Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blog Tour Thoughts

cv9g9g 011I think blog tours are wonderful.

How else can you promote your book, meet writers, reach readers worldwide, and get better Google rankings? For free?

I do some guest posting during the year on different blogs, but a tour is different—it’s a concentrated effort and a lot of guest posts during a short period of time.

I’ve done a couple of blog tours and there are some things I think I do well and some things I’d have done differently.

Let’s start out with what I could have improved. :)

Time: The release, very close to a deadline I had for another series, sneaked up on me. I think I gave enough time to my hosts to fit me into their schedule…but barely. And it would have been nice, on my side, to have had a little more time to write my posts.

If I’d thought ahead, maybe I’d have come up with a cool logo for a blog tour visual. I’ve seen some that other writers have done and thought they were really cool.

Reach: I think I do really well to reach out to writers. I know where writers are, I’m familiar with their blogs, I’m comfortable. Would it be better in the future to vary my tour and include some stops on mystery blogs that readers hit? Probably! I did help facilitate getting my book to some book bloggers, so I tried…I’d give myself a C there.

Where I did better

I posted on a variety of blogs, some of which might have been new to my regular followers.

I posted on topics that I thought would be interesting to readers and would get good play on Twitter and Facebook.

I tried to think of topics that would work best for my hosts’ sites.

I tried to bring traffic over to my hosts’ sites and be conscientious about responding to comments.

Important to remember:

Be sure to send buy-links for your book to your host.

Be sure to send head shots and cover pics to your host (some will want one or the other, not both…and I always picked my cover over my image.)

Write a pithy bio that tells a little about who you are and what you write.

You may want to check in with your hosts the day before to tell them you’re looking forward to the post the following day (and possibly to remind them that it’s supposed to run.)

If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, post the link to your daily post and what the topic is that you’re writing on.

How long can you keep up? Don’t make your blog tour so long that you get exhausted with it.

Thank your hosts.

My thoughts on what blog tours accomplish:

I found new followers, even though I wasn’t really posting.

I got a good amount of cover recognition and some author branding.

I did sell some books and meet some great writers.

Thanks again to my tour hosts! Below is a list of all my tour stops, my topics and the links to the posts:

8 Ways to Keep Your Series From Going Stale--Confessions of a Mystery Novelist:

A Mystery Writer's View of the World (and 6 Tips for Friends of Mystery Writers)--Thoughts in Progress:

Staying Encouraged During Querying--Author karen walker...following the whispers:

How to blog--17 tips--Anne R. Allen's Blog:

Hamish Macbeth--a huge writing inspiration for me--K.B. Owen, mystery writer:

Tips for writing sequels--Confessions of a Watery Tart:

Juggling Plots, Characters, Publishers and Editors…Keeping it All Straight--Official Blog of p.m.terrell: Book promo--traditional and 21st century methods: Spunk on a Stick:

7 tips for writing away from home: A Million Blogging Monkeys:

What super powers would be useful for writers? Alex J. Cavanaugh:

7 tips for writing away from home: A Million Blogging Monkeys:

What super powers would be useful for writers? Alex J. Cavanaugh:

Tips for those tricky book middles--The Other Side of the Story:

The appeal of a small town setting--The Creative Penn:

Need to get to know your character? Spend a day with them--Penguin's blog:

How to find writer resources--Jami Gold--

How secondary characters can help our story--The Daring Novelist:

6 Tips for Moving Your Story Forward: Penguin's Blog:

Writing schedules, writing setbacks--The Stiletto Gang:

Generous Reviews (thank you!):

Confessions of a Watery Tart:

Thoughts in Progress:

The Book Resort:

Lesa's Book Critiques:

My Year on the Grill:

Joe Barone's Blog:

Anyone else have anything to add or thoughts/tips on blog tours?