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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

COLUMN: Are You On The Net? - August Online Promotion Tips

How to have a successful blog tour?

I’m sure you’re thinking I’m about to give you the scoop on how to set up a blog tour. Sorry this isn’t one of those type of articles. Today I’m going to discuss what to do when you set up a blog tour.

A blog tour can be a fun way to introduce your book to readers. Unfortunately a lot of authors have treated their blog tour like an one day advertisement instead of a book tour.

With a book tour you can’t sign books if you don’t show up. I’ve found that many authors aren’t showing up for their own blog tours. Doesn’t sound very professional does it? It’s not; however many authors schedule blog tours and think all they have to do is send a blurb about their book and a canned interview and BAM they're on tour. If all you want is a one day promo, pay for a one day promotion and don’t call it a tour.

A real blog tour takes time and the commitment to treat it like a real book tour. If you don’t have time don’t sign up for one. Enough with my fussing. As one who enjoys a good blog tour, I want to offer a few tips to help you have a successful one.

Before I began, please note that a blog tour does not equate SELLS, it is a way to introduce you and your book to new readers. If you get sells out it count it as a blessing.

1. KNOW YOUR SCHEDULE - Can you do a one week, two week, or one month tour?

You need to be available to follow your tour. If you’re on deadline, this is not the time to schedule a tour. Don’t overbook yourself. Yes you have a one week tour, but you have five stops a day. Can you handle five sites a day? That’s a lot of typing if you have readers asking you questions. Make sure you can handle the typing commitment it might take to tour on certain sites.

2. SHARE SOMETHING DIFFERENT - Make sure each stop has something different to post. Some readers like to follow the tours, and they like to read different posts. Don’t have the same thing posted at every site, that makes for a boring tour . Be creative, make your tour about you and the book. Entice the reader to wanting more.

3. PROMOTE YOUR TOUR - If you don’t tell your readers about the tour, how will they know? Post the schedule on your site/blog. Send a post to your social media. Promote, promote, promote.

4. GIVEAWAYS - Readers love winning prizes. Think of fun things to giveaway: gift certificates, gift baskets, backlist of your books. Don’t forget to let the readers know in your promotion that you will be giving away prizes.

5.VISIT YOUR TOUR - Make time each day of the tour to visit the site hosting you. Stop by the site and thank the person hosting the tour. Answer any questions or comments left in the comment section. Don’t get discouraged if no one leaves a comment or question. Many readers read the posts, but don’t comment. If you want to interact with the readers, let them know when you will visit the site and show up at that time, for a Q/A session.

6. GIVEAWAY SUGGESTIONS - Host a giveaway for the hosts with the most comments. Hosts love a little competition to see if they can get the most comments.

Offer a prize to the reader who follows you on your tour. Readers like following the tour. Have them post a comment at each stop and draw a name from the readers who participate.

Offer a prize for joining your newsletter. You’re always working on building your database with new readers. Offer a chance to readers at each site to join your newsletter. Maybe tempt them with an excerpt for your next book.

7. REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN - You want to be able to do this again. If it so time consuming that you’re not having fun meeting new readers, you won’t want to do it again. Have fun.

8. STOP BY THE SITE AGAIN - After the tour is done, stop by each site to make sure you answered all the comments/questions and say thank you again to the host.

9. SEND OUT PRIZES - Make sure you send out your prizes in a timely manner. You don’t want your winners contacting the hosts for their prizes.

10. EVALUATE YOUR TOUR - How did the tour go? Did you have any comments? Did you meet any readers? Is this something you want to do for future books?

Sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it? It can be, that’s why I say schedule your tour when you have the time and the commitment to tour. The goal of a blog tour is to meet new readers. You want to make a lasting impression on them. Make them feel as if they attend a live book tour. They will remember your name and your book and hopefully they will buy a copy and tell their friends about it.

So are you ready for your next blog tour? I’m ready to host it for you.

Stop by next month for more information on online promotion.

Until then,

I’ll see you on the net.

LaShaunda C. Hoffman

LaShaunda is the creator of SORMAG – Shades Of Romance Magazine. She has 11 years of experience on online promotion, most she learned from trial and error. She has taught workshops on online promotion and is available for private online promotion coaching.

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1 comment:

Dee said...

Great informative post.

Thanks LaShaunda!

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I believe in promoting authors and their books. Let me introduce you and your books to online readers.

I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.

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