With the proliferation of digital technologies like the Kindle and the Nook, which have fueled an exponential growth in electronic publishing, there has also been a mushrooming in companies organizing blog book tours. Since more authors are choosing to publish electronic versions of their manuscripts, it makes sense for book tours to go digital too. In fact, if your work is only available as an e-book, what other choice do you have?
What if your prize manuscript is available in both print and e-book format? In that case, you have a choice. As you know, publishers nowadays are allocating little or no money to promote a new book, and are leaving the marketing aspects to you, the author. If you are a well-to-do writer with plenty of idle time in your hands, you could, of course, do a traditional book tour and a blog book tour. If you are like most of us, a starving writer with a shoestring budget and a day job causing you time constraints, you might want to consider a blog book tour as a practical alternative.
Here are the pros and cons of five criteria, five Cs, to help you evaluate whether blog book tours are right for you:
- Convenience –
Pros: in a traditional book tour, the author must travel to a physical location, often by plane or car; in a blog book tour the author doesn’t have to leave home and can respond to questions and comments via computer at any hour of the day or night
Cons: a traditional book tour allows the author to meet people in other areas of the country and network with bookstore owners to encourage sales; this type of networking is not available in a blog book tour
- Calendaring –
Pros: unlike a traditional book tour, where an author has to set time aside in order to visit a limited number of book stores once to do signings or readings, a blog book tour can be scheduled at practically any time and offers nearly limitless visits. Interviews and guest blogs can be accessed for as long as the sites exists
Cons: a traditional book tour typically provides intense local media publicity that often generates a strong buzz for the author’s book; blog book tour organizers concentrate on promotional activities in the social media and the Internet
- Consistency –
Pros: there are hundreds of Internet hosts eager to interview authors and review their new book offerings. Blog book tour organizers match the author’s book to the appropriate blogger. If the book is a romance, they make sure not to send an invitation to a blogger who specializes in thrillers. This attention to detail -- a rifle shot approach -- gives consistency to the digital tour and guarantees that the potential readers are the correct ones. A traditional book tour is more like a shotgun approach. The author never knows if the people attending are there because of the reading or because they stopped at the book store to have a cup of coffee and rest a while
Cons: in a traditional book tour, you always know what to expect. Major brick-and-mortar bookstores like Barnes & Noble or Books & Books usually assign professional, courteous and reliable personnel to escort you around and help you with your needs. A blog book tour is based on Internet connections with a myriad of bloggers in outer space. While blog book tour organizers try to screen out those who might not meet their quality and reliability requirements, there’s always the possibility, although rare, of a missing interview or review on the day promised
- Cost –
Pros: not counting time spent in preparation and travel, a traditional book tour with fifteen stops can cost anywhere between $750 to $3,000, minimum, depending on whether the locations are within the same state or in different states. A blog book tour with fifteen stops costs around $100. Need I say more?
Cons: none -- unless you like to spend money, or have an ulterior motive for the tour, such as traveling with your new squeeze
- Cream-on-Top – What’s this?
Pros: It’s an extra that comes associated with a blog book tour and is mostly non-existent in a traditional book tour: reviews. In a typical blog tour, several bloggers review your book and post those reviews on their sites as well as on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Cons: none. We all need book reviews on Amazon, don’t we?
How do you go about finding the right blog book tour organizer for you and your specific requirements? Hey, this is the digital age – Google. To get you started in your search, here are three reliable companies that have been doing successful blog book tours for a while and have a good reputation in the marketplace:
- Pump Up Your Book (http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/). This company has been around longer than anyone and has repeat customers, so they must be doing something right.
- Novel Publicity (http://www.novelpublicity.com/). Novel Publicity is another of the well-known companies in this field.
- Goddess Fish Promotions (http://www.goddessfish.com/). This is the one I use. Partners Judy and Marianne are extremely professional and do an outstanding job organizing blog tours for every type of book and budget.
David Pereda is the award-winning author of six novels, dozens of articles and poems. His latest romantic suspense novel, However Long the Night, published by Eternal Press in February 2012, continues to receive rave reviews. Visit www.davidpereda.com and www.bookemnc.org - and come by to meet him at Book 'Em North Carolina on February 23, 2013!