When I published The Infinity Pool in 2015 I barely knew what a blog was, let alone a blog tour. I didn’t envisage blogging myself, and I had no idea of the goodwill, time, energy and commitment put into spreading the word about books by bookbloggers, helping readers choose and writers survive.
More experienced authors pointed me in their direction and I began to get in touch with them, mostly via Facebook. It could be laborious – not because the bookbloggers were obstructive or unhelpful, quite the opposite. They were generous, informative and kind. But life became full of tasks and lists:
- Identify and visit blogs.
- Get a deeper sense of their flavour by exploring a number of posts.
- Read guidelines, consider if they apply to me.
- If they do, construct a polite contact email.
- Await a reply, consider whether to contact again (most bloggers are very prompt about responding so this wasn’t often necessary. However, a sub task was keeping a record of who I’d contacted.)
- Sort out what I had to do when they replied with an invitation, eg write guest post / send blogger a copy for review / answer blogger’s q and a / fit answers to quirky format only used by individual blogger to help them stand out. Send them.
- Put together all the other documents they need, eg extract / links to buy book / author photo and biog / social media links / cover images. Send them.
- Make a note of the date the post will appear.
- On that date share it on Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else I can think of, bearing in mind that overkill is, well, overkill.
- Share it again later (remember overkill though. And underkill.)
- Thank anyone else who’s shared it on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Now I have this blog of my own, reblog the post (having first remembered to ask if the original bookblogger is happy with that).
- Respond to any comments, on the original blog and my own.
- Thank the bookblogger…
- Add details to my file of “online presence” because agent told me publishers like to see authors have one when considering whether to take their books.
It all takes time; my eyes even then were finding it a strain spending too much time gazing at screens; my grasp of Twitter was (and remains) more a case of clutching at straws.
As one kind early reader of The Magic Carpet said, “Such an impressive leap forward!” Now a proud author second time around, I’m about to have my very own blog tour for #The Magic Carpet. No’s 1- 8 on the list are taken care of by the blog tour organiser – huge thanks to Anne Cater at #RandomThingstours! I’ll certainly still be contacting bookbloggers who aren’t involved at some point, but for now I’ve enough time on my hands to spend some of it adapting a much loved children’s rhyme (appropriate as my book involves children discovering the power of stories and words).
To the tune of “We’re going on a bear hunt!”
We’re going on a blog tour. It’s going to be a good one! I’m a bit scared – What will the bloggers say?
Uh uh! A guest post! A compelling original guest post! I can’t not write it. I can’t write badly…Oh, gee! My audience is waiting!
We’re going on a blog tour. It’s going to be a good one! I’m a bit scared – etc.
I did write more verses but I’ll save them for a rainy day when I can’t think what else to blog about. A troll comes into it, but I think we have him licked. I’m sure you get the gist.
Anyway, whether readership, reviews and sales rise or not, THANK YOU to the clever, generous, unpaid, sharing bookbloggers from The Bookwormery, The Magic of Wor(l)ds, The Book Decoder, Herding Cats, Random Things Through My Letterbox, A Little Book Problem, B for Book Review, TheBookCollector32, Being Anne, and Over the Rainbow Book Blog for showing my book to the world from Monday 16-Wednesday 25 September. Also for spreading the word about books in general, to benefit readers and writers everywhere.
©Jessica Norrie 2019