A HOST OF ACTIVITIES FOR BLOG TOUR HOSTS

Congratulations! You have a copy of your new book in your hand and now you have decided to take it on a blog tour so you can share it with the rest of the reading world.

As I have mentioned in last week’s post, a blog tour can lead to direct sales of your book. A blog tour might sound a bit scary, but seriously they are a lot of fun. You visit different blogs and you get to talk about your new book baby and show pics. But the key to a successful blog tour is variety.

One of the questions I get asked most frequently about doing tours is:

How do you stop the tour from becoming boring?

The difference between a real tour and a virtual tour are that in a real tour, readers are unlikely to follow your around the country and go to every bookshop or library you stop at.

But in a virtual or blog tour, it is quite common for readers to visit a number of stops along the way to find out more and more about your book.

Readers also like to find out all the interesting things about you the author and about your journey to publication.

Spice Up Your Blog Tour

The simplest way to stop your blog tour from becoming boring is variety. Give your hosts a list of different topics to choose from. If each host chooses a different topic then they will be encouraged to ask you different questions from other hosts

Vary the content

You can stop your blog tour from becoming boring by varying the content – make it look and sound different. Some other things you might like to consider besides straight question and answer interviews by you or straight reviews are:

1.            Puzzles and classroom activities. I invented a word search for my Letters to Leonardo blog tour

2.            Upload excerpts from the book

3.            Upload a book trailer and talk about how you made it.

4.            Get some young readers to do advance reviews and include them on the site

5.            Hold competitions and giveaways – they can include a copy of the book or related merchandise.

6.            Upload YouTube clips showing how you wrote the book or related to the subject matter

7.            Upload podcast reviews of your book

8.            Encourage school blogs to participate and have an online chat with a class about your book

There are no limitations to what you or your blog host can do to make your blog tour fun and exciting. Go wild and have fun!

If you have any blog touring questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section of this post.

Happy writing and blog touring:)

Dee

On Friday at DeeScribe Writing (that’s here:) PB author, Catriona Hoy is visiting to talk about her blog touring experiences. Hope you can join us then:)

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YOUR BOOK DESERVES A BLOG TOUR

It’s the start of the year and the season for book launches so I thought a blog tour post might be timely.

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.

YOUR OBLIGATIONS AS THE PERSON TOURING

  1. Put an excerpt on your blog advertising the tour including tour dates and destinations
  2. 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.
  3. Provide materials to blog hosts including answers to interview questions, books for reviews etc
  4. 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.
  5. Return to host sites for next four to seven days to answer questions and comments from blog readers
  6. Always remember to thank your blog hosts and be prepared to host them in return
  7. 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:)

Dee