So much work has gone into creating your new book and now it’s time for celebration – time to send your new baby out into the world. Time to let people know that you HAVE A NEW BOOK! (Congratulations by the way. Whether you’re a writer, illustrator, editor or publisher, a new book is a massive achievement.)
At this point, you’re probably asking yourself, is a blog tour really worth all that effort and how much is it going to cost me?
DO BLOG TOURS REALLY WORK?
A recent Publisher’s Weekly post http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/46185-harlequin-teen-tells-and-sells-a-modern-fairy-tale.html?utm_source=Publishers+Weekly%27s+Children%27s+Bookshelf reported that a blog tour has been instrumental in selling 450,000 copies of Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series.
Of course giving away original artwork by the author and the odd iPod or two might have helped the promotion along and admittedly, most of us can’t afford these kind of giveaways, but I can tell you from experience that the average author can have a successful blog tour – just on a smaller scale.
My blog tour with my YA novel, Letters to Leonardo was done on a zero budget but it led to many hits on my blog and proven sales. It introduced me and my work to other bloggers and a whole new set of readers. How do I know there were direct sales? Because people bought my book at subsequent festivals and conferences saying they had read about it on my blog tour.
WHAT IS A BLOG TOUR?
It’s an event that can go for several days or even a month. (A warning, that readership seems to drop off if your tour goes for more than about ten days – unless you have the resources to offer exotic giveaways daily.)
It’s like going on a ‘real’ author tour where you visit different places talking about your book. The good thing about a blog tour is that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home. There are no airline ticket costs, no excess luggage, now waiting in airports for a flight home:)
Before you start the tour, you need to select your blog hosts. These might include other authors and illustrators (overseas as well as in your own country), blogs on the theme of your book and class blogs (lots of schools blog now and are looking for fun things to do).
Facebook and Twitter are great places to connect with possible blog hosts. There’s also nothing to stop you doing a google search and approaching people whose blog you like the look of and asking if they would host you.
SCHEDULING THE TOUR
Once you have found a selection of willing hosts you need to agree on dates and also materials. When I’m arranging a blog tour, I try and offer my hosts topics to choose from. That way the content is less likely to overlap so there will be variety for readers following the tour.
Don’t stress about holding a tour the day your book comes out. It won’t matter if it’s a week late and you can generate interest prior to the tour by blogging, Facebooking and Tweeting about any actual launches or other book release activities.
You might want to offer competitions and giveaways on your tour just make sure you factor these into your promotion’s budget.
- Put an excerpt on your blog advertising the tour including tour dates and destinations
- Provide photo of you and your book cover to put on blog and any links for other materials like book trailers that you may want to publicise too.
- Provide materials to blog hosts including answers to interview questions, books for reviews etc
- Provide every blog host with a schedule so they can put that on their blog so readers will know where to go next on the tour and where you have already been. That way you are not just promoting yourself and your book, you are also promoting your hosts.
- Return to host sites for next four to seven days to answer questions and comments from blog readers
- Always remember to thank your blog hosts and be prepared to host them in return
- Blog, tweet, Facebook and promote the blog tour any way you can.
If you have any questions about blog tours or would like more information, feel free to leave your questions and responses in the comments section of this post.
Happy writing and blog touring:)