Wednesday, August 26, 2020

What Really is a Blog Tour?


If you follow this blog you will most likely noted that hundreds of my posts are blog tours. What are blog tours? How are they done? When are they done?

Those are the most expected questions, but we might even discuss why they are done as well as how.

What are they? They are specified blog posts that will usually include a book review, additional graphics, buy links, book description, sale links, author information and their contact data, excerpts, Q & As and often giveaways.

Why arrange for blog tours? Blog tours are arranged to allow bloggers to assist authors to get books noticed by a larger audience. Say for example, ten bloggers host the tours. That is ten specific blog tour posts targeted towards one book. If the bloggers then cross-post these blog tour posts, then the reach is larger for that particular book and author.

How are they arranged? This happens when a publicist (sometimes the author themselves) contacts a group of bloggers to host a blog tour for a book that is being published. This is arranged by dates. The dates usually run close to release date for said book.

How do you agree, or what do you do after you are contacted? In most cases a Google form will be attached to the invitation email. You fill that form out in order to agree to a specified date. In other case, you simply reply to the email with the date that will work for you. You should get a widget (usually sent to NetGalley at the time of the invitation, or sometime after via email).

How do you prepare your blog post? You will receive an email package close to your scheduled date with all the materials you will need. It comes in a couple of ways, depending on publisher. You might get an asset package that will contain all of the graphics, book blurb, author information, excerpt, etc. Or you might receive an HTML document, formatted in both Blogger and Wordpress format depending on what you use for your blog.

Who participates in hosting blog tours? In most cases the host must have a blog to participate. 

When? As mentioned, the dates are prearranged by the contact person (publicist, author, etc.). The host then agrees to publish their blog tour on said date.

Where are the posts published? Quite naturally, on the host blog. However, bloggers generally cross post across social media. Examples are Twitter, Facebook, Instragram, etc.

Companies who might be looking for hosts for upcoming tours. Harlequin, St. Martin's, Berkley, Bookouture, HFV Blog Tours, for example, always have quite a few listings every single month.

Questions: 
  • What if I don't like the book that I am agreeing to host the tour for? In that case, you contact the publisher and let them know. If it is too late to have the blog tour graphics change, they often will be pleased for the host to simply run a promo for the book on scheduled date.
  • How many tours should I do? That depends on your regular reading schedule.  One person may choose to do one per month, the next ten, and the next person even more. 
  • I love the idea but I don't have the time, so how can I help? Featured posts with everything except the actual book review, therefore you do not have to read the book, are just fine. This still helps with the publicity for that particular book.

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