Going On Tour
Dr. Linda F. Beed
I have often said that once you place the last punctuation on the page it is time to don your business hat.
Marketing is key to every business person. As authors an ideal sales goal is set by the publisher as to the expected amount of books to be sold. Goals are admirable, but there must be a plan in place to assist achievement of that goal. One such marketing tool that has proven effective has been the Blog Tour.
What is a Blog Tour?
In order to answer that question one must understand what a blog is. In non technical terms, a blog is an online outlet used by individuals or groups as a platform to promote their cause, support the cause of another, share their thoughts and bring attention to past, present and future enterprises.
Many serve as a place of knowledge for their chosen profession and reach a wide range of audiences. Individuals can sign up as a follower and receive alerts of new postings in real time. The option to leave comments makes the interaction all the more personal for participants. What is viewed as a bonus to this effective promotional campaign has been the advent of Blog Talk Radio. Combining the power of the two is as they say, “a match made in heaven.”
So how does the tour work?
You the author have the option of setting up own tour or securing one through your public relations liaison. The tour can be free of cost or require a fee.
You or your representative will contact hosts who are felt to be a fit for this particular tour. The tour can be at brief as one day or extend a full month.
As simple as this may seem there are key elements to consider in this process.
*Blogs and blog radio programs are plentiful, but they must fit your need.
Consider those with a following who: a) Read the genre you write in; b) Have a definite interest in the platform inside of your book and c) May have a possible interest in your subject matter.
*Compile a list. Possible sites can be found through online searches and word of mouth.
*Visit each site that appeals to you and read what has been presented. Note what you do and don’t like about them. Find out if you can make suggestions for your particular stop.
*Listen to a few live shows to get a feel for the host, their expectations and how they interact with guests.
NOTE: Avoid programs where there are extensive musical intros followed by a ten to fifteen minute monologue. More often than not the delay loses the audience before you come on.
*Hone your public speaking skills and make notes in order to be as sharp as possible.
*Make a list of points you want the audience to know about you, your work, how to contact you and where they can purchase your product or services. Insert at the appropriate time.
*Update your electronic media kit and have a set aside of your book to be forwarded for reading.
*Update your website if necessary.
*Do not be afraid to ask questions and be honest about your own expectations.
*Once the tour is set, you must be prompt, courteous and well-versed on your subject matter.
Equally as important as setting up a tour is advertising the event.
*Create a message and/or eye appealing promo to send to your most current list of contacts. Include pertinent information such as dates, site link, appropriate time zones (7P/PST – 9P/CST – 10P/EST) and call in number for listeners.
*Ask dependable contacts in your data base to forward the enouncement to others they believe may be interested in the tour.
*Post the tour on your website, Facebook, MySpace and other social networks.
*Set a reminder to alert you no less than thirty minutes prior to the show. Nothing is more unprofessional than not showing up for your event or arriving late. Also use a landline whenever possible in order to eliminate disruptions in transmission.
*Above all things visit the site hosting you. Respond to the questions or remarks left there. Be mindful to send a thank you to each blog host.
The above points are presented for your consideration. Only you can determine what is best for you.
Before I leave I would like to impress on you that the blog tour is not the be all for increasing sells. It will help, but its major function is create a buzz, talk about your upcoming release.
I pray that this will be of help to you and I look forward to visiting you during an upcoming tour.
Until next time, remember—Purposely Said words can destroy or create a life. Linda!
Dr. Linda Beed is an educator, speaker, children’s minister and author of Business Unusual and co-moderator of BWChristianLit an online writing and mentor group. She is also review editor for KDgospel Media Magazine.
You can find her on the web at: