When I wrapped up my first blog tour, I decided to capture what I had learned, for the benefit of others. Where do you find blogs willing to host you? What will they want from you? How much time is involved? Are blog tours effective? Read on to find out!
Step 1: Assemble what you’ll need.
You want everything ready to go, so have your book cover and author photo ready in small sizes that are easy for blog platforms to upload. 400 X 600 seems to be a typical size. Prepare a Word doc with the following:
- A killer synopsis of your book, no more than a few paragraphs
- A brief bio that makes you shine
- Links so people can follow you on your website, Facebook, and Twitter pages
- Purchase links
Step 2: Who will host me?
By one estimate, there are close to 240 million blogs out there, and the number is growing. With that many blogs, you’re sure to find many who will host you. Don’t approach people randomly, though. Look for blogs in your book’s genre. You can also approach people who you know would benefit from your book or a guest post. For example, in my cover email to several bloggers, I pointed out that as a psychologist, I could write on a variety of topics that might be of interest to their followers.
Step 3: Write an email to send to prospective bloggers.
Your email should include the following:
- A brief intro as to who you are
- A bit about your book and upcoming blog tour
- What you’d like to do: cover reveal, interview, guest post, giveaway
- Offer a book for review
- Offer to reciprocate, especially nice for other authors!
- Provide the date range of the tour and the dates you’re available
- Below your signature, paste in your Word doc describing your book. Add info about the genre and audience.
I found my hosts through:
- Prior events I’d participated in, like contests
- People I had hosted one or more times in the past
- And by approaching people who had hosted a friend of mine whose book was in the same genre as mine.
Very few people turned me down.
If you belong to reader/writer Facebook groups, post that you’re looking for bloggers to host your tour, as long as the post is within the group’s guidelines. You can also solicit tour stops on online forums, such as the World Literary Café’s author-blogger connection.
Blog tour services are a viable alternative to doing it all yourself. They will contact bloggers, solicit reviews and posts, schedule, and coordinate between you and the blogger. (I’ve posted a list of some of these services here.) One advantage of working with a service is that it will save you time, allowing you to focus more on your writing. Also, they know many bloggers. While reviews are not guaranteed, many may be happy to read your book. The disadvantage may be cost, although many are reasonably priced, and offer gradated packagesThe Stream, by A. R. Silverberry. If you hire a service, be sure to cultivate a relationship with each blogger, or you’ll miss out on forming a potentially lasting relationship. Many of my friends schedule their tours combining self- and service-organized approaches. Some use several services concurrently, maximizing exposure!
Step 4: Be responsive, and . . .
Be courteous. Follow through. Nothing leaves a sour taste faster than a dropped ball. Be polite. If someone declines, move on.
Step 5: Schedule
How fast you write and how much time you have available will determine how often to schedule your blog stops. Some people do these daily for a solid month or more. Personally, I found it useful to allow at least a day to pass between posts, allowing maximum exposure for one post before promoting another. Also, if you’re like me and write and rewrite multiple drafts of everything, writing two or more guest posts in a row can be taxing.
Step 6: Quality
Blog readers like it short and sweet. Your post should be between 400 and 1000 words. More, and readers will skim or just move on.
Whether you’re asked to do an interview or a guest post, make your writing sing. This is your chance to show the blogger and their followers that you can write. If you throw something silly or trivial out there, people will shrug and move on. I tried to write guest posts that people would genuinely be interested in, including achieving voice in writing, marketing with book exhibits, marketing with book awards, unblocking writer’s block, and identifying normal and abnormal fears in children. Where I have my own unique page on their blog, I’ll be able to periodically promote these posts forever.
Step 7: Promoting your blog stop
Mention your blog stop on your blog, Facebook, Goggle plus, and Twitter. If you’ve got a street team, have them tweet it up for you. Be sure to stop by the day of the post. Post a thank you to the blogger and respond to any comments! Sometimes, people won’t comment on the blog, but they will on Facebook or Twitter. Respond wherever comments appear. It’s engagement.
Are blog tours effective?
How much exposure you get from your tour will depend on many factors, including how much foot traffic the blogger gets, and how unique and interesting your book and posts are. For me, the biggest boon of the tour was not sales. Rather, it was exposure, and the deepening and cementing of relationships with other bloggers.
Good luck, and happy touring!
About A. R. Silverberry:
A. R. Silverberry writes fiction for adults and children. His novel, WYNDANO’S CLOAK, won multiple awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Award gold medal for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction. He lives in California, where the majestic coastline, trees, and mountains inspire his writing. THE STREAM is his second novel.
What if your world was six miles wide and endlessly long?
After a devastating storm kills his parents, five-year-old Wend awakens to the strange world of the Stream. He discovers he can only travel downstream, and dangers lurk at every turn: deadly rapids, ruthless pirates, a mysterious pavilion that lures him into intoxicating fantasies, and rumor of a giant waterfall at the edge of the world. Defenseless, alone, with only courage and his will to survive, Wend begins his quest to become a man. Will tragic loss trap him in a shadow world, or will he enter the Stream, with all its passion and peril?
Part coming-of-age tale, part adventure, part spiritual journey, The Stream is a fable about life, impermanence, and the gifts found in each moment.
Purchase The Stream:
iTunes: Coming Soon!
Purchase Wyndano’s Cloak:
Limited first edition Hardback:
Signed and unsigned copies available only from the author
Follow A. R. Silverberry: