Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Calling All Book Bloggers: Penguin Wants You!

Penguin's publicity department is keen to forge links with the blogging community and has planned a series of online events to work out how this can best be achieved.

If you'd like to take part in the discussions, here's a link. The next event is planned for the week of 20 April, which is next week: if you review books on your blog, or even discuss them, then email your views to Penguin now.

If you decide to take part I'd be grateful if you'd consider posting your emails to Penguin in the comments here. It should make for an interesting discussion.


Emily Cross said...

Jane, this letter is a bit long, but this is what i sent. and thanks for the link :)

Dear Sir/Madam,

Through the blogosphere, i heard about your invitation to bloggers, and i would love to be invited to your discussion about blogging and PR. Currently i'm a member of two book review blogs - The book book, and The Book Bundle. Recently i have started a 'Fill in the Gaps: 100 Project' blog, which invites bloggers to make a list of 100 books they have always meant to read but never quite got round to it.

I have some suggestions about how Penguin could promote their lists in the blogosphere.

1) the most obviously thing is book reviews and contacting bloggers to review books

2) Make the Penguin blog, more personal - people don't often read press releases but they will read personal stories. My advice is to have a member of the PR staff take charge of the penguin blog and put a face to the blog. People will feel like their communicating with someone on the other end. furthermore i think you will find that although there are numerous editors/agents blogs (which are highly successful), there are very few PR book blogs, so i think mixing posts with 'real life - i'm promoting book XXX today, trying to make up a catchy slogan etc.' will catch bloggers attentions and will probably get bloggers to even help

Also people who blog about books/publishing industry are interested in both the book and the author. I think it would be a great idea, that when you mention a book on the penguin blog, you provide information about the author, and mention that the author will be available for questions (either on the release date as a 'online book event' or at that time) so bloggers feel connected to the authors and their books.

3) Like 'fill in the gaps' - start a project. Like the 'Classic Penguin 100 Project' or 'Save the Penguin' Project. It will take the blogosphere by storm (especially if there are catchy graphics people can use to show they are 'members' of the project'. You could even create a website/blog with a forum where people could come and discuss their progress with each other.

4) Start blog awards. Writer's Digest nominate blogs every year. I think if penguin sponsored a blog award and offered a prize, it would be a big PR event, especially if you had categories and prizes for specific blogs. eg. Best General Book Review Blog, Best Classic book review blog, Best Blog for helpful information for writers etc.

These are a just a few of my suggestions (which you probably have hundreds of at this point), i hope they are of some help.

Please let me know if i've been invited to the discussion.

thank you


Emily Cross

Emily Cross said...

God i hope those suggestions don't sound stupid.

Jane Smith said...

Actually, Emily, I read through your letter and wished I had written it: you've made some brilliant points, especially the one about awards.

So if you sound stupid I'm right there next to you, volunteering for the label!

Emily Cross said...

Thanks Jane :)

catdownunder said...

You mean someone would actually read my blog if I wrote book reviews?