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Blog Tours – Are They Worth the Expense?

Back in the day, when I was your age – remember how we hated it when our elders started talking about their past and things they would do in the past that we don’t do now. Well, actually, there is a lot that happened “back in my day” that are very different now. For example, book signing tours. They still exist, but publishers, even the big-name publishers, are hesitant to finance such an event. Why? Well, for one thing, people don’t come to book signings unless the author is already a big name in the world of books.

That doesn’t mean book signings are a bad thing. In fact, they do help, but you, the author, have to do all the promo for the event, as well as arrange the signing itself. My first book signing had people lined up out the door, including the local press. My second book signing event was on the first sunny gardening weather weekend of the spring and no one came. It’s hit and miss when and where to host these events. Like anything else, you have to give it a try and get your name out there. Not all across the country. Unless you’re made of money and the publisher is willing to contribute. Not a viable expense. But certainly locally, within your own community and within reasonable driving distance.

Another option? How about a blog tour? Everyone, it appears, is active online these days, and blogs are all the rage, so to speak. There are countless book blogs online, some good, some not so good. Some offer book reviews and blog tours at reasonable fees. There are others that charge outlandish fees. You need to do your research and find out which ones fit your budget and provide an event you’re hoping to host, virtually.

How to research book blogs and their tours? First of all, watch the various author groups on Facebook and see which authors have been featured on various blogs. Follow the link to the blog and see if you like what the blog host has done to promote the book. Is the layout pleasing? Is the interaction between the blog host and the author entertaining? Is there a review of the book? Are comments allowed (some blogs, surprisingly, don’t provide the comment option)?

Check out the blog’s stats: how many viewers do they average? And, if they have a comment section, are people regularly engaging? Do the authors featured respond to comments and carry on a lively exchange?

If you like what you see, check out the blog’s requirements: what blog tour and promotional packages do they offer? Does it fit within your promotional budget? Sometimes, you have to take a chance on a blog tour host. If it fits in the budget and you like what you see on their site, give them a try. And, yes, you do have to pay for book reviews. This is not a scandal by any means. Remember, book reviewers are writers, too, trying to make a living with their writing.

I have used a number of sites over the years. Some I’ve used only once and others I return to frequently. You need to decide what works for you. But, definitely, book blogs and blog tours and reviews are a good way to promote yourself and your writing. Let the world know you exist!

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Emily-Jane Hills Orford