Have you considered booking a blog tour to help you reach more readers?
In the traditional publishing world, it’s normal to send an author on a book tour, where they hop from bookstore to bookstore, signing copies, reading aloud, or speak to the audience.
Since we live in the digital age, it’s not always feasible to travel across the country from bookstore to bookstore. Instead, blog tours give you the opportunity to work with book bloggers to help promote your book and reach more people than you would on a book tour.
In 2015 I was an unknown author and had just released my debut epic fantasy novel. The Five Warriors. I needed a way to get the word out about the book without paying hundreds of dollars to self-finance a book tour.
To help blast my book out to the world, I booked a blog tour. Before we get carried away in how blog tours help authors reach new readers and sell more books, let’s back up.
What is a blog tour?
It’s like a virtual book tour where several book bloggers write about and promote your book.
Most of the time, bloggers will post one of the following:
- Your book description with purchase links.
- An excerpt from your book with purchase links.
- Their review of your book.
- A blog post you have written about your book
- An author interview.
- A character interview you have written with you interviewing your characters or your characters interviewing each other.
Book bloggers are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to selling more books and reaching new readers. But don’t just take my word for it.
Read this post: How to Build Relationships with Book Bloggers
As a first time author, it’s to your benefit to connect with bloggers and bookworms to help extend the reach of your book. When I was booking my blog tour for The Five Warriors, I relied heavily on my blog tour manager, because I did not have any existing relationships.
Currently, I’m working on the blog tour for my latest release, Eliesmore and the Green Stone. This time around I have an established audience and book bloggers I can reach out to. My blog tour manager and I work together to organize the blog tour.
What are the benefits?
If you have an existing audience, you can tap into them to help spread the word about your upcoming release. However, blog tours aren’t just for new releases. If you have a book that’s been out a while, and you want to boost sales and reviews, blog tours are a fantastic way to reach a new audience and re-launch your book marketing campaigns.
If you don’t have an audience, blog tours are a way to get your book out there. According to the rules of marketing, it can take up to seven touches before someone purchases a product or service. I firmly believe in book visibility and using different kinds of marketing to reach new readers. A blog tour is just one of the ways to increase your visibility and get your book seen. That way, if someone has already seen your book a few times, seeing their favorite blogger rave about it further validates their purchase.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Make a list of all the sites (10-15) you’d like to promote your book or do a guest blog post about your book.
- Contact the blogger with your pitch and the date you’d like the blog post to go live.
- Offer to do a giveaway or provide them a free copy of the book if you’d like them to read and review it.
- Offer to do a guest blog about the book or a character interview so they simply have to post it, instead of doing all the work.
After the release of The Five Warriors, I went on a month-long blog tour. This helped keep the book buzz strong because others were constantly talking about my book, the search engine optimization was fantastic, and my sales rank on Amazon stayed high because people were constantly buying the book.
Don’t want to plan a blog tour yourself? Here are a few sites I use:
Reading Adventures Book Tours – to keep the book buzz strong, I booked a second blog tour for Eliesmore and the Green Stone. This takes place six weeks after the first blog tour to keep people excited about the series.
The Book Nymph PR – they also handle blog tours but I used them to promote my virtual book release party.
Here are some other companies I am aware of but have not worked directly with yet.
Now, use your best judgment when researching Blog Tours. Sometimes book bloggers have outdated, spammy sites with bad design. Those are the ones you want to avoid!
Here are some side effects of booking blog tours:
- New readers
- More reviews
- Higher book sales
- Better search engine optimization
Have you booked a blog tour? Share your experience in the comments below.