Five Reasons Why Authors Do Blog Tours (And Maybe You Should, Too)

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Days of the Dead Blog TourWhat’s a blog tour and why should you consider doing one?

A blog tour provides the opportunity for an author to be featured in guest posts on a number of other blogs, thus gaining visibility to the readers on all those sites. Likewise, an author who has a blog can do a tour on his/her own site by featuring a number of other authors on the site in a given period of time.

Two crucial elements separate a ‘blog tour’ from merely being a guest for the day on someone else’s blog. First, a blog tour generally involves guesting on multiple blogs or hosting multiple guests on your blog. And secondly, the activity occurs within a pre-defined (and advance-promoted) time period—perhaps a week or a month. In fact, blog tours work best when the bloggers and the guests promote the upcoming post—much like when a celebrity promotes being interviewed on TV. The author gets visibility, and perhaps new readers. The blogger gets traffic and well as visibility—and perhaps some of those visitors will come back time and again.

So what are the five big reasons to do a blog tour?

#1—You have a new book. Blog tours can spread the word about your new book cheaper and faster than trying to do a coast-to-coast in-store signing tour. If your book is a good fit with a blog’s established audience, you’re getting in front of exactly the right kind of people to buy your book and tell their friends.

#2—There’s a great tie-in date related to your books. I do an annual blog tour the week leading up to Halloween—the Days of the Dead Tour—because I write about necromancers and ghosts and the undead. It’s the perfect time to talk about my books because people are in the mood for the subject. This is why you’ll see all kinds of books surfacing in the media when there’s a related awareness day or holiday. Take advantage of people being mentally primed to your topic!

#3—You’ve got new books in the pipeline. Maybe you just signed a contract for a new series, or you’re in an upcoming anthology. Pre-orders are golden. Your blog tour doesn’t have to wait until books are on shelves. Juice up the anticipation by touring as soon as that pre-order link goes up and let people know what they have to look forward to!

A Night Sky with Moon and Trees

A Night Sky with Moon and Trees

#4—Something happens to make your book newsworthy. Did you write a thriller about climate change and there’s a new study with research data that supports the vision you shared in your fiction? Tie into what’s in the news to give older books new relevancy and win new readers to your backlist.

#5—You come up with a fun theme that is timeless, but somehow related to your books. Maybe you host a “Girls’ Night Out” blog tour with a focus on featuring female authors or books with female protagonists on your blog. Or perhaps you already do a regular blog on “Wine, Women and Wookies” and reach out to fandom lifestyle blogs with posts on matching menus to book themes.

Yes, blog tours take some work to identify bloggers, establish relationships and then write the posts, but the payoff in free visibility can be huge. In today’s competitive publishing industry, your book needs every advantage you can create. Blog tours are a fun way to reach a big audience of people already known to be interested in your subject. Dive in and have fun!

Speaking of which, I’m part of two big blog tours this month as well as a super-duper swag giveaway!

My Days of the Dead blog tour begins October 24 and runs through early November with blog posts on over 40 international blogs plus giveaways on Goodreads, Reddit and other sites. You can find details as well as links to the blog posts at www.DisquietingVisions.com.

I’m one of 25 bloggers in the Broad Universe Full Moon Blog Tour that begins October 25. We’ve also got book giveaways and all kinds of fun, so look for details here

swagThen there’s The Swaggiest Swag—an event featuring 11 bestselling authors including Faith Hunter, David B. Coe, Laura Anne Gilman, Darynda Jones, Stuart Jaffe, Christina Henry—and me! It’s like a convention in an envelope—you send a self-addressed, stamped envelope in, and we send you that envelope packed with bookmarks, postcards and other cool freebies from our partner authors! Details here

What do you think of blog tours as readers and authors?

Have you ever been part of a blog tour? How did it work?

If you’ve done a blog tour (or read someone else’s), what advice would you give to writers considering doing one?

 

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