I’m planning another blog tour in order to promote my Klepto Cat Mystery series. I’ve shared with you before, the process of setting up and managing a blog tour. In case I missed some of the important points, or you missed that post, here’s a rundown.
Why launch a blog tour?
It’s a good way to get publicity for your book. When you contact bloggers who maintain blog sites related to the theme/genre of your book, they become aware of your book. If they choose to be a part of your blog tour or not, they will surely review your book or mention it in a post or two. They might feature your book at their blog site. If they participate in your tour, they’ll provide even more exposure for your book or series, as both of you will promote the blog through your social media accounts the day your review or guest post is published. It surprises me how many people who visit blogs related to the theme of my book series are not aware of my books. I find the blog tour a great way to spread the word to a wider audience base.
How do you find bloggers?
I do an Internet search seeking those who blog about cats and/or cozy mysteries. When I visit a blog site, I check out a few posts to learn whether this blogger posts book reviews or guest blogs. I also check to see how active their visitors are—does this site get a lot of comments? Does it appear there are a lot of visitors? If so, and if their audience seems to be my audience, I contact the blogger to invite them to be a part of my blog tour.
Some bloggers list links to dozens of related sites at their sites. Now this is an easy, albeit sometimes time-consuming, way to locate other potential stops on my blog tour.
How do you approach bloggers?
I locate their contact information. Sometimes it’s a contact form, other times they provide an email address. I tell them about my book or series, inform them of my blog tour, and ask if they’d like to participate. I generally ask for a review of the book. If that isn’t possible—the blogger doesn’t do book reviews or she is booked up through the dates of my tour—I’ll have a few ideas to offer in the form of a guest post. Typically, I’ll write about writing with cats, how I came to write the Klepto Cat Mystery series, my process for developing my characters or the plots, a post from one of my characters’ points of view, or I might even write from my cat character’s perspective. It depends on the nature of the blog site and the type of audience they attract.
What can you expect?
As it is in life and other business dealings, some bloggers are savvy, organized, and easy to work with. Others are not familiar with the blog tour or they aren’t good at returning emails. Some are welcoming and others prefer doing their own thing. Your job is to be clear in your intentions and expectations and hold up your end of the discussion or agreement. When you really, really want to connect with a blogger who hasn’t responded, respectfully follow up. If the blogger wants something you didn’t expect, be willing to supply it.
For example, I’m setting up my tour for the second week in March, but one blogger plans to travel during that time and needed the post this week. Of course, I dropped everything and wrote my guest blog for her that day.
What’s your role?
The two most important things on your plate, once you’ve set up your tour—you’ve filled each day of your tour with a suitable blog stop—are organization and follow-through. Organizing a blog tour is not always easy, especially when bloggers want to make changes in their day or they ask you to write something that’s outside your comfort zone. Keep good and thorough records. I made a mistake this week. I confused two bloggers with similar names and sent the wrong one my early blog post. No harm done—the one I sent it to loves it and will use it on her day of the tour. The other one didn’t actually need the post early. Somehow I got my wires crossed. It is important to include in your records, the name of the blogger, title of the blog site, link, and contact information. Also note the date of their stop-over and your planned contribution, whether it is a free copy of your book to review or an original post.
I would start planning a blog tour a month in advance—especially the first one. Start promoting the blog tour two weeks ahead. The day of each stop-over, talk about that post and the host blog in your own blog, on your facebook page, at twitter, etc. And suggest that the blogger host do the same.
Some authors typically offer free copies of his/her book to someone who comments at the site the day of your stop-over. Check with each individual blogging host about doing this. If you will offer a print book, you might specify that the winner must live within your home country. For me, it would be the US.
A blog tour can last a few days or a couple of weeks. I play safe and run mine for a week. Since I typically contact more than 7 bloggers, if 10 of them come back wanting a spot on my tour, I will run it for 10 days. It’s easier to be flexible after that first blog tour. I’d suggest keeping it simple at first—3 or 4 days, perhaps.
Let me know if you have any questions about launching or managing a blog book tour. Leave a message here or contact me here: PLFry620@yahoo.com
In the meantime, check out Mansion of Meows. This is number 9 in the Klepto Cat Mystery series. The book is getting great reviews. Even my mother said she couldn’t put it down. Naw, she doesn’t love everything I write. But she sure liked this one. http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2