If your book promotion plans for 2014 include taking part in blog tours, make sure you get the most benefit for your self-published books by adhering to the right etiquette. It takes very little extra time but can make a lot of difference to the way readers perceive you – and it will also encourage your host to invite you back for a repeat visit. Indie author Gregory Delaurentis, who last autumn wrote a great post sharing his first blog tour experience, returns today to share his top tips for being the perfect blog guest.
Last autumn I completed a four week blog tour and it was an experience, one that I will not forget. I have to say that there were things that I learned on the tour that were helpful and things that I was exposed to that helped me to have an enjoyable, exciting and fun tour, which I believe it must be to succeed. You can look at it as a job, which I did at first, or look at it like a party of sorts so as to meet new and interesting people. But there were several things that I did, things that I was told, and things that I realized that made it what it was for me. I hope these tips can do the same for you.
- Comment first thing each morning, thanking the host and welcoming readers and those providing comments. This is important. This is your first step in the morning to showing your posters that you are present and you care about them and their comments.
- Make yourself available during the day to respond to and engage those who provide comments and if you can’t, then say so in your morning comments. This does not mean to sit on the blog, but to ‘check in’ at times during the day to see if there are comments and to answer them accordingly. When other posters see that you are responding and are present they are likely to join in or pose questions.
- Pose a question early in the day to those who might comment. Ask them what they like, or what they would like to read about? Do they like your genre or are they merely interested in it. I asked what type of sub-genre did they like and I tried to tie my book into the questions. This gives the posters something to reply to if they feel so inclined.
- Remember people have to feel disposed to post. They are not obligated, neither can they be prodded. With this being said, if you don’t get a large number of responses to your efforts this does not mean failure. Many upon many of blog readers arrive digest the information and move on. But if they are interested they will follow you on Twitter or ‘like’ you on Facebook later. Just because there are very few posts does not mean that you have not made that valuable connection with new readers.
- Use and increase your social network connections. If your promoter has a Facebook post of your tour stop, ‘like’ and share it. If they don’t, link and share the blog site on Facebook yourself. Use Twitter and tweet your tour stops, and if they are tweeted, retweet them. My further advice here is to do this sparingly. Don’t overwhelm your social network contacts with your tour, which has daily stops. Pick and choose the best stops, those that good reviews, or those that have clean, orderly formatting, or whatever your personal criteria may be.
- Thank and acknowledge your tour followers. Don’t overlook those who follow your tour and post daily at every stop. Encourage them into a conversation by asking questions that they can answer either on the current stop or the next. You will build a following of some posters and it’s a good idea to engage them by attempting to start a conversation. They are following you because they are interested in you, so be interested in them.
- Some may find this suggestion to be off-putting but make a book trailer for your blog tour if you can. It is beneficial and people do watch them. I received several comments and questions solely on the book trailer–even the music used. Those arriving want information in all shapes and forms and an easily digestible form of information is visual. Give the people what they want, not what you like. With a good, SHORT, book trailer, you will catch more eyes, and that’s the purpose of the blog tour, to interest as many readers as possible. Don’t pass up a prime opportunity to win a reader.
These are just tips and are there are no guarantees that your tour will be successful or not, but you can increase your interactions and engagements with the tips above. Let your book do the rest. Dedicate yourself to the effort and good luck to you.
Thank you, Gregory – it's been great to have you as a guest on the ALLi blog too! Ed.