Today we're going to talk about setting up a blog tour. This comes way before the launch of your book, several months in fact - if not longer!
As I explained in my post Publicity before publishing, a blog tour is basically sourcing other writer's blogs of a similar genre to your book and interacting with them and their readers via their blog. This could be in the form of you guest posting, running competitions and promotions targeted to your book, or simply gaining a review or Q&A from the blogger.
What it means is a lot of preparation is required beforehand (hence the big lead in time) - contacting the bloggers, setting up content, sorting out competitions and prizes, arranging dates for posts...
As you know, I like to break things down into their simplest form, so here are the steps you need to take to get your blog tour off the ground:
1) Have your own blog up and running!
2) Identify blogs that match your genre. Depending on the scale of your blog tour, decide how many bloggers you want to contact. Run a Google search to find the blogs and then delve into each one individually to see how effective they could be in helping you promote your book. Remember, you want maximum exposure. The main thing to look out for is how well are they represented in social media - Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+ etc. Check their Twitter and Facebook following and see how often they post content.
3) Contact the bloggers. Invite them to participate in your tour by offering a free copy of your book in exchange for a review or a Q&A with you - or both. Link back to your blog so they can check you out and also to show you're willing to promote them. A blog tour is not just about promoting your book, it's also about promoting other authors. The more you include this dynamic in your strategy, the more you'll get out of this exercise. It's a two-way thing. Also nail down specific dates for specific activities to keep the tour moving along. Other ways to entice your fellow bloggers could be getting them to compete with each other for a prize - whoever gets the highest hit rate on the post relating to your book perhaps...
4) Advertise your blog tour on your own blog and through your social media profiles.
5) Lastly, be available for whatever comes up during the blog tour ie. don't suddenly disappear midway through the promotion!
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.