Over the past two days I’ve been talking about the benefits of blog touring to promote your books. If you’ve been following along, you may be starting to feel inspired to organise a tour of your own, so today I’m going to give some pointers as to how to organise a tour.
So, you’ve got a book to promote – that’s great! The first thing to do when you’re planning a tour is to plane when you’d like to have it. If you want to get a new book off to a flying start, you might decide to do it in the first few weeks after it is released, but if you have a lot of other promotion happening then, you might decide to wait until you have more time. or, if your book is seasonal or topical you might tour it at a time when people are thinking about that season (a Christmas book touring in December, or an ANZAC Day book touring in April, for example).
Once you’ve decided on some dates, you need to find some bloggers to host you. You can either approach bloggers you already know, or contact bloggers who cover appropriate topics. Lots of Kidlit blogs, for example, are keen to host children’s authors. Have a look at the blogs and see if they run author interviews before you make contact.
Once you’ve identified some potential blog hosts, contact the bloggers to see if they are interested. Be clear in what you want to do – and what you are hoping they will do. Remember they are doing you a huge favour, in helping you promote your book, but there are benefits to them including you sending them new traffic (by promoting the tour) and of course you providing them fresh content for their blog. A polite email explain when you are going on tour, a bit about your book, and asking if they would be interested in hosting you is the best approach.
Once people have agreed to host you, discuss with them what form your visit might take – an interview, a guest blog, a review or something different. Then make sure the host has all the information they’ll need – a summary of the book (or a copy, where possible), a jpeg of the cover image, a photo of you, and links to your website and/or blog and to online bookstores which stock your book. It is also a great idea to give every host a full list of the dates and stops of your tour, so they can include this in their post.
When the blogger sets a topic, or sends you a list of questions, try to answer them promptly, so they can get the blog post ready and scheduled to go live on the correct day. If you haven’t received their questions in the week leading up to the tour, a polite reminder might be needed (again, remember they are doing you the favour).
Once you’ve ensured all of your hosts have all the content they need, the last (but perhaps most important) thing to do is to promote the tour. Social networking is a great way to get the word out. Each day of the tour, post a link to your blog host on twitter, Facebook and any other sites you use, as well as on your own blog and any email lists (remembering to follow list protocol). And, of course, be sure to visit the blogs that host you and read and respond to any comments left.
Oh, and the very last thing to do is to be sure to thank your blog hosts for having you.
Hopefully this three part series has inspired you to organise your own blog tour. If you are a children’s book author looking for a blog to visit, you might like to contact me when you’re organising your tour – I love having visitors. And, if you are an Australian author looking to get involved both in hosting tours and in touring yourself you might be interested in the yahoo group Aussieblogtours.