Monday, August 17, 2015

How to Set Up a Blog Tour

You should plan your blog tour the moment you know the release date for your book. Heck, start planning it when you’re editing with your editor. You can’t really start too soon, and the sooner you start, the less you’ll have to do and worry about later.

You can sign up with a blog tour for a price, but if you can’t afford that, you can do it yourself. This post is full of advice for authors wanting to do their own blog tour.

Image from Pixabay

First, you’ll need to find blogs in your niche to contact. You can find these blogs in a few ways:

1. Look at the blogs you already follow. Chances are many of them host authors and accept guest posts. Find an email address and send the blogger a kind inquiry about being a guest.

2. You can check out the top 50 ranking book blogs here: Blog Metrics

3. Check out this website: Book Blogger Directory for another list of book blogs. You can even search under specific categories.

4. Pay attention to other author blog tours. Sometimes there are lists of blogs the author will be going to next. Check them out to see if the audience is right for your book.

5. Set up a sign up form with Google Form and make an announcement on your blog politely asking if bloggers would like to help you out with your blog tour.

I did this for the first time with 30 Seconds and I got a great response. I got an even better response for my double duty tour for Ghost of Death and Witch of Death. (Thanks again to those who signed up!)

Image from Pixabay

As you look at blogs, make sure you check a couple of things:

1. Is the blog current? If the blogger hasn’t posted in a year that blog will not be worth contacting.

2. Check the number of followers. The more followers they have, the more chances you have of your book being seen. But that doesn’t mean a blog with 100-200 followers isn’t worthy. I have about 260 followers and my guests always get a nice amount of attention. (Thanks for that everyone!)

3. Do the guest posts receive comments and shares on Google +, Facebook, and Twitter? If there isn’t so much as one comment or share, it’s not worth it. 5-10 comments and shares (or more) is a good sign.

Once you find potential blogs, make a list of the blog’s name, URL, the blogger’s email address, and what type of guest posts they accept.

About two months before your release date start emailing them. When they reply back and agree to host you, schedule a date for when you can appear on their blog and establish which type of guest post they want (author interview, etc.).
Image from Pixabay
TIP #1: Make each post unique. Don’t just have everyone post the blurb and excerpt. Add a Tens List or a small paragraph on a subject that relates to you, your writing, your book, or your characters.
Create your posts/complete the interviews, and send them to the bloggers with your author photo, cover art, and media kit 1-3 weeks ahead of time.
TIP #2: I like to include HTML codes of a complete post so the blogger doesn’t have to do extra work.

HMTL:

Set up your guest post on your blog with the pictures and links you want used. Then get the HTML code. If you use Blogger, just click “HTML” above your post. Then copy the entire code and paste it in the file you will be sending to the bloggers hosting you.
TIP #3: Make sure to get the new code for every guest post you create.
Many bloggers don’t know what to do with the HTML code, but it’s easy. Again, if you’re using Blogger there are two buttons at the top of a new post. These buttons are “Compose” and “HTML.” Click “HTML”, paste in the code, and then click “compose” to make sure everything looks okay. Then schedule the post as you normally would.

TIP #4: Giveaways attract more people. You can create a Rafflecopter giveaway with some swag. Try not to offer a free copy of your book though, because during your blog tour you want sales.

Here is a list of 10 good blogs who accept guests:

5. Wild Wild Women (Character Interviews)

TIP: Add your blog tour links to StumbleUpon under the “Books” Category and share them on social media. But don’t bombard your followers. Share only the best posts (character interviews and things you think readers will find especially interesting).



QUESTION: Authors: How do you do your blog tour?


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Thanks!


71 comments:

  1. Lots of great info here, Chrys. Thanks for sharing! I am so bad at this marketing stuff. I need to do better! :)

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    1. Thanks, Madeline! And remember my blog when you do a tour because I'd love to have you! :)

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  2. Totally bookmarked this post, Chrys. Thanks so much for sharing! Off to tweet!

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    1. Thank you so much for bookmarking it and tweeting it! :D

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  3. Excellent tips! Yes, set up months in advance, because some of the bigger blogs book early. And thanks for including my blog in your list.

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    1. Thank you, Alex! And you're welcome! :)

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  4. All very important things to remember. And thanks so much for the blogger directory links. That's exactly what I needed! I always plan really far in advance. The more time you have to do things, the better, because you never know what life might throw you an unexpected curveball.

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    1. You're welcome, Christine! Those blogger directories are awesome. :)

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  5. A really insightful post as usual, thanks for this.

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  6. The more advanced you set them up the smoother they go indeed

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  7. I'm excited to find out how this will all go down with my book! eep! And I LOVE when authors do the HTML thing...makes my life so easy lol

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    1. Your blog tour will be amazing, Beth! And I will definitely help you out with it. :D

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  8. You have my rapt attention here, Chrys! Thank you, thank you! :-)

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  9. Those are all great tips. I keep my blog tours small and don't do them often. Even though I usually have 2 or 3 releases per year, I only do one tour.

    Susan Says

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    1. Having to do 2-3 blog tours in a year would be hectic!

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  10. Those are great tips for those that need to organize a blog tour. I would think with a little organization and a little more time people can set their own up rather than pay for one so that was great you provided the information to do so.

    betty

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    1. And you'd be right! I always set up my own tour rather than pay someone else to do it for me. You also build relationships with bloggers that way.

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  11. Awesome tips! I'm saving this page for when I actually have to do a blog tour. I would definitely want to come up with a lot of fun posts and not just have something generic for everyone.

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    1. Generic is boring! And you know I'd sign up for your blog tour! :D

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  12. Chrys you are such a sweet sharing blogger!! I wish I was writing and releasing a book so I could use your helpful hints. Lots of great information found here on your blog.
    Hope you have a great day!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Holli! I love to share what I know and have learned. I hope you have a great day too!

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  13. I keep hearing blog tours, whether self-organized or paid for through a company, don't have a huge impact on overall sales. I'd like to do blog tours, though I'd be so disappointed if I went to all that time and effort and didn't have many sales. When I've done guest posts in the past, I've overwhelmingly only gotten congratulations, not sales.

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    1. I actually sold the most eBooks during my blog tours. Aside from when I do a sale, of course. The sales may not be HUGE but there is an impact and getting your book and name out there is the number one goal. Doing something like a blog tour will increase your odds of sales versus doing one guest post here or there.

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  14. A Blog tour might, or might not result in book sales, but I think they are important for several reasons, experience for the author, networking - which is priceless, and exposure. Nothing negative there! Great post Chrys - I'd almost bet your site is bookmarked more than most!

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    1. I totally agree, Yolanda! About the good that can come out of a blog tour. As for my site being most bookmarked? I don't know about that. :)

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  15. Annnnnd saved. I never thought about using this before but this seems like a great idea.

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    1. Thank you, Robert! Blog tours are really worth the effort.

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  16. Good info here--now when I finish my book.... You modeled this well with your last release.

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    1. Thank you so much! I tried. It's thanks to you and the other bloggers who hosted me that it turned out so well. :)

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  17. It's great to have checklist to follow while setting up a blog tour.

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    1. It is! I'd go insane without a checklist.

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  18. As someone who does the blog tours at Unicorn Bell, I can't tell you how helpful it is to have the HTML for the blog post. It's not hard to fix links and such, but it is time consuming.

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    1. It is very time consuming! Especially if you host a guest 1 or more times a week.

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  19. I love having other authors on my blog. Every Friday is dedicated to just that. :)

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    1. It's nice that you are always so willing to help, Kelly.

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  20. Lots of good info, Chrys. Thanks.

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  21. I enjoy setting up my own blog tours. The spreadsheet google forms has with sign ups is a life saver. It helps me be organized. I would add don't feel guilty doing a mass email to those who signed up to host. Individual emails are nice, but if you have a lot of hosts then you will spend a lot of time sending emails. One friend I signed up for her blog tour and she had individual posts, but she labeled them with our names and attached them to one email and sent it to us.

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    1. I don't know what I would've done without Google Forms during my lost blog tour.

      That's very true! For my tour, every post was different so I couldn't do a mass email and it took forever emailing everyone! Your friend's idea is very good! I'll have to steal that for my next tour. ;)

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  22. Blog tours were so huge just a couple of years ago. I think these days, you have to keep them shorter and have something really original going on. There's so much "noise" these days, I think overall, blog tours aren't as effective as they were in, say, 2011.

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    1. There is a lot of noise. A big blog tour isn't bad as long as the content is different.

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  23. The blog tours are great - I love to read them.

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  24. Excellent tips and I've been leaning towards HTML lately as a host. Let's face it, all of us are busy and it makes things so much easier.

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  25. I've only ever used blogs I know for my tours - perhaps next time I should look beyond the people I already know.

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    1. It would be a good idea. More people outside of your circle will find out about you and your book.

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  26. Wonderful information which I have bookmarked should I ever finish my book :)

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  27. Once again, another post I'm going to have to keep in mind. One of these days I'm going to complete enough of my series to start considering it for publication. Self-published or otherwise. I'll certainly refer to this at that time.
    Thanks again for sharing such wonderful ideas and suggestions.

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    1. You're welcome, Jeffrey! I sure hope you do complete your series soon. :)

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  28. Chrys you rock. I'm up to my elbows with marketing ideas. Thanks for the help--again :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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  29. These are certainly good tips! I do blog tours, but because I write picture books, I find it a little harder to set up my own. I want to reach people who are interested in my genre. So, I usually go with an organization called World of Ink, which is specifically oriented towards children's writers. What you have provided is perfect for MG, YA, and Adult books. (For the record, I'll be on tour in October.)

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    1. That does make a lot of sense. Most blogs are tailored toward adult audiences. Yay for your October tour!!!! If I can help, let me know. :)

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  30. This is perfect for me right now! I'm dealing with these exact plans at the moment . . . in fact, I just did politely posted a google form asking for cover reveal help lol. Now I must go click on those other links to learn more! Thanks for these tips!!!! :D

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    1. You're so very welcome! I hope this gave you some ideas. :D

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  31. What a great post. If I wrote a book and had no clue where to start regarding blogging and getting my book out there, you made it clear and understandable. Great info!

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  32. Thanks for the tips, Chrys. I think tours are fun and enjoy hosting authors on my blog. That's a great way to meet people.

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    1. It is a great way to meet bloggers, writers, and readers. :)

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  33. Hi,
    Thank you for this. I had no idea where to begin setting up my own blog tour and your article has been a great help.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

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