If you are wondering that why I am not covering ‘Book Tour’ and placing my focus over ‘Blog Tour’ then let me give you the answer right in the beginning only to serve your curiosity. Well, book tours are the things of bygone days and now in this Post Covid world, most of things are yielding better results with them being carried out digitally. We have been living in the internet world ever since the beginning of the 21st century; however we all have witnessed that the importance of digital life has risen much more in the last couple of years!
A decade ago, book tours were largely in fashion and the authors went on book tours, scheduling talks and signings at bookstores, groceries, and even stopping at drugstores and big-box retail stores to sign books on the shelves. Unfortunately, these book tours were extremely time consuming and way too exhausting for the authors and their team members. Now, these were the reasons enough to put the book tours out of fashion and the global lockdown forced us all to carry out our chores online, which probably became the icing on the top for the blog tours to replace the traditional book tours.
What is a blog tour? A blog tour is a set amount of time, which is pre-determined (usually a week or a month), in which the authors’ books are promoted across various websites and blogs. The dates are set in advance; each blog knows what material it will be posting, and the content should be unique to each blog!
Well, now since we have established the pros of blog tours over book tours, let us place our focus towards the various methods of carrying out a successful blog tour –
Step 1) Determine your Goal: Is your blog tour to get buzz going for the book before it is released? Alternatively, to give away review copies as prizes or to drive readers to pre-order links? If so, you will need to launch your blog tour two weeks before the release date. If, however, you want to wait until the book is released so readers can buy it immediately, then launch your blog tour the day your book is released.
Step 2) Determine your Stamina: Blog tours can last for any length of time, but typically have a life of 1-6 weeks. If this is your first blog tour, I suggest you start on the short end until you get your hands around the time commitment required.
Step 3) Make a list of Book & Reader Blogs: Google or Bing away. Search for blogs that feature readers of your genre or have featured books similar to yours. Moreover, when you find blogs that seem appropriate, read a few entries (including the comments) to make sure the atmosphere fits your type of book and your personality and ditto for any advertisements, the blog might feature. Note how many comments entries seem to garner to gauge the amount of traffic your blog entry might receive. Also, note what other bloggers on the site are doing, such as offering free giveaways, directing readers to a contest, etc. so you can get some good ideas!
Step 4) Cast a Wide Net: You will want to target reader blogs, of course, but consider blogs that deal with specific aspects of your book. For example, if you set your book in a particular region with specified audience taste, then the general interest of the local blogs might feature your book. On the other hand, if your book is about cooking, racing, or poker, each of those hobbies have a plethora of blogs for followers where you can find potential readers.
Step 5) Note the Requirements of the Contributors: If the blog is a good fit for you and your book, then note the requirements of the blog for contributors. Alternatively, write to the owner of the blog and ask for requirements, including word count, possible topics, the use of images, giveaways, and how far in advanced you will have to schedule and submit your entry!
Step 6) Schedule your Blog Tour: Schedule the stops on your blog tour, building in down time for yourself in between. When your blog entry is posted, you will be expected to visit the blog periodically throughout the day to respond to comments, which can be taxing considering all the time zones.
Step 7) Publicize your Blog Tour: Make a big honking deal out of it. Name it, post the details on your website and on your social media platforms, like a rock star launching a musical tour!
Step 8) Write your Blog Entries: Of course, you will be talking about your book and maybe your writing career as well in general, but be sure to make each entry unique. Try to slant your piece toward each blog’s area of interest. So yes, include an image of your book cover, but look for other images that pertain to research or something readers of the blog will be interested in. If the blog is slanted toward writers, for example, you might include a photo of your work area. If the blog is about the locale in which you set your book, then include the details about points of interest. Also, make sure to add how you incorporated them into your story. To generate comments, it is always nice to end your entry with a question for readers that will generate discussion.
Step 9) Stay on Topic: Unless you are building a platform on controversy, this is not the time to post inflammatory information, which are politically charged. Being provocative might fuel lots of comments, but you are not likely to ingratiate yourself to visitors or to the blog manager. As, you will not be able to sell many books or be asked back!
Step 10) Do not Skip the Follow-ups: The day your entry is posted, be sure to respond to every comment, even if only to thank the commenter. Moreover, if you are offering a giveaway, keep a log of each blog site, the winner’s name and contact info, and the prize. At the end of the day, post a final comment to thank the blog owner and all the commenters for their time and input.
Well, carrying out a blog tour is all about research, planning, and follow-ups, very much like writing a book. Take the time to set it up, and spend the time and effort to do the blog tour, and you will see solid results from the blog tour!
Written By NEEL PREET – Author of the Books, Voice From The East (2016); Journey With Time Place And Circumstances (2018) & Indian Defence Files (2021).