Virtual book tours

"Thank goodness," Tom the T-Rex said to himself, "that I came across that book blog!"

“Thank goodness,” Tom the T-Rex said to himself, “that I came across that book blog!”

If, like me, you’re seeing a ton of posts on book blogs about “cover reveals” and “blog tours,” you’re not alone. While I had registered the fact that writers have been setting up blog tours for a while now, I was always a little hazy on exactly what they were.

In short, a blog tour is a virtual book tour. Instead of jetting about to book events all over the country (as we all know authors did constantly back in publishing’s halcyon days), authors now can find blogs willing to run interviews, host giveaways, write reviews, and show cover art for newly released books. There’s a nice explanation here.

That’s all well and good,  you say, but I have no idea how to arrange this sort of thing. Luckily for you, services have sprung up across the Web that will help you out. For a fee, they will put together a blog tour package, typically defined by a period of time (one or two weeks), a number of blogs, promotion type (interview, giveaway), and platform (mostly blogs, but also Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc.).

I find it interesting — and heartening — that these services are filling the void left by traditional publisher marketing. In the market for a blog tour? Here’s a good list of blog book tour companies. And here’s another site that compares services.

Of course, if you’ve already established a network of bloggers, you can organize your own tour. But if you don’t have many contacts, or just don’t have the time to deal with it, these services can be valuable. Girl Who Reads has some good advice if you’re looking for a blog tour company.

And if you want to join a network of tour sites, all of these services are looking for folks to join their networks. None of them pay, as far as I can tell, but you’ll certainly increase traffic to your blog — and maybe even discover a new writer who you really like.

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2 Responses to Virtual book tours

  1. Thanks, Chris, for this really helpful post. I think blog tours are an increasingly important part of marketing. One approach I’m using is to host author interviews on my blog. This not only increases exposure of other new writers, but often leads to requests for interviews on their blogs. I look forward to checking out the many helpful links you were kind enough to provide in your post.

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