We've run posts on here before about book blog tours, including case studies by self-published authors who have considered their blog tours a success. But we also often hear negative comments from those who are disappointed with the results, particularly if they can see no related book sales. Canadian indie author, blogger and consultant Barb Drodowich proposes the purpose and success of a book blog tour should not be considered from a sales perspective. So if it's not about sales, what's the point of doing one? Read on to find out…
The subject of book blog tours seems to be filled with strong feelings as well as a lot of misinformation or confusion. Because of this I decided to write a book on the subject to help authors understand and it also why I’m writing this post today. I’d like to share some thoughts.
Let’s be clear right up front:
BOOK BLOG TOURS DON’T SELL BOOKS!
So – why the heck would you do a tour if not to sell books?
What's the Real Point of Book Blog Tours?
Book blog tours are the electronic version of an author meet and greet – a book signing, perhaps. This is a PR activity. The authors want to chat with as many readers as they can.
I can just hear someone say – but no one comments on the blogs I visited.
Comments aren’t necessarily as important as sharing. A comment that a reader leaves is wonderful. I love getting comments on my blogs, but sharing has a larger potential. I have thousands of followers on Twitter, and large numbers of contacts on my other social media accounts. If I share a post on my social media accounts, I can potentially involve a lot more people in the conversation than I can by just leaving a comment.
In our virtual world, sharing a post is the equivalent of saying “Come over here and see what this person has to say.”
Book Blog Tours as a Virtual Meet and Greet
Let’s get back to my original point – a book blog tour is supposed to be like a book signing – an author meet and greet. The idea is not sales, but schmoozing. The author wants to share information about his/her book with as many people as possible. To quote a recent article by Aimee, a blogger who arranges blog tours:
“I know when you think ‘Book Tour’ most authors immediately think ‘book sales’ but it’s not true. I always try to tell my authors that book tours don’t sell books, they get people talking about your book, which in turn may help sales at some point but really it’s about getting you as the author and your book out into the interwebs to be found!
How to Run an Effective Book Blog Tour
In order to ensure that your next book blog tour is better than your last one, I suggest two things:
- set goals for your next tour
- choose bloggers to host that have specific features
Let start with a list of questions to get you thinking about your goals:
- Do you want to increase the number of reviews posted for your book?
- Do you want to expand your horizons – meet new bloggers who read the genre that you write? Meet some readers who might become future fans?
- Do you want to chat directly with readers or expose your book to an audience in a different country?
- Do you want to be on tour for a few days, a month, or longer?
- Do you want to participate in a Twitter or Facebook party or be on a blog talk radio show?
For my second point, choose bloggers who:
- Specialize in the genre you write – don’t have a generalized content blog
- Have high traffic numbers (most bloggers are proud of their stats)
- Have a wide assortment of share buttons to allow for sharing your promo
- Have a large social media following to attract interest in your promo and are active on social media
- Interested in featuring an author rather than filling their blog with content
Thanks for letting me share some thoughts about book blog tours with you. I hope that I’ve given you a few points to think about and I hope that you approach your next tour differently!
OVER TO YOU Do you agree with Barb's appraisal of book blog tours? Do you have tips or anecdotes from your own book blog tours to share? We'd love to know!#Authors - why #bookblog tours aren't just about selling books - new post by @sugarbeatbc Click To Tweet
- How do book bloggers work? – by Stephanie Moore Hopkins
- Lessons learned from blog tours – by Dianne Greenlay
- Case study of a blog tour – by Gregory Delaurentis