The Story is About + publisher blogger interaction

Dear Story Siren: Special Dear Publisher Edition (MacMillan)

If you've visited The Story, you might be familiar with a feature I do occasionally called "Dear Story Siren." If you not familiar with the feature, basically readers submit questions... personal questions, questions about blogging, author interview, publisher interaction, reviews, etc. It's my way of sharing some of the things I've learned during my blogging adventure. That being said, I am in no way a blogging expert, but I'd like to think I've picked a few things up along the way.

A lot of the questions I get have to do with publisher interaction. This is something that I think is very important for a blogger that is actively receiving review copies from publishers. I know that at a blogger myself, I want to continue to improve those relationships and be as beneficial to the publishers and authors as I can. The majority of the time I don't know the answers to these questions. I have my assumptions, but who knows if those are correct.

In turn, I was inspired to do something a little different with "Dear Story Siren." I'll be doing a special edition of "Dear Story Siren" geared specifically toward blogger/publisher interactions. I've contacted several publishing houses with a set number of questions to be answered, and I'll be featuring a different publisher each post.

Past Dear Publisher Posts:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Bloomsbury & Walker
Egmont USA
Random House
St. Martin's Griffin

Today's blogger/publisher interaction questions are from MacMillan.

What should I include in my review copy request?

While there are a lot of bloggers out there who we know will do wonderful things for our books, it is always good to know why someone wants a particular title – do they love the author or illustrator? Have they heard about it on other blogs or in the kidlit circuit? Do they have a special interest in this topic? Not that we have to necessarily “justify” every copy we give away, but… sometimes its nice to make sure our books are getting into the right hands!

When is the best time to post my review?

We tend to think that as-close to the on-sale date, the better. If it is a little before, that’s fine – and a little after, we’ll take that, too. Previewing the cover is always fun, but is is important to remind the blog readers about books once they are actually available for purchase.

Do you want to be sent reviews of titles I've bought?

ABSOLUTELY! We like the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I think our authors would agree.

Do you want to be sent reviews of titles that have been on the shelves for a while?

Sure! We try to keep an eye on all the sites out there, but its always good to send it our way.

Is it okay to have a contest for an arc that I've gotten from a publicists?

Yes! If it generates interest and enthusiasm, these are all good things!

When you send a copy for review, do you like us to let you know it arrived?

Sure! Constant communication is fun. I can always add it to a master excel that I keep.

What if I can't get into a book that you sent me for review, do you want us to let you know that we won't be reviewing it?

That’d be fantastic.

When is the best time to request an arc?

We can mail them out 2 months before pub.

Do you like sites that promote sharing advance readers copies?


Is it better to contact an author for swag (bookmarks, postcards, etc.) or should we ask the publicist?

Ask the publicity/marketing dept

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Dear Story Siren: Special Dear Publisher Edition (MacMillan) + publisher blogger interaction