I suggest planning your blog tour the moment you know the release date for your book. Heck, start planning it when you’re editing with your editor. You can’t really start too soon, and the sooner you start, the less you’ll have to do and worry about later.
You can sign up with a blog tour for a price, but if you can’t afford that, you can do it yourself. This post is full of advice for authors wanting to do their own blog tour.
First, you’ll need to find blogs in your niche to contact. You can find these blogs in a few ways:
1. Look at the blogs you already follow. Chances are many of them host authors and accept guest posts. Find an email address and send the blogger a kind inquiry about being a guest.
2. You can check out the top 50 ranking book blogs here: Blog Metrics
3. Check out this website: Book Blogger Directory for another list of book blogs. You can even search under specific categories.
4. Pay attention to other author blog tours. Sometimes there are lists of blogs the author will be going to next. Check them out to see if the audience is right for your book.
5. Set up a sign up form with Google Form and make an announcement on your blog politely asking if bloggers would like to help you out with your blog tour.
I did this for the first time with 30 Seconds and I got a great response. I got an even better response for my double duty tour for Ghost of Death and Witch of Death. (Thanks again to those who signed up!)
As you look at blogs, make sure you check a couple of things:
1. Is the blog current? If the blogger hasn’t posted in a year that blog will not be worth contacting.
2. Check the number of followers. The more followers they have, the more chances you have of your book being seen. But that doesn’t mean a blog with 100-200 followers isn’t worthy. I have about 260 followers and my guests always get a nice amount of attention. (Thanks for that everyone!)
3. Do the guest posts receive comments and shares on Google +, Facebook, and Twitter? If there isn’t so much as one comment or share, it’s not worth it. 5-10 comments and shares (or more) is a good sign.
Once you find potential blogs, make a list of the blog’s name, URL, the blogger’s email address, and what type of guest posts they accept.
About two months before your release date start emailing them. When they reply back and agree to host you, schedule a date for when you can appear on their blog and establish which type of guest post they want (author interview, etc.).
TIP #1: Make each post unique. Don’t just have everyone post the blurb and excerpt. Add a Tens List or a small paragraph on a subject that relates to you, your writing, your book, or your characters.
Create your posts/complete the interviews, and send them to the bloggers with your author photo, cover art, and media kit 1-3 weeks ahead of time.
TIP #2: I like to include HTML codes of a complete post so the blogger doesn’t have to do extra work.
Set up your guest post on your blog with the pictures and links you want used. Then get the HTML code. If you use Blogger, just click “HTML” above your post. Then copy the entire code and paste it in the file you will be sending to the bloggers hosting you.
TIP #3: Make sure to get the new code for every guest post you create.
Many bloggers don’t know what to do with the HTML code, but it’s easy. Again, if you’re using Blogger there are two buttons at the top of a new post. These buttons are “Compose” and “HTML.” Click “HTML”, paste in the code, and then click “compose” to make sure everything looks okay. Then schedule the post as you normally would.
TIP #4: Giveaways attract more people. You can create a Rafflecopter giveaway with some swag. Try not to offer a free copy of your book though, because during your blog tour you want sales.
TIP #5: Add your blog tour links to StumbleUpon under the “Books” Category and share them on social media. But don’t bombard your followers. Share only the best posts (character interviews and things you think readers will find especially interesting).
QUESTION: Authors: How do you do your blog tour?