by Travis Luedke
Blog tours have rarely resulted in book sales for me, not that I could ever really measure. I might see a few extra sales here and there, but, that is not really the primary reason for a tour.
What tours do for me is reviews, social media exposure and some of that badly needed ‘word-of-mouth’ gushing book love. I tend to focus on reviews-only tour packages from http://www.rbtlreviews.com/, who specializes in novels of Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy – my genres, and http://bookienookiereviews.blogspot.com/ who runs Erotic Enchants, the single largest Erotica group on Goodreads. Though I won’t turn down a promo/excerpt posting when it comes along, I do push for reviews as much as possible.
As my series grows ever longer, I noticed that when I tour the latest book, (The Nightlife San Antonio) new bloggers I have never seen before will request to read/review all my books in the series. So, each tour I do in succession is bringing in reviews for my entire series. One fee, one blog post, 4-5 reviews in one. The tour hosts who have been with me a while will often link to the reviews they did of my previous books. So, either way you look at it, the backlist gets more exposure.
The first post, Steph at Boyfriend bookmark, has been one of my most awesome fans since February 2013. The second link is someone new to my novels, but, having read the whole series, she had loads of good things to say.
The tangible result? One more book blogger just added me to her ‘must-have’ list. Not because I had one book that was OK, not because of my book covers or whatever, but, mainly because I have a consistently entertaining writing style, with complete novels–no cliffhangers, and as she read through the whole series, I became an author she appreciated more fully. I’m not just a one-hit wonder that’s so easily forgotten.
Another consideration: SEO. Bloggers often use Google+, twitter and facebook, and that means your book title and author name are going to be showing up all over the place in Google. Relevant Google+ postings always show up in the first page results. I have seen bloggers who posted a review years ago, that still show up on the first page of Google search results when I look up my name or my book titles. That stuff stays out there in cyberspace for a very long time.
Often, bloggers have a sidebar that shows their most popular blog posts. How do you get your review to show up there? Tweet their review over and over and over. Share that review everywhere, repeatedly. Tell all your friends about that review. Before you know it, that review will be the most popular blog post that blogger has ever had, and now, its sitting there in the sidebar of their blog, forever immortalized as a popular post. Bloggers will love you for bringing buttloads of traffic to their blog. Its a win-win.
So, if you only have one book, by all means do a blog tour, you need the reviews and exposure. But, if you have several books, especially a series, make sure you do a blog tour with each new release, maybe even several tours back to back.
You will eventually find one or more tour hosts that become consistent fans of your fiction, and that is precisely where you want to be. Blog tour hosts are super bloggers extraordinaire, and if you can win them over, now you’ve got something of value.
Another thing to consider, which is in many ways like doing a blog tour, without trying to schedule or coordinate, is Netgalley. I use Patchwork Press to get my books into Netgalley for $45 a month, and I generally do it for 1-2 months. Its not really necessary to post books any longer than that.
Netgalley has THOUSANDS of bibliophiles who love books, and regularly gobble them up in their preferred genres. These are book bloggers, media-library people, and voracious readers. What better audience could you ask for?
So, what is my latest tour you might ask?
Well, I have two of them going: The Nightlife London and in a couple weeks, The Nightlife San Antonio.