Based on my 8-stop blog tour and research with authors and marketing pros, I declare blog tours an essential book promo tool. Blog tours harness the power of social media, spreading news of your book almost instantly to countless people through the virtual ripple effect of retweets and shares. Two points: 1) Blog tours are about the readers, not you. Tailor your interviews or guest posts to each site, with tips, links, or useful info about your topic, themes, or expertise. Give away books or informative downloadables. People don’t share pitches; they share useful stuff. 2) Shared spotlights are BIGGER spotlights. Give your hosts a full schedule with blog links so they can promote each other. As each tour stop goes “live,” give its direct link to hosts to promote that day. In your social media, emphasize your host sites over your book. With pre-tour promotion and post-tour thanks, you get 3-4 weeks of tour-focused online chatter. The Virtual Ripple Effect is worth the work.