushroom question. Lol
Happy April Fools to you too.

Janicu said...

I had to come back and say that my favorite mushroom by far is the button mushroom. But I like to say the word "shitake".

Callista said...

That was a great post. I just hope everyone realizes you aren't serious. I was a little disappointed though as I was hoping for REAL advice. Oh well. I'm not making any of those mistakes so I guess I'm okay.

Number 4 really bothers me, especially those who do the same meme every week and there is absolutely NOTHING else. Why would I want to read your blog?

Sharonlovescats #13 is annoying too. There are some "top" bloggers who's blogs I only read in a reader because it makes my computer freeze to load their blog. I'm not sure if I should say something to them or not.

Bella said...

LMFAO!! I'm so glad you posted this, LOL ... most of your points have been vaguely circulating around my head for a few weeks now ... we all heart the big bloggers, but we all know that, as much as this may be an April Fool's thing, there's at least a teeny tiny smidgen of truth behind it :P

Kathleen said...

Love this post!!

Michelle said...

That was so awesome!! Thanks for the Aprils Fools Laugh.

A.S. King said...

Awesome post, Lenore.
Of course, #5 is gonna be kinda tough if ever you've gone the #2 route. Just sayin.

Kristen M. said...

I finally just got to reading this and I love it! I'm going to pimp my blog right now!

Lily Child said...

Wowzers...That is one crazy/hilarious post! :P

Erica said...

I feel the urge to add:

Make sure you have a Twilight trailer of some sort in your sidebar, people love when you have that on autoplay.

I've been laughing about this post since Thursday!

Doret said...

Love this.

Here's one

Don't say no. Host multiple authors on blog tours in a week. Even if you don't like the book.

Audrey; (AyC) said...

hahaha, this was too funny! You're brilliant, Lenore!

Laura said...

I completely missed this one. I'm so behind the times, but a flooded basement will do that:( Very funny, and reading it today, I was like WHAT?!?! (yeah the April's fool thing didn't register with me.)

misskallie2000 said...

LOL.. I love your post. It was a hilarious April Fools Joke. At one time or another I have felt that I was jumping through hoops to enter a contest or giveaway. Even though I enjoy the blog posting I have not entered the contest because of all the hoops..LOL..

Thanks Lenore, I was feeling a little down today so thank you for the laughs.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Wings said...

ahahahahah this is crazy funny!

love it so much, was just thinking, what is it i need to really get the followers through...now i know!

#11 have a heap of countdown widgets on either side of your blog...your readers will thank you for their headaches

Melissa said...

Lol, can't believe I didn't have your blog in my GR!!!!

Great post and I have one to add:

B shur 2 rite all ur posts in LOLspek n bad gramar 4 RELZ

(also I would totally ask every author for their favorite mushroom in the hopes at least one of them would confess to taking hallucinogenic ones - jk)

Ladybug said...

Woops.. I followed all of these steps and now you're saying that it was all a joke? LOL ;)