Since my new book, Fat Girl Begone!, released this morning AND I started a new blog tour for this release this morning, today is the perfect day to discuss whether you should do a blog tour for your new release. First of all, let’s do a reality check. Blog tours are no longer the end-all be-all of book marketing (although nothing should be the end-all be-all when you’re talking about marketing). The market is saturated, and writers report fewer and fewer sales from blog tours.
That takes me to my first point – sales. Blog tours do not immediately lead to tons of sales. I can see you roll your eyes and hear you muttering ‘then how is this marketing?’. Trust me, I get it. But blog tours have always been about the long sale. What do I mean by that obviously stock market reference, which doesn’t seem to work in this situation? Simple really. Blog tours are about getting your author name and books in front of readers. Maybe they won’t pick the book up right away, but if there is enough buzz about the book (because the book was mentioned on several blogs over several weeks like, for example, during a blog tour), they may decide to check it out.
But if blog tours are all about the long sale, shouldn’t I just build up my author platform instead? Sure, you can do that, but I like to do both. Here are my reasons:
Supplement your author platform. I work hard on building my author platform, but – make no mistake – it is work. I spend a lot of time and energy on finding new bloggers, readers, reviewers, etc. But there’s an ‘easy’ way to give your author platform a boast – a blog tour. The easy part is running a giveaway attached to the blog tour. You can gain new followers by having extra giveaway entries for each ‘follow’ (follow on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.). This is a great way to gain an instant boast to your author platform. I also stalk each blogger who takes the time to post a spotlight, review, or interview during my blog tour. I follow them on every social media platform. The vast majority will follow back. I’m constantly trying out new blog tour operators to ‘meet’ new blogger contacts.
Reviews, reviews, reviews. Let’s face it. If you don’t have a well-known name (whether it’s as an author or other type of famous persona), you can shove your book in front of people all you want, but you won’t be selling many books unless you have some reviews. Readers want some assurance that someone else has read your book and found it an excellent read. If you’re self-published, this is even more true. A lot of readers are less than enthusiastic about self-published authors. I can’t blame them. There are way too many self-published books out there that are not properly edited. *Cringes in the name of all authors everywhere* That’s where the reviews come in. And where is one of the best places to get reviews? Blog tours! Blog tour operators have tons and tons of contacts. They will contact their bloggers and beg … er… ask them to read and review your book. Sure, I send out tons of review requests myself, but if you haven’t had previous contact with a blogger, the chance they will read your book is slim. In my experience, bloggers are quicker to say yes to a new-to-them writer if the request comes from a blog tour operator.
That’s it, folks. The two main reasons I continue to do blog tours. Thoughts, comments? I’d love to hear about your experiences.