Virtual book blog tours are an inexpensive way of getting the word out about your newly released book. Bloggers in a particular niche tend to know one another, and can build buzz through comparing notes and making recommendations to their readers.
A blog tour host posts a photo of the author’s book cover and physical details, buying info, plus a Q&A and/or review. In addition, the publisher may contribute copies for a giveaway. The giveaways tend to generate the most traffic, since many bloggers set up the entry process with much linking, Twitter following, and Facebook liking.
On the appointed day, the author checks in several times to answer comments and questions. Both author and host advertise the date on their social media sites. The author responds to feedback for a few more days, and writes a thank-you note to the host. Ideally, both parties add one another to their respective blog rolls –IF the blogger represent’s the author’s true audience.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Ah, but the best laid plans…! Here are some problems you might encounter, and a few solutions:
· Host does not send interview questions until late the night before or the morning of the tour date, and doesn’t post your materials until the late afternoon.
If your tour coordinator lays out a schedule beforehand (8 AM is a good time to begin), this will not happen often.
· Host puts up your materials and is never heard from again.
Leave a greeting as soon as you see that the host has put up your materials. Your friendliness will encourage interaction.
· Host tucks away your interview in her least-used blog. There is no word of introduction.
Assume she hated the book, and be grateful she didn’t put up a 1 star review on Amazon.
· Host doesn’t categorize your novel properly, and reviews it as if it were another genre. When this happened to me, I offered a link to a discussion of genre. The host seemed to appreciate it, said she could now see the novel in a whole new light, but did not change her rating of the book.
Yes, problems will erupt –the host forgets to turn the blog comments box on, and then leaves for the weekend; or gives you a thoughtless review, and when your supporters try to comment, will not post the comments; or, enraged by people’s opinion of her review, a host cancels your tour date and pins her lonely solitary star on every review site she finds. That’s life! Do what damage control you can, and bask in the glow coming from the first light shed on your new book. It will last far longer than the memory of that already fading star.