Guest post from T.K. Harris author of Phantom Dreams
Blogs. There are millions of them. Literally. Blogs exist for every passion, every interest. Gaming, cooking, dieting, clubbing, comedy, politics and the list goes on and on. And then there are blogs for reading and writing. Blogs created by people who love reading and like recommending books. Reader blogs that enjoy giving reviews and interviews. Blogs created by writers to promote their own books, many of which will promote books written by other writers. And in those categories are even more detailed blogs. Fantasy only blogs, Sci-Fi, romance, Mystery, etc. And you would think, with all of these blogs that putting together a blog tour would be easy! Ha!
Let’s just say that after a very long time of trying it on my own – with just a few responses – I decided to reach out to Kitty at GMTA Publishing with a loud cry of “PLEASE HELP!” And what a difference! Kitty put together in a matter of hours and days what I couldn’t accomplish in months. And along the way, I’ve learned a few things about what it takes to put together a good blog tour. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- Have a website! There are so many places where you can register for a domain and purchase hosting for a small fee. And many of them have templates to help even those not used to designing a website, put one together. Make sure your website has your book information and “buy” page that includes links to all the places your book can be purchased. You will also want a contact form so people can send you emails. There are many other things you can include, but at least have these!
- Have a good book cover designed (I used a graphic designer on Elance.com for $50.00) and be ready to supply the cover, a profile pic, bio, synopsis of your book and all your social and buy links.
- Have a few 200-500 word articles around writing or tips on writing. Mine have covered everything from how I wrote Phantom Dreams to where the idea came from, how I gathered my beta readers and articles like this one.
- Check the blog’s site and try to get a feel for the audience and then reach out to the blog host and ask them what they or their readers would like. Whenever possible, ask them to review your book.
- If the blog prefers interviews, take the time to answer the questions thoughtfully. Of course, have fun with it too.
- Ask if the blog host can set up a competition for a free give away of one copy of your book. (Be sure to send it to the winner in a non-editable format – .epub or .mobi should work)
- Before the event begins, get a Facebook page dedicated to your book and promote it to everyone you know. Leave it open to the public.
- Put together an Event page in Facebook about the tour and invite people to it. You can Google how to set up pages and events in Facebook
- If you have a Twitter account and time to do it, start tweeting about the Tour.
- In all your promotions, ask for page likes or, better yet, likes on your buy sites!
- The day before each blog stop, promote it on all channels.
- On the day of, stop by and leave a comment thanking the blog host for having you and encouraging comments on the blog site. This helps numbers for you and the blog host!
A few things to note. Blog Tours will not necessarily increase your sales. Blog Tours do two things. A) Get your name and links out there. The more your book is mentioned the more it will be pulled in by search engines and, hopefully, avid readers and publishers. B) Get you reviews. Ask for this as much as possible, preferably on the sites where your book is sold. However, Amazon and Barnes and Nobles both allow you to add reviews from other sources. If you do this, be sure to include links back to the page of the person who reviewed it.
Lastly, be prepared to be active during the Blog Tour, they can be busy! And, when it’s over, celebrate! This significant event can be the beginning of creating the buzz you need to sell, sell, sell!
About the Author
T.K. Harris, who currently lives in Colorado, is a Solutions Architect, teacher, and full-time mother. She has been a story teller since she could talk and has had several short stories purchased by professional magazines such as Woman’s World. She is excited that her first novel – Phantom Dreams – has now been published.