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Self Promotion Tips > Blog Tours (What do you find works? What doesn't?)

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message 1: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 334 comments Mod
Who has done a blog tour?

These days, you will see all types from the deluxe, super expensive tours organized by marketing experts such as Penny Sansevieri, to great value tours organized by GoddessFish, to DIY efforts.

Successful guest blogs may get up to 100 comments (including replies by the guest author) on strong, busy sites such as Bitten BY Books, all the way down to none at all, not even a public welcome-and-thank you from a hostess.

Some authors treat their blog tour like a scavenger hunt, where anyone who desperately wants a free copy of their book must follow that author from site to site all month long.

Do those authors realize that everyone who follows any of their blogs will probably postpone buying a copy of the book for an entire, precious month (the month that probably counts towards the lists)?

What a waste of all the time and effort that go into a blog tour!

Never give away a copy of the book you are trying to sell during the three months that it is in bricks and mortar stores!

Many blog tour authors offer a prize at each stop, although it is not mandatory. This is expensive for the blogger, but it is nice for the hostess and her regulars.

The goal of a blog tour is to meet and entrance new readers at each blog... a lesser goal might be to make friends with the more established authors who are hosting your visit.

Don't forget to bookmark and go back to the blogs you have visited this month, and to respond to anyone who has commented (this will double the number of comments, giving the impression of success, and will gratify your hostesses, as well as your potential readers.)

Talking of good manners... how and where should an author promote her blog tour? What is appropriate? And what is pretty much spam?

Twitter is good. A status update (on Linked In, Facebook, Myspace, Gather, Ning, Eons etc) is appropriate, discreet, unexceptionable.

Some yahoogroups accept such announcements on certain, designated days, or on Promo Only groups. Others frown on it.

Otherwise, promo is doable if the blogger focuses on a topic of general interest and spins the blog as an excuse for other authors with similar interests to promote themselves to the readers who regularly visit the hostess's blog. (That's why so many authors support Barbara Vey's PW blog.)


Best wishes,
Rowena Cherry


message 2: by S. (new)

S. (tangodream) Interesting. I've never heard of a "blog tour" so now I'm off to do some research. Thanks for the thoughts.


message 3: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 334 comments Mod
S,
You are very welcome. If you belong to genre-related yahoo groups for authors, you might ask there if anyone hosts guest bloggers.

Sometimes, a publisher organizes one. I think that is how Joy Nash, and Emily Bryan did their 50 stop tours.

IMHO, 30 stops is too many, never mind 50. You have to write a unique post for each stop!

GoddessFish.com organizes blog tours at the most reasonable rate I've seen (as I mentioned). They also offer hostesses the option of half-price advertising during the month they host.

I shall be playing host to CL Talmadge on Sept 7th. She'll be talking about politics in romance.


message 4: by S. (new)

S. (tangodream) Thanks for the added information. I have been looking into it through google search and it's an interesting way to do a tour--without leaving home. I'm just about ready to launch an anthology so am eager to find ways to make it a bit of a success.


message 5: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 334 comments Mod
S, what do you write? If it is speculative, consider joining http://www.iwofa.net where authors of speculative romance help each other promote and much more.

:-)


message 6: by S. (new)

S. (tangodream) Actually, I write whatever comes to mind. Some days, it's science fiction, others it's fantasy. Regular fiction is in the mix, as well. Some of it has romantic touches, some doesn't. I don't--have not?--settled into a specific genre as yet. Two of my novels (in progress) are fiction, both romance of sorts. One novel is a fantasy (faerie world meets human world...) with romance, and the other is a YA fiction about high school angst, photography, and a bit of romance. My short stories fall into those categories, as well. Ditto my poetry. My mind just jumps around too much to settle down. When I read, it's the same way. Guess variety is my spice of choice. ;-)


message 7: by S. (new)

S. (tangodream) P.S. Thanks for the link. Very interesting!


message 8: by Alice (new)

Alice (goodreadscomalicerene) Rowena wrote: "Who has done a blog tour?

Hi Rowena,

This is the first that I've heard of a blog tour and thank you for wising (is that a word?) me up. I shall go ahead and do some research on all this, but my question to you is: does all this effort really generate sales, or do all these people just enjoy talking to one another?



message 9: by Eric (new)

Eric  Sharp (erichsharp) | 1 comments How long have blog tours been going on?


message 10: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 334 comments Mod
Hi, Alice and Eric,

Let me answer you both at once. I wouldn't want to hog the thread.

Eric... I don't know. I've been aware of them for about 2 years. Authors I personally know who have done them and apparently found them effective are JA Konrath (as Jack Kilborn), Emily Bryan, and Joy Nash.

I'll be picking their brains for an article on blog touring.

Alice... it is a hellacious commitment. It will definitely fill a month of your writing life. If you do it, you will certainly have to sustain the appearance of enjoying yourself. :-) Anything else would be rude.

Seldom, I think, can an author point to one individual promo activity and say "that really generated sales".

Some say that a person has to see your cover, or hear something favorable about your title/name seven times before they look at the back cover blurb with a view to buying the book.

One stop on your blog tour might be one of those seven times for one reader. On the other hand, an enchanting blog post, or a delightfully witty and human reply to a reader's comment on that blog might start readers talking about you. Or a quote from that post might be snagged by the search engines, and catch someone's eye.

People selling a blog tour will tell you it works. Of course. Everything is colored by someone's agenda.

Personally, I don't think it works so well if you take "the choir" along with you, and merrily blog to your own retinue. I think the goal ought to be to find your way onto the blogs of authors who are established and highly successful in the same genre.

Best wishes
Rowena Cherry




message 11: by Alice (new)

Alice (goodreadscomalicerene) Hi Rowena,

Thank you for your advice. I'm not sure I will go the blog tour route. I do write a blog, http://alicerene.wordpress.com, but it gets has very few viewers and even at that I'm not sure it generates any sales. It seems to be onky interesting material for a handful of people.

On another subject, I seem to find your presence all over the place, the last one being bookbuzzr. I admire your marketing skills. I hope to learn from you.

My best to you.
Alice Rene


message 12: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 334 comments Mod
Alice,

There is a difference between owning your own blog, and going on a blog tour of other authors' blogs.

However, you have to own your own blog before you can do lots of neat things, including commenting, touring, sharing. Also, if you don't claim your own name everywhere possible (for free), some internet marketer will take your good name and squat on it.

If you have a blog and are willing to take guests, you can sign up with goddessfish.com (free) to be a hostess.

Most of us worry that we are talking to ourselves when we blog, even on a great teaching blog such as http://aliendjinnromances.blogspot.com

Many visitors read and move on without commenting. Many more cannot comment because they don't have their own blog/haven't signed up.

BookBuzzr is great. I must go back and upload another book's excerpt.

I went there once for half an hour to upload an excerpt from Mating Net, and the fabulous Bookbuzzr people continue to promote it without me doing anything except a 2 minute retweet every so often.

Charlee Boyett-Compo does this with BookBuzzr/Freado for the authors who advertise in Realms Of Fantasy.

http://www.freado.com/book/3726/IWOFA...

Great, isn't it?

I've spent too much time on the internet this last year, but there has been a reason.

For great marketing tips, check out http://1stTurningPoint.com and/or join the Romance Authors Helping Romance Authors group on LinkedIn.com

And whatever else you do, subscribe to Penny Sansevieri's free newsletter which you'll find at http://amarketingexpert.com



message 13: by Juliet (new)

Juliet Wilson (julietwilson) | 12 comments I think blog tours can be great. One thing that a lot of blog tours I've read miss though is an actual plug for the book. I've read a couple where the interviews ask all kinds of questions that help the reader get to know the author, but if there's nothing about the book, or the ideas that directly lead to the writing of the book, then why should the reader buy the book? There also may be a suspicion that if the book isn't mentioned then the host blogger didn't actually like the book....


message 14: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 334 comments Mod
Juliet,

I wonder how many hosts do read the book? You probably shouldn't draw any conclusions from a host's lack of commentary on the book.

For a start, some touring authors offer one ebook as a prize to one commentator over the duration of the entire tour. Hostesses aren't offered anything.

Often, a touring author offers a choice: an interview, or a blog on a relevant topic.

If it is Monday or Tuesday, and you are reading this, I should very much appreciate some comments or questions or discussion about tyrants and politics in Romance novels at my blog where I am hosting CL Talmadge

rowenacherry.blogspot.com



message 15: by Caryn (new)

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (carynmirriamgoldberg) | 1 comments I wanted to jump in and say that I just did a blog tour on what I think is far better site than Goddess Fish (which doesn't seem to do all that many blog tours) -- I did it through http://wow-womenonwriting.com (open to men and women for tours), and you can see my tour in the right-hand column on my blog: http://CarynMirriamGoldberg.wordpress.... The tour was $250 for 15 or so high-traffic blogs toward target audiences, and it helped generate some reviews for me at other sites. Both my publisher and I feel it was pretty effective (although it's hard to know how many books were sold as a result). It was a lot of work for the author (I had to write many long blogs), but I loved the coverage I received.


message 16: by Brett (new)

Brett Williams (mrmarriage) | 40 comments Great Idea! I had never really thought of it, but I will definitely look into it.

http://www.helptalking.com


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