Monday, January 25, 2010

Adventures of a Blog Tour Diva

For any of you planning a book blog tour – either as a new author seeking exposure – or as a blog host….I have a few suggestions.

Authors:

- Start planning early. Like way ahead of your release date. I’m organizing a book blog tour for Under My Skin, hoping to get a blog spot each day in the month of March. I started seeking out bloggers a week ago. That’s 6/7 weeks in advance and I could have started earlier and avoided the “OMG-my brain is going to explode” feeling that’s settling in about now.
- If you have a publicist, they’ll do a ton of legwork for you – dream up a cool pitch for the tour, etc. But guess who has to answer all the interview questions and keep track of who you’ve replied to and when their particular deadline falls? And who is responsible that you show up for chats on time? That’s right my little diva in training – it all comes down to you.
- If you don’t have a publicist – or if you’re sharing the hunter-gatherer stage of wrangling in bloggers (like I am) then you have to utilize all the tools at your disposal. Twitter has been an amazing resource for attracting blog hosts. They’ve even been so kind as to re-tweet my all calls as have my author buddies. Facebook also works wonders.
- Once you have bloggers contacting you. Get organized. Have an Excel spreadsheet: Date / Blog / Host name / Interview questions sent / Guest post sent / Contest info / SWAG sent to winner / thank you to host
- Create a calendar of all your blog appearances. Pay attention. Promote appearances on your website, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Get the most out of each event for you and your blog host.
- The day of: Show up and respond to comments. It’s a blast when you get a bunch of readers commenting back and forth with you and other readers. Be there for them and they’ll be there for you.
- The follow up: Check back a few days after the blog post and reply to any last minute comments.
- Thank the host for their time and energy and love of books/authors. Without these volunteer champions of authors it would be sooooooooooo tough to reach the masses. Send them some special SWAG. Show them some love. ;)

Blog Hosts:

As a member of YAedge, I’ve been on the hosting side of things, so I know it can be tough to make each interview unique. I used to think the best way to go was to come up with 5 or 6 quirky questions and ask the same ones to all authors featured on our blog. WRONGO. Now from the author side of things, I know how challenging it can be to answer those quirky yet generic questions (which many other bloggers have thought of already, believe me) and force your answers to apply to your book/genre/theme.
- Moral of the story? Do some research. Visit the author’s website/blog. Dig up a few interesting facts and sprinkle them throughout your interview questions. The authors will love you and be flattered you took a few extra minutes to make them feel valued.
- Schedule authors visits/interviews/guest posts. It’s so much easier for an author to promote/show up to comment/thank you after the fact – if they know in advance exactly when you’ll be posting their feature. Plus if you give them the date ahead of time, you can send them email reminders to promote it and help bring in a crowd. A major plus for you and the author.
- Encourage authors to comment / be a presence on the day of their feature. Sometimes authors are shy….or busy….or they don’t want to “toot their own horns”, but if you invite them to be active participants – they and your readers will enjoy the experience so much more.
- The Follow up: Thank the author for their time. Seriously, between day jobs, edits, promotional stuff and their lives….authors are stretched pretty thin. A hearty “Thanks, that was cool!” can go a long way and keep the door open for future appearances. You never know, that newbie author might be a bestseller one day. ;)

7 comments:

Tami Klockau said...

Love this post today, Tracy. So helpful if you're an author, a blog...or both! Coming from the YAedge side, it doesn't get hard to come up with questions and I understand how tired authors are of answering the same ones over and over.

Leona said...

Good post. Good luck with your own stuff :D

Tracy Belsher said...

Tami - thanks! Yeah, being on the other side of things sorta opened my eyes. ;) I've only just gotten over your Buffy/Supernatural pot shots...lol....kidding....kind of ;)

Leona, thanks, Miss! How's you?

Lily Stone said...

Great advice from both sides of the blog appearance!

Tami Klockau said...

Tracy- I was waiting for it...I thought you might have fainted from my post and forgotten to attack. LOL I only speak the truth ;)

Leona said...

Miss everyone, as well :) I am able to get on about twice a week unless I'm very lucky! I'm so happy for you, even with the stresses. I can't wait until I have the same stresses :D

jjhoutman said...

Great advice. I wish I had started this months ago.