I’ve been asked for my tips on creating blog tours. I’ve been doing them for some time so tend to forget they were ever a mystery to me, and I’ve usually had the luxury of someone else doing a lot of the work! But here we go:
You can see from this lovely graphic created for me by my publisher, Avon Books UK, that Just for the Holidays has a two-week tour. Team Avon has a lot of experience so let’s work with that timescale (although I have also found my own opportunities for additional guest posts for blogs such as Mark West’s Strange Tales, Booktrail, French Village Diaries, and TripFiction). We’re talking about 14 posts but you don’t necessarily have to write a guest post for all of them. See ‘What will the author have to do’, below.
Where will authors find bloggers to host the posts?
- Social media. Facebook is particularly good because there are groups that exist specifically to bring authors and bloggers together. Twitter works too. Just post that you’re putting a blog tour together, say a few words in terms of genre and blurb and ask whether any book bloggers would be interested in hosting you.
- If you already have relationships with book bloggers, contact them directly and ask if they’d be interested in being part of your tour.
- Blogger/author meet-ups. Personal relationships between authors and bloggers are not only fun and stimulating, they’re useful.
- Sometimes bloggers offer, especially if they like any previous books you’ve had published. Being approached is a bonus!
- Pay for someone to run a blog tour for you. There are various people who provide author services and will put together something professional, useful, functional and appropriate (i.e. the correct book bloggers for your book). You can search for them on the internet but it would be reassuring to have a recommendation from another writer.
What will the author have to do?
- Plan the tour: blogger A on date 1, blogger B on date 2 etc. (I alway think you need to be good at doing sudoku.)
- Either provide advance copies of the book or get your publisher to do so, in time for it to be read ahead of the tour.
- A stop on one of my blog tours would typically comprise of a post from me OR an excerpt from the book OR a competition to win a copy of the book PLUS, in each case, a review from the blogger, but some bloggers are happy to simply provide a review, on its own. NB If the blogger has offered, I think they’d probably expect a post from you.
- Provide whatever else the book blogger needs: cover art, blurb, buy links, other pix, to fulfil the competition if there is one, i.e. send the book to the winner of the comp.
- Create a book tour graphic and send it to everyone on the blog tour with a request that they include it in the post.
- Say thank you. The author-blogger relationship is one of working together. If the blog tour is a success the author will get more out of it than the book blogger.
- Promote every stop of the blog tour on your social media outlets, remembering to tag the book blogger in question. The blogger will do the same and, if you’re lucky, all the book blogger’s book blogger friends will share the posts too.
- If you have a blog of your own it makes sense to run the blog tour graphic on it (as I am doing with this post!) and, if it works for the style of your blog, reblog some or all the blog posts on the blog tour. It’s blog etiquette to link the URL of any blog you name – as I have done in the second paragraph of this post.
Good luck! And don’t forget to ask each book blogger to post their review on online review sites such as Amazon and Goodreads.