The Truth About Blog Tours
Recently, an author friend of mine was overwhelmed with planning her own blog tour and though I really wanted to help, I couldn’t. You see, I’ve never planned one before. Yes, I have a novel out and never did the whole blog tour thing. It never made sense to me, all the guest posting and link sharing seemed like a lot of work and if I do a ton of work, I want a guarantee this thing will actually work. Since I figured it would benefit us both to research the subject, I did so and got surprising results.
If You Want Sales or Readers, Forget it!
Most of the indie authors I researched, have had little, if any, increase in sales after a blog tour. Here one author says her sales and blog views actually went down! I noticed a trend, among the authors who reported no sales and that was many of them had a small or nonexistent readership. However, those with an established platform with even a modest readership seemed to benefit greatly from a blog tour. This leads me to believe, you need readers BEFORE a book tour, but isn’t that the point of doing a blog tour? You know, to attract readers!
The Ugly Truth
Book readers rarely read blogs, there—I said it! Yes, there are some bloggers who have awesome followings but they are few and rare. Sadly, there is no online version of Oprah just yet. Note to self: create book empire! By the way, If you’d like to weasel your way into the Oprahsphere, you’ll have to join the community as the moderator tells this inexperienced solicitor claiming to be the “cousin” of an author.
Book Tours Alone Aren’t Enough
An indie author MUST be the publicist for their own book that means we have to consider newsletters, podcasts and even magazines to pimp our work. This requires lots of planning, usually, months in advance, not to mention, awesome querying skills.
Blog touring is now an industry!
As you can imagine with all the hard work involved in preparing book tours, there are now book publicists and freelancers who offer these services for flat fees ranging as low as $75 while others charge hundreds per hour. Is it worth it? Honestly, it depends on what your goals are. I saw several book marketing services charging $699 in exchange the author would get: 5 book reviews (whether positive or negative they don’t mention), they would also market your book to free giveaway sites, listing your book on Library Thing Giveaways, and even market your book to popular discount sites. Most of these things you can do yourself, and some of them, I’ve talked about here.
I’m neither for or against blog tours, I believe if you want to introduce yourself and your book to the world then this kind of marketing works. However, if you strictly want sales, blog tours may be something you don’t want to waste too much time on.