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Book Blog Tours – Are They for You?
Logo of "The Homeplace Saga" Book Blog Tour
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.
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.
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
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.
Have you read "The Homeplace Saga" stories?
Have you read "The Homeplace Saga" stories?
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
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 ;-)