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Apr 2, 2014

B is for Blog Tours: How Do You Set One Up #atozchallenge

Posted by Wendy Ewurum  |  at  2:46 PM

Everybody is talking about Virtual Blog Tours. They are most definitely the new black in the online book promotion space, have been for a while and I suspect will continue being. Why they are so popular you may ask. The way I see it, it’s in the convenience of having you book sitting on multiple blogs throughout the internet, driving back links to your books and profile within a short period of time. For the most part they are cost-effective even when buying the service. They are most certainly a brilliant marketing tool beneficial to any indie author.
I have written on extensively on the necessity and benefits of blog tours as well as why you do not need to actually buy one but have never given some advice on how to run one. DO YOU REALY NEED BLOG TOUR

WARNING:  This is a lengthy post so if you want to save it for a day when you are tempted to slit your wrists from boredom I quite understand. I just hope it will give you something to think about one day when you consider organising your own tour.
Well lets get on with it the shall we.....

  • Goal Setting

One of the first things I ask an author when they say I need a tour is: 
What do yo aim to achieve with your tour? What does you book need the most right now?
This is a very important question and you need to ask it of yourself. Without a considered response, you could organize a tour that addresses everything but what you need.
For example, if you need reviews the most, there is not much point in focusing on organizing a tour consisting mainly of promotional posts and interview. All you activities during your preparation time must be focused towards this objective.

As I get to know individuals in my host team I get insight into their reading preferences. You should aim for the same with the bloggers you will be working with. So where as it is not such a big thing to have a promo post for your paranormal romance featured on a blog that caters for most genres, you would probably prefer to have a blogger that reads and enjoys paranormal romance on a review focused tour.  Not only will they identify immediately with your genre but their readers and social network followers will be your soft audience too.
Also consider that different types of tours will affect your tour date…you need to make much more allowance for preparation time for reviews than you would a cover reveal.

  • Get organized

  1. One of my greatest frustrations as a virtual book tour organiser is prying information out of authors who have bought a tour package. This will frustrate your bloggers to no end as well if you have not had presence of mind to get it together. To avoid wasting everyone's time make sure you have a media kit available first. It will save you hours of frustration as a result of requests or info coming in at the most inappropriate times. I will speak more about the media kit in my K post entitled: Kitting it Up ( Putting Your Books Best Foot Forward) By the way I forgive all my author clients who don’t have this, we are slowly working it out aren’t we :) ?
  2. Then you need to get your Booking Forms sorted out. Google is a god and Google docs a demigod, we all know this. If you cannot afford to spend money on graphic and tech people to design signup forms for you, just use Google’s resources (See example). In my eyes they are lovely and are more than sufficient to get the job done.You can also use my other favorite,  mailchimp, which is a free and handy marketing tool too. It has a lot more features than Google and you can add your own images to pretty up your form, much more so than i did in this example. 
  3. After this you need to set up your recruitment posts. What will you use, blog posts (exampe), newsletters, etc? It helps to have these templates with what you want say in advance. You definitely want to make sure that by the time you invite people, there is a place for them to get more information and submit their info so you have to have one of these up by the time you approach people about your plans.
  4. Then depending on what you tour objectives are, you might want to write some pre-prepared guest posts and interviews. Most bloggers sincerely want to help but time is a factor. So although you welcome their requests for you to write custom posts or answer their interview, it helps to be on the ready. I would recommend having no less than five of each.

  • Get Your Posse Involved In Recruitment

You need to separate your recruitment into three categories:
~Social Media 
This is your twitter, Facebook, Google plus, Good Reads drive.
Don’t be shy to create event invites in Facebook, Google Plus and Good Reads. This is the best way in my opinion to get new people involved. You may have 3000 friends but I bet you have never spoken to even a third of them. Event invites are a great way to get the conversation going. They are not as invasive as sending requests via inboxes, people seem to take them more seriously than a status update,  and in my experience they have given me the most response.

~Contact list 
Next you might want to go through your email list and your newsletter link, check whom you think might be willing to help you out with your recruitment drive. I only recommend doing this if blog tours are not something you organize regularly otherwise it will get annoying and spammy. An author organizing their own tour would not be a spam risk as you’d be doing it once in a while. 
These are the people you will be handing out your prepared recruitment post to so they can by recruiting their readers to your tour.

  • Giveaways

One of my writer friends said to me they didn’t agree with paying readers to read. I asked them would they be more comfortable with paying for advertising in a marketing company. The way I see it, a giveaway is an incentive you are giving for people to take the time to promote you book. Not read it. 
The truth is, out of every 200 people that see your book, only 1 or 5 might buy. Not everyone is sitting waiting expectantly for it. So you need to encourage as many people to get involved promoting it.
You may one to look out for my G post here entitled: Giveaways With ROI....This is how you set them up.
Yes it possible to see a return an investment from a giveaway right away. I have the client testimonials to prove it.

  • Welcome Note:

And the last thing I will mention for today is, that you need to welcome every page participant as they come in. Bloggers are very generous people but you still need to show your appreciation and acknowledge the as people not a URL.
Thank them for taking the time to help promote your book.
It does not have to be a long email, a few lines that you send out with a copy of your media kit plus a link to where they can get more information (i.e) the recruitment post on your blog.

I hope you found this post a little helpful. I have only addressed the basic necessities here, I may follow this up with one that talks about using themes and games and competitions as part of your tour to make it fun. But that will depend on whether this are interested on it as well.

  • I hope to hear your suggestions if you have organised your own tours.
  • You questions are also more than welcom.

To see what everyone else is talking about on their blogs please visit the #AtoZChallenge list.
Have fun and follow but remember to leave an elegant link back to your blog so they can follow you back.

If you found this post interesting or useful please help me share it.
I would also love for us to follow each other's blogs via 
Google friend connect at the top right of this post.
You have a marvelous day further and remember to leave a blog link in comments below.

About the Author

Most know me as the author to Fabulosity Reads and in actual fact, that is the previous name of this blog. I have since then moved my books to a Wordpress self-hosted blog so that I can have a place to show a different side of me which I am equally passionate about and that is marketing and personal development. I hope you will love being here, watching me grow as I share and learn. My highest hope is that we will grown and learn together in all disciplines affecting our lives. I'd LUUURRRVE to hear from you, so don't be shy...


  1. Hello, there -- Great articles - and I have definitely saved them for a quiet time when I can get into it. Right now, things have to be tightened down; expecting bad weather. Unfortunately, the leaves I raked can't be pinned down...Just hope there'll be no tornados.

    1. Oh Inge please make sure you are nice and toasty. Prepare well and leave the darn leaves will ya? Are you going to freeze yourself because of them LOL. Thank you for dropping on lovely lady. It was lovely having you here.

  2. As an author who organized her own tours before I started Masquerade Book Tours, I strongly advise against organizing your own tours. I know you're like WHAAA??? Yeah, don't do it. I organized two tours for myself and I'm telling you now, I won't ever do it again. Though your post is FANTASTIC and everything you said is the right advice, I still advise against it. The amount of work involved is insane if you are the tour organizer PLUS the author. Take it from someone who thought she was the and could handle it. It's easy to say "Get Organized" and "Get Your Posse Involved". It's not anything like easy to actually execute. But if an author insists on saving $$$ and organizing their own tour, then this post is a great resource. Good job :)

    1. Diantha hi.
      You and I both know the amount of work involved but no matter how much you explain, there are authors who just don't buy that it cannot be done. as a result they are always standing on the sidelines instead of getting their books out.

      So in my mind I say empower someone to give it a go. The proof is in the pudding after all. We deal with a diverse range of individuals and I cannot deny that I have come across authors who have done their own tours quite successfully but thereafter hire a company. Why? they have discovered exactly what you are saying here.
      Its not everyone that will listen to what you say but others need to feel and do.

      It might be seen as madness that as a tour company I am advising people on how to run their own tours, but there is logic to it. Some people need experience, and it does not even mean that after reading the post the author will do it. Just looking at the above alone may convince them not to.

      Either way, the individual is better informed I say. Thanks for dropping in and leaving such a thoughtful and heartfelt comment.

  3. Hi, Stopping by from the A-Z and am absolutely following you. Have saved this meaty post to Pocket to read later ... will hire you do a book tour for me when the time comes.

    1. Cathy thank you so much for dropping in and for the offer to be a patron of Fabulosity Reads. I am eagerly anticipating that query LOL. Thank you so much again.

  4. Wendy, when my time comes, I'll simply hire a company (like yours) to do my tour... well, if finances permit...
    It sounds like LOADS of work! Not that I'm scared of hard work... it's just a matter of leaving it to the professional to ensure a smooth and efficient event... we'll see...
    However, this is a GREAT post!
    Thank you!
    Writer In Transit

  5. Michelle i think a post like this serves not only to show how but to give insight into what goes on behind the scene.s please just see the great blogger posts and cute is an operation i tell you.Not for the faint of heart.

  6. Great post full of lots of advice. I'll keep it on file to re-read and digest again. I'm so new at the whole promotion game I don't think I'd be able to rogansie my own tour - besides Fabulosity does them so well!

    1. That is such a wonderful compliment Mary...i believe my heart just sang. I'm glad your experience was a pleasant one. Thank you

  7. Wonderful information. Saving the link so I visit every day - plus for the future of you just never know. I'm not currently planning to self-publish but I do recognize the sway of logic leaning in that direction. Glad to know you're here for the pieces I will suck at!
    And fabulous A to Z theme!
    Marlene at On Writing and Riding

    1. That;s awesome Marlene. Yes I am here for whatever you need in this area and if i don't know it, we will find out. hopping on over to you now.

  8. I like how instead of saying what it is, you go into the why and how.

  9. I already know I wouldn't try to do a blog tour myself. Some things are just cost efficient to hire out. I'd rather spend my time doing the things I'm good at, than try to learn something I already know I wouldn't like.
    The information you give is excellent, but when the time comes, I'll leave it to a professional to make it happen.

    1. When I wrote the post" Do you really need a blog tour" which i linked to in the first paragraphed, I cited this exactly Rebecca. Tour companies, such as mine are there to make sure you do not have to deal with all the behind the scenes schlep and continue doing what you do best....write.

  10. Good post.I'll bookmark this post for later use. In one respect, I really like blog tour activity. It's enjoyable meeting the authors and seeing what makes them tick. In another respect, not so much. I avoid them. Too often they come off as pushy. That might be an amateur mistake. Thanks for sharing all of this good info! Good luck with the A to Z :-)

    1. Thank you for dropping in Teresa.
      I get what you mean in saying they may appear "pushy" because what is advertising after all if not a way to shout "look at me" so that you don't fall in the blackhole of insignificance which is likely to happen if you do not make an effort to rise above the swarming hordes of competitors... i sort of feel the same way as you do about authors who tweet about nothing but their books but i understand the need for it. I may have see their tweets a 1000 times but my folllower who sees my RT on it may see it for the very first. I suppose it's all a matter of perspective.

  11. Thanks for sharing this very useful advice. I am considering planning a blog tour but was a little unsure that I could put in the necessary time and effort. These articles will help me decide what to do next. See you on the #atozchallenge rounds!

  12. Oh great Cathrine. I'm happy to hear that.

  13. I'm returning your visit from the a-z challenge, and am so glad I came. I'm your newest follower. Thanks for the great post.


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