Blog Tours may be happening in your neighborhood

Posted: January 26, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Book Tour.com: Microsoft NERD 01/14

Book a Tour Online

The first I’d heard of a Blog Tour was during a recent talk at Willamette Writers meeting.

I did some research and found a Blog Tour is an excellent Internet tool to help an author promote his/her book. Instead of authors traveling from city to city to promote their new book, now they can do it via the web with the help of book reviewers who publish blogs.

I found an article by Marshall Karp in Publisher’s Weekly most informative.

He booked a blog tour visiting 30 cities in 30 days. First he contacted his publisher, who said, of course, they couldn’t provide any money for a tour or promotion of such. Karp was able to talk them into forwarding 30 of his books at no charge to blog reviewers he had selected.

Karp found that some blog reviewers have large audiences just like newspaper or radio stations and often received hundreds of comments a day. He selected some that had given him favorable reviews in the past and sent a copy of his upcoming book.

He says contact reviewers that have given you good reviews or tend to give positive reviews: “They’re often floored, because, what the hell–they love to read, and they’ve just heard from a real live author.”

His experience is that they often rave about the book he sent them. The book can then be given away to a lucky reader. But this is where the work comes in. Next, you should follow-up with a personal phone call and ask if they would like to do a Q and A with the author. The response is usually positive.

“These bloggers have an audience to satisfy, so they expect some quid pro quo, Marshall says. ” They interviewed me, e-mailing eight or 10 questions, and I had to set the bar as high for my answers as I do for my novels. The readers who visit these sites may like the fact that I come highly recommended by someone they trust, but I still have to win them over.”

The amazing thing is that his tour provided a 60 percent bump in the visits to his website. Soon after, James Patterson recommended readers check out Karp’s excerpt and provided a link to his website. He received quite a bump in visits, but not nearly as high as from his blog tour.

When I did further research, I found thousands of blogs just about mysteries and one website that promises to set up a blog tour for authors for a fee. This particular site listed all the potential participants, so an enterprising author could utilize the web sites list and book his/her own tours–a possible oversite?

Will blog tours replace personal tours. I’d say it’s very possible except in situations where an author can schedule local and regional appearances or is so big that his publishing company will spring for a tour.

But it looks like an excellent tool for budget-strapped authors who are expected by publishers to carry the brunt of the promotion expense.

Below are links to Karp’s entire article, the website featuring blog tours and another site showing how an author promotes his blog tours:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/print/20091130/41130-how-to-sell-a-book-without-wearing-clothes-.html

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2010/01/08/hasta-la-vista-lola-virtual-book-tour-february-2010/

http://joshua-graham.com/?page_id=296

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Comments
  1. Maureen Kay says:

    Don,

    Thanks for this very helpful information, which I’ll save for future reference!

    Maureen Kay

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