Blog Tours. We've probably all seen them, even if we didn't realize it at the time. But setting one up? How do you find the best blogs? How do you keep up with it? And what exactly do you even do?
That's what Sammie Spencer is here to teach us about. So go grab your afternoon caffeine, get comfortable, and come learn some stuff with me! Quick reminder about our Prize Pack Giveaway. All the ebooks being offered will be announced tomorrow, but chances to win are going on now! Be sure to read the end of the post for more details :-)
Setting Up a Blog Tour
When I first started marketing my book, Amaretto Flame, I saw a few different blogs that were doing blog tours. At first, I didn't realize what a 'blog tour' even was, but eventually I realized that authors were taking their books on virtual tours to gain exposure and connect with readers. I thought, hmmm...I wanna do that. A friend of mine provided me with a resource for all YA book blogs (thanks, Trish!) and I started there. Having no clue what to do, I just sort of jumped in and did it. I managed to schedule a two-week long tour that went really well! You should know that Teen Book Scene (amazing, amazing) will organize a book tour for you for FREE - they're so awesome! But if you want to do it yourself, here are some pointers:
Create a Schedule - The first thing you should do is create a schedule. Choose a month and the dates you're free for the tour. (You don't actually have to be online while you're on tour, but following up with comments and questions on blog posts is a good idea). I originally wanted to go on tour for as long as possible, but after having done the tour, I realize shorter tours may be a better idea. For those following along, shorter tours are more interesting and there's less of a chance it will become boring/repetitive/annoying.
Browse Bloggers - You may already know some great book bloggers, but when I started, I didn't. So, I used the above resource and I browsed through a lot of different blogs. I looked at what the hosts had read recently, the kinds of books they liked, etc. If I thought Amaretto Flame was a good fit for their blog, I bookmarked them. If you're self-published, be sure to check the 'review policy' on the blog to ensure that the host accepts self-published books, because many don't.
E-mail - I created a form email that I sent to about 10 different bloggers to start. It basically told them about my book and what kinds of things I wanted to do on the tour. I wanted to do giveaways, character interviews, etc. If there was anything about a particular blog that stood out, I let the host know that in a personalized section at the bottom of the e-mail. I let them know what the blog tour time frame was, and asked if they'd be interested in having me visit, and when the best day for them was. As each blogger answered my e-mail, I worked out the little details such as exactly what we'd do, whether or not they wanted a book for a review, and what date I'd be appearing.
Keep Track of Everything - If you get an e-mail from a blogger who is free a particular day, mark it on your calendar right away so you won't forget. You can then notify other bloggers of what days are taken and which are still free. If the blogger has any preferences other than the date, you can note that as well.
The Cool Stuff - The bloggers were so amazing to me, and helped me out a lot. One of the things a blogger mentioned to me was an idea for an 'ending' gift for those who followed the tour and commented on every stop. This was really fun, and so after the tour, I went through and marked down those who commented everywhere. Then, I chose a winner. I also tried to respond to those who commented on the blogs, even if it was just a general response.
I had a LOT of fun on my tour and I'm about to go back out again for a few days in June. As long as you stay organized and show tons of respect for the book bloggers, you'll have a lot of fun and the planning won't be too difficult!
TO ENTER to win a copy of Ms. Spencer's AMARETTO FLAME, tweet this post, hop over to her Amazon page and 'like' it, and then come back and let me know in the comments!