Get to Know the Bloggers – Writing Tip Number Ten
Get to Know the Bloggers – Writing Tip Number Ten is aimed at writers who are about to publish their first novel and may not know about the magic of book bloggers.
As I said in a previous post, book bloggers provide a great service to readers and authors. On their well-maintained websites, they post reviews and features about new and favourite books.
Many bloggers get involved in blog tours when authors “tour” a sequence of blogger websites to promote their new novels. The bloggers host author interviews and post extracts or reviews. This activity is time-consuming and requires both creativity and organisation skills, yet bloggers do it in their spare time without payment. Book bloggers are in it for the sheer joy of books and reading.
So if you’re about to be published, it’s worth taking the time to get to know the bloggers.
My First Blog Tour
I organised my first blog tour for The Perfect Neighbours simply because my publisher suggested it. He sent me a list of 100 bloggers to contact. At the time I didn’t know what a blogger was so I looked at each website and pretty soon understood what they did.
I also realised that I’d be wasting my time sending out random emails. It was important to choose bloggers who might actually like my book and ones who weren’t fully booked. I studied the posts and review policies of all of them. (Yes, really, all one hundred – there was no shortcut.) I came up with a list of ten who might be interested in having a guest post and two who might be willing to review.
I was thrilled when I got positive responses back from most of them. They seemed genuinely interested in me, an unknown author, and had great ideas for the kind of guest posts they wanted. Without a doubt their generosity gave me a much greater platform than I could have achieved on my own. Here is the post I wrote about the bloggers who participated.
After the tour, I continued to follow these bloggers and several others who retweeted the posts and unexpectedly posted Happy Publication Day messages. (What a lovely surprise that was.) I came to realise how excited they are about books and how well informed on new publications. These days I make all my own book purchasing decisions based on blogger posts.
Second Blog Tour
When I published The Good Teacher, I approached many more bloggers because I felt I’d developed a two-way relationship with them over the previous year. I’m pleased to say every blogger I approached agreed to take part in the blog tour and many wrote reviews. Several willingly changed plans when the publisher changed the publication day at short notice. I also wrote a post about the bloggers on the tour.
What did I hope to get out of it? First and foremost an ongoing relationship with some lovely book lovers (bloggers), secondly a super set of quotes from experts (bloggers) to go on my website and on Amazon, and thirdly to be seen by readers who might be enticed to buy a copy. I achieved all three but don’t see it as a tick-box that’s completed once the tour is over. I like to keep in touch with the bloggers and comment and retweet their other posts. I get as much out of bloggers between times as I do during my blog tours.
Third Blog Tour – The Roommates
Later this week fifteen lovely bloggers will host my next blog tour. Please see the banner at the top of this post and visit their websites to find how they might be able to support your book and to read their varied and informative posts.
Some have hosted me before, some I’ve met in person and some have been invited to join by my publisher. Again I’ve been overwhelmed by their willingness to support my book. Many have agreed to post a review when the tour stops at their website. I’ve no idea what they’re going to say, so fingers crossed they like The Roommates.
Blog Tour Organisers
Although I haven’t used them as I’ve so far organised tours myself, it is possible to use the services of a blog tour organiser. For a reasonable fee, they will approach bloggers on your behalf and set up a tour. There are many, but the ones I know of are:
Sarah Hardy – Book On The Brightside – Sarah organised this year’s Morecambe and Vice blog tour which included a stop at Nicki’s book blog for an early review of The Roommates.
Emma Welton – Damppebbles Blog Tours
Anne Cater – Random Things Tours
Rachel – Rachel’s Random Resources
Kerry Parsons at Bowen’s Book Publicity offers social media promotion for authors and their books.
So if you’re about to get published, congratulations. Have a great launch and make sure you get to know the bloggers.