Saturday, March 14, 2009

Defining the Blog Tour

This month I’m hosting two authors who are on blog book tours to promote their new releases. Mark Phillips, author of THE RESQUETH REVOLUTION (a book I’m proud to have edited) will be here on Tuesday the 17th to talk about writing action scenes. And JA Konrath, aka Jack Kilborn, will be here on the 27th to discuss his new release, AFRAID. JA also wrote an interesting post on blogging in general.

So blog touring has been on my mind, and I’m starting to plan my tour for this September when SECRETS TO DIE FOR is released.

The strategy for most tours seems to be: find blogs that relate to your novel and line up guest appearances every day for a month. (See the guru for more on this.) It seems straight forward, but hugely overwhelming to write all those Q&As and/or guest blogs in such a short timeframe and interact with guests every single day. Especially for authors who have day jobs. What I’m wondering is: How important is it to guest blog every day during a single month? Wouldn’t it be just as effective to guest blog every other day for two months? Or be on tour three times a week for three months?

I’m also wondering how many people actually follow an author on his or her tour, reading each blog stop on the way. And if you do follow tours, at what point do you buy the novel? Or do you already have the novel and are following just for fun? The real point of a tour is to reach new readers at every stop. In a traditional book tour, the author is on the road stopping at different bookstores every day because of the nature and convenience of travel. But from the comfort of your own home, couldn’t a book tour be more leisurely? Or does the everyday blogging in new locations actually build more momentum?

Tell me what you think. Are there other strategies I’ve missed?

9 comments:

Marian Allen said...

If--no, WHEN--I have a book, I would try for doing one blog a week from the time the book was put on the publication schedule till after it came out. I think people might be more apt to tune in if they had lots of chances at different times. One a day for a month wears me out just to think about. I post on my OWN blog every day and on FatalFoodies.blogspot.com once a week. I can't see my lazy self doing every day elsewhere, as well.

Chester Campbell said...

I'm doing a tour next month, but only two weeks (April 15-30). A full month would be a bit overwhelming. I posted on my blog every day during January to get the feel of it. I'll stick with the two-week forum. I only try to do three days a week now on my Mystery Mania. With Facebook and Twitter and everything else, there's only so much time. I check out some blog tours but have never followed one all the way.

Jennifer Roland said...

Question: How early do you contact your potential tour hosts to line things up?

Comment: I have been following Christina Katz's blog tour this month. I've missed a day here and there, but I've at least read most of the posts. I don't always comment, but I'm there following her story most days.

L.J. Sellers said...

My plan is to start contacting blog hosts in April to set up a tour for August and September. I'd rather be too early than too late.

Marvin D. Wilson said...

I'm hosting a stop on the Resqueth tour also at Free Spirit.

And totally yes - can't start too early planning a successful tour.

Marvin D Wilson
http://inspiritand truths.blogspot.com/

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Honestly? If I see you every single day, I tune you out. I am probably the minority in that (for a change), but I'd sooner see you once a week for a longer time than daily for a month.

btw, consider this your official invite to do a Featured New Author spot with me. One question only! (I like to do them around the release date, if that's possible.)

L.J. Sellers said...

Thanks! I'll pencil you in for mid-September.

Charlotte Phillips, Co-Author of The Eva Baum Detective Series said...

Lj,

After following several other tours (Susan W. Albert, Vivian Zabel, et al) Both Susan and Vivian did a great job of keeping the posts fresh and interesting. They offered something new to readers each day.

Even so, I found just following a daily tour for two weeks to be a bit of a challenge. I believe others thought so too because comments from the daily visitors trailed off at the end. Perhaps they were still following, but had run out of comments.

Anyway, when I helped Mark plan his tour for The Resqueth Revolution, we settled pretty quickly on a two week tour. Originally we were going to take the weekends off, but ended up with too much content for ten days, so we put weekends back in the schedule.

Mark is very much looking forward to his stops at both Lj Raves and Free Spirit.

Charlotte

Mark Phillips said...

I'm looking forward to my visit on March 17. I'm keenly interested in what your readers will think of my article on how to write action scenes.

Thanks again,
Mark Phillips

P.S. The reason I'm doing so many blog stops in such a short period of time is that it corresponds to my spring break from my day job as a high school teacher. My marketing guru and lovely wife Charlotte could not bear the thought of my wasting the time on anything as trivial as vacation.