I've blogged about the first book of hers I read (it was a ploy by the slithery Barbara Poelle to keep me from my reading).
Other times, Kristan Higgins' books have been a respite from a dreadful day.
In other words, I'm a fan.
And I say so.
So, when I saw the chance to get a galley of the newest Kristan Higgins novel, I leaped! LEAPED.
The offer was through NetGalley, a service that helps publishers distribute galleys to bloggers and reviewers electronically. I'm a happy and satisfied NetGalley user. I've gotten some terrific books from a lot of interesting publishers via NetGalley.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw this:
You recently requested to view a title from NetGalley's Public Catalog. Unfortunately, the publisher has declined to allow access to the title based on the information provided in your profile.
You may want to update your profile to provide more information to the publisher, and try requesting the title again. If you are confident that you should be approved for galleys, please reply to this e-mail and the Publisher will get back to you as soon as possible.
Example of what to include in your profile: a direct link to your book review blog (general life bloggers, infrequent bloggers, and new bloggers will be declined. 100 or more followers is preferred).a direct link to your Good Reads, Amazon, and/or LibraryThing profile page (must have over 100 reviews on any one of these services).
(there's more about what to do if you're a librarian or a bookseller)
Talk about short-sighted!
The one place every publicist dreamed of getting coverage was called off the book page back when I worked in PR. Off the book page meant places that didn't normally review books. It was the place you wanted to be because you reached past the usual audience.
Harlequin's galley policy (because it is they who set these, not NetGalley) specifically overlooks places just like this blog. Places that are not book review sites. Places where the mention of a book is actually more noticeable because it's not the norm.
And I have no ties to Kristan Higgins. I'm not her agent. I don't think I even know who her agent is. I don't know her editor. I know someone who knows her editor.
I'm a fan. A fan with 8,000 readers and 11,000 Twitter followers. In other words A.Big.Mouth.
Now, I'm not mentioning this cause I'm annoyed (yes I am) but because if you are an author, you've got to make sure you're in a position to head off this kind of attitude and fix stuff when it goes wrong:
1. Have your name and your book title on google alert. This blog post will turn up in someone's google alert feed. Most likely tomorrow. Someone will see it and I'll get a book. Without google alert, not as likely. If you are an author you want to hear about this kind of thing quickly. Stuff happens. Be ready to fix it.
2. Talk to your pr department about how they handle galleys. If you know you have rock solid iron clad fans, make sure they get galleys. Or are on the approved list. Harlequin doesn't know me from Bruce the Shark. They obviously didn't investigate either, but honestly, I don't think I can blame them for that (yes I can.)
3. If there is a limit on the number of galleys being given out, MENTION IT in the refusal email. It's one thing to be told "you're not high enough on the food chain, shark breath." It's another thing to say "we're only sending out 25, we hope you understand."
Does this mean I'm no longer a fan of Kristan Higgins?
But it does mean that instead of blogging about her new book I'm blogging about her publisher. My guess is that's NOT what any of us really want. (Well, we all know what *I* want!)