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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Marketing with Blog Book Tours

The internet creates startling opportunities to network and disseminate information. One fabulous twist on the old-fashioned book tour is the Blog Tour, something that you're probably familiar with. Basically, a single book is featured within a short period of time, such as a day or week, on multiple blogs. The goal is to increase the book's exposure, since it's been shown that repeated reminders of a product make it more likely for someone to convert (ie buy the darn thing). Furthermore, since the reviewers usually give honest opinions of the bad as well as the good, a potential buyer can get a reasonable assessment of whether he might actually like the book.

These book-review blogs take a little bit of work to find: use google or other blog search engines to find blogs that review books, and check them out to see which might be appropriate. You can make a list, then comment or write to the person to see if they might be interested in reviewing your book. Coordinating them will be a challenge, but multiple exposures of a book over a few weeks or months won't necessarily be horrible, providing you can keep other marketing techniques going at the same time to maintain a potential *buzz.*

But wait! There's an easier way.

There are organizations that put blog tours together for authors. Some of these operate out of a publisher's advertising/marketing department, and only work for this company. Some operate from self-pubbing organizations, and you can purchase a package that will help you put together a blog tour. Some are freelance marketers that you can hire. I have the names of some of these companies that I will be happy to give you if you email me, but since I have no direct knowledge of the quality of their work and they're fairly costly, I don't feel comfortable putting their names out here.

However, if you have a book that is consistent with a Christian world view, I have an even better option for you to consider: First Wild Card Tours.

First Wild Card Tours (the link is HERE) is a *free* service that puts together blog tours. You the author must provide the books and the postage, but while not inconsequential financially, that's it. It works like this: You find an open date that works for you, and submit the title, a brief description, the first chapter, and an author photo. You also state how many books you can provide; a good number might be 25. The director makes an announcement on the loop, and then interested bloggers contact you directly. A few weeks later, on your date, the blog tour goes up.

Furthermore, these don't have to be new books, so if you have an older release date you're still good to go. First Wild Card will also tour self-published books.

Personally, I think this is a great deal! My blog tour is next month. When the time comes, I'll link to all of the blogs that will be carrying my book, and you can see what you think.

And by the way, if you have a blog, you like free books, and you don't mind writing reviews, you might want to consider joining this group as well. There are no minimum standards for participation, and you get to choose the books you'd like to read. Not bad.


Andra M. said...

Wow, sounds like a great way to expose our books. I love the idea of being on the reviewing end as well.

I'll definitely check into it.

Again, thanks for the info.

Good luck on your book tour!

Anonymous said...

I've heard of this one. Go for it. It'll be great!!! Keep at it, Amy.

gzusfreek said...

I can't wait for your blog tour! How exciting! Let me know what I can do!