Happy Labor Day, dear writing friends! We all know marketing is nearly as important as actually writing, and word-of-mouth is key. What about getting a slew of (hopefully positive) reviews on consumer sights, like Amazon, CBD, and B&N? Blog tours are a great way to get people buzzing about your books because of their reach. Bloggers receive a free copy of your book, read it, and write a review expressing their honest opinion. This month we have Audra Jennings of Litfuse Publicity Group here to share a series on blog tours. Read on! ~ Annette
Blog Tours 101 for Authors
Part 1: What is a blog tour?
by Audra Jennings, Litfuse Publicity Group
Promoting your new book can be a daunting task, especially for new authors. The publisher may be throwing out words like publicity, marketing, banner ads, social media feeds, and blog tours. The words themselves are easy enough to understand—at least they are English—but what do all of those things really mean? How do all these different parts work together?
Over the next few weeks, we’ll introduce you to the blog tour and why every book should have one.
A blog tour is the term used for a group of bloggers who post about a book within a set period of time. The number of bloggers and the length of time can vary as well as what exactly the bloggers post. There are no hard and fast rules, but we have found some variables work better than others.
How many bloggers take part in a blog tour? A blog tour may be as few as 10 bloggers or as many as 100+, depending on the number of books made available and how popular the genre is. For example, a romantic comedy will draw more readers than a deeply theological book about translating ancient Hebrew that is intended for a more narrow audience.
How long is a blog tour? Some blog tours require bloggers all make their post on one day. Others take place during a week’s span, but most of the tours we do are 3-4 weeks, concentrated on the time near the release date of the book. Some blog tours and programs offered by publishers allow bloggers to post their reviews within 90 days of receiving the book.
What gets posted as a part of a blog tour? Some publishers require specific elements to be posted while others are more relaxed in what a blogger can post. Some of the things that might be posted as a part of a blog tour are:
- Back cover copy or publisher-provided summary of the book along with a short author bio
- An author interview (usually a basic Q & A would be provided, but bloggers may submit specific questions)
- A book trailer video
- A chapter excerpt
- Contest for free books or other prizes
All good blog tour posts always include:
- A brief summary of the book
- Short bio of author
- Links to the author’s website and/or direct links to purchase
- The blogger’s personal comments about the book
What’s in it for the blogger? Is there a catch? Each blogger receives a free book, either a physical copy or an e-book, in exchange for posting an honest review about the book. While there are more and more bloggers transitioning to e-readers, the majority of bloggers do still want a hard copy book. Other than the copy of the book, the bloggers receive no other compensation and are even required to note that on their blog. That means you are not guaranteed positive reviews.
In the coming weeks, we’ll explain more about why you should do a blog tour, what your part is, and more!