Nancy J Parra on Book Bloggers

I have to say that I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with book bloggers. As a romance writer I’m always interested in what readers, reviewers and other authors have to say about various aspects of my genre. I’ve followed a variety of tours from Jane Austenites; to unusual historical blogs; to western romance blogs; to humorous contemporary romance blogs; to romantic suspense blogs. This allowed me a window into the likes and dislikes of readers who are loyal to a certain brand of romance. If you have a favorite type of romance there is an array of good bloggers out there ready and willing to talk about it.
I recently did my first blog tour for my romantic suspense, Mr. Charming. I decided to start out small with a total of five blogs. Every blogger I approached was warm, friendly and willing to allow me to visit and talk about my work. The variety of ideas from bloggers for the tour was great. I did an interview with the heroine, a review and interview with the hero, a review and interview with the author, the story of how the book was published and an excerpt highlight. All the responses to my tour were positive and readers were able to follow along without seeing the same blog over and over. Reviews of the book were thoughtful and well written. As an author I couldn’t ask for a better experience.

I think that book bloggers play an important role as mediator between authors and readers. They introduce an author to their friends and readers. They can help to “hand-sell” an author’s work—something that independent bookstore owners used to do before the emergence of big-box bookstores and on-line book sellers. Book bloggers can create important buzz for books and can be influential in creating viral sales of author’s works. I’ve noticed that even bad reviews can bring an author into the spotlight and create an on-going conversation about the author and their work. Most books are sold through a trusted recommendation. Book bloggers can fulfill that role.

I write books to share the stories in my head. Without readers there is no reason to put a story on paper. They are my reason for writing. Creating a book is a lot of work from rough draft, to revisions, to queries, to edits, to galley edits, and even promotion. Why go through all that if no one is going to read the work? It is the relationship between the author and the reader that creates the “art” of writing. Think of it this way…if you tell a joke with no one around, who laughs? But if you run to your friends and family and tell the joke, you get a laugh, a response and a joy that what you thought was funny is shared by those around you. Writers need readers for that shared experience. Book bloggers are perfect for that because not only are they readers, but they share their experience with a wider audience and give authors a stage on which to showcase their stories.

Nancy J. Parra is the author of Mr. Charming, which is available in stores now!

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