Monday, 8 April 2013

The Finer Points of ‘The Blog Tour’


Early last year I wrote a guest post for my publisher of @Home in Dubai, Jo Parfitt, where I outlined the Ten Steps to a Successful Virtual Blog Tour after completing one for that book's launch. Now that I’m in the throes of my third virtual book tour, I’d like to reiterate some of the advice and also share some more tips and tricks. I thought the easiest way might be by way of a few Do’s and Don’ts. So, here goes:
Image provided by freedigitalphotos.net by Nirots

Do's
  • Do identify blogs that actually do book reviews and are read by your specific target audience. The best way to keep track is by starting a simple excel spread sheet so you can take note of any special submission requirements and track your progress.
  • Do subscribe and start reading and actively participating in those blogs before or at least right after sending your pitch.
  •  Do send a tailored pitch to each and every blog. I know this sounds time-consuming but at least use the person’s actual name in the salutation. If you do, they’re more likely to keep reading.
  •  Do set up your author platform in advance… at least have a Facebook page and Twitter account. Those are easy. Having a website, blog and LinkedIn profile is advisable too. As you’re developing your plan you can delve more deeply into other places online that happily list indie authors and welcome you to feature your book.  Most bloggers who do book reviews want to be able to link to a website that will offer more background on… guess what? YOU!
  •  Do make yourself available on the day any review runs in order to respond to comments that unfold.
Don’t
  • Don’t take someone else’s blog tour list and just blast to everyone on it. It’s a great place to start but I found that as I reviewed list after list of other people’s targeted reviewers and visited them there were several that were not accepting unsolicited pitches or even any new books at all since they were already backlogged for the foreseeable future.
  • Don’t forget to include in your pitch that you are available for author interviews via email or Skype and would be delighted to provide a guest post as well.
  • Don’t send any attachments unless they are specifically asked for in the guidelines (which you will have read when visiting the said blog to make sure it was appropriate for your genre).
  • Don’t ask for a retraction or removal of the post if the review is negative. Accept the fact that not everyone will love it and move on.
  • Don’t forget to thank each and every blogger who has taken the time to read and review your book.
My virtual book tour for my new novel is ongoing so I’m sure there will be more insights collected along the way, which I’ll happily share down the road. If you'd like to share your favorite do’s and don’ts feel free to add them in the comments below!

Happy Writing!

P.S. If you want to see an updated list of the blogs I've been touring, here's the schedule.