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Book Blog Tour - Everything you need to know!

What is it?

It’s a marketing strategy frequently used by self-published authors when launching new books. Essentially, it’s a virtual tour by an author, around a number of blogs.

What Constitutes an Online Book Tour?

Virtual tours consist of a number of different content formats, including:

· Guest blog posts

· Articles for your blog

· Interviews

· Emails

· Radio and podcast appearances

· YouTube videos

· Book reviews

· Book giveaways

· Social media contests

· Webinars

· Book excerpts

· Live chats in both video and text format (e.g., Facebook Live, Google Hangouts, Facebook Events, Twitter Chats, etc.)

The goal is to obtain as much coverage of your book release as possible while remaining relevant to both yours and your host’s audience.

When it the best time to do one?

Run a blog tour in the week before your publication date to get some online publicity ahead of the launch event. By sending your book out to bloggers in advance, you’ll get their reviews and can include some of their testimonial words on your website and author pages. However, if you’ve already published then it’s not too late. You can still arrange a blog tour for a book that was published a while ago because the bloggers’ interest will increase the visibility of your book on social media.

Can I Organise my Own?

Yes! Have a strategy, do your research and plan it well! Here is a list of ‘to do’s from the beginning of your tour to the end!

1) Identify your ideal reader. When you know precisely who you want to connect with, you will be able to narrow down which blogs to reach out to.

2) Connect with bloggers that have an active community. It won’t do you or your book any good if no one is reading the blog or taking part in conversations. See how often they post on the blog, if there are comments on their posts, and if they have shares/likes/comments on social media.

3) Create a list - find at least 10-20 bloggers to start with and compiling them into a list. Not all of them will work for you, so gather more than you’ll need.

4) Determine your resources. Bloggers might request different information and resources from you to be featured. Some might want you to write a guest blog post, others might want to review your book, and some will do a quick Q&A.

5) Create your content – you may need to write additional content, answer questions they submit, and decide what chapters you would like to use as excerpts.

6) Design a blog tour poster which includes the author bio and any other marketing material. Include an image that you can share that has the blog stops for your tour along with the URL for each stop.

7) Work out a time frame. Establish a potential start and finish date. How long a blog tour lasts really depends on how much time you can dedicate to it.

8) Contact your bloggers giving plenty of notice. The more established book bloggers are usually “booked” up at least 3 months in advance

9) Stay organised. Good organisation helps make sure that everything goes smoothly.

10) Consider giveaways. Free incentives can help get your book in front of new eyes - who doesn’t love to win something? And bloggers love to give things away to their readers.

11) Announce the tour. Once you have several blog stops confirmed, announce the blog tour on your website, newsletter, and social media. Create an image that you can share that has the blog stops for your tour along with the URL for each stop. Tag people to RT or share

12) Follow through the delivery. Be considerate of each blogger’s schedule and send your post and information at least a week ahead of time. Considering their schedule (and timeframe) is key in creating lasting relationships with these bloggers, which will help the next time you want to do a blog tour. Make sure you send an email of thanks!