Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Gillian Felix Gives Ins and Outs of Running a Blog Tour


Today's SharingwithWriters blog post comes to you from my online friend Gillian Felix, a prolific author and marketer.  As you know I believe in frugal, grassroots marketing and online blog tours are a perfect way to achieve exposure for a launch or a boost for your book long after its release. Thank you, Gillian! 
HOWS AND WHYS OF BLOG TOURS
By Gillian Felix
While blog touring is not exactly a new way of marketing, it is still new to some authors and bloggers. I thought I’d address a list of questions I’ve gotten about blog tours from new authors and bloggers.
What is a blog tour?
A blog tour is the quickest way to get your book or product in front of a larger audience.  For the sake of the book reading audience, let's refer to products as books, from a marketing perspective, books are products, from the author’s perspective books are their babies. 
Here's what happens on a blog tour; your book gets promoted on different blogs within a certain time frame. Each blog has a different audience, just getting booked on 5 blogs exposes your book to many different eyes. This is your time to shine with promotions, giveaways, or guest posts. I always suggest that if you are doing a guest post, do it on the topic of your novel or something that will give the readers an insight into who you are. The fact is, people buy from people they know and like. So don’t be shy. Don’t over promote either, no one likes a show-off.
Why do book bloggers like blog tours so much?
Bloggers, especially avid bloggers are always on the lookout for new content. Researching and creating content takes a lot of work and time. For a blogger participating in a blog tour, content is provided. Blog tours also tend to drive a lot of traffic to a blog. Here’s how; if an author has a large following and their book is featured on a site, then their followers may follow and even promote the post for you. The blogger may gain new readers and subscribers because new people are discovering their blog. That’s just two reasons but there are many others.
Basic information you’ll need to get started
Your media kit: you should have this anyway. Your basic media kit should have your book cover, synopsis, contact links, biography, purchase links. If you want to add a giveaway or special promotion during your tour you should have the links to that in your media kit.
Guest post topic: I always encourage this. Some bloggers will give you a topic to write on because they know what is of interest to their audience. If they don’t provide the topic, have one ready, it can be between 300-500 words. That’s my recommendation because your promo material will go after this and you don’t want to make your post too long. That would be like overstaying your welcome. So be respectful in regards to the length of your post.
Google Forms: Learning how to create a Google form has truly been a huge part of the blog tour process for me. Google forms are used so bloggers to sign up for your tour.
A free Rafflecopter account: I use Rafflecopter because they are easy to use. Rafflecopter is the site that hosts your giveaways. I always recommend a giveaway of some kind because it encourages engagement, you can use it to build your email list, get followers and connect with readers. Remember, people buy from who they know and like.
Patience: Last and most importantly, patience, is needed. You will need to research bloggers in your genre and contact them directly with a pitch. Here’s how I got started:
Googled book bloggers in my genre. Birds of a feather flock together and a lot of bloggers are friends with other bloggers in the same genre, so I was able to get a few more bloggers with one search.
Twitter: I started following authors in my genre and found out who their followers are then I started following and connecting with them.
These are the basics to get you started. My first novel Changes (Family Portrait Book 1), hit the Amazon bestsellers list in its category for one whole month, and I attribute that to the promo boast I got from blog tour promotion. While I cannot guarantee every book will do the same, it is worth a try.
I’ve compiled the step-by-step procedures, handy tools and tips along with book bloggers who I have worked with in the past, they have given me permission to include them in this handy ebook called Blog Tours: A Win-Win for Authors and Bloggers. http://www.amazon.com/Blog-Tours-Win-Win-Authors-Bloggers-ebook/dp/B00M9ROAYO/
For those of you who do not have the time to put together your own blog tour, you can do a search for tour companies who will put one together for you, or you can visit my website Plain Talk Book Marketing http://www.plaintalkbm.com/ to see what special promotions I have for authors (Hint: Look in the right corner under: For Authors and Bloggers).

ABOUT THE GUEST BLOGGER
Thanks to Gillian Felix for sharing her expertise today. You can find her at:

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 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

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