Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How to Host Your Own Blog Tour

*Don't forget to check out today's stop on The Ruby Pendant Tour

I learned very early on that marketing my book would be up to me. That included setting up a blog tour. I know there are other authors out there is the same situation, so I thought I'd give some tips.

1. Long before you want to plan your tour, start looking around the net for book blogs, blog hops, and blog tours. If you find a blog you like, keep an eye on it, leave comments, get to know the blogger. If you come across any hops or tours, check out which blogs are participating. You can find great resources by just scrolling through the list of links. Keep a list of the blogs that you think would be perfect for your book. I keep it on paper, but for the more advanced, Excel is great. You need to include the blog title, website, name of the person hosting the blog, their email address, and if possible, the number of blog followers.

2. You need to give bloggers plenty of time to review your book, so start setting up your tour several months in advance. In my opinion, you should send out a personal email to each blogger that you'd like to participate. As a blogger myself, I hate getting emails that have been sent out in mass. I like to know that the person has taken the time to do their research. Don't be surprised that only a few get back to you. Bloggers are busy and some book way in advance. Often, they won't respond unless interested. Don't be offended.

3. Give bloggers several different options in your tour. The best are always reviews, but author interviews and spotlights are great. If a blogger will do a review, find out if they want an ecopy or paper copy. You need to be willing to send out paper copies at your expense. Give readers at least a month to read your book. Fill out a calendar with which blogs will post on which date and what they will post.

4. Consider allowing blogs with large followings to host giveaways for your book. It will be at your expense, but it creates a lot of buzz.

5. I like to send out a group email to all participating blogs a month in advance with a finalized copy of the calender. That way they can make changes if they need to. I also include a tour banner, author photo, cover photo, book blurb and author info. If I already have sales links, I include those too. I make sure that everyone that was supposed to send interview questions has done so.

6. I divide my tours into weeks. Before each week I send the group of bloggers posting that week a reminder.

7. Remember to check out each blog on the day they post. Leave a comment. Also, tweet, Facebook and blog about their post. Draw traffic to their blog.

8.It takes a lot of time and energy, but a blog tour is worth it. Make sure you fulfill all your giveaway promises.

Did I forget something? or do you some great advice? Please leave a comment.

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