Well my Ripples In The Sand Blog Tour has nearly come to a close, just one more stop tomorrow.
Have I enjoyed the virtual tour? Being honest here – I’m not sure.
I have had a fantastic time answering the set questions by a variety of Bloggers, I loved writing the couple of articles that were requested: well, I enjoy writing about my beloved pirate, Jesamiah Acorne – as much as my readers enjoy reading about him.
But Blog Tours are hard work. And are they of any use anyway?
The idea is to promote a recent or newly released book. The modern on-line equivalent to the old fashion Bookstore Tours where an author would be invited into a bookstore, sit at a table looking welcoming and smiley and sell and sign a book or two.
Us Indie authors are lucky if one person takes pity on us and buys a book as a present for a friend. Come to that, we are lucky to be invited into bookstores in the first place; several of the Most Well Known UK Chain stores don’t want to know. My own local Big Chain back in Walthamstow never got back to me about arranging a signing, even though I faithfully RT’d their Tweets, FB’d them and smoked my socks off being Nice. And despite me attempting to say I now had SilverWood Books, a good, reliable, professional publishing house behind me to produce my books. (Unlike my previous one, Discovered Authors / Callio Press, which was the opposite of all those things) Walthamstow wasn’t interested.
Whether Devon will be I don’t know yet – early days.
The Blog Tour is a superb way of reaching potential readers worldwide, especially if the Tour as a whole is varied and interesting – and the Blogs are well established with a big readership.
But what if you hit problems about advertising your Blog Tour Stops? Over-egging the pudding, spamming, going on and on about My Book is a no-no on most social media sites – but what about promoting your Blog Tour? It seems that is also a no-no now.
I view promoting tours not as harping on about My Book (although, yes, that is involved) but a legitimate opportunity to draw attention to the kind hosts – be they the top well-knowners or those who have very new blogs. I always assumed that readers were interested in the variety of content of a Blog Tour – my answers to a variety of highly interesting questions; the articles I wrote about my books; when I started writing – my tips for new writers; my thoughts on my characters etc. I find reading other author’s blog tour answers/articles interesting – maybe it is me who is dull then?
And yes, it is nice to be able to take that rare opportunity to take pride in blowing your own trumpet for a couple of days over a period of a couple of weeks, to enjoy the fantastic reviews – and enjoy sharing them with my present readers and (hopefully) a few new ones.
But what to do when you are asked not to promote your Tour on various media sites because it constitutes spamming? Is promoting a Blog Tour blatant spam then? I didn’t realise it was. I wonder, are the big authors also classed as spammers if they promote their blog tours – or does this new rule only apply to us struggling Indies?
Readers who are your Facebook Friends already follow you, so already know that New Novel is now out.
Like many another, I am a busy person, I can’t keep going back to Author X’s FB page to see where he/she is today on his/her Tour, but if I see a link pop up on a Facebook Page or Twitter, I’m more than happy to like, share, and RT (retweet). I take a look, of course, and usually leave a comment, probably also 'follow' the Blog, especially if it is a new one. Blog Tours are as much about advertising the Blogs and Bloggers aren't they? Or have I got the wrong end of the stick somewhere along the line?
Spamming, that constant, 'buy my book', 'read my book' are posts that usually get blanked by most people because it is repetative, boring - and frankly, occasionally downright rude. This sort of 'marketing' is not the done thing - accepted. But aren't Blog Tours different? They are designed with the goal of 'buy my book' I agree, but this is balanced by articles, interviews and such - the sort of thing that readers are interested in. Or have I still got the wrong impression?
If you can’t advertise a Tour – are they worth all the hard work? (And worth the cost – several companies organise Blog Tours for authors at a cost of about £300 a go.) I have enjoyed this tour, but there's an old saying "Don't let them pee on your parade"; my parade was slightly pee'd on and unfortunately I got a little damp, so
will I be doing another Tour? I’m not sure. Probably not. At least, not in the same format.
As an author, reader, or Blogger I’d be interested in your honest opinion.