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.
I’m sure you know best since you actually did one, but I have to say I get very tired of seeing the same book/author on all my friends’ blogs during the book release. It kinda seems like they’re just advertising again and again to the same circle of 200-300 aspiring writers…
Thanks for sharing your reaction to blog tours, Laura. A very useful insight to consider.
Your blog tour was by far the best I’ve seen because you posted portions of your book, and there was amazingly helpful info in there. Others give away nothing, or things like keychains or bookmarks with their book’s name on them — not very helpful; just self-promotion.
Some books lend themselves more easily to “take-away” information. But every book–even the most commercial fiction–has themes or subjects that you can talk about or expand upon in interviews/articles. And whether it’s book readers or other writers in your blog stop’s audience, everyone likes a peek behind the scenes at the creation of a book or story and would appreciate a “you can accomplish big things; here’s a lesson I learned that you can apply to your situation…” kind of message.
Agreed. I remember a particular book blog tour, and it was all about the author rather than the book, which was what I wanted to know about. What was in it? I never found out and finally gave up in frustration.
Still wondering if “buzz” translates into actual sales. Just wondering. Thank you for your thorough response to the question.
Fair question, Anne. And one that marketers on the whole are asking. Within publishing, I’ve spoken with marketing and sales professionals who tell me that in the current state of digital analytics, data abounds but translating that plethora into specific sales patterns remains a challenge.