To all of us that have blogs or have a book and visit blogs, we're very familiar with the term "blog tour." It used to be authors went on a book tour, visiting bookstores or coffee shops across the country or in their region, meeting readers, signing books, and hopefully gathering fans. But as we all know the days of the brick and mortar bookstores are limited, and many authors don't even have a print book. So they've embraced the change and go on blog tours.
Again, you're probably wondering, why is she telling us this? We already know this. Yes, but does your mother? How about your neighbor or high school classmate? What about your spouse? I bet you might be shocked to find out that some of these people have no idea what a blog tour is, have never left a comment on a blog, and only land on one accidentally when doing a Google search for something like, "Tips for putting your baby to sleep."
So, if you're a blogger and you're hosting blog tours, it is your responsibility to educate the people in your lives and your network about what a blog tour is and how they can help make it successful for the author.
One time I had this conversation with a fellow, elderly critique group member.
Me: You should visit my blog tomorrow. I'm having a book giveaway.
Him: I don't blog.
Me: You don't have to blog to win the book. You just have to leave a comment.
Him: I don't know how to leave a comment.
And so on--you can see how this went. And this is so typical--and not just of people over 65. My point--you can't just say, "Yes, I'll host this author on a blog tour,"and then put up the post, and hope people find it and leave a comment. Part of the responsibility lies on the author to promote her blog tour. But I believe part also lies on you, the blogger, to educate your readers, loved ones, and extended network that you are having a contest, that they can leave a comment, and even go as far as help them to leave comments if they are interested in the book.
So, how can you drum up more business on your blog for the blog tour you're hosting?
1. Get your post up first thing in the morning so that it makes it to readers who are subscribed by RSS Feed and e-mail.
2. Use social networking to write about the tour--especially if you are hosting a giveaway with the tour. When you put the link to your post on Twitter and Facebook, make it exciting. Talk up the book. Think of your tweet or your status as a headline. For example: Here's a middle-grade novel with a sweet Christmas story PERFECT for your young reader (and a chance to win a copy): LINK. I see so many tweets and Facebook messages that simply say, "Go to my blog and leave a comment for a chance to win TITLE." There's no explanation as to what the book is or what the reader can get out of it.
3. Send an e-mail out to your list and explain what is going on on your blog. This is the way I get most of my comments. I gather e-mail addresses of friends, relatives, former comment leavers, and other writers. Whenever I have a blog tour and giveaway, I always send an e-mail to this list. Again, I write why the person should take time out of her busy life to go to my blog and leave a comment for the author.
Bloggers are changing the way things are done with book promotion. If you have a blog and you accept blog tours, then just go one step further and do a little promotion of your own. You will be paid back when it comes time to do your blog tour!
post by Margo L. Dill;
If you are interested in giving your blog an uplift in the New Year OR starting a blog, then consider taking Margo's blogging course through the WOW! classroom. It starts on February 10 and runs for 5 weeks for $125. To see the syllabus and register, go here.