So, I am in the middle of my second blog tour, and unfortunately, I am not having a very positive experience. So far I've had bloggers who committed to a certain day and failed to post, bloggers who posted, but made so many spelling mistakes and grammatical errors that I was embarassed to share the links on my sites, and bloggers who asked for a PDF, but obviously never read a word and just cut and pasted what was sent to them by the tour organizer. So, I would appreciate some words of wisdom from the bloggers and the authors. Have I made a mistake by not choosing the bloggers and organizers more carefully, or is this the norm? What is the key to having a successful blog tour and can anyone recommend people that they've gotten better results with?
I'm organizing my first blog tour right now. I've done all the foot work myself, so I got to pick and choose who I wanted on my tour. The experience is going very well so far, including the communication. Everyone is very competent and helpful. I think it's going to be a good experience, but I'll let you know after it's all said and done (end of September).
Sorry you are not having a good experience. Hopefully it will improve by the end of your tour.
Good luck with your tour. I hope you have a good experience.
Are you organizing it yourself or using one of the many services out there?
I've had some luck this summer using two inexpensive services. I've just started my second tour yesterday, so I don't know how well they'll do. The bloggers have all posted what they promised, and on time, and they are generally professional.
I haven't noticed my sales going up very much, though.
Some of the more expensive tour providers claims that they use longer-standing sites with more of a following. I'll be using one of them early next year, when the first book in a series comes out. Figure then I'm investing in more than one book. :)
Last summer, I didn't do an "official" tour, but on my own, I did arrange for interviews, giveaways, and guest posts with dozens of places that agreed to review my book. They almost all came through for me. I can't say why.
I do wonder...one of the things I did was that I started with the review. Whatever they asked for, I only agreed to send them a review copy and then, if they liked the book and decided to post a review, I invited them to e-mail me back to talk about interviews, guest posts, excerpts, or giveaways. So effectively, I only dealt with people who liked my book and were invested in it. (Having spent hours of their lives reading it.)
I'm just throwing things out there...would love a definite answer myself. :)
I've actually used people that I found on this site. When I booked the blog tours, I knew nothing about how they work, so I left it to them to educate me. Both organizers were friendly and helpful, however, I don't think they have too much control once the tour starts. It's up to the individual bloggers to honor the committment they've made.
I participated in my first blog tour a couple days ago. I'm a blogger and not an author, so I have a slightly different perspective. I really liked the organizers that I worked with; they did a good job of matching up the right blogger with the right book. I've had a largely positive experience that's been marked by some great discussions with other bloggers and with the author. There is a lot more pressure to post on a specific day though, which is both good and bad. There's also more of a focus on promotion; the publisher of the book I reviewed asked me to mention a limited-time discount in my post, and that's not normally something I would do. I'm a reviewer, not free marketing, but I was willing to make an exception because I did enjoy the book. I've been checking out other bloggers' posts, and they don't seem to be quite as timely as I was when posting, but time zones might also have an impact there.
That's interesting because none of the bloggers spoke to me at all. I sent the info to the organizers and they passed it on. There was one person who wanted to interview me, but I thought the questions were awfully juvenile. It sounded like her blog was geared towards young adults and that's not my target audience.
That should never happen! And no, it's not the norm. I don't know who you signed up with but I always use Goddess Fish Tours and have always had good luck with them.
The only time I ever forgot to post a tour I'd signed up for was the week my hubby passed away. I hope things look up for you.
Thank you for your reply and I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I would think I would forget more than to post something under the circumstances. I will definately check out Goddess Fish Tours. At this point I am not even sure I'll have another blog tour. So far, I am thinking that my marketing dollars are best spent somewhere else.
Interesting discussion and some wonderful insights.. (to Tory...very sorry for your loss, I'm sure that was a trying time for you).
I can only add a little bit to this discussion since I'm getting ready to go on my first book tour so I don't have much feedback yet, but..
I put together my own blog tour instead of using one of the official tour groups. So far my bloggers seem to be very helpful. I contacted several who I found on the internet that seemed like a good match for my book. Some agreed to do an interview, some agreed to guest post and a 2-3 agreed to review my book. I'm offering 2 copies (PRC or PDF) of my book at each stop. Now, this is the tricky part...I'm leaving it up to the blog host to determine how they choose a winner so I'm hoping that goes well. :) I'm also offering 2 $10.00 Amazon gift cards at the end of my tour from my own website through rafflecopeter. I'm praying this will work correctly and I've set it up corrrectly since I've never used rafflecopter before. Fingers crossed here.. :) I've also added an author reading of the first few pages of my book (through Cinch and my iphone) which is posted on my website and I made a book trailer for my book as well. Both of these were very easy to do myself. I made my own banner for the tour (similiar to what the tour groups do) and I wrote my own press release and submitted it to 2-3 free press release sites. One of those is posted on my website as well. I've tried to think of everything humanly possible that I could do myself as far as marketing. I have all of the blog tour stops listed on my website with links and I'm launching the blog tour through my publisher's blog and newsletter. I have a media kit I put together with all of my social media links, author bio and picks that I simply attach to my blog post each time I sent one to the bloggers. Makes it easier than continually retyping everything.
Now, the main problem I ran into was finding blogs appropriate for my book. Deadly Image is a Christian romantic suspense book and finding Christian sites willing to host and or review the books was a bit daunting. Some of my blog tour stops are general book site and some are Christian. I'm having a very difficult time reaching my target audience ( and this is where the paid group tours would probably have come in handy), but hopefully I have enough bloggers with a decent enough following that will generate some interest in my book.
If anyone would like to see what I've done as far as marketing feel free to go to my website and take a peek. Any advice on what else I might need or might need to do differently next time would be welcome as well. I'm not leaving a link to my site since I think I read somewhere that would be considered spam on here, but it should be listed on my book blog page if anyone is interested. My blog tour will run from August 12-20 so we shall see how it goes. I do plan to send a reminder to each blogger on the tour a couple of days ahead of their scheduled post. okay.. that's my 2 cents .. If I discover anything else after my tour I'll let you know..
Oh and since I"m in kindle select my publisher also scheduled a couple of my "free" days to run right before the tour. My book is free today and tomorrow on Amazon and I think part of the day on the 12th to kick off my tour. Another marketing strategy to generate a little "buzz" about the book. :)
Thank you for your insights. I wish you luck with your book tour. I can see how finding the right bloggers for Christian romantic suspense would be a challenge.
When I booked my two tours I knew absolutely nothing about how they work, so went with people who were recommended on this site. Both tour organizers had been responsive and professional, so I was excited about the process. However, I don't think they know all their participating bloggers personally, and are just as much at their mercy as the author. Some people take blogging very seriously, but some are just dabblers. I actually found out today that weather plays a big part in a blog tour (seriously!) It seems that two of my potential hosts were hit with storms and lost power, so couldn't post anything for several days. As of now, I 've rescheduled for other days.
I've never heard of rafflecopter. How does it work? Also, can you post a link to your book trailer? I would love to see it. I've been wondering if I should go that route. I don't think I've ever purchased a book based on a trailer, but you never know. Do they work?
A lot of bloggers use rafflecopter for their give aways. It is supposed to be a fair contest so no one can say you chose your winners by choosing who you wanted. Its pretty simple (I think) when you sign up and set it up. I set mine us so the readers can enter several ways (with more chances to win). Rafflecopter gives you choices of how you want them to enter. I chose 3 ways. Like my facebook page (5 entries), follow me on twitter (5 entries) and also retweet my contest (5 entries, but this one can be done daily instead of once so the readers could get 5 entries per day from retweets by just entering and retweeting each day).
My book trailer is on my website ( a small version to fit correctly) and it is hosted on you tube. You tube probably won't get many hits, but it is a host so I used it. I used windows movie maker to make it and I got my pics and music from a trial for one of the video/music clips site. I didn't keep my membership because they really didn't have a lot of clips I wanted to use later. I picked the best they had to offer for what I needed and I think it turned out pretty good. Not a blockbuster hit, mind you, LOL, but it gets the point across. :) Most places charge anywhere from 200 -1500 dollars to make a book trailer. That was NOT in my budget. :) So my freebie suits me just fine. I have no idea if they really help sell books or not. I would imagine they might generate a little extra interest just from being a visual. But, I doubt it would generate enough to justify spending upwards of 300-500 dollars to get one ( a simple one) made.
You can find mine on my website. scroll down a bit to where I'm advertising my blog tour. You can see the rafflecopter (though it won't let anyone enter til the 12th), my Cinch audio author reading (can we say I don't care for my voice on audio, but it is a marketing tool- LOL), and my book trailer. Since you ask for a link I hope no one thinks this is spam. :) Trying to follow the rules- LOL! Though really, I would think one link to a blog or website underneath name should be ok. makes it easy to check other folks sites out for various things. I like to do that myself for ideas or interest I've had in a site.
you can find my stuff at www.tameliatumlin.com
Let me know what you think of the book trailer. If that was your type of genre would it generate a bit of interest?
Oh and never gave the weather a thought, but yes I can see how that might pose a problem. :( The only way one could work around that is to have all their info to the blogger very early( maybe a week in advance) and they could post and schedule it to go out on a certain day. That way they wouldn't have to physically post it that day. :)
A couple of the bloggers on my blog tour are doing giveaways, so will see how that works. I've checked out your site and your trailer. Very nice. I think the trailer is great (especially for a freebie). It certainly builds suspense. The truth is, you never know what will attract someone's attention, so have to try everything, especially if you can get it to fit into your budget.
I think it's OK to post your contact information. everyone does it. It's not spam. This is a networking site, so people need to be able to contact each other and make connections. Here is mine;