What I learned from my first blog tour


Well, the Make Believe Blog Tour is over.  There is a part of me that is sad.  After all, who doesn’t like meeting new people, making new friends, expanding your marketing base.  But there is also a part of me that is very happy it’s over.  It’s very time-consuming to set up a blog tour.  While I enjoy talking to people, it takes a well-oiled machine to follow-up on all the posts to make sure you ‘participate’ in your own marketing.

I have to admit I was completely lost in the beginning.  What do I do?  Who do I contact?  I don’t think I could have done it without some hand-holding by Aimee Lane, J.A. Belfield and Julie Reece.  These are authors who have run the blog tour gamut before and offered up some great advice like:

  • Don’t be afraid to approach people who follow your blog to ask for a tour stop.
  • Don’t be afraid to throw out a universal request and see who bites.  The ones who say yes are generally interested to host your tour.
  • Try to find hosts who write or features stories similar to your own.  That way you know the audience will be geared to your writing.

Some other thing I learned:

  • Some hosts like you to write your own guest posts.  Familiarize yourself with the host’s blog and write a blog post that will appeal to your host’s audience while finding a way to tie it into your own.  For example, one of my hosts is a Christian woman, so I focused on morality in my fictional characters.
  • It’s okay to say “no”.  I had several requests from potential hosts to participate in the tour, but after reviewing their sites (which were more than a little on the risqué side), I declined their kind offers.  I am not a prude, but I write YA and New Adult fiction.  I wanted to direct my attention to those audiences, not just to anyone.  While I appreciated the offers, I felt I needed to remain true to me.
  • It’s inevitable.  Reviews will be a part of a blog tour.  Some will be hot, some will be cold and some will be just right.  This was the hardest part for me because I wanted everyone to love my story as much as I did.   I thought I had thick skin.  I realized very fast I needed to toughen up a bit more and understand not everyone will like what I write.  The main question I need to ask is did I write the story I wanted to write and did I like it?  My answer to both is yes.  If someone else loves it, then that is icing on the top of the cake.  If someone didn’t like it…it doesn’t mean my story was bad.  It means someone else didn’t like it, and that’s okay.  The world would be very boring if we all liked the same things.
  • Be ready and willing to reciprocate when the time comes.  I found many hosts are aspiring writers as well as book bloggers.  They need help in promotions, too.  Be willing to help them as much as they helped you in whatever way you can.  They’ll thank you and your name will make it around to others that you are a gracious guest and an even more gracious host.
  • Offering giveaways is a great way to thank people for visiting your blog and the blogs of your hosts.  People love getting cool items for free.   It’s also really nice to give to charity events as well.  Several Facebook sites raised lots of money for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and authors gave away their books to raise a lot of that money.  Wherever you can, give yourself to others and ask nothing in return.  It’s the best kind of feel good medicine out there.
  • Last of all, be yourself.  Stay on top of all the tour posts and comment as often as you can.  Engage all your readers, even those that comment on your hosts’ site.  There was one blog that got over 70 comments in one day on the Make Believe tour.  It was awesome chatting it up with new peeps from all over the world.  Don’t be afraid of being who you are.  People will recognize your genuineness and will love you for being you.

I want to personally thank all those who helped me out with the Make Believe Blog Tour.  If you ever need anything of me, please do not hesitate to ask:

Julie Catherine

Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance

Lynda Young

J.A. Belfield

Kelly Said

Jennifer Eaton

Terri Rochenski

Ruth Ellen Parlour

Julie Reece

Vikki Thompson

Lori Freeland

Brook Syers

Rebecca Hart

J.C. Martin

Jamie Ayres

Clare Davidson

Vanessa Chapman

Susan Rocan

Maghon Thomas

I would also like to thank all the reviewers who participated in the Make Believe Tour and for taking the time to read the anthology and sharing your thoughts with the world.  Your time and honesty is greatly appreciated.

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28 thoughts on “What I learned from my first blog tour

  1. Can I just add Jenny, that out of all my blog guests, your post was the one that stood out…why? Because you took so much time to respond to all my readers, coming back time and time again to respond to comments 🙂

    I don’t get it when people do guest posts and then don’t bother to go back to the blog that’s hosting them and reply to comments. IMO that doesn’t give a very good impression. Why would one of my readers even bother to buy your book if YOU can’t be bothered to respond to their comment.

    I would happily have you again honey, anytime 🙂

    Xx

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    1. you had it twice as hard as me. I don’t know how you did it. I tip my hat to you. 🙂 Wanna team up again later in the year for a little bit of “Fire” and “Dragon”? 🙂

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  2. Thanks for sharing what you learned . . . especially about not taking it hard when everybody doesn’t love what you write. I’m not vain enough to think everyone will think I’m awesome, but I know it’s still going to be like telling me my baby is ugly, lol. I’m busy organizing a blog tour for 18 Things now–scary stuff!

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  3. That had to be an absolutely exhausting month, especially with Christmas and New Years in the mix – but you made it! I was able to follow most of the tour, and was really impressed. I’m so glad I was able to be even a (very) small part of your tour, and wish you all the best with all your writing projects in 2013! Props and kudos to you all! ~ Love and hugs, Julie xoxox 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much for your support and following all of us around. I’m definitely motivated to write more and have a novel or two published or at least contracted this year.

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  4. You all did a fantastic job. Your stories were quite varied but all well-written and engaging. I hope the hype from the tour will carry on and that the anthology will do well long after the tour is over. I’m glad I was able to help, even if my blog was only a small part of the whole. 🙂

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