Eager fans line up out the door and around the block. Maybe numbers are assigned, to prevent stampeding by readers anxious for a moment with their favorite author. The cash register and credit card reader overheat with the burden of hundreds of rapid-fire sales.
My little fantasy still happens for the big stars of fiction writing, but for debut authors – not so much. My novel Stone Cold Dead is set for release December 18, so I mulled over the idea of setting up a traditional book signing. The physical book tour has not gone the way of the dinosaurs – yet – but with the depressing closure of book stores, there aren’t as many venues available for new authors.
Then I heard about the virtual book tour. Authors arrange (or are invited) to participate in blogs. The advantages to a blog tour are – no gas driving to bookstores, no need to dress up, no issues with weather, no facing an empty room. The disadvantage is I will not meet readers face-to-face.
People have been incredibly generous with their advice. Below are the gems I’ve gleaned from my research.
Blog Tour How-To:
1) Writing and reading related blogs come in dozens of flavors. Some are powerhouses of influence, others are cozy little havens in the electronic sea. Find those that fit your intended reader, matching your genre and subgenre.
2) Know the blog. If you don’t follow it, read several blog posts so you know their tone and rating expectations. PG family friendly? R and steamy? Does the blog host avoid certain topics?
3) Approach bloggers with the same professionalism as you used with agents and editors. You are applying for a slot on their blog. Treat it like a job interview.
4) Have all your ducks in a row. You may be asked for a digital author photo in the correct format. You definitely want a copy of your novel cover to be included in your blog post. Have a polished blurb describing your story, such as the back cover copy. Know how to provide a link to your book, making it easier for readers to find your book, and hopefully purchase a copy.
5) Deliver the goods. Don’t leave them hanging with nothing to post when you committed to a certain date.
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