If you’re planning on publishing your book in the next few months, you need to start thinking about marketing. One easy and effective way to market your book is organizing a blog tour.
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What is a book blog tour?
Some authors do bookstore tours, where they visit different bookstores to talk about their book, answer audience questions, and sign paperbacks. This is another great way to get out there and market your book, but you also have a digital option.
That’s where the blog tour comes in!
During a blog tour, you ‘visit’ different blogs over the course of one or two weeks. They’re good promotional tools and relatively easy to organize.
Organizing a blog tour
To start, create a spreadsheet or document where you can track the bloggers you’ve contacted and what their responses are.
Once that’s done:
- Look for book bloggers in your genre. You can find them all over social media, including on Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. It’s important that you find book bloggers in your genre because they’re more likely to have an audience who loves your book.
- Reach out and track responses. Be prepared to email way more bloggers than you need for your blog tour. Not everyone is going to have time to work with you, and not everyone will be interested in your book. That’s okay! Just know that’s the reality and it’s not personal. You can also follow-up if you haven’t heard back, but don’t get pushy.
- Try to get at least five bloggers lined up. This means you’ll have five days worth of content to share with your existing audience. You can always do more than five blogs, but five is a good starting point.
- Know your timeline. Ideally, your book blog tour will go live around the time your book launches. You need to know your publication date and when you’d like the tour to start. Try to aim for a starting date around a week after your release date.
Preparing to reach out
Before you reach out to bloggers, you should have some basic information ready for them. You’ll want to have the following ready:
- Your desired blog post date
- Your author photo for the blog post
- A short author bio
- Your cover image or a mockup of your book
- An ARC of your book to offer them ahead of launch
- A short description of your book, around 150 words
- Your social media and website links
- A link to your book
Individual bloggers may have other requests, but keeping this information in a Google Drive folder or elsewhere for easy access means you can be efficient.
What can you talk about on a blog tour?
Blog tours don’t have to be anything fancy! Keep it simple so you can focus on you and your book.
Some blog ideas you can pitch to potential book bloggers:
- Guest post: This is where you write a post and the blogger simply posts it. This is easy for the blogger, and you get to write your own article!
- Author interview: This can be set up Q & A style. The blogger will ask you questions, and you can answer.
- Giveaway: Besides a guest post or interview, you can also offer to send the blogger a copy(s) of your book to giveaway. This generates buzz for them, and it also gets people interested in your book.
- Reviews: It’s nice if you can be involved in the post, but some book bloggers may just want to post a review. That’s always great, too! It’s still good publicity for your book, and they may also cross-post their reviews to Goodreads, Amazon, etc.
Look at formats and content your chosen bloggers have done for other authors. You can also brainstorm ideas with the book blogger if you run out of ideas to pitch.
What’s important is that you don’t do seven similar interviews for ALL of your book blog tours. This will get repetitive for you and your existing audience.
Promoting your own book blog tour
Don’t forget that you should be promoting your own book blog tour! Your existing audience wants to read content about your book, but if you don’t tell them about it, they may not know about it.
The most obvious place to promote your blog tour is on your social media platform(s). You can do so by sharing posts to your feed or stories.
An easy way to promote your book blog tour is to make graphics in Canva or Photoshop. Canva is a free tool you can use to make graphics for various social media platforms, and if you aren’t great at graphic design, don’t worry–they have free templates!
If you were going to post to Instagram, you might use a format like this:
This image is optimized for Instagram’s feed (1080px x 1080px). Canva has tons of free elements and templates for various social platforms and uses.
If you’re unfamiliar with Canva, the background of the square and the little image in the tablet are both placeholders for you to put in another image.
If I were going to promote my new hardcover writer’s notebook, The Write Plan, I might make a post that looks like one of these:
I used the book’s back cover art as the background for the post, and I included a mockup I made in Photoshop. You can also change the font to match your cover font(s), use art from your book, or change it up to whatever vibe you think fits.
And when in doubt, keep it simple. Use colors from your book cover, simple fonts, and a picture of your book.
Whatever kind of graphic you make, ensure the blog names, URLs, and publication dates are available. Including this information lets your audience know where they can attend virtual ‘events’ and when to buy your book.
You can also make a separate post for each day a new blog goes live.
Timelines for book blog tours may vary from author to author, but use the timeline below as a starting point:
- Eight to ten weeks before your release date, reach out to bloggers. This gives you time to research, contact, and organize the blogs you’ll be working with.
- Four to five weeks before your release date, touch base with your bloggers. Give them any necessary updates, and make sure you’re still good for your post.
- If you have any deadlines from bloggers, factor those in! For example, if a blogger asked for a guest post three weeks before your release date, you need to track that.
- Two weeks before your release date, announce your blog tour on social media. Superfans will mark their calendars, and you can use this post to build some more buzz for your release.
- One week before your release date, you can remind your social media and email followers about your blog tour. If you’re on Instagram, you can always share the previous post to your stories.
- The day before your blog tour starts, send out another reminder!
- The days of each blog tour stop, be sure to share something specific about each blog. Shout out to the blogger, share a snippet of the content, and use pictures of your book to help promotion.
Measuring the Success of Your Blog Tour
Success is always subjective, and how successful your book blog tour is will depend on your goals. Before you set up your blog tour, set a goal for yourself. This might be:
- The number of views each post gets
- How many comments each post gets
- The number of comments you get on social media on those days
- How many new followers you gain
- Your social media impressions that week
Engagement online is definitely one metric of success for a book blog tour. After all, that’s some insight into how many people ‘attend’ the tour, just like a bookstore tour.
But those are just some examples of metrics of ‘success.’ That’s completely personal to you, and you’re allowed to set whatever goals you want. Outline those goals and metrics for yourself before the blog tour.
Once a stop on your blog tour is over, you can follow-up with that blogger and ask for things like the number of post views, post shares, and comments if those are important markers for you. You can measure your own social media markers and your own book sales if you’re self-publishing.
Wrapping It Up
Book blog tours are a great way to build publicity, reach new readers, and engage with your current fans. They take a little time and work to organize, but they should boost your visibility and sales. That’s always worth it!
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