Wednesday, October 1, 2014

IWSG: Marketing and the Blog Tour


 
 
Today we're posting our advice for the entry into the IWSG anthology. Should they deem my post helpful, they have my permission to use it. Many thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and his co-hosts this month, KristinSmith, Elsie, SuzanneFurness, and Fundy Blue .
 
Marketing and the Blog Tour by Gwen Gardner.

I’ve been told on many occasions that my debut blog tour was amazing. I toured with Angela Brown, also a debut author at the time. Both authors of YA, it worked out well for both of us.

Whether you’re an indie author or with a small press, here are some tips to organizing your own successful tour.


1. Research. Research the process and learn from others who have already been through the experience.

2. Blog. Blog about your publishing plans. When other writers found out we were self-publishing, most wanted to help, whether for cover reveal, hosting or advice on editing and formatting. Ask what kind of posts they want to see. FYI, for our blog tour, most wanted short, quirky, fun, and character based posts.  Based on the above research, we generated interest by bringing our characters to life in our posts, using short character sketches, character dialogues and character interviews.

3. Finding Hosts. For the most part, we didn’t approach people directly. We posted a comment linky on each of our blogs asking for volunteers for our cover releases and tour hosts. The response was overwhelming. The blogging community is so generous and willing to help.

We did approach at least two high-traffic blogs separately, though. They tend to fill their guest spots quickly, and you’ll want to reserve a spot at least two to three months in advance.

4. Pre-plan. Organizing a blog tour takes time and you will need certain items before the tour begins. It’s a good idea to allow three to four months to have a cover made, interior formatting for print/ebook and signing up tour hosts.

Book outside services early, especially if you’re going with popular designers. All of my covers are illustrated rather than photographic and it takes at least two months for my designer to complete one from start to finish--that’s if she’s immediately available.

Pre-write your tour posts well in advance (they can be modified later to cater to the host) so you’re not bogged down at the last minute. Find out what kind of post your host wants and provide it at least a week in advance (two weeks if possible). With several venues now offering pre-ordering for independent authors, it’s now easier to provide the buy links in advance.
 
5. Media Package. Put together a file with all your links. Social media links (Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, GoodReads), buy links (Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Google Play) and author bio. Include any giveaway information and linkys. Pre-made tweets are a nice touch as well. It’s easy to copy and paste the document into your tour post or attach it separately when emailing it to your host, along with your cover and author photo.

6. Final Advice. Start early and do your research. Use social media to engender interest, but don’t risk alienating your friends and writing buddies by bombarding them with pleas to buy your book. The recommended ratio is 80/20, i.e., 80% of your Facebook posts should be about something other than your book.

And always, always, be considerate of yours hosts. Be reliable. Deliver when you say you will, or advise them if you’ve hit a snag. They’ll understand and a good reputation in the blogging community is always a plus.  

I'm Gwen Gardner, young adult author of the Indigo Eady paranormal series, including two paranormal novels and three novellas, and I blog at Gwen Gardner, YA Author http://gwengardner.blogspot.com. Permission granted to use this post in the IWSG Anthology.

22 comments:

  1. That blogging reputation and lack of pressure to assist is a plus for me to agree to be a tour stop. And it always helps to have the html sent for a pre-configured post.

    This is good advice Gwen. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes, html is always welcome, Donna. We generally sent both.

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  2. Great post - these tips are fantastic! I've used tour host services before, but for my next release, I'm organising my own blog tour. Thanks for sharing your advice!

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    1. Organization is the key, Emma. You'll do great.

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  3. Great tips, Gwen. I also think it's useful to set up blog tours with some of the book review blogs. Some will set it up and organize them for you for not too much money. That way you get your book out to a whole other audience, which is part of the point of the blog tour.

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    1. Definitely, Natalie. I'm going to do a review tour with my Afterlife series.

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  4. Excellent, Gwen! This will be awesome for the book. I know I plan my tours way in advance and write out the posts early as well.
    Thanks for contributing to the book.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. I hesitated to contribute because what do I know? I'm a struggling author! But hehe, I have been around the block a few times by now and know a few things :)

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  5. Awesome information, Gwen! I can't wait until I get to the point where I can put it to use! Thanks for sharing you expertise!

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  6. Excellent advice! I'm already making my plans for next year's releases. :)

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  7. This is great advice and most helpful for people who want to write, wish to write or are scared to start(me-about my mom).

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  8. Organize? You want me to do that? lol I wish I could be more organized. This is fabulous information.

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  9. Excellent tips and advice, thanks for sharing. The anthology is going to be a great resource.

    Great to visit as co-host of IWSG this month.

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  10. Excellent advice. I'm not in need of it right now but I'm going to bookmark this post for later. Thanks.

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  11. Terrific advice! I appreciate your insights!

    Best regards,
    Donna McDine
    Award-winning Children’s Author
    Ignite Curiosity in your child through reading!
    Write What Inspires You Blog

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  12. Great advice. Research is key. It's a lot of work to put together a blog tour and you want to focus on blogs who reach your core audience and have built their own network of readers. Great advice about the media kit, too.

    My IWSG Post

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  13. Excellent post. I think you covered all the key points. I was wondering though, what about blog tour banners? How did you mange that? Where did you find them?

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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  14. Great tips . . . I hope to be more organized with book #3. I always feel like I'm rushing around last minute!

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  15. You really know how to put it all together. Great tips on how to get it done.

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  16. Superb advice. There's a lot to think about and you can never be too organised.

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  17. I'm one who thinks your Partners tour was amazing! Thanks for sharing your tips.

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