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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blog Tours for Authors

Years ago I created a Virtual-Field-Trips website for kids and parents to surf the net and learn from interactive, educational websites. Unfortunately, the site was hacked and while I was able to rebuild it in part, I ran out of time. I loved the idea of traveling virtually. No effort, no packing, no expense, no car sickness, and no kids asking the proverbial question, "When will we be there?"

Well, the idea of a Blog Tour is basically the same thing. You travel without leaving home! An author can use a blog tour as a platform to build momentum to coincide with a new book launch. It is a publicity tour for the book. What a wonderful idea! My radio show guest, Cara Putman, explained her success with running several for her newly launched books. I often take notes as I interview, and today was no different. Cara had excellent information to share. To listen to the interview go to

How-To Find Blog Book Reviewers

Begin by searching for blog reviewers in your book genre. For example, you can search for:

"Historical Fiction Blog Book Reviewers"
"Christian Blog Book Reviewers"
"Mystery Blog Book Reviewers" etc.

Once you find the bloggers, look at their websites and read their blogs. Contact them to see if there is an interest in obtaining a free book for a review. Your blog blitz can be a one day, one week or one month tour. I had 100+ bloggers blog a review for the book, I co-authored with my daughter when she was a teen, Truth Seekers Mystery Series, "The Missing Link: Found." Some of those reviewers went to Amazon, Christian Book Distributors, etc., to post their reviews.

Ask the reviewers to contact you when the review posts. This is important for several reasons. Cara shared that when the blog is posted you should visit the blog and interact with those who post a comment. In fact letting the blog host know you will stop by to interact, is a good idea. More people may post a comment if they realize the author is coming to pay a visit. This makes sense, especially in regard to the idea of a "Blog Book Tour." In fact, not only will you be able to answer questions, comment on a post and direct them to your personal blog, you may sell some books.

Type of Review
The type of blog review can vary. It can be an interview, a guest blog post by the author or the typical, "this is what I think about the book" type of review. You may want to suggest your preference to the book reviewer, but use whatever method works best for you. Make their job as easy as possible by including as much information as you can, and if you have one include a press-release.

In fact, when I ask my radio show guests for a blog post the week the show airs I am sometimes surprised. Some guests send their posts in Notepad to remove all the "junk" associated with word files on most computers. All I need to do is copy, paste into my blog, and include a picture if they send one. Cara further surprised me by including all of the information in the body of the email including a link to her picture using HTML code. When I pasted the information into the blog post window and hit preview I was edified to see the finished product was perfect. The word "expert" comes to mind!

Follow-Up Via Email

Cara mentioned it is a good idea to follow up via email to make sure the blogger knows when the book releases, and hopefully with enough notice the Blog Book Reviewer will coincide the post within a few days of the release. This will create more "buzz" for your book. A follow up email is also a good reminder to post a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or CBD, or one of the other websites where you book may be for sale. Giving the blogger the list with a link of where your book resides on this website will save them time in having to search for your book, especially if you have many titles.

Will Sales Soar?
The jury is still out on whether or not you will see a major spike in sales by the Blog Review Book Tour. As authors what is important is publicity. Having name or brand recognition is the major topic of many author and publisher forums. How to become a household name is important in this industry. If you obtain this type of publicity and someone sees your book they may buy it based upon name recognition.

Either way, money can't buy positive publicity, and a Blog Book tour is one way to obtain this in a relatively inexpensive manner. Plan ahead of time, plan well and most of all be ready to send your thank-yous when the tour is over. If you keep track of those who were prompt with their posts you will have a basis for further tours in the future, with your next book!

Writing a book? It is time to get your book off the computer and into the hands of an eager reader! Felice can help you! She is the author of  many books and the creator of a new series of non-fiction how-to the: Information in a Nutshell Series, "Writing and Publishing." See what author Dan Poynter says about her book here!   Isn't it time you get a copy?

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