The Publishing Process: Marketing Part 7: Blog Tours
This edition of marketing advice is a more recent invention of the social media age- the blog tour. As social media and the internet has become more prominent, it has become easier and easier to post opinions online, hence the tremendous amount of people writing blogs and posting videos on everything from movies to politics to, obviously, books. A writer has to use this new avenue to expand their book across cyberspace, which is a far speedier way to get a lot of attention then having signings. But obviously, reaching out to individual blogs one at a time takes patience and effort. Therefore, setting a blog tour to post info about your book is a surefire way to reach a large group of people very quickly.
What It Is and How to Do It
A blog tour is basically a book tour done electronically- a large group of blogs all reviewing your book in sequence over a period of time. How many blogs and how long the tour goes are affected by a number of things, but the first part of the tour is to get a solid number of blogs to work with you. In my experience, this is best achieved by a blogger that already sets these tours up and has a large number of connections. Many blogs are independently set up, and therefore work in a community, depend on each for promotion and materials review. As such, a blogger that can use connections to promote both an author AND their fellow bloggers are vital assest. And this should not be a hard step- most bloggers are eager to review, so they are skilled with promotions like this, to boost themselves and others.
That said, it doesn’t make the process any easier. I was fortunate in that I was able to get a blogger that already had set up tours for authors, and did the work herself to get the bloggers a copy of my book (which saved me some expense). She even set up the dates for the promotion to take place, so that I could post information myself and bring more views to the blogs (another reason for bloggers to support these tours). Obviously, if you don’t have that source, you need to organize all the dates and blogs yourself, so ideally you want to have someone helping you.
But beyond setting the dates and getting the product (sometimes), an author is also responsible for providing some information. To help make the tour stops more informative, I filled out several interview sheets for different sites, with questions ranging from inspiration for my book to what foods I liked. It might seem strange, but it’s still good prep work for future interviews and strange questions in future interviews.
All In all, a blog tour is a great tool for an author to reach a large audience quickly. Many of the blogs that hosted me were actually in other countries like Australia, so I was also able to reach an international audience as well. But the best part of all was that aside from the interview sheets, I didn’t have to go tour those far-off places and my book was still promoted. And while that might not be the case if you don’t find the right person to set things up, it’s more than a reason to try and set up a tour for yourself.
And on a personal note for the readers that are also fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Nostalgia Critic has finally posted his review on the unholy abomination that was the film adaption. Please go and support this wonderful takedown of one man’s failed adaption of my most important writing influences.