What's a Blog Tour?
Writers not only need to write their books, they need to promote their books. Sure, letting the world know of a new book through your social media connections is a start--you can post about a new release on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat, Instagram, Goodreads, your personal blog, and more, but even people who are way more active on social media than I am only have a personal social media presence that reaches so far. And while it is great if your family, friends, acquaintances, and even friends of friends get your new book or at least help promote it with a like, a share (SHARES are much more helpful than likes, by the way), or a retweet, you really want to reach strangers, hopefully without spending big bucks for advertising.
Enter the blog tour. What's that? Blog tours are the social media equivalent of the old-fashioned book tour, where you and your latest book are promoted at a variety of sites over a limited amount of time. But, instead of traveling around the country doing readings and answering questions at bookstores (older readers may still remember those quaint places), a group of bloggers post interviews, Q & As, excerpts, and reviews about you and your latest book in rapid succession (generally one a day) over a period of several weeks, introducing their blog readership (which may overlap, but is NOT the same as your social media reach) to you and your book, with links to your website and book sales locations.
The bloggers may be fellow authors, book review sites, FB sites about the genre of writing that matches up to your latest release, or whatever. Thus, the social media reach of information about you and your book expands dramatically. Not only that, but the focus of the post can be tailored to the individual blog's focus. Local interest, a specific type of adventure, the tech involved in the plot, the writing habits which helped you produce the book, the locations which appear in the book, or whatever. You see, each blog post is different. The blogger conducts their own interview, the excerpts from the promoted book vary, and the reviews are unique.
One key to making a blog tour successful in boosting your sales is that they occur in rapid succession, so buyers from all of these different social media pools go to the book sales sites and buy your book in rapid succession, rather that having the sales spread out over months. The algorithms for Amazon and other sellers key off of rapid (or at least regular) sales over a short period of time. That can boost your sales rank, which can mean that your book gets listed higher on bestseller compilations or is picked by the mysterious workings of the algorithm to be promoted by the book seller to people completely unconnected to you, your blog, or any of the blogs on the blog tour. That lets you reach strangers who are looking for the type of book you have written.
So, how do you arrange a blog tour? If you are well-connected with other blogs or authors (maybe you've hosted other authors on your own blog), you might be able to put something together yourself, but many, many blog tours are put together by people who do that as a business. In my case, I used Let's Talk! Promotions (www.ltpromos.com) because it was recommended to me by Jean Rabe.
Mindy at LTP connected with some of her regular bloggers and some I had previously dealt with and coordinated a bunch of blogs over a two week period, gathered a variety of excerpts from my book for them, sent the book to those wanting review copies, and coordinated interview questions or topics for guest blogs by me, then put together a blog site and promoted the tour, which kicks off today. You can find the tour page here: http://www.ltpromos.com/2018/07/20/donald-j-bingles-wet-work-blog-tour/
Blog tours also often have small contests connected with them in order to encourage bloggers and readers to promote the blog they've read on their own social media and to tune in to the rest of the blogs on the tour--hopefully increasing the chances that they or others will buy the promoted title(s).
By happenstance, I also got interviewed by another blog in connection with a story of mine being published by Gallery of Curiosities. I prioritized responding to that interview request, so it would also appear within the parameters of the blog tour timing. You can find it here: https://stevenrsouthard.com/author-interview-donald-j-bingle/
And, of course, I put together this blog about blog tours to not only educate my fellow writers about what they are, but to promote the blog tour and my latest book. What's the blog tour all about? It's about my latest spy thriller, Wet Work, and the release of the first book in that series, Net Impact. But then, if you regularly read my blog, you probably already know that. And, you probably already know that reviews are not just welcomed, but encouraged.
Hope you enjoy the tour!
Donald J. Bingle, Writer on Demand TM