Everything You Need to Know About Blog Tours (video post)
By Terri Giuliano Long
I've given you lots of tour information from an author's perspective. But that's only part of the picture. To broaden your understanding, I've asked my favorite tour guides--Diane Saarinen, Pandora Poikilos, and Emlyn Chand--to tell you about their tours, what authors can expect, and why their tours stand out. Here's what the tour guides have to say:
Diane Saarinen, Saima Agency
What can authors expect from a blog tour with the Saima Agency?
A blog tour is an excellent way to receive exposure for a new book release. We work with popular bloggers to reach more readers. Marketing studies have demonstrated that blogs influence consumers more than social networks, and also indicated online word-of-mouth (WOM) is second only to in-person recommendation. Our blog-hosts post reviews, and usually host a guest post from the author or q&a. Some bloggers will post additional information about the author, such as YouTube video trailers or links to Facebook pages.
What differentiates the Saima Agency tour from others?
We like to think we set the bar high for ourselves. We'll pitch media outlets which may or may not accept a review copy of the release, but we try. As a result, we've received coverage from busy sites such as the Huffington Post and BookBrowse.com.
Does you specialize in certain genres? If so, which?
We tend to work with many historical novelists, so historical fiction is a genre we work a lot in. However, we are not limited to that.
What is the cost for a Saima tour?
Blog tours start at $775 for a 8-10 stop tour for a traditionally-published book. Indie books are priced on a case-to-case basis. There are other factors involved. Some of the bloggers we usually work with may not review self-published books, for example.
What can authors do to get the most from their tour?
Authors need to keep reasonable expectations. A blog tour is only one part of building author platform through social media. Authors may wish to engage with readers through Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads as well. But for the blog tour itself, being organized and often writing guest posts a month or even two ahead of time go a long way. In addition, a good "media room" on the website is a must with author photo, book cover jpeg, etc, to help make busy bloggers' jobs a lot easier!
Pandora Poikilos, Orangeberry Book Tours
What can authors expect from an Orangeberry Blog Tour?
Creativity. Each book is different and needs special attention. While we do organise generic book tours that focus on marketing and social media, we make every effort make this tour unique and personalised. Once your tour has finished, we don't stop promoting your book. We will continue to include it in our site and events; every little bit of exposure counts.
What differentiates the Orangeberry tour from others? Does you specialize in certain genres? If so, which?
Most blog tours focus only on blog stops. We also focus on other social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and GoodReads. Thus, giving authors higher social media presence. We welcome all genres but authors have to be specific about their rating (G, PG, R) so we can target the best blog hosts for their book.
The sponsorship fee an author pays for his/her our is then used as giveaways for their book, blog stop giveaways and gifts for blog hosts.
What is the cost for a Orangeberry tour?
The most popular is the Orangeberry Phoenix 1 which is a 30-day tour and costs $199. We also provide 7-day tours for $29.99 and a 60-day tour which costs $299.
Once an author has purchased a tour package from Orangeberry, he/she can claim a 'free' book tour, Orangeberry Basic. Orangeberry Basic is a 15-day book tour which we assist in getting blog hosts but the author will have to contact these hosts themselves. Additionally, the author will have to host five other authors on his/her blog. This is a great tool for authors on a limited budget or those who want to learn how to set up their own online book tours.
What can authors do to get the most from their tour?
I call it OPS. They need to be Open-Minded, Patience and Systematic. Having a book tour, online or otherwise means that readers from various locations, cultures and backgrounds, not all of them the specified target market, will be reading your book. Hence, reviews may not always be positive and there may be other feedback in terms of editing, cover design and other elements. It isn't always criticism and authors need to be able to accept this.
Patience is vital in setting up a book tour. When authors rush through the initial stages such as filling up author interview questions or writing short guest posts, the tour will be affected. In the long run, the tour will not be able to produce its expected results of higher brand awareness or increased book sales. Also, blog hosts are located in various time zones which means posts go up at different times of the day.
Authors need to have a system for reaching out to their readers and target audience during an online book tour or otherwise. Be it 7 hours of social media per week or meeting 3 new people a day, they need to find something they are comfortable with and stick with it. of course, you won't instantly see results but in the long run, you'll see the difference.
Emlyn Chand, Novel Publicity
What can authors expect from a blog tour with Novel Publicity?
Our traditional blog tour offers dedicated, high traffic bloggers that are targeted due to an express interest in the author's genre. The tours are review-oriented, largely positive, and well publicized through our website and Twitter stream. Large incentives for bloggers and commenters also help to generate good will. A live interview via Twitter called a "twitterview" gives readers a chance to interact with the author. Following the tour, the author is given a one-hour wrap-up call to discuss what was learned from the tour as well as marketing strategies he or she can employ going forward.
Our whirlwind blog tour offers over 100 blog posts within a period of 5 days and features reviews, interviews, guest posts, and excerpts. Huge prize amounts draw a lot of attention to the book, the author, and his or her social media sites. Fun contests get people excited and help define the author's brand; unique advertising opportunities drive sales. This is a great promotion for a book launch or to generate a lot of attention fast.
What differentiates Novel Publicity from other tours? Does NP specialize in certain genres? If so, which?
At Novel Publicity, we are constantly honing our tours based on our ever-deepening well of experience. We run a quality control check on any interested authors, because we want to provide them with a positive experience and give our bloggers books they'll like. Our blog tour hosts are all evaluated upon application to help them optimize their blog's design and build traffic. Only hosts with 100+ hits per day on their blogs are allowed to host traditional tours. We also make use of a book preference survey and store all this information in our blog host database to ensure we approach the right bloggers about each book. We want our tours to be a positive experience for everyone! Although Novel Publicity is equipped to handle any genre, we seem to have developed a bit of a niche in literary fiction.
What is the cost for a Novel Publicity tour?
The traditional blog tour costs $1,000. It runs 4 weeks and includes 20-26 blogger reviews. This fee also covers 3 $50 incentive prizes for participants, a twitterview (normally a $75 service), and a follow-up "next steps" marketing call.
The whirlwind blog tour costs $2,500. It runs 5 days and includes a minimum of 100 blogger posts. The number of reviews generally average around 20-35/ This fee also covers 5 $50 incentive prizes and 1 $100 prize. Advertising via sharing contests on our social media networks, a twitterview, and access to our advertising relationships our also included.
What can authors do to get the most from their Novel Publicity tour?
Authors should make it a habit to visit tour hosts' blogs, read their posts, and leave engaging comments. Always say "thank you" and maintain a positive attitude. Share reviews on your social media networks with a little note, but be careful not to go overboard and spam your followers--spread the posts out over several days or even weeks. A blog tour is a fantastic opportunity for authors and can be one of their most positive promotional experiences, period.