Monday, 18 July 2016

Going on tour by Tara Lyons

You don't even have to pack a bag!
Though I’m sure most of you will know what I mean by ‘blog tour,’ I’d hate to start my post by making assumptions, so a brief explanation wouldn’t hurt…

          Think of an excited author travelling from city to city, bookshop to bookshop, eagerly waiting for readers to bombard them in their droves, desperate for signed copies of said author’s new book. Maybe even have a little conversation too. Well, ditch that image because a blog tour is quite different (although you’ll still have the excitable author).

          A blog tour happens via social media – namely blog posts, Facebook and Twitter. Each day of your blog tour a blogger will hold their ‘stop’ on the tour and feature your new release on their blog. It could be a review, author guest post, book extract or giveaway. Or a combination of these things. Usually, the blogger will then share their post on various social media websites, book club and sometimes to their email subscribers.

          I’ve just finished my second blog tour and I think they are an invaluable tool for promoting not only your new release/book promotion, but also you as a person. Bloggers have such a passion for books and in the past year I’ve bought many recommended reads because of a blog post I’ve read. My blog tour for In the Shadows last just over a week and The Caller’s was just over two weeks. On both tours I wrote gusts posts for some of the bloggers – namely about the idea about the book and co-writing – and I took part in quite a few Q&As (some of these questions were very probing and thought-provoking). These were all accompanied with a review and the blogger posted these on Amazon, iBooks, Goodreads etc on the day of their ‘stop.’ For both tours I created a poster with a list of the bloggers taking part, the date of their ‘stop’ and their website – and in the weeks leading up to my publication date all those involved shared it. I think it’s a fantastic way to interact with a variety of readers – they already follow this blogger because they enjoy their posts or share their interests, and so they’re learning about me as an author and what I have to offer; there’s a personality behind the name on the front cover.


My promotional posters for In the Shadows and
The Caller blog tours













          It can be quite daunting to organise a blog tour. I mean, you’re handing your ‘baby’ over to a variety of bloggers and then have to wait until their ‘stop’ to find out what they thought of it. What if they hate it? What if they don’t read it? What if they decide to pull out of the blog tour? Luckily, I haven’t encountered this, but the bloggers I’ve worked with so far have not only been fun to work with but they’re extremely professional and I’m sure they’d handle their critique and feedback in the same manner. It’s easy to forget that this is a hobby for them, not a career.

          I’m a new author, only publishing my books this year, so I know I still have a lot to learn. But, what I do know for sure is that bloggers, online book clubs and reviewers are worth their weight in gold. As an indie author I don’t have the funds or contacts to organise a real-life-travelling-the-country book tour – but, at the moment anyway, I think that’s okay, it works for me. I’m still finding my readers and they’re still getting to know me, so a blog tour is perfect. I get to meet and interact with new people all over the world from the comfort of my home (yes, sometimes even in my PJ’s, but shh, that’s a secret). I’d just like to thank all the bloggers for their support, for sharing my new releases, book promotions, reviews and my story.
 

          So, what do you think of blog tours… Do you bypass them because it all gets too much seeing the same cover on your newsfeed day after day? Or do you religiously click into the link to find out what that blogger/author is sharing each day? Have you taken part in a blog tour yourself? As authors, bloggers and readers I’d love to know what your thoughts are. 


Tara Lyons is a crime/psychological thriller writer who loves to interact with readers, so feel free to get in touch by clicking the links below:

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6 comments:

Umberto Tosi said...

Excellent post. Glad to hear you've had success with your blog tours. I guest blog at sites where I am known, and I post comments related to my works often in many venues. The idea of blog touring appeals to me, but my experiences with them thus far have been disappointing. I've submitted nice proposals and offered to send review copies of my works to quite a few bloggers whom I selected carefully, assuming they'd have compatible interests. I offered to write guest blogs. Geez, I practically offered to come over and do their laundry! No responses. Nada! I would have appreciated even a polite "no." Any suggestions?

Bill Kirton said...

Fascinating post, Tara, and clearly something that's really worthwhile. I'm always happy to write guest blogs, do Q&As, be interviewed. As you say, they can all be very thought-provoking experiences and having to think about how we write teaches us a lot about ourselves. But I've never done a blog tour and wouldn't know where to start. Congratulations on cracking the process at such an early stage and good luck with future endeavours.

Tara Lyons said...

Oh, Umberto that's such a shame you've had no luck with them. Where did you get your contacts for them? I am part of an awesome group on Facebook especially for writers, bloggers and publishers etc and I found so many helpful bloggers on there. Would you like me to invite you into that group?

Tara Lyons said...

Thank you, Bill. I think interacting with bloggers online - especially book clubs and Twitter is a great place to start a relationship.

Chris Longmuir said...

I seem to get swallowed up in Facebook groups I comment and try to interact, but no one seems to know I am there. I feel like Jack Horner sitting in the corner.

Tara Lyons said...

I think, perhaps, I was lucky because I was part of some groups before I even began writing. So I interacted just as a reader first.