My post "Social Media Sandbox" hit a nerve with many writers. I've noticed similar discussions on various sites and the majority agrees being visible online is work. It also takes time away from what writers love to do most--write.
Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Yahoo groups aside, my focus today is on blog tours. I believe they work. For all kind of reasons. But that may have something to do with me being a glass-half-full kind of gal!
Here's my take on the subject:
(1) Genre-related blog tours make the most sense (at least they do to me).
What's the point in advertising a sweet inspirational novel on a blog devoted to erotica? Does it make sense to promote a cozy mystery on a horror site? Even if these blogs have 1000+ followers, it's unlikely they are your target audience of readers.
(2) Blog tours are a great deal of work.
The old adage that you get 'out' what you put 'in' certainly applies here. If you don't have the skill or are unwilling to devote the hours necessary to the tour, please don't sign up. Not only will you likely be disappointed by the outcome, there is a very good chance you will disappoint others.
This happened in the 2011 Mystery We Write Blog Tour when two of the original twelve dropped out mid way. That left many authors with a gaping hole in their schedule. They had nothing to post on their blog, and no blogger to feature them and their book(s). Blog tours should be a win/win situation for all involved.
(3) Write something original for each guest appearance.
Using an identical post, the same old, same old, that will appear on multiple sites is a waste of time--yours, the host blogger's, and reader's. Keep the info fresh. Divulge something new and personal each time you're featured online. That's one of the things I enjoyed most about the last tour. Every week I learned something new about the other authors. Every week they shared some tidbit that stopped me in my tracks and made me say, "Wow. I didn't know that!"
(4) Be a gracious blog host.
Work as long and hard on a guest author's post as you would expect them to work on yours. Sloppy or ill-formated posts are unnecessary, uncalled for, and just plain wrong. Edit and revise each post just as you edit and revise your manuscripts.
(5) Be a gracious blog guest.
Thank your host and chat with readers via individual comments. In a pinch a single comment to 'everyone' will suffice, but wouldn't you rather be seen as the honored guest rather than the party wallflower?
FYI, the second 2011 Mystery We Write Blog Tour will begin November 25 and continue through December 9.
Leave a comment and your name will be entered in the giveaway draw (for an e-copy of FRANK, INCENSE AND MURIEL) that will run throughout the November 2011 Mystery We Write Blog Tour. The winner will be announced at the end of the tour - just in time for the holiday reading season.
If you are a reader, have you discovered a new author via a blog tour? If so, was it a comment, excerpt, cover image, title or something else that drew you to that author?
If you are an author. Have you participated in a blog tour? Did you hire a company to arrange it? Or did you do the leg work? What do you like or dislike about blog tours?
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