5 Things Bloggers Should Remember When Hosting Book Tours #MondayBlog


5 Things Bloggers Should Remember banner


In my last two #MondayBlog posts, I posted five things book promotion services and authors should remember when planning/running book tours. The week – it’s bloggers’ turn.

Regardless of where you post—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or an Internet blog—you’re a blogger. When you join book tours… you’re a tour host. Authors can write books and services can plan tours, but without motivated tour hosts to help get the word out… nothing happens… it doesn’t work!

Bloggers host tour events for a variety of reasons, including the love of books and reading, supporting authors, and blog content.

Five things bloggers should remember are:

  1. Know what you’re signing up for. What type of tour is it? Is it DIY or will HTML be provided? Is it just a promo post? Is reviewing an option or mandatory? Is sharing the post expected?  If you are not sure- ASK QUESTIONS before signing up.
  2. If you sign up – be proactive! Add the event to your calendar. Set a reminder alert. Start a draft copy with the date of the tour. Do not just sign up and forget about the event. Problems arise with authors and services… and the blogger is the last to know. Be prepared.
  3. Publicize! Authors and services blog about upcoming tours and include the info in newsletters – bloggers should too! Promotional posts only work when they are seen. Some bloggers do post calendars, but publicizing could be as simple as a post at the beginning of the week on upcoming events for that week. You’re not just promoting the tour, author, or service, you’re promoting YOU!
  4. If reviewing, only review books you are interested in! Reviews are only beneficial when reviews are posted, but some of the worst reviews have been written by tour hosts who had no interest in the promoted book… and said so in their review! Reading diverse books and/or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone are two things everyone should try, but a review tour is not the time to start. Do not be badgered by services or lured by contests, giveaways, or simply a free book.
  5. Tag your posts and Moderate your comments. When hosting a tour, bloggers should strongly consider tagging the author or the service… or both! It’s the quickest, easiest way to guide them to your post, and hopefully, they will leave comments. Acknowledge commenters on your blog post! Even when they leave questions for the author, like their comment and thank them for stopping by. You are a tour host… so be open, amiable, and approachable. This will encourage visitors to return and enjoy your site content even when you’re not hosting a tour.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to book tours. There is experience… and some have more than others, but no two tours are the same—even if they’re for the same author.

However, even experience is worthless if there isn’t real communication among all team members, and yes, it is a team. All team members are equally important and should be treated as such. Forget the ‘form letter’ emails and plastic posts in Facebook groups.

Authors + promotion services + bloggers collaborating and working together will always lead to a successful book promotion. If communication fails… so will the event.

 

 

 

5 Things Book Promotion Services Should Remember #MondayBlog


Book Promo Banner


Book promotion services provide a wide range of services to authors including promotional tours for cover reveals, new releases, and blog tours. Many also offer publishing support features for indie authors like manuscript editing, book formatting, cover design, and book reviews. These are invaluable services to any author which may not necessarily sell books, but go a long way in garnering name recognition for an author and help build the author platform.

When it works.

Recently, a group of authors shared their most recent experiences with promotion services. The emails went from humorous to frustrated to angry quick, fast, and in a hurry.

This is not a condemnation of book promotion services in general, nor any one service in particular. Several authors using several different services all encountered similar ‘problems’ which left authors feeling shortchanged, leading them to cross the service off their list for future promotions. (Authors are not without their responsibilities either – that’s coming in part two.)

If you run a book promotion service, here are five things you might want to take into consideration:

  1. Equal and fair treatment – Some authors felt the service they received was less than stellar and their questions were brushed off because they were not bestselling authors or recognizable names, yet they paid the same fees. Some services do have ‘new or debut author’ packages. (Kudos to you!) But if your prices are the same for everyone, your services should be the same for everyone.
  2. Communication – Many services require advance bookings of three to six weeks (or more). It takes time to sign up blogs and create a schedule that accommodates authors and That being said, do not take payment from an author and disappear. A prevailing comment in our ‘talks’ was, “I haven’t heard from them.” A weekly update of a few words to an author means more than you know.
  3. Prompt response to emails from authors and bloggers would be appreciated. And prompt doesn’t necessarily mean fifteen minutes to an hour, but it shouldn’t mean 24-48 hours either for a current or fast-approaching event. People have day jobs, families, and responsibilities – that’s a given. But you’re still doing business and should strive for the best response times possible. A response—or lack of one—could make the difference in the timely posting of the event.
  4. FAQs – Most services have FAQs. Some are more detailed than others, but it’s generally stated that “a WORD doc, book cover and everything needed for posting will be provided.” What’s not stated is if the service provides HTML or WordPress HTML. This is a biggie for some authors and bloggers… and a deal-breaker.

HTML posts are quick – cut, paste, confirm, and schedule!  But it takes time to build an aesthetically pleasing post, and the more files and images included, the more time it takes.  DIY posts should be an option, never the norm unless the service is exclusively for Facebook pages or non-WordPress blogs. Tour hosts are volunteers and the onus of building a tour post should never be expected of them unless they know in advance what they’re signing up for.

If HTML/WP HTML is not provided, it only needs to be a simple sentence or bullet point of disclosure in the FAQ or on the sign-up sheet… but it should be disclosed.

  1. The Author/Blogger Chose Your Service – Whether it was your price/promotional package, seeing your work on another blog, word-of-mouth, or reputation, an author chose your business to promote their book, or blogs chose to host tours for you. If you want them to return, keep the lines of communication open and allow for some flexibility.  Not all authors/bloggers and services are a good fit, and that’s okay, but the book event can still be a successful event for all parties.

If you run a book promotion service, you may already be doing these things.

Or none of them.

Does it mean you’re doing anything wrong?

No.

However, it could explain why some authors are not doing repeat business with your promotion service. Just some things to think about.

 

Next week: 5 Things Authors Should Remember When Planning a Book Tour

 

 

Throwback Thursday: How to Write a Novel That Will Actually Be Worthy of Publishing

A Writer's Path

Throwback Thursday is a series where we take a look back at some of AWP’s most popular posts. Enjoy!

by Michael Cristiano

So, you say you have a dream, Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. of prospective fiction (or nonfiction) writer. Well, so do I, and so do millions of others around the world. That is to write a book, but not just any damn book: a book that will be good enough to publish.

Seems like a pretty simple goal, right? In today’s day and age, there are a billion ways to see your work published: paperback, hardcover, ebook, literary magazine, traditional publishing, self-publishing, hybrid publishing, serialization, writing your novel on your arm and reciting it in the subway (okay, maybe not that one…)

View original post 891 more words

Last Day of the Valentine’s Book Sale and Giveaway!

Book Sale


 Looking for romance? You’ve found it!

Hurry over to Romancebooks.blog and take advantage of this great 2-day event! You’ll find books from authors like Nicole R. Locker, Kiru Taye, Kaye Carley, L.M. Halloran, Kai Tyler, and ME!

You’ll also find the genre you’re looking for – Contemporary, Erotic, Paranormal, LGBT, YA, Suspense, and Historical!

While you’re there, enter for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Do not miss out! When Sunday, February 12th ends, so does this great sale!

All books are #FREE or #99cents!

Quotable! – Nikki Giovanni


Nikki Giovanni

Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni, Jr. – poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. Image from Feminine Fusion.


“Nothing is easy to the unwilling.”

“Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying.”

“We love because it’s the only true adventure.”

“Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts.”

“If you don’t understand yourself you don’t understand anybody else.”

“show me someone not full of herself and I’ll show you a hungry person.”

 

Quotable! – August Wilson


August Wilson

August Wilson – (1945-2005) two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fences, The Piano Lesson, King Hedley II, Ma Rainy’s Black Bottom, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Seven Guitars, Two Trains Running, Jitney and Radio Golf. Image from the Boston Globe.


“You can put law on paper but that don’t make it right.”

“You got to be right with yourself before you can be right with anybody else.”

 “My early attempts writing plays, which are very poetic, did not use the language that I work in now. I didn’t recognize the poetry in everyday language of black America. I thought I had to change it to create art.”

 “Have a belief in yourself that is bigger than anyone’s disbelief.”

 “Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”

Quotable! – Octavia E. Butler


Octavia Butler

Octavia E. Butler, (1947-2006) award-winning science fiction author of Kindred, Dawn, Patternmaster and the Parable Series. Image from Stagen Studios.


“Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyze yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it.”

“I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.”

“People have the right to call themselves whatever they like. That doesn’t bother me. It’s other people doing the calling that bothers me.”