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Book Blog Tours – Are They for You?

Updated on December 25, 2013
Homeplace Series profile image

Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

Logo of "The Homeplace Saga" Book Blog Tour

"The Homeplace Saga" Book Blog Tour Logo
"The Homeplace Saga" Book Blog Tour Logo | Source

What do we mean "Book Blog Tour?"

You may choose to follow a book blog tour as a reader to learn what several other readers think about a book that you may want to read. You may want to be a part of the book blog tour because you have a book review blog and you like to bring to readers to your blog. You may want to participate in a book blog tour as an author in hopes of reaching out to a much broader audience for your book by way of the various book blogs on the tour. In which category do you fall?

I have had the privilege of participating in all three ways, and continue to do so. I am always looking for a good book to read, of course, and book review blogs are one way to gain a great deal of exposure to many books in a short time. Because I read a lot of books, I do have a book blog of my own: Dr. Bills Book Bazaar (http://drbillsbookbazaar.blogspot.com/). I like to share with others the pleasure I get from reading many books. I am also an author, William Leverne Smith, and creator of “The Homeplace Saga” series of historical fiction family saga stories (see this blog: http://thehomeplaceseries.blogspot.com/). There are currently four novels and three short stories published in the series, plus a wiki and several short stories presented in serial form on the blog.

Let’s look a book blogs a little further before we discuss the book blog tour in more detail.

Christmas at the Homeplace

Book Review Blogs

Book blogs come in many, many styles, shapes and forms as you can likely imagine. Each is individualized by the author of the blog to suit their personal style and interest, of course, as it should be. Some book blogs have multiple authors or contributors. Most book blogs have stated policies of what kinds of books you will find on that blog and what kinds of books you will not find on that blog. Of course, for most of us, it doesn’t take too long to just look at and browse a book blog to get a “pretty good feel for” what will fit and what will not fit on a particular blog. For example, I’m not into paranormal, fantasy, terror or high suspense. Book blogs that feature these items around the fringes in the design of the blog, and post almost everything from these genres are not for me. On the other hand, one of more of those themes might be exactly what you are looking for. Some blogs participate in a lot of Book Blog Tours. Some participate in few, if any. A quick scan of recent posts gives a good quick impression. Reading the actual policies of each book blog gives you a more accurate assessment. Most book blogs do have stated policies.

The other major differentiating feature of book blogs, for our discussion here, is the number of followers, or the reach of the blog readership. Size does not correlate bit “good or bad” but does provide insight into how others will perceive the blog for their purposes. We will come back to this notion, a little later.

Back to the Homeplace

Book Blog Tour Hosts

If you have a book blog, do you want to host tours? What does it mean to “Host” as Book Blog Tour? We have a bit of a “chicken or the egg” issue here to deal with, quite frankly. You need to know what a book blog tour is, or looks like, before you know whether you want to host. You need to know what it would be like to host, before you can really understand what a book blog tour really is. I’ll give you a little of my history, and you can judge for yourself. You never really know who is reading your blog, of any kind, of course. You just put it out there, mostly for your interest and benefit, in many cases, and see what happens. I was using mine as a means to share what I was choosing to read, for example.

One day, out of the blue, I get an email inviting me to participate, on my book blog, in a book blog tour. It turns out it came from a professional book blog tour organizer, Teddy (http://teddyrose.blogspot.ca/), who has since become a good friend and mentor. Her invitation asked if I would consider hosting a “review, and interview, a guest post, or a giveaway” – I really had no idea what she meant by that, I’ll admit to you now. At that point, I had never heard of a “Book Blog Tour” – she calls hers a Virtual Author Book Tours.com. I’ll admit, I was intrigued by the general idea, but I needed to do some exploring to learn more. I asked her some questions, as I recall, and she was great to answer each one, patiently. I suppose it is obvious, at this point, we have continued to work together regularly.

Book Trailer for "Christmas at the Homeplace"

Virtual Author Book Tours

Source

Murder by the Homeplace

Book Blog Tour Elements

The concept of the “tour” is actually simple. The organizer locates a series of blogs willing to participate in the tour and schedules them over a series of days – sort of a “Blitz.” Actually organizing the tour is much more difficult. We’ll get back to that a little later. As mentioned above, the major components of a tour, where the individual blog host is concerned, are the “review,” an author “Interview,” a “guest post” – usually by the author, and/or a “giveaway.” I suppose there can be other elements, but these are the ones we will focus on here, today.

The “review” is the key element of the tour, of course. This means the “host” will agree to read the book and write a review. This is largely the purpose of the tour. That is, to get persons who regularly write book blogs, and have good-sized readerships, to actually read the book and write a good review of it for their readers. You likely already know it is not that easy to get someone to write a review and publish it. That is a huge commitment. There are many who do this, of course, but they each have their individual decision criteria for what they will review, when, how, and what for, for example. I’ll leave this at that. Another entire hub could be written on the criteria bloggers use for reading and writing book reviews.

An “author interview” is probably the second most commitment on the part of a potential blog host to participate in a tour. Here, the blog host is expected to provide a series of questions (meaningful questions, of course) for the author to respond to that will then be published on the blog as part of the tour. The better blog hosts tailor the questions to each individual author and that particular book, of course. Are you willing to do that? I did one of those recently. It was actually quite a gratifying experience (http://drbillsbookbazaar.blogspot.com/2013/10/thunderbird-conspiracy-book-tour-author.html). This tour is still going on as I write this. A neat book, by the way!

Hosting a “guest post” is an easy way to participate, if you are willing to post on your blog what someone else has written. You can make suggestions to the author on what to write about, but, generally, you will simply post what they wrote. This can actually be quite a positive experience, with a great writer. Perhaps, a one-time ever experience, actually. Do you do guest posts?

Finally, most authors offer a limited number of their books in either print or ebook format to be “given away” on the blog host site, usually with some limitations or restrictions. Many of the book blogs use this to build their own readership. They give away many things. Is this good or bad? Yes or no, depending on your interest as reader or as author.

The Homeplace Revisited

Have you read "The Homeplace Saga" stories?

Have you read "The Homeplace Saga" stories?

See results

Book Blog Tours organized by Professional or Do-It-Yourself

I learned about Book Blog Tours from Teddy, as I noted earlier. She is a real professional. There are many others. You pay for her services. By the repeat customers she has, and the way she conducts her business, I know she does it very well. If interested in a Book Blog Tour for yourself or someone you know, I encourage you to contact her and discuss your interests.

For my own “The Homeplace Saga” books, which will continue indefinitely, I have chosen to organize my own tours. My second is just getting underway as I write this (http://drbilltellsancestorstories.blogspot.com/2013/11/wordless-nearly-wednesday-book-blog.html). It takes a lot of time, and as a “newbie” I make mistakes and am not as effective as I would be using a professional. I also do not have the “reach” I would get from a professional tour. I’ve talked briefly with Teddy about possibly conducting a tour for “Back to the Homeplace” one day in the future.

Available in Print or Kindle

Christmas at the Homeplace
Christmas at the Homeplace | Source

In closing…

For now, “Christmas at the Homeplace” is going on tour. I hope you will take a few minutes to stop by… whenever you may read this. Thank you for your attention.

I love to get comments and feedback on any of my writing. I’m always available through my blogs, my wiki, on Facebook or via email directly.

Happy reading! Dr. Bill ;-)

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    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      I've never heard of book blog tours so thank you for introducing me to them. They sound like a very cool way to learn about books and authors.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      For sure, sheilamyers. Thanks for the comment. I hoped this hub would be useful to some of our readers! ;-)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I have never heard of this before, but it seems like a great idea!

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I am pleased to have brought it to you attention. It is very big among many independent writers who are also bloggers. Lots of fun, and useful, on about all accounts! ;-)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      I've never heard of book blog tours either. It was helpful information.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      I have a book review blog that I've neglected for years. Since then, it seems that a lot of people are doing book blogs as well, and so I will probably try revving up my book blog again. Thank you for the information about book blogs and book blog tours.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Wonderful, FlourishAnyway. It is always nice to be useful and even helpful, here. Thank you! ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I hope you do revive it, "grand old lady" - there is still a place for it. Some have moved on from book blogs, but many still find them very useful! I post to mine a few times each month... more some months than others. It is not one I try to post to every day... nor every week, though most weeks. I appreciate the visit and the comments!! ;-)

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      I haven't heard of book blog tours until today, but they do sound like my type of thing. I love to review and share about any fascinating books I've read, maybe I should probably write some hubs about them! Voted interesting!

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Suzanne. We are here to share and learn. Thanks for your visit. Hope you participate in a Book Blog Tour soon. ;-)

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 2 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Interesting concept! You live in a beautiful part of the country, certainly an inspiration for great writing.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 2 years ago from Texas USA

      Book blogs, when well done, can be very helpful to authors. I've participated (to my loss) in tours which were poorly run. I've also participated in well-run tours. Having set up tours before for a few authors I've seen both sides of the process. I like the information you provide above. It's spot on.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Writer Fox, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. We've been coming here to visit for over 40 years, while living all over the USA. We decided to retire here 5 years ago. Have enjoyed every minute.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I appreciate your confirmation, Arachnea. As you saw, I've worked both sides, as well, with similar experiences. Most of my experiences have been positive. I have become more selective in which ones I do participate in, of course. Thanks for the visit! ;-)

    • BrianRS profile image

      Brian Stephens 2 years ago from France

      I have a book blog so perhaps I should get involved. Always about prioritising though.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      For sure, Brian. I get regular requests to participate in Teddy Roses' Tours. I only do one every month or so, when I like what I see - I'm just real picky. She always asks me to share he request. If you have any interest in checking it out, send me a note at billsmith2003 at gmail.com... ;-)

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Physical, in-store or event book tours are becoming less and less common. Getting virtual "ink" on other blogs is a great strategy. Voted up, useful and sharing!

    • PsychGeek profile image

      PsychGeek 2 years ago from UK

      Book blog tours are entirely new to me but sound like something I would like. You have given some great information in this Hub, thank you for sharing!

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Heidi, thank you for much for your visit and comment in support of the book blog tour. Much appreciated! ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I am very happy to bring new approaches to my readers. Thanks for the visit and the comment!! ;-)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I have never heard of these before! But these sound so interesting--off to check out your blog a bit

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good evening, what an informative and interesting Hub. I like the idea and thought that you gave a wonderful overview as well as detailed information on the questions most of us would ask. Will be following you for updates. ~Marilyn

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Audrey! I'm so pleased to have brought them to your attention. They are a fascinating process, no matter what the genre! ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Marilyn, Thank you for your comments. Nice to exchange comments with you! Keep up the great work! ;-)

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