Blog Tours to promote books-are they worth it?

In December I did a month long blog tour to promote my very first published work.

When people learned it was a short story I was promoting I got some funny looks. A blog tour for a book…yes…but a short story? A few people insisted I was insane. However they also then asked for me to let them know how it went. Thus my current blog post.

So to the nitty gritty first. Was it worth it? I think so. I made a number of new friends, and really got my name out there. Sales wise, I only know my kindle sales (7 for December), B&N I have no idea. Omnilit I have no numbers either.. HOWEVER… check this out…

My story Jump became available for pre-order on OmniLit Dec. 8th. (Release date Dec 15)

Dec 9th 2010- #9 on OmniLit’s Top 10 Best Seller List

Dec 10th 2010- #4 on OmniLit’s Top 10 Best Seller List

Dec 11th-19-#3 on OmniLit’s Top 10 Best Seller List

Dec 20-27th- #4 on OmniLit’s Top 10 Best Seller List

Dec 28-still there! #2 on OmniLit’s Top 10 Best Seller List!

Also Top Seller and Top Rated in OmniLits Young Adult Fiction category!

(A side note: The Top 10 list is calculated by top sales for a book within a 3 day period)

Yes, I’ve done a number of happy dances over the above. Is this due to the blog tour? Quite possibly. Some of my stops I had people post they had pre-ordered or purchased my story. Others emailed or tweeted they had after seeing a particular interview or blog post.

It was a lot of work, 15 stops in one month- that is a lot of guest posts and interviews to answer, a lot of emails to make sure everything was set up. Should you decide to do one PLAN AHEAD. I even made a document of stop dates and links and what I needed to send out (and then marked when I did)

Would I do it again? Hell yes! I’m planning another tour for the release of my next short story, The Forgotten Echo, due out March 1. (Possibly a smaller tour though) and a super tour for the release of my novel Sweet Light in May.

Some tips:

1. PLAN AHEAD! Give yourself lots of time not only to set up stops, but to prepare what will be on them as well.

2. Reciprocate. Offer to promote a host on your blog as well.

3. Mix things up. Try to have your stops a mix of interviews, guest posts or articles or flash fiction, book spotlights etc.

4. Have a tour page with dates and links on your blog and or website.

5. Tweet and facebook etc your stops.

6. Include a contest somewhere, either on a host blog or make a stop on your own blog and have one there. (I had one on my blog on release day)

Have you done a tour and did you find it helpful? Have any other tips or questions? Do feel free to comment and share!

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About jlwylie

Stay at home mom of 2 boys, avid reader and writer. Published by Untold Press

8 thoughts on “Blog Tours to promote books-are they worth it?

  1. RK Charron says:

    Hi Jennifer!
    I am sure the tour helped introduce you to each of the blog’s followers + those followers word of mouth, and so on…
    MAY!
    It seems so long to wait.
    2011 is going to be YOUR year.
    Love & Best Wishes to you & yours,
    Rob

    • jlwylie says:

      Thanks so much Rob, and you’re definitely right! Of course we can’t forget my post will be on their blog for who knows how long so I’ll hopefully have people reading in the future too 🙂

      May seems far away indeed, however at the speed time is going by I’m sure it will be here in no time at all! 😀

      Thanks so much for your continued support my friend!

  2. ella grey says:

    I did a mini blog tour, as you well know and I have no doubt that it helped with sales. My eshort is still on the best sellers list for short story and fantasy. I have to admit I was a little ambitious posting parts of a story that I had written.
    There was also a few hiccups with owners of blogs that I was supposed to blog on. If I was a little bit more prepared then maybe I could have posted more. Thankfully I managed to find someone else’s blog to post on so I could finish the blog. It was a experience I enjoyed and I would repeat it.
    ‘What a Way to Start the Day’ available on allromanceebooks.com

  3. simply scott says:

    Never done one, although someone did ask to interview me and I did a guest post once. Of course, this has a lot to do with me just always jumping straight into things rather than plan it out, which is what I do with my writing. A blog tour would be cool and something I should probably look into what with “Dying Light” part two coming out in a few months. Thanks for the reminder and the tips!

  4. Thanks! I’m going to be doing at least one if not two of these in the very near future. Thanks for your suggestions.

    So how did you find people to host you?

    Julie

  5. Bea says:

    This was interesting to read, though I’m on the other end – I am a blogger/book reviewer, just starting to get involved in author blog tours. Do you have any suggestions on what we can do, or wish we wouldn’t do?

    • jlwylie says:

      Hi Bea thanks for stopping by!

      What is most helpful is for the blog host to have an easy to find submission page, and simple instructions on how to contact, what to send, etc. Also include if there are sizes/genres you DON’T review.
      Please do let us know the date our review would be up as well, so we can help spread the word 🙂

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