Blog tours are all the rage right now for indie and traditionally-published authors. My advice: think it through, and then talk to other people who’ve done them, and think it through again.
I’d heard mixed reports about them, and decided to try one myself. Now I wish I hadn’t wasted my time.
Working with one of the tour-organizing web sites, I arranged for a two-week blog tour that ended up with fourteen “stops.” The organizer was thrilled by the strong response. At her direction, I’d written a character interview with my lead; an interview of my own in response to a series of questions; and supplied the book trailer and book cover.
One blogger never ran a review, re-scheduled, then still didn’t run it. Nine other reviews did run, ranging from good to excellent. But some were cursory, and a number of them were by bloggers who apparently didn’t believe in proofreading, and weren’t very good writers to begin with. I found the latter aspect of the tour dispiriting. After all the work I’d put into the book, I was being reviewed by people whose writing skills were minimal?
The tour cost $200. I also spent $75 running my book trailer for a month on a web site specializing in the genre of my book. Was either expense a good idea? Absolutely not. I saw no bump in sales over the previous month whatsoever.
There was a good side, of course. I didn’t have to deal with flight delays and all the other hassles of a real tour. But those were the only advantages, and they don’t add up to much. With a real tour, actual people show up, books get sold, and you feel you’re making something happen, however small.
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