12 Tips for a Book Blog Tour

Nancy J. Cohen

If you wish to do a blog tour, determine if you want to offer guest posts, author interviews, reviews, and/or book blasts for your new release. Then determine which hosts you’ll want to solicit. Aim for popular blogs that get a lot of hits and target your particular genre or thematic content. Approach them by asking if you can be a guest on their site. Make sure you study their content and note the length of their typical posts.

I’ve had bloggers approach me to contribute to my site. I’ve turned down some of them because it was clear their business had nothing to do with a writing career. On the other hand, I’ve had cozy mystery or paranormal romance authors query me politely about a guest spot. In those cases, if I feel they’ll have something to contribute to my readers, I say yes. My personal blog readers respond the most to writing craft and marketing articles, so I am selective about guests.

If you don’t care to DIY, you can hire a virtual tour company. However, you’ll still have to publicize the tour, show up on the date of the post, answer comments, and offer giveaways. Send an author photo and book cover image along with your post to the host.

Here are some blog tour companies:
Goddish Fish Promotions http://www.goddessfish.com/tours.htm
Great Escapes Book Tours (Free for Cozy Mysteries) http://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours
Bewitching Book Tours (Paranormal Romance) http://bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com/
Buy the Book Tours http://www.buythebooktours.com/#axzz2OqJtoGjs
Partners in Crime (Crime, Mystery & Thrillers) http://www.partnersincrimetours.net/

12 Tips for your Virtual Blog Tour:

  1. Slant your blog to the audience you hope to reach.
  2. Vary your guest posts with a mix of interviews, articles and reviews.
  3. Space the dates out so you don’t clog the loops with your announcements.
  4. Write your posts ahead of time.
  5. Include a short excerpt from your book with your article when possible.
  6. Add buy links to your book along a story blurb, plus links to your website, blog, FB page, and Twitter at the end of your post.
  7. Plan to be available to answer comments all day when your post goes live.
  8. List the tour as an Event on your various social media sites.
  9. Publish the blog tour dates and topics on your website.
  10. Consider offering a giveaway for commenters with each post.
  11. Have a grand prize using Rafflecopter or a random drawing from all commenters.
  12. Thank your host at the end of the day when your post appears.

For next time, write down blog topics as you write your WIP. This way, you’ll have a ready list of topics available when you need them (i.e. research, the writing process, what inspired you to write this story, world building, themes, etc.).

A blog tour can help you gain exposure to new readers who might not have known about your work. It takes a lot of advance planning, publicity, and commitment to make it a success. A blog tour is another tool to raise your readership and possibly garner some reviews. Schedule with the companies listed above or with your selected hosts as far in advance as you can. So decide upon a target date for your tour and go for it.

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14 thoughts on “12 Tips for a Book Blog Tour

  1. Nancy, thanks for the information.

    As a total newbie, my questions will sound stupid…but. What is the typical (or ideal) number of sites that an author would try to guest host during a book blog tour? How much time would the author spend on each site? What are typical giveaways besides books?

    Thanks for this post.

    • Steve asked: What is the typical (or ideal) number of sites that an author would try to guest host during a book blog tour? I’d aim for 5 to 7 for a week’s tour. It’s best not to schedule two on the same day. You need to publicize the event and one at a time is enough. Even spacing them a couple of days apart is ideal so you aren’t constantly promoting yourself. That’s why a mixture is good. You don’t have to promote a book blast like you would an interview, for example.

      How much time would the author spend on each site? One day, but keep coming back in the following days to answer comments.

      What are typical giveaways besides books? Gift cards are always welcome, like to Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Starbucks.

  2. Excellent tips, Nancy! My third book, Captivate Your Readers, comes out on Saturday, but I’ve been too busy with final revisions to arrange much, although I did organize a 15-book giveaway of writing guides by various authors on my blog (which ends Sat.) and have lined up a few guest blog spots for next week. So much to do, so little time! 🙂

  3. Thank you, Nancy. My two-week blog tour (set up by Berkley Press) begins next Monday. I’ve already written the articles (tailored to each particular blog), and have been spreading the words through various routes, but I’d not thought about listing the tour as an event through http://Facebook.com/FranStewartAuthor. Will begin that right away. Thanks for the suggestion. Now–hoping this process bears fruit.

  4. Fran, you can also list it as an event from your Goodreads dashboard and on your Amazon Central author page. Also put it on your website Appearances page along with a list of all the dates, links and topics.

  5. Good tips, Nancy, but has anyone ever seen verifiable proof that a blog tour is worth the effort ie. that it sells books? I’ve heard mixed reports.

    • For me, the goal of a blog tour is more about exposure. I want to expose my work to readers who might not have heard about it before. Many of our promotional efforts are not quantifiable in terms of books sold. Name recognition is the aim. So for some, a blog tour might not be worth the effort. It is to me. And the more times your name is mentioned online, the more likely you are to rise in the search engines, or so I hope.

  6. Thanks for the tips, Nancy, including the rationale for blog tours. Interesting you’ve found marketing and writing craft are the popular topics. Writers continue to be our blog audience…good thing they/we like to read, too!

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