Personally I LOVE blog tours. I love hosting, planning, promoting, the whole nine yards. Here’s why I love it:
- I learn about new authors, usually indies.
- Discover new books.
- I love interviewing authors and finding out about their journey and motivations. Some authors have the most interesting personal stories… while some have written about their interesting lives in their memoirs, I learn about most of them through their bios or guest posts.
- I love a good book trailer or soundtrack. It amazes me how creative some of the trailers are. My good friend and fellow blogger/book lover Jovon Tucker quickly created a trailer for my first book. The amazing thing was, she did it just based on the synopsis.
- I’m a sucker for characters. I love a good character interview.
These are things I love about the actual tour itself. I have a whole different set of love for planning and putting it all together.
I’ll touch on the points above and why they are important to include in your blog tour. The whole purpose of a blog tour is to gain exposure, right? So you want to have as many ways as possible to reach an audience.
What I am going to say next is blasphemy to marketers, but I’ll say it anyway. There is no such thing as the perfect audience. Your perfect group of readers cannot be lumped into one profile. Here’s why.
People like different things at different stages in their lives. For example, when I was like 10 or 12 years old I started reading Mills & Boon. Do I read romance now? It’s not really my genre of choice. As an adult, I went through a phase where I read only self-helps and nothing else. Now, my taste have really expanded, I love thrillers, mysteries, drama, memoirs. My bookshelf, like a lot of people I know, is very eclectic.
Books are like music, in that some people don’t just stick to one genre. Hence the reason why I stick to my belief that trying to profile your audience is BS.
That said, how do you find your audience? One way is through guest posts.
Why you should include a guest post on your blog tour.
To me, guest posts adds value to your tour package. A guest post doesn’t have to be long. In fact, I’ve had better results with short, informative guest posts, than with long drawn out copy. I usually suggest between 300-500 words and when your promo gets added to it, it rounds out your tour page quite nicely.
A guest post is targeted content marketing. Its purpose is to attract people who are interested in your topic. For example, if you write about 5 Fun Places to Visit in Seattle, you will attract travelers to Seattle, locals, vacationers, etc. Herein lies the path to your discovery by these readers.
Choosing a guest post topic is easy… choose something you feel comfortable writing about. It could be related to your books or not. Some bloggers will give you a topic that fits with the tone of their blog. Here at Plain Talk we let you choose, because we believe our readers have eclectic tastes like us 🙂
FYI guest posts get shared wayyyyy more than promos alone.
You never know who will relate to your story in an interview. Think about watching Access Hollywood… you are not really paying attention, but the interviewee says something that you can relate to. “OMG I thought I was the only person who felt that way.” Immediately you form a bond with that person. At that point, motivation to learn more about that person kicks in… it’s even better with blog tours because the person just have to read on to learn about you.
If you don’t get interview questions from bloggers (although most will send you questions), you can interview yourself. Think about what you want readers to know about you. If all else fails, check out questions from our 10Qs section. Feel free steal some questions from there.
How do you get people interested in characters that no one knows about?
Character interviews are a great way to introduce readers to your characters. Whether the character you are interviewing is an asshole or an angel, either way someone will relate. You know your characters better than anyone, therefore you know what to ask them to push their buttons.
With character interviews, you can get really creative and entertaining. Check out some character interviews that have been featured on Plain Talk.
I’ve had green authors ask me what is an excerpt. Here goes… it is simply a part of a chapter in your book.
I would recommend your excerpt be about 300-500 words. Choose a part of your chapter that readers can get the gist of what’s going on in the scene, and juicy enough to make readers want to find out more. Here are a few excerpts from my novel Bad Uncle (Family Portrait Book 5).
Remember the more content you add to your blog tour, the better your chance of attracting more bloggers, readers, and you stand a better chance of getting discovered.
Giveaways are always a good draw. You can giveaway free digital copies of your book. Swag, gift cards, whatever your budget will allow. Use giveaways to build your mailing list and connect with readers.
There you have it, a few ideas on what you can and should add to your blog tour. Of course the possibilities are endless and only limited to your imagination.
Feel free to poke around Plain Talk to get some ideas. Feel free to email me or leave your question in the comments section below and I’ll be happy to answer them.
You always have the choice of putting together your own blog tour, but if you’d rather spend your time writing and would like to leave the planning to us, use this link to connect.
Happy touring! See ya on the virtual road.