All of us here at Writers In The Storm are happy to welcome Cynthia D’Alba, a genuinely nice person and a debut author of Texas Two Step, a new Samhain release. I’ve often wondered why authors do blog tours. They seem like a bucket load of work. Are they worth it? Cynthia thinks they are and thanks to her blog today, I now know not only the benefits, but the pitfalls to avoid.
By Cynthia D’Alba
Thank you to the Writers in the Storm ladies for inviting me here today. I share the talented Laura Drake with these gals as I twisted Laura’s arm to join my group blog, Everybody Needs A Little Romance wherewe almost never discuss writing. It’s more a slice of life, story-telling and jokes . . . a “get-to-know-us” blog for our readers. So I am flattered to be asked to contribute to a writer educational blog.
I rarely, if ever, blog about the craft of writing. Because I’m a debut author, I figure there’s always someone else who knows more than I do about the subject. But not today.
Today, I’m discussing Book Blog Tours. Why am I such an expert on this topic? Because I’m currently completing a tour of twenty-seven blog stops. Some things I did right, some things wrong, and there are some things I wouldn’t do again.
I picked up more new people via posts on book review sites than I did from fellow author sites. I didn’t expect this. I’d thought that an author would have fans who visited her blog on a daily or regular basis and that they’d be interested in this new author (aka…me) and check me out.
Finding new potential readers worked best at book review sites, followed by group blog sites, and finally single author sites. Some of the commenters were people who followed my blog from stop to stop rather than new viewers.
Bottom line . . . my hosting author may have benefited as much as I did.
So, something to keep in mind: The next time an author wants to guest blog on your personal blog site and promote their book, consider the benefit as a host.
What would I do different? Focus on book review sites and other book reader sites.
Plan far in advance if you want to schedule a blog on a book review site. I learned this when looking for sites to host my tour. One site was scheduling for February posts back in October. All their blogging slots were gone in hours. Most of my February posts were scheduled in September, October and November. So PLAN AHEAD. Months ahead.
Take advantage of reader yahoo loops sponsored by your publisher. Texas Two Step is published by Samhain Publishing. Samhain has a yahoo loop, Samhain Café, which was set up for their authors to interact with Samhain readers. I snagged quite a few blog tour followers from posting at the café.
Extra Steps I Took To Help Make My Blog Tour A Success
I wrote a prequel for my debut book, Texas Two Step, and posted episodes from the prequel for the two weeks prior to my book’s release to stir up interest in the main characters.
First fact – This was a TON of work.
Second fact – it worked!
- Third fact — I had more hits on my tour during those two weeks than before or since.
I jumpstarted the project by creating a separate blog at Texas Montgomery Mavericks.
Each of the prequel episodes were written in MS Word, converted to pdf and uploaded in a separate blog post. This allowed me to schedule that day’s installment of the prequel to go live on the right day at the right time. I used pdf because it prevented readers from copying and printing the files. Uploading a pdf file on a WordPress.com blog is just like uploading an image.
Would I do a prequel again? Absolutely.
What would I do differently?
First of all, I wouldn’t have waited until the last minute to write each prequel episode. They should have been written about two months before the tour started. Writing and editing each installment required a sizable chunk of time. It was a ton of work, but I have no regrets.
Realize that each installment of Texas Two Step-The Prequel required that I prepare THREE separate documents.
- Each episode of the prequel was edited and converted to pdf.
- A separate post was made to the Texas Montgomery Mavericks blog (to set up
the upload for the scheduled time and list links to previous posts.)
- A third post was made for the guest blog host.
Second, if you are going to do a book blog tour, write guest blogs four to six weeks before the tour begins. There is a reason for this. Writing so many guest blogs in such a short time drained my creativity. I’ve hardly written a word on my current WIP. By the end of each day of my tour, I was brain dead. I’d used my “daily allotment” of clever phrases on blogs, instead of my WIP. Prewritten blogs save a lot of headaches, plus they can be tweaked as the tour proceeds.
Third, I crammed lots of blog visits into a tight window. My thought was to blast the internet with my presence. That was a mistake for a number of reasons.
- When you guest blog, you’ll want to notify RWA chapters, friends, Yahoo loops, Twitter, Facebook and everyone else you can think of. If the blogs are too close together, you risk having all these great sources becoming sick of your promo, promo, promo.Soon, they begin to ignore your posts and they certainly won’t show up at your guest blogs. Trust me! They won’t love you for this.
- My advice is to limit your guest blogs to no more than three (max) per week. I attended anywhere from 4 to 7 blogs a week for four weeks. Too much! Limiting guest spots keeps you sane, gives you time to write, and allows your friends and fellow writers a break from you. If I were do another tour, I would do 3 days one week, 2 the next, 3 the next, etc.
- While guest blogging, you must continue to “chat” and be normal on Facebook and Twitter. Saying, “Hey! Leave me a message today!” doesn’t work. Normal chatty interactions like “Ugh. Dog bath day. Don’t you hate those?” is expected and needed. Readers don’t want to be slapped across the face with nothing but promo. The idea is to make friends with your readers. Friends will buy the books of friends.
What Makes Your Blogs Popular With Commenters
Guest posts with no giveaways will draw fewer people. We (the normal public) like freebies and prizes. Many guest bloggers have a backlist that they use as prizes or give-aways. Not me. Texas Two Step is my debut. What to do?
My author friends stepped up to the plate and donated books to use as blog prizes. The vast majority of these books were digital thus eliminating postage expense. Getting them into the hands of winners was easy. Plus, my friends got PR out of the deal when I posted links to their websites, Twitter and Facebook accounts as well as posted a small cover picture of the book of the day. I also had two freebie giveaways for anyone just for the asking. Those are still available! See the bottom of this post.
Readers love book gift certificates. I also gave away five $5 gift certificates to the Samhain Bookstore. Since during my tour Texas Two Step was discounted from $5.50 to $3.85, winners of the gift certificate could buy my book (hopefully) and have money left over to go toward another Samhain book. One of my winner let me know that when she went to the Samhain Bookstore, she got a 40% discount for being a first time buyer. With the $5 gift card and a 40% discount, she bought multiple books including Texas Two Step. A win-win for me, my publisher and the reader.
Recognize the person who faithfully follows the tour. I have a “Faithful Follower Award” to give to the person who visits and comments on the most stops on my tour. The prize is a $25 gift card to the online store of the winner’s choice. This award has prompted commenters to come back time after time.
Respond to comments. I hate to visit a guest blog, leave a comment, and the author on tour doesn’t have time to stop by and respond. IMHO, that’s just rude. If you are going to blog, then you need to respond. I went on my tour to connect with people. Yes, it’s a enormous time suck to respond to each person, but this is person-to-person marketing, the most powerful mode of reaching potential readers.
A Note of Caution: Do not giveaway copies of your new book. I am told that this will prompt people to wait on buying the book, trying to win a copy instead. I think I ended up giving away only 3 advance reader copies.
Those are a few of my thoughts about my experience. Feel free to ask me anything. I never could keep a secret!
If you want to learn more about me check out these links:
My website, CynthiaAlba.com, Facebook. Twitter, group blog, Everybody Needs A Little Romance , and my personal blog, Cyndi’s World
And if those aren’t enough, Sign up for inside scoops and special contests by receiving the newsletterI share with my blog buddies.
Texas Two Step is available at Samhain, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble or you favorite online bookstore.
And as I mentioned above, I do have a couple of freebies just for the asking!
A very informative post, Cynthia. Sounds daunting, but gave some good pointers. Thank you!
Thanks Gerri. Hope there was some take-away information for you.
Very worthwhile information. Appreciate your sharing all this feedback. Good luck with your career.
Thanks Alice! Glad it was helpful.
Appreciate your leaving a message
Great advice, Cyndi! I’m about to embark on a tour for my second book in the Whispering Woods series. It releases Friday. I’m glad to see your advice matches what I have planned. From this week until March 30th, I have more than a dozen bloggers who are either hosting my release info and/or a guest post. For the entire month of April, I will be hosted at book review sites for twenty stops. Some of them are excerpts or book reviews, so I don’t have to write a post on each one. I can see how you would be creatively sapped after that. I’m not giving my book as a prize, but I do have small prizes and a grand prize. I hope mine is as successful as yours has been!
Brinda – I’d be interested in hearing what you learned on your first tour that make you change what you’re doing in the second tour.
Thanks for coming by
Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m exhausted just reading about it. But you did a great job getting your name out there. I hope it translates to many sales for you!
Me too, Myla but I don’t know that I’ll ever be sure that it sold books. I do know I was exhausted when it was over.
There’s a wealth of information in this post. Makes me tired just thinking about all the work you did. Thanks for sharing!
Ha! You were sitting there as I churned out prequel episodes and blog posts! You KNOW how time consuming it was.
Thanks for coming by.
Congratulations on your new blogging gig at http://everybodyneedsalittleromance.com
Loved these suggestions Cynthia! Especially the Faithful Follower one. I start my first blog tour for my debut in about 2 weeks. Wish I had known some of these beforehand, but glad to have them to use for my next tour.
Thanks for sharing and Congrats on your release and your successful tour!
Send me an email when your tour starts. I’d love to see how it goes. Plus I’d love to hear from you after your tour. Tell me what you learned!
Thanks and good luck
Hi Cindy, excellent advice. I went through a blog tour last year.The month tour included about two or three posts per week at friendly popular blogs or review sites. Although I prepared my posts way in advance, I was exhausted. And I think my friends were tired of me begging them to leave comments. In the end, I don’t think the tour was such a big help for sales. That was my last blog tour. Now I prefer to be a regular on Twitter and Facebook. I discovered the best way to sell a lot of books is the right price!
I think you’re right about a lot of books are the right price, but that only works for an indie author. With a publisher, I don’t have control over prices.
and OMG yes on wearing out your friends begging them to comment. I got embarrassed to send the “I’m blogging” message. I could feel the eye rolls. 🙂
What I didn’t talk about was the Release Day Super Party, a whole different topic. That day was WILD and I think may have been more effective in getting attention.
Thanks for coming by and leaving a message
Great Info Cynthia. This is the first blog I’ve seen on the subject. Had no idea how much work it was. Sharla
Honestly Sharla, I just barely touched the subject. If I really told all, you’d be looking at a 5k post! 🙂
Loved your “prequel” idea! Guess it’s as true as ever–no substitute for hard work!
Good luck with your sales.
Hi Stephanie. I agree. I think the ThePrequel was a nice addition to the tour and (fingers crossed) help sales. Too early to say.
But I did enjoy doing it. LOTS of work, but still, I think it gave new readers a free sample of my voice,
Thanks for leaving a message
Thanks for sharing Cynthia! I enjoyed reading what worked for you and what didn’t. I was impressed you did all those blogs in that short amount of time! Good luck with your release!!!
Hi Karilyn! One of my guest blog winners 🙂
Hope you found something in there that you can use.
thanks for coming by and for stopping on some of my tour stops too.
I appreciated your experiences. I’m having trouble with the facebook twitter, witty comments all day thing, but I’m workig on it. Writing the post weeks in advance, uber important. I’ve only done two blogs since my release February 9th with a few more scheduled and an ebook expo coming up and my site hit went up by 2000. Not so on sales but I think people are waiting to see if I write another book since it’s a series.
Again great advice.
Hi Cora. I’ve had quite a few message from readers wanting to know about the next book, not to mention a phone call from MY SISTER who wanted to know what happened to one of the secondary characters (Drake, if you read Texas Two Step!)
Did you know you can SCHEDULE tweets? Write them ahead of time and set a time for them to post?
And I don’t know that I’m all that witty but I try to give glances into my day or answer people or comment on someone else’s comment. In other words, I TRY to extend the hand of friendship through my social networking. Promo, promo, promo is a good way to lose followers and friends.
Thanks for leaving a message!
Side comment. Writers in the Storm has been a great help in my writing journey, with your articles and wordlists, just great. I use them along with my thesaurus and book shelf muse.
Thanks, Cora Blu
Great advice Cynthia. I’ve only done two so far, but writing them in advance was a big help. My site count has gone up by 2000 hits since my release date 2/9/12 so I’m hoping it’s from commenting not just on my blog dates but on others. Sales aren’t there, but I think being it’s s series people are waiting to see if I actually write the next one.
Great post. Much to think about.
Thanks for such a comprehensive LOAD of information. Every corner has more challenges and questions than answers for the intelligent human. This post gives me an idea of what lies down that road. Thank you.
Hi Sally. I’m glad you found it helpful. Feel free to ask me anything.
Excellent advice. I forwarded the URL to https://groups.google.com/d/forum/writingtips
hopefully the 1200+ people there will come visit.
Oh crap, Pepper! I TRY to respond to everyone. I swear…if you make 1200 people comment and I have to respond, I’m coming down to LA to have a hale and hardy discussion with you! LOL
Thanks for forwarding the link. 🙂
Side note: Pepper is (or was!) a friend. She knows how much I appreciate her support.
Oh, please, she’s still your friend 🙂 Pepper’s a class act Very nice, blog, Ms. D’Alba
Thank you for telling me about your experience. I am in the last few weeks of a 3-month blog tour and it’s been interesting. I don’t know if it has generated any sales because the numbers aren’t out yet, but the blog sites got a lot of hits. Don’t know what that translates into, though. It didn’t hurt me, that’s for sure. I have been told that by not giving away any of my books that people don’t usually comment but there are only so many books I’m allowed to give away by my publisher anyway. Your idea of giving away other’s books or a gift certificate sounds like a good idea. Thanks so much for this. I hadn’t read anyone else’s take on book blog tours.
I love giving my friends a little PR by giving away their books. I tried to match the genre of the prize book to the blog. For example, I was interviewed on Bitten by Paranormal Romance, so I gave away Altered Destiny thinking that the readers there would enjoy something with a paranormal/UF slant more than a straight romance category from Harlequin. On the same vein, I was on Barbara White Daille’s blog. She writes for Harlequin American Romance. A hard-core erotic would not have been appropriate. Matched RS with RS blogs, etc.
If you don’t give your blog visitors as reason to leave a comment (i.e. a prize), then yeah, I think many visit but don’t comment. You can tell that from the blog statistics.
Maybe book blog tours are something we authors could talk about more and learn from each other what worked and what didn’t.
Thanks for coming by and leaving a message.
Really enjoyed this post about your experiences, Cynthia. As a longtime blogger and newbie author, I’ve had similar experiences when my book released last fall.
I’m a big champion of blogging, as my writers’ group knows, since a lot of the writers love to write books but feel unhappy when they’re blogging. They know they should blog to promote, but find it almost painful. I’ve given several workshops on how to find the joy in it all. I’ll be sharing this post with them, because it’s a tasty carrot when they don’t feel like considering a blog tour.
some people just aren’t made for blogging. IMHO, I think they are making blogging too hard. Most readers don’t want to read posts like this one. They want to know the writer as a person. And blogs don’t have to be long. Short is great. As it pictures. I think readers love to see pictures from the author’s every day life. It doesn’t have to be pictures of the author, or even her family, but flowers from the yard, or a picture of the inside of her dirty car, or pictures of where she writes, etc.
Remind them that blogging, and all social sites, are there to extend the hand of friendship to the reader. It’s a cocktail party, which means they have to interact with comments back, not just throw up a blog for the day and never go back. That’s my pet peeve!
I really enjoyed your post, Cynthia. As a longtime blogger and newbie author, I’ve shared similar experiences. I do feel that reaching out to your readers via social media is a strong way to build and maintain a readership, so the time and effort put into a blog tour is well worth it.
Cynthia, I’ve bookmarked this page for future reference. Thank you! I also have a couple of questions: How many of your visits were scheduled before and after your release date? How far in advance did you start?
These are excellent question. For most author or author group sites, usually a month or two is fine. But if you want to be on a book review site as a guest blog or get them to interview you, that may need to be done MONTHS on advance, depending on the site. As I noted above, I was booking my February dates in October and I STILL didn’t get on one of the book review sites I would have like to. So as soon as you have a publishing date AND think you want to do this, start researching book review sites.
Before my release…about 19 stops, including my own group blog. Today’s post is the 9th or 10th after my release, which was on 2.29
If you are going to hit spots before the release, be sure the book is available to preorder.
I’m not sure I had the right combination of before and after hits. I think I need to do more after hits.
Thanks for the info, Cynthia. I appreciate your hard-won knowledge. Good luck with your sales.
Good luck with your tour, Joan. Drop me a line and let me know what you learned
I’ll certainly let you know. But first I have to get published! 🙂
I have a month long blog tour coming up in July-August after my July 20 release. I love your idea about writing a prequel! Easy enough for me to do since my Hero and Heroine were previous lovers…
Great advice all around, Cyndi. Thanks for sharing!
Cera duBois aka Sara Walter Ellwood
A Hunter’s Angel July 20 from TWRP
Hi “Cera”…So glad you included your aka so I’d know it was you.
Remember though…those prequels have to be well edited and error free. Lots of work. Plus you want to try to capture not only your voice but also the tone of the book.
Thanks for coming by. Send me a note when your tour starts and I’ll try to drop by
Boy am I glad someone shared your blog link with me this morning!! I’ve taken notes and feel so informed. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge.
Oh Sheri…I have just scratched the surface! But I’m glad it gives you a starting poing for your tour. Best of luck!
Cyndi, I would have been here sooner, but I had to go lie down from all the work you did, I was so tired. I sat back and was amazed at all the savvy things you did, e.g. promoting other authors, which gave them a vested interest in your blog tour.
Also, blog tours aside, I’m really enjoying Texas Two Step. A blog tour, after all, will only get you so far. The author has to write a captivating book and you did. Congratulations, and thanking you for all this invaluable information.
Hi Donnell (everybody! Donnell is also a first time author. Her book, THE PAST CAME HAUNTING, from Bell Books is an Amazon BEST SELLER! Congrats, Donnell. It’s a wonderful book.)
Thank you for reading Texas Two Step and enjoying the read. I will agree with you..A tour can only carry a book and author so far. A sucky book with a great tour with not do as well as a great book with a sucky tour. Spend your limited time wisely.
Great information. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Thanks Angelia. Glad you found useful information in here
That’s some great advice. I’m going to reblog this one~~
Reblogged this on CC James ~~~ writer and commented:
Cynthia has some great advice for writers doing blog tours.
Thanks for the reblog! I’m thrilled that my experience can help others avoid some pitfalls and make the best use of their time.
Please pardon my ignorance in this area, but is there a key source/s to go to research and then ask for participation on book review sites? I have a client who is a new author and would love to know how/where to “start” the blog touring process. Many thanks! Cally
Hi Cally. Let me plug a site.
Author Entrepreneur. Management. Solutions
This is a brand-new site from the brilliant brain of Amy Atwell. It is FULL of tools for authors. One of the areas is a searchable book review area. It a membership site, but the fee is inexpensive for the amount of information there.
I would direct you to her site for comprehensive book reviewer listing.
Thanks for the shout, Cynthia. Cally and all–Author E.M.S. is a growing online business resource library. We do have a searchable database of over 500 book reviewers. You can see how the database works in the video tutorial at
The membership fee for those who join between now and June 30, 2012 is just $36 for the first year. The site also contains information on copyright, ISBN, freelancers, self-publishing, Amazon, Facebook and more.
Thanks for sharing your experience. Wonderful adivce, too.
Hi Karen. Hope it helps.
Thank you for leaving me a comment. It’s nice when people take the time! 🙂
Sounds like the makings for a great article in the RWR! Thank you for posting this Cyn.
Oh God Karin. Kill me now! LOL LOL
Cynthia, I am still at the “aspiring” stage, but this is a very important aspect for me to learn for somewhere down the road. (Waving 🙂 … Hold a place for me over there. This topic ran around some loop or another last month. I think it was attached to “how do you find your readers.” The consensus at that time was that the best way is word of mouth, followed by good reviews. Interesting that you site the review blogs as the most successful.
Thanks again … WITS is one of my all time fav’s and I always enjoy their guests 🙂 … still waving.
AND don’t forget my publisher’s yahoo loop for readers. I’m with Samhain Publishing. They have a yahoo site, SamhainCafe, that is set up for interaction between readers and between readers and authors. That was a great place to introduce myself to new readers.
Excellent Blog Cyndi and it even helped me get caught up with what you’re doing. Glad I read it and I’m passing it on.
Teresa!! I am so glad to “see” you! Thank you for coming by and leaving a message
Great advice! I agree with everything you’ve said. Had an argument with a friend over giving away the latest book – however, I have broken down and started doing it on these last few blogs. Since I have two books out in March – I thought I should give the e-book only away and hopefully encourage the purchase of the print book. Love the idea of faithful follower. I will do that!
It’s all madness, isn’t it?
I’m glad you had a successful blog tour.
I didn’t talk too much about the Faithful Follower, but that was time consuming. I had to log the use ID of every person who commented so I would have an accurate count. After 5 or 6 blogs, it became obvious WHO I should be looking for.
You were such incredible support to me during my tour. Thank you so much
Thanks so much for all this super helpful information. My CP will have a book coming out this year and so this is timely to help figure out what is worth her time and what’s not. Plus, it’s just good to ‘see’ you again. Haven’t ‘spoken’ since the PRO retreat committee last year! CONGRATS for such an exciting year for you since then!
Hi Barb! Wonder if anyone is missing me on the PRO committees! I know I’m missing them. LOL
Doing a book tour is a time suck. No doubt. I’m not sure I used my time wisely but I’ve learned what I can and can’t do in a week.
Thanks for coming by and saying hi.
Thanks for sharing, Cyndi!
I did a “traditional” blog tour like you did back in November/December, and last March I did The Month of the Hero with another author. We had posts every day about heroic traits and some of the people who embodied them. The biggest thing I learned from both of those tours is not to ever expect comments, but that doesn’t mean you’re not getting exposure. Even when we were giving away $25 gift certificates, we’d have well over 100 hits a day to the post, but only 3 or 4 commenters.
The more authors there are doing blog tours and giveaways, the more we divide the readership and water down the effect and therefore the value, IMO.
But you had some great insights into things that do work, so thanks again!
Good point…# of comments does not necessarily indicate impact. Lots of folks won’t leave messages. But that’s why I tried to have a prize (or reward) for leaving a message.
I’ll say…I left a message the other day on a blog and I just got a note that I won the book the author was giving away. I AM THRILLED!! So even other authors love to win books. Remember that authors were readers first and readers still.
As far watering down the effect…That’s where I think targeting comes into play. Target your stops to places where your readers would be. Thanks for coming by.
Good blog, Cyndi! There’s a lot of work in doing promo for a new book…you’ve learned a lot. Thanks for sharing that info!
Hi Judy! You were so fabulous about following my tour and giving me support. I really appreciated it. I’m glad you found it useful.
An info-packed post, Cynthia. (I would read it just to see a few more glimpses of the cowboy on your cover.)
I see your offer of trading cards. I’ll take these and hang your cover by my desk for daily stimulation. Wa-hoo!
On the topic of trading cards, I’m out of the loop. Perhaps you will post about how you use these. How do they differ from postcards or business cards?
Thank you for setting such a professional example for the rest of us who are following in your promotional footsteps.
Thank you to WITS for featuring Cynthia’s wisdom.
Hi Julie. Thank you for your kind words. Drop me an email at cynthiadabla at gmail dot com with your name and mailing address. I’ll be happy to send you a Romance Trading Card.
I confess to being surprised at the response to the Texas Two Step Romance Trading Card. I’ve sent quite a few out. However, I suspect most want to stare at the cover…not that I can blame them. What a hottie!
Thank you so much for your post. I’ve wondered if the blog tours were worth it and I agree that friends get overwhelmed. I can barely keep up with my CP’s blog posts as it is, when they start a tour, watch out.
It got to the point I hated to send out a notice that I had another guest blog! and that seriously wasn’t fair to me or to my guest hosts.
I can’t say yes or no if the tours are worth all the work. All I knew was that I had a new book, I am an unknown author, and if I DIDN’T do all I could to get my name out there and my book tanked, I’d always wonder…Could I have sold more.
Thanks for coming by and leaving a message
I’ve always wondered if blog tours boosted book sales. I love the idea of writing a prequel and posting it on your site. While it does sound like a lot of work, giving potential readers more than just a current book blurb is genius. Have a great week!
Thanks Jennifer. I’m working on my next book, which will actually begin before the end of book one (meaning Olivia is in this book but she’s isn’t back with Mitch yet.) It will sort of an overlap as I write Travis’s story. Travis appears in Texas Two Step near the end of the book, so it’s only fair that Olivia stick her nose in his book! 🙂
Thanks for this, Cynthia! I find writing blogs are exhausting, but it’s good to know a tour can pay off!
Hi Diana. I don’t find writing my every day blog exhausting. give me a topic and I’m off. Limiting myself is usually my problem.
Thanks for coming by and leaving a message
Thanks for sharing your experience, Cynthia. You have certainly been a busy woman! Reading about your experience made me exhausted. It’s good to know that the book review sites were the most helpful. If you were to recommend one more thing an author should do to promote a book what would it be?
I wouldn’t have said this before the tour, but get Romance Trading Cards. Inexpensive and readers love them, especially if you have a cover like mine!
Thanks Brenda for coming by.
With my own blog tour looming in the distant future, this was incredibly helpful. Thank you for posting what worked and what didn’t!
Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse
Thanks Becca. Good luck. I’ve love to talk to you as your tour is going on and see what’s working and what’s not.
Cynthia, you sound like an old pro to me! Congratulations on a successful and entertaining blog tour. We learn things best the hard way. Thank you for passing along your hard earned knowledge!
Megan…You haven’t met me in person yet, but remember this…fake it until you make it! LOL
Looking forward to our writing retreat in May.
My new mantra, I think! Thanks. I’m looking forward to the retreat and meeting you as well! Days of writing with people who love to write, I may never leave!
Isn’t that the truth! Drag me out and toss me in the car at the end of the weekend.
Love the tips…and I should put them into practice. I feel like a promo failure. I don’t really fool with it that much and I wonder if I’m missing opportunity to reach out and find new readers. This gives me a lot to consider. I’m not even sure if I know of any reader review blogs. Since I have a new series coming up, I may have to do some research on that. Now back to revisions 🙂
Liz…you are such an awesome writer. I’d love to see you spread your reader base. Once they find you, they will snap up every book.
Thanks for coming by!
Wow Cyndi, thanks so much for this great advice – some of which wasn’t intuitive – to me, anyway.
I’m lucky to be a WITS blogger, so I’ll know right where this is when I need it next year!
Besides, I know where you live! BUAHAHAHA!
hee hee, Laura! 🙂
I can’t wait to get my hands on your books! They are my cup of tea!
This is great information and I’m saving this site for future reference.
Hi Lynda. Glad you found it helpful.
Great advice. My book is coming out late May and I’ve got a few spots lined up.
Good luck. Send me an email when it starts. I’d love to see how it goes. Plus I’d love to hear from you what you learned.
Well done on the blog tour and on this information packed article, Cynthia!
It’s all a fine balance, isn’t it – keeping the writing time but doing the promo as well.
Anyway, congratulations on your success!
Hi Sharon. Being such a newbie, I did a horrible job balancing the writing and the promo. Lesson learned.
Thanks from coming by
Thanks Cynthia for sharing your experiences.
Hi Kandy. Hope you can learn from my mistakes! 🙂
Thanks for coming by
Fabulous info!! Thank you. I’m definitely bookmarking this for future reference.
Hi Raelyn. Remember, this short blog only scratched the surface but I’m glad you find it helpful.
Loved this post! Thanks for all of the tips. As always you give us the print out and keep type of information.
Hi Vicki! I’m so glad you found something useful! Good luck.
Thanks for sharing these great tips. I know this took a lot of time to write! You don’t have to respond to me. Instead, take a few minutes to relax and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. I will see you at a future STAR meeting!
Hi Naomi! See this from the post…”Respond to comments.” I think that’s important. You took time to “talk” to me and I want you to know I appreciate it!
thanks. See you at March STAR meeting maybe
Wonderful post about blog tours. I’m currently on a blog tour that I scheduled myself and I’ve learned some valuable lessons from your post (wish I’d read it earlier!). One thing I did “right” — no more than 3 blog stops a week (can’t imagine how you sometimes did 4-7). Also appreciate the resource (Author E.M.S.) — I’m checking it out as soon as I post this comment.
Hi Colleen. I’d LOVE to chat off-post about your tour..what worked. What didn’t. How you decided where to go, etc.
AEMS will be a fantastic response for you I’m sure
Cynthia, you may be a newbie but you’re full of information. I loved your advice on scaling back the number of visits on your tour and also that reviewer sites give the most bang for the buck. I hear about review sites all the time but except for the biggies like Goodreads and Shelfari I’m not sure where to find them. How do you locate these sites and inquire about doing a guest blog?
Hi Connie. I had no idea what I was doing when I started looking for review sites, so I got recommendations from friends. If I were doing this today, I’d try a site like http://www.authorems.com/ that has a searchable database of reviewers. That is a membership site, cheap but if you don’t want to join that, start talking to other authors, look at goodreads for reviewers, etc. If the review site allows guest blogs, there will be information on the site on who and how to do this.
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Terrific info. I did my blog tour for my debut in January and I SO hear you on the guest blog writing draining my creativity. I sat in writer’s block for most of the month and I think most of it was because I was so drained from pumping out all those guest posts. (Now I’m busting butt to meet my next book deadline because I pretty much lost that whole month. So lesson learned.)
Like you, I think the highest impact were on reviews sites where I either was a guest or someone reviewed the book. In fact, I think the most effective stops were the ones where I didn’t do an interview or guest post, but the book was simply reviewed. So for book 2 which comes out in July, I’m scaling back my number of guest posts/interviews significantly and am going to try to focus on getting as many reviewers to read the book as I can. I know for sure I’m not going to do the same schedule I did with book one. I can’t handle that again, lol.
Good luck with your book!
Thank Roni. Good luck with book 2. I’d love to hear how it worked for you focusing on reviews over interviews.
Thanks for leaving a message
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Reblogged this on and commented:
Couldn’t pass up the opportunity
Thank you Cynthia. I will be a host for several blog tours this month, now I feel like I’ve learned ways that I can be more helpful to my guest bloggers.
Reblogged this on Black Hippie Chick's Take On Books & The World and commented:
Tips for hosting book blog tours 🙂
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Great advice that I needed as I begin to prep for my blog tours for my upcoming release, RUM PUNCH REGRETS!!! Thank you for this great post and all of the insight, Cynthia 🙂
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