The #AtoZChallenge 2017 Theme at Operation Awesome is the Publishing Journey.
For today's #AtoZchallenge, we have a guest post from that fabulous author, Crystal Collier! (We lured her over here with a giant wheel of cheese.) She's here to say that Yes, You Can Run an Effective Book Blog Tour!
Social media is all about who you know, eh?
Blog tours are no different...except that there are people who OFFER their blogs specifically to help promote other people. *points to self* However, the better you know a blogger, the more likely they are to say yes. Realistically, the worst they can say is no. Why not ask?
How many hosts do you need?
This is entirely up to you. How much time do you have to spend online? You should visit, comment on and interact with your host and their readers. Average tours are between 7 and 21 days, usually with one to three hosts a day. These spots may happen consecutively--M thru F for a few weeks in a row. They may happen over the course of a couple months. Keep in mind, it's about reaching people. It's okay to ONLY host your tour on the days you are available, or days that are most popular on the blogosphere. (Monday/Wednesday are biggest, followed by Friday.)
Who to ask:
You can blindly invite every blogger you know to host you. Or you can target blogs that receive a significant # of comments or traffic. Don't limit it to writer's blogs. Find people who feature aspects of your subject. Example: You wrote a contemporary story about a make-up reviewer. Try finding a few people who ACTUALLY review makeup on the blogosphere and ask them to host. You wrote a book that heavily features dogs. Why not find a blogger who posts awesome pictures about dogs and has an avid following?
Structuring a blog tour:
1. What is fun? You need to find something that fits your personality AND your product (book). For instance, if you're promoting a mystery novel, why not ask readers to seek for clues? I once hosted the "Mystery Sentence Game." 8 book excerpts (hosted on 15 blogs--doubled up) with one underlined word in each post that created a sentence. Readers who put together the sentence were awarded a special release prize. Fun.
Or you can go more serious. How about having each host ask one deep/embarrassing/personal question about both you and your product (book)? However, if you go this route PROVIDE POTENTIAL QUESTIONS for blog hosts. It's considerate to your hosts. They may come up with their own questions, but the less you make hosts work to have you, the more they will love you, and promote you.
2. Easy--make links to other posts easy to find and giveaways a no-brainer to enter.
Communication is the key.
Anyone can run a successful tour, but you need to be very clear, and I mean BEYOND clear with your hosts, their dates, the schedule, etc. The more organized you are, the smoother it will be. If you have all your tour links before hand (from hosts), you can have each host post the entire tour at the end of their feature. How awesome would that be?
1. To hosts. Thank you's galore. Say it with a raffle. 2. To participants. Reward them! And lest you think it's all on you to provide a fabulous giveaway, you'd be shocked how many people are eager to give away their product along with yours. Just ask!
Remember, you're not selling your product. You're selling you. If people meet someone they like on the blogosphere, they're going to investigate your product. It's the truth. So be genuine, be upbeat, be awesome. (Your own individual brand.)
You can do this!
Crystal Collier is a contest-winning author of speculative fiction who has promoted more than her fair share of works, including her recently completed Maiden of Time series. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, five littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her at https://crystal-collier.com.