Not too long ago I didn’t know exactly what a blog tour was. I knew they were important, but not why or how much.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, it’s when you answer certain formatted questions about your writing life on your blog and nominate two or three others to pick up the baton and answer the questions on their blog, giving credit to the person who nominated them and nominating others in their turn. Sounds confusing, but it isn’t. Think of a chain letter. Only instead of getting dozens of recipes or salt and pepper shakers, you get dozens of people reading about you and your books.
Now that I’m a little more savvy, I’ve come to the conclusion that they are important mainly in introducing writers to other writers. Why do I say this? Because not one of my non-writing friends has any idea what I am talking about when I tell them I’m making an appearance on someone’s blog and give them the link. They go, see an unfamiliar name in the header, and click off thinking they have landed somewhere by error.
One friend asked me if I had changed my name for my upcoming release. She knew I had a book coming out; the blog talked about a book coming out. So when she saw who the author was, she assumed it was me using a pen name. It didn’t help that the author pasted my photo on the top of her page. She was thanking me for featuring her on my blog, but that didn’t come until the bottom of the article. Not her fault, it’s the way the blog was set up. But confusing my fans is not part of my marketing plan.
So I’m guessing people didn’t read that far because several congratulated me on my new book.
Thanks, but wrong book.
The idea behind participating in a blog tour is a good one. It exposes you to more people, who hopefully will run out and buy your book. Or become fans of your blog. Or at least will recognize your name if they run across it while browsing for something to read.
So I won’t say no if I’m asked to participate in future tours. I may even ask bloggers whom I know, however faintly, to allow me to be a guest on their blog.
It’s just one social media plank in that ever-elusive “platform” from which we launch our product.
But the foundation of that platform is solid writing. And if we don’t have that, nothing else matters.