"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Setting Up Your Blog Tour

A blog tour is similar to a book tour, only the author travels from blog to blog instead of from store to store. Depending on the author and the blog, coverage may consist of a book review, Q&A (either posted or live), guest posts and/or a book giveaway. Blog tours, like traditional bookstore tours, will feature a designated number of “stops” and can last one day, one week, or one month depending on the author’s preference. You want to do this around the time your book releases.
1)      Benefit of the Tour - While many authors believe the purpose of a blog tour is to generate more sales that is not the case. If you go into a blog tour with the belief you’ll dramatically increase your book sales, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. The biggest benefit of a blog tour is to generate buzz about your book without having to travel.
2)      Setting up the Tour, Creating an Itinerary and Advertising – Some publishing companies will set this up for you, but more and more of them want you to provide your own marketing. Check to see what your publisher prefers. If you will be doing this yourself, start by contacting everyone in your email list to announce the desire for a blog tour. Include what you want to promote, when you want the tour to take place and for how long. Then advertise on your social media sites. Next, provide a list of “stops” on your own blog. If you want the tour to take place all in one day, you will simply add a list of blogs/websites as they sign up to host you. If you want your tour to last a week or even a month, you need to provide a more specific schedule which reflects where you will be hosted, what day and what will be posted (such as an interview, book review, video chat, guest post etc.)
3)      What’s in it for the bloggers? Remember, you DO NOT pay bloggers to participate. This should be a free service. If and when bloggers do choose to participate in a blog tour, we assume they are indeed willing to take the time to read the book and write a post because they are interested in the book and because it helps the author or their own blog by increasing interest/traffic. After all, you are providing valuable content to their blog at no charge, and you are increasing awareness about their blogs which creates a win-win situation. This is known as cross-promotion.
4)      What do I offer my blog tour hosts? Whether you are dictating what each blog host will post or allowing them to choose, please keep these tips in mind:
a.)                Limit the Number Of Questions Asked – For each interview, three to ten questions per blog is perfect because it allows you to keep the momentum going, prevents you from answering all the good questions on one blog, and keeps your readers interested in your tour. If a post is too long, readers lose interest.
b.)               Include links - It’s important that every blog on your tour include a link to your book’s sales page, your blog/website and any other ways readers can find you. After all, visitors need to know where to purchase your book should they find you interesting.
c.)                Offer Photos - You can enhance your interview by offering a photo of yourself doing something related to your book’s theme, a headshot, or a cover of your book.
d.)               Give Something Away - While it can be rather costly to send out review copies of your books to every blogger in the blogosphere, especially if you’re not sure how popular a blog is, you can offer to hold a book drawing for every blogger who participates in your blog tour (whether they are hosting or simply commenting on a post) and then give away one to five books at the end of the blog tour. You can even prepare a pdf file of your book to give away.

5)   Be Present - The day(s) of the tour, it is very important for you to be available for comments and reader interaction on the blogs hosting you. Readers want to see you as an actual presence, not just a flat character.
Please share your advice and thoughts if you’ve ever set up your own blog tour or even hosted another author on theirs.


shelly said...

Thank you for taking the time to post this. This was very imformative.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I did a blog tour last month. It was my first one, and I made it up as I went along. I wish I'd had this info to hand then! Good post.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Thanks for the tips! I'll be braving blog tours and other kinds of marketing soon. This is very helpful!

Christine Rains said...

Great advice. Organization, generosity, and good manners are key.

Unknown said...

You know your stuff. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Tokeley said...

Interesting point about not expecting increased sales. Creating the buzz to help the book's longevity can be just as important, I would have thought.

Amanda Heitler said...

Sane and valuable advice. Thank you for posting it.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Very helpful information. I hope I need it sometime in the near future. Thanks for visiting my blog and signing on as a follower. It's my pleasure to return the favor. See ya during the A-Z!

Lisa Southard said...

This is smart advice, glad I popped in :-) See you again soon somewhere between A and Z!

Stephanie said...

Very interesting! I'm a blogger and a reader, but I'm kind of new to the world of book blogs. Very informative post.