I see many authors complaining about the results of their blog tours. The common complaint is that they didn’t sell any books. Of course there are two sides to every story. Most of the authors I see complaining about a failed tour turn out to be the main reason the tour failed in the first place. Almost every author (lately) I’ve heard saying their tour failed, didn’t do a darn thing to help it have a chance to be successful. A blog tour is not some magic pill that will turn your book into an overnight success. They can and have done this for many books, but that’s not the norm. A blog tour is not something you set then ignore and expect things to fall into your lap. A blog tour takes hard work just like anything else. It takes dedication, making contacts, research, and patience.
At the time I’m writing this, I am about to start a blog tour in August to celebrate my upcoming book, The Wild Life. I am very excited and anxious to do the tour. I know it will be fun because with a blog tour you only get back what you put in. If your blog tour fails and you don’t sell books, it’s so easy to blame the blogger or to say that blog tours just don’t work. I know it’s hard to look at yourself and see that you might’ve done something wrong, but once you do this, you will have more success down the line.
We all make mistakes. We all screw up but how we deal with it is the key. I just don’t want people to cave to the negativity they might hear concerning blog tours. Blog tours are a blessing that authors should take advantage of. There are pros and cons to everything but if you take the steps to ensure your tour will be successful, the good will outweigh the bad.
So for those who’ve had a sucky tour or for those who might wanna try having a tour, I’ve outlined reasons why it could be your fault that your blog tour wasn’t successful. Now I’m not doing this to make you feel bad or to poke fun. I’m doing this to help. Most times when something does not work out, it’s our own faults. Maybe my reasons will help authors to approach blog tours in a more productive way.
1. Picked Blogs with Low Traffic
I know it might be hard for a new author especially to get placement on high-traffic, or middle-traffic blogs but low-traffic blogs will not help you on a blog tour. You’re just wasting your time. In order to have a decent blog tour, you have to pick the right blogs. These should be blogs that cater to your genre, and blogs that have decent viewership. You don’t wanna have a blog tour with a bunch of blogs that lack traffic. If they don’t get traffic anyway, why do you think that would change just because you stop by there? No. You want a blog to help maximize your exposure. If it can’t do that then there’s no point. Your best bet is to reach out to blogs that can get your book in front of readers.
2. Didn’t Have a Giveaway
Why do you think some bloggers require authors do giveaways with blog visits these days? It’s because authors who do giveaways get the most traffic and viewership on their tours. Readers want some reason to pop in and even though you might be as adorable as the Pillsbury Doughboy, you are not enough. You want to give your tour the best shot it can get at being successful so you need to have some type of giveaway. I think giving free copies of your book to people who pop into the tour is good enough, but some authors give out gift certificates, and even e-readers! Bottom line is you gotta make readers wanna come in and check you out. All of this will lead to exposure for your book. So you should at least consider giving away a copy of your book.
3. You Were Disorganized
It’s your responsibility, not the bloggers’ to make sure you get all your materials and anything else you need to the bloggers in time. If you work with a tour organizer, you should be proactive and keep up with them to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. If things become chaotic it’s gonna be you who looks bad and no one else.
4. Did Not Promote The Event
If you’re setting up your own blog tour it’s your responsibility to promote your blog tour. Bloggers will likely promote too, but don’t count on it. Every blogger is different and assuming a blogger will promote your tour is Blog Tour Mistake 101. This is your responsibility as the author. Sure you can ask the blogger to help promote just to make sure it’s not just you, but sitting back and assuming a blogger is gonna promote your event is irresponsible. They’re being kind enough letting you be on their blog so promoting you would be a bonus.
Tips: Ways to promote include getting with your publisher if you have one. Publishers should be willing to help you promote your tour and even make promotional materials for your blog tour. Don’t be afraid to ask your publisher for help. If you are self-published, you might benefit from working with a blog tour organizer or cross promoting with other authors. Also you should start spreading the word long before the blog tour begins.
5. Did Not Participate in the Event
The main authors I see complaining about having an “unsuccessful” blog tour are the ones who sat back and didn’t participate. You must show yourself on the day of your event and you should come through more than once. This is your day. You are the one that should be initiating the conversations and keeping people interested. There’s nothing worse than checking out a guest blog post and seeing the author never bothered to show up. That’s rude. It’s like throwing a party then never coming through to greet your guests. Not only does this rub visitors the wrong way, it will kill your chances of bloggers inviting you back to their blogs. If you’re not interested enough to participate in your own promotional event, why should others be?
6. Boring Content
Most bloggers let authors choose the type of content they wish to post. You should mix things up. You can do interviews and book spotlights here and there but not for your entire tour. That gets boring fast. It’s best to do guest posts and this way you can talk about different things. Don’t forget to showcase your book. This is not just about you, but the book. Make the book the star on every blog you go to. Whatever happens, it’s a sin to be boring on a blog tour. This is also why it’s important for an author to participate in the event so they can keep the conversation going.
7. Provided the Wrong Content
Once again the book should be the star. Your posts should be of interests to readers. If you are promoting your new mystery or New Adult book, don’t post about how to write a book or how to sell a book. These are not posts readers wanna see. They wanna know more about your new book and why they should get it. Posting writing tips when you are trying to promote your novel is the kiss of death and readers won’t stick around.
8. Skipping Blogs that Can’t Promise Reviews
This is a big mistake. I see many authors skipping bloggers who say they can’t review. You know what? You’ll be skipping many bloggers because many bloggers are full when it comes to reviews. That’s the way of the world now. But this is no reason to cross the blog off as a potential blog tour stop. You can still get exposure by doing guest posts. You don’t have to have reviews done on a blog tour. All you want is to get the word out and to get people engaged. Just appearing on the blog will give you good exposure. Also, this is why giveaways are good. If you give away free copies of your books to people, you most likely will end up with some reviews down the line. But don’t ignore the exposure that being on a blog can give your book whether they review it or not.
9. You were an A** and Treated the Blogger Like Crap Because They Made a Mistake
The blogger is not your slave or minion. Don’t bark orders to the blogger. Don’t make demands. Remember a blogger who allows you to come to their blog is doing you a favor. It’s free promotion that they don’t have to give you so you should respect that. Also, if the blogger makes a mistake, don’t get upset with the blogger. Everyone makes mistakes. I’ve worked with many bloggers and a few have made mistakes when it came to my blog visits. Sometimes a blogger will have you down for the wrong date, or they will forget to even put you down. They might forget to give you materials to be featured on their blog. Remember that bloggers are humans too. Sometimes authors are so selfish we act like our books are the most important things in the world. A blogger making a mistake is not the end of the world, but you treating a blogger like crap could be the end of you ever getting promotional opportunities again. I don’t mean just from that blogger, but from many because bloggers travel in packs if you haven’t noticed. They make sure word gets around. If you’re rude and arrogant, that blogger is gonna tell her blogger-friends and they won’t want anything to do with you.
10. Not Contacting Author-Bloggers
Don’t skip out on contacting other authors who have blogs for your tour. Author-bloggers love to host other authors. Many authors are also reviewers. Authors are the most supportive of the blogging community so this is why they most likely will roll out the red carpet for another author on their blog. It’s a beautiful thing. Cross promotion is the ticket so it’s important to guest post on blogs of authors in the same genre. Their audience can potentially become your audience. The more popular the authors the better for your tour so especially reach out to your popular author friends. While it’s great to score a visit on a big review blog, don’t underestimate the level of exposure you can get from a fellow author’s blog.
11. Tour Too Short
I see authors arranging blog tours for a week or two. You should give yourself the best chance of exposure and unless you’re hitting the biggest blogs on the net in two weeks, or are a famous author, two weeks is not enough to get things rolling for your book. Your tour should be a month at least. You should be visiting blogs at least two times a week. Some authors visit a different blog every day. You should go with what’s best for you but I’d try for two blogs a week and a tour that’s at least a month. You want your book to saturate the blogosphere. The longer the tour, the wider your reach will be. If you do a week-long tour people will forget about you the minute your tour is over. Remember, exposure is the whole daggone point of the tour!
I hope my post helped those who might’ve had bad experiences but didn’t know why. If you did everything you could for your tour to be successful and it fell flat, you can’t control that. Nothing is guaranteed but you need to take planning a blog tour seriously. Stop measuring the success of your tour by how many books you sell. Blog tours don’t sell books directly. The main purpose of a blog tour is for exposure, not sales. If you present your book to your target audience, you should get some sales in the end.
Meanwhile join me on my tour! Check out my site for details: http://www.stacy-deanne.net
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