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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Nurturing Book Blogging Relationships—a Publisher’s Perspective

Let’s face it: If you’ve decided to become an Independent Publisher, you are going to need all the help you can get. Not the least of that help comes in the way of reviews of your work. But the concept of building relationships won’t be new to you.

This past week I’ve been attending #ArmchairBEA as many hours a day as I can afford. That’s amidst getting the galleys of my new book The Gutenberg Rubric, running a meet the author gathering with Jerome Asher (Bread for the Pharaoh), and working on three new book designs that haven’t even started yet. Let me take a moment to clarify that last one.

I design both print and eBooks. I sell that service for a minimal hourly rate. But I know for a fact that independent publishers have difficulty paying even what I consider to be a modest fee for my services. It’s not about being unwilling—just about not being able to afford that kind of investment. So I try to provide as much “free” help as I can for these publishers. Over the past three weeks, that’s involved the equivalent of one full 8-hour day reviewing sample chapters, instructing how to format the manuscript, and generally telling people how to use styles in MS Word. Not one minute of that time will be billed to these clients. You don’t get relationships unless you contribute to them.

The same is true of my experience with book bloggers at #ArmchairBEA. This week I’ll give away over 100 eBooks and five paper books to participants. Why? Because I believe that book bloggers are a key component to the overall health of the publishing industry. I want to support them and I know that they will support not only me, but all the publishers and authors they read. Not every blogger will review one of the books I send out. Not every review will be filled with glowing praise. But every blog post will encourage someone else to read. That’s what publishing is all about.

I’ve found it impossible to keep up with the quantity of material that has been posted this week. I’ve bookmarked dozens of pages to return to. What I’ve found are thoughtful, incisive reviews of works covering a wide range of genres. These are people I want to have long-term professional relationships with. I not only want them to review my books, I want to read books they’ve reviewed.

Whether they are electronic or paper, we share a love of books. That’s a good place to start a relationship.

P.S. There will be another free eBook giveaway during the Twitter Party tonight!