Blog Tours from A-Z - Hosts & Indie Life

Tuesday, April 9, 2013



We’ve talked about hosts in the context of the selection of stops that blog tour operators may use for an extended gig or a blitz and we agree it’s in the interest of BTO’S/writers to find the right mix of blogs/hosts for each novel.

As a DIY writer, I can run the risk of asking my blogging buddy to host me under less than ideal conditions. By that, I’m talking about a situation in which my blogger friend might be into vampires and werewolves, but based on interaction with her readership (the followers on her blog) she’ll know whether she has friends who might appreciate hearing about a new romance novel. This isn’t a risk I’d be willing to run with a BTO and would want to have the comfort of knowing that ALL my stops are ideally suited to what I’m promoting, especially since I’m paying.

It might not seem all that important, but I’d stick with blogs where the owner has a strong presence. As I’ve pointed out before, things can and do go wrong. The last thing you’d want is to have a situation where you have an emergency and no access to the internet and there’s nobody minding the shop until you can pop in to check on things. If you’re planning the tour yourself, it’s wise to choose the most sociable persons you can find among your band of blogging friends.

This next step will take some doing, but it’s well worth the effort to find groups on Facebook (and other social networks) that will feature you on a given day and/or help with tweets. It also pays off to put some effort into creating meaningful links that will help with marketing and promotion. It doesn’t do any good to run in on a group a few days before a tour and start putting up posts every few minutes. A slow build over a period of time works better. I should add that it’s pointless to belong to these groups and not use them for events such as tours. Don’t be shy to submit a tweet or two or three when you have something coming up. If you’ve been doing the same for others, they’ll be happy to reciprocate when the time comes to help you promote.

Cross promotion activity works well over a period of time. There are several groups on Facebook, including this one, where writers are encouraged to host other writers on their blogs. The industrious DIY writer can extend this activity into a mini tour or one that suits their purposes. Like many other bloggers, I started blogging because it was the thing to do. I wasn’t sure who would be reading my posts, but I opened a blog and got busy. Over time, I’ve been able to build relationships that extend way beyond networking. Each time I need to spread the word about one book or the other, I am humbled by how willing other writers are to help. If I’m in a funk, there are people willing to share encouraging thoughts to help drag me out of the doldrums. That said, our regular band of friends are a powerful source of support and can make the difference between a successful and a so-so promotion.
 
In a Nutshell

Ensure the tour stops complement your book/theme.
Opt for hosts with a strong presence.
Participate in social media groups before you need them.
Seek out cross-promotion opportunities.
Build relationships



To get right to business with my Indie Life Post, I’m happy to be starting out on another journey with a book written in 2004. Christine’s Odyssey has passed through many eyes, including that of judges in our premier local creative writing competition. 

For all the positive comments made about the book over the years, even in the final stages of producing this book, I’ve had doubts about putting it under John Public’s scrutiny. I suppose that’s always going to be the case with anything that we feel protective of, but I convinced myself to let go and remember that not every reader is going to love my story or my writing.

Each time we send another piece of our writing into the world, we give of ourselves, sharing with others the result of spending hours, days, weeks, months and years, labouring over one piece of work.  A kind word about the story or an encouraging thought makes it all worth the effort.

See how little we writers are satisfied with? For most of us, it’s not about the money we make from our writing, but just sharing the stories we can’t stop producing.
Keep writing.

18 comments:

  1. Bummer I'm not on Facebook.
    Yes, make sure you Re a good fit on that blog and it has good traffic and interaction.

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    1. I think if what you're doing currently works for you, then taking on another social media platform can mean more work and less time to focus on the other stuff you're doing. If you can make the time, have at it. I've been reconnected with many people from my high school days, which has been a good experience.

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  2. I should've read your post a year ago, Joy. I had a horror book out and went on a blog tour where the hosts were mostly YA readers and writers. Conclusion? Waste of money :-) Still, could've been worse, I suppose - I could have been writing erotica, that really would've been awful.

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    1. Susan, I laughed out really loud after reading your comment. I'm sorry you had that experience, but you know what? We learn something from everything we do on our writing journey.

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  3. Casting your net well and widely is important. It takes a lot of planning and I know you're doing a great job.

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    1. Hi, Lee,
      Having some 'thought time' is important before doing anything tourwise.

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  4. I'm so impressed with the research, planning and thought you give your tours.

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  5. Picking the right host is essential. And always beware just selecting according to numbers. I've seen blogs with hundreds of followers that only get comments during giveaways.

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    1. Good point, Sheena. That tells me the host doesn't really interact with followers who'll stop by whether there's a giveaway or not.

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  6. More great advice. You are so right on "hosts" and hosting in general.

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  7. I didn't realize there were FB groups to help with things like this, although I should have since there really does seem to be a group for everything. Thanks for sharing the info, very helpful! :)

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  8. Thanks for visiting my blog today it is great to meet you. I enjoyed reading this post about blog tours.

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  9. Mike & Carol, thanks for popping in.

    Julie, yes, I've discovered quite a few groups, including street teams that some of the more popular writers use for help with promotion.

    Thanks, Suzanne, it's good to meet you too.

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  10. Great post. And yes, that kind word about your work goes a long way. =)

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  11. I'm playing catch up because I don't want to miss out on these posts!

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  12. Great and very interesting blog. I think it’s also an informative. Thanks for sharing.

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