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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Advantages of a Book Blog Tour

I'm about to embark on another Virtual Tour with my new YA book, Shadow on the Highway 
(FREE on Kindle this week only! US  UK )

This will be the third blog tour I have done with my historical fiction books, and I'm really grateful to all the bloggers who are participating, and to Amy Bruno of HVFT who organises the schedule and generally keeps me on track. My first blog tour I organised myself, but it was enormously time-consuming, and now I hire someone to do the prep, which leaves me more time to concentrate on writing guest posts and promoting the tour.

I thought I would highlight the advantages of doing a blog tour, given that there are now so many blogs that readers are often overwhelmed by the sheer number, and end up not reading any at all.
The main point I want to let authors know, is that if you are looking for the blog tour to hard-sell your books, then you will probably be disappointed. 

Blog Tours build sales slowly as they are about relationships built over time with your readers, and about what is now called in the trade your 'author platform'. (Most people I know still think of a platform as a place to catch a train!) Virtual Tours are a chance not only to put your book out there online (where every body is, these days it seems), but to listen to the feedback from readers. Book Review bloggers read to a punishing schedule, often many books every month, and as such they are expert readers. They will soon spot any flaws in your book, and when several of them all say the same thing it is a chance for you, the writer, to address the problem in your writing.

I am excited to hear whether bloggers will notice a difference between my adult and teen titles, and what they will highlight as a great part of their reading experience.

For me as an an author the main advantages of a Book Blog Tour have been:
•    To get reviews and feedback from many different people, which tells me what the people who are attracted to my genre of fiction like and expect, and often quite clearly what they don't like!
•    To gain exposure on different blogs to their loyal followers, who are all people who read and are interested in books enough to read a Book Blog
•    That often, reviewers post up their reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and other online sites, leading to a higher profile for the author and more attention to older titles
•    A chance to chat to readers through comments on my guest posts and bring more life and vibrancy to the book blog hosting me

Whilst on the book tour it is tempting to tweet every review, highlight them all on facebook, and generally drive your regular readers crazy. Of course your hosts on the tour will expect you to promote their blog whilst you guest with them, but this can be a turn-off for your regular followers. The strategy that works best for me is to highlight each blog once, and then return to promote it after the blog tour has finished, so that way you can keep in touch with bloggers after the tour has ended. I do this, even if the blogger has left me an unfavourable review - after all, they committed their time to reading your book above other choices they may have had.

A Book Blog Tour is a wonderful way to increase your networking profile on Google and in search engines, and as a platform builder it is second to none. People are still reading my posts from my first blog tour which was three years ago, and I am returning to some book bloggers for the third time, proving that they are looking forward to sharing my latest book with their readers.

You will find the schedule for my tour if you click on the banner - Please join me to chat about my new release!

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1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your book tour, Debbie. Hope it's successful!