Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blog Tours 101 by Jodi M. Webb

My mom is annoyed at me. Again. It drives her crazy that I have a job that she’s never heard of and she can’t explain to her friends. I’m a Blog Tour organizer. So, for my mom and everyone else who is a little fuzzy on blog tours here’s the scoop.


Definition: Blog tours are like book tours but, instead of going from book store to book store, you go from blog to blog.


Question: But what do you do once you get there?

Answer: There are lots of options. The owner of the blog (blogger) can post their review
of your book, an excerpt, or your book trailer. They can post a video, podcast or written interview they do with you, give away your book, or run a guest post. A guest post is a short piece (500 words) you write about your book and writing, your life, or even something like baking cupcakes or traveling to foreign countries.


Question: What are the advantages of a blog tour?

Answer: You don’t have to get out of your jammies. Okay, there are other things. Bloggers have followers that automatically receive an email or feed of their blog posts everyday. They can guarantee you that these people will get info about your book as opposed to book store events that may only attract 8 people (sadly I know this from personal experience). You won’t be traveling here, there, and everywhere wasting gas and time you could be writing. And, since most bloggers archive their posts, visiting a blog is like a book store event that lasts forever. Visitors could read about your book tomorrow, next week, even next year. They can also instantly visit your website, blog, book trailer, and even purchase your book immediately through your publisher’s website or Amazon.com. They can also blog, Twitter, or email friends about this great new author—you!


Question: What blogs should I include in my tour?

Answer: Obviously, blogs that have a lot of visitors or regular followers. But they also should have to be your target audience. For example, if you wrote a romance novel and you stumbled across a super-popular blog called DadsWhoRead.com skip them. Most romance readers are female, we’ll have to assume that most readers of DadsWhoRead.com are male. In the real world visiting DadsWhoRead.com would be like writing a romance and having a book event at man’s clothing store.


Question: So I should only approach blogs with many followers?

Answer: No, there is an exception. Let’s pretend you’ve written a niche book directed at a very specific group—how about women writers. If you find a general blog for women called DayAfterDay.com with 20,000 followers and a blog for women writers called PenLadies.com that has 10,000 followers definitely go for PenLadies.com. You know that all 10,000 of their followers are your target audience. With DayAfterDay.com you don’t know how many of the 20,000 are writers. This is where the Internet can work to your advantage. Although there are no bookstores dedicated to OCD, raising environmentally aware children, or only books set in the South, there are popular blogs dedicated to them.


Question: Can I set up a blog tour myself?

Answer: Yes, but…(you knew there was a but, didn’t you?) there are some disadvantages.

1. If you’re working from scratch it will take you some time to discover the high traffic blogs that welcome blog tours. Also, some blogs prefer to work only with organized blog tours that can assure them they’re being offered a quality book.

2. You might visit a few clunker blogs that you have problems with: they forget to post your review or something else.

3. It’s tough to be both the thrilled author and the tough marketer who is pestering a blogger to get the post just right. It’s nice to have a middleman (or woman).

4. Organized blog tours often announce your blog tour to a larger group, offering you additional publicity.

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Jodi M. Webb is also the author of Pennsylvania Trivia: Weird, Wacky, and Wild(Blue Bike Books) and hundreds of articles in magazines such as Grandparents Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, PTO Today, and The History Magazine. If you want to know more about WOW Blog Tours you can reach her at jodi@wow-womenonwriting.com .

5 comments:

  1. Where were you when I set up a tour for 11 romance authors? :-)

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  2. The beauty of virtual blog tours is they're more publicity than personal selling. The more you view it this way, the more it makes sense why it gets greater returns than your traditional in-person book signing.

    http://www.PlusSignProductions.org/2008/10/free-classes.html

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  3. Hello Jodi:
    Thanks a lot. I learned so much from this article.
    Anahita

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  4. Jodi,

    A blog tour are excellent way to promote a book. I planned my own because I had established relationships with a lot of bloggers. However, I realize that if I hired someone like you to plan the tour, you would expand my audience to blogs I don't know.

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  5. Dana,

    Where were YOU when I made a list of incredible romance blogs just waiting for a Romance author to contact us? Sadly, my list and I are still waiting for Romance Authors.

    I have lists for everything: Romance books, Mystery books, children's books, self help books, books involving a foreign country(you'd be surprised at how many expats are writing blogs and waiting for authors to visit!).

    Glad I gave everyone something to think about...

    Lillie-Next book!

    Jodi

    ReplyDelete