Blog Touring – End of Innocence, Beginning of Wisdom

While blog touring is still relatively new as a book marketing and promotion strategy, some anecdotal learning and tribal knowledge are beginning to emerge.  There are a number of good reasons why authors, publishers and book marketers should consider blog tours.  The blogosphere is:

  • Influential – 12 of the top 100 media properties in the US are now blogs
  • Large – 100+ million blogs & over 1.3 million posts daily
  • Global
  • Mainstream

Since blogs often bear the personal imprint of their owners, it is easy to forget that they can be powerful media properties.  For example, in May 2008, Nielsen Online reported monthly audience numbers for some of the top blogs.  Here is a sampling:

BLOG

VISITORS (million)

Huffington Post

4.71

sport.aol.com/fanhouse

3.94

PerezHilton.com

2.13

Engadget

2.04

Gawker

2.01

 

One important consideration is which blogs to invite to a blog tour.  Bill Rederick’s approach to selecting blogs for a tour is highlighted in this guest post on All Book Marketing.  Bill is the author of My Virtul Book Tour Secrets!, which covers blog touring in depth.  He describes his formula that involves combining seven factors to determine a blog’s suitability.

Author Karen Harrington who recently conducted a blog tour to promote her book Janeology(published by Kunati Books) shared her experiences and learning in a recent post.  She used the firm PumpUpYourBookPromotion.comto manage her tour.  She was accompanied on her virtual tour by other writers and found this helped amplify the positive results she achieved.  She also found that the blog tour had an “echo effect” with many bloggers who became aware of the tour contacting her about follow-on interviews.  She also noted that many of the bloggers on her tour also posted on Shelfari and LibraryThing giving her book additional exposure.

Another example of a blog tour, for author Mary DeMuth’s (Authentic Parenting) blog tour in late 2007, was showcased on Gooward Editing.  It demonstrtes some important lessons learned about blog touring and provides a good analysis of the data used to evaluate the success of the tour. 

Author Susan Wittig Albert has had expreience with both blog tours and traditional book tours.  She compared the two types of promotion in an interview on Blog Book Tours.  She liked the convenience and low cost of the blog tour, but felt it lacked the impact with readers of a conventional book tour.

Ben McConnell & Jackie Huba

Ben McConnell & Jackie Huba

The authors of Citizen Marketers, Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba, provided a new twist on the traditional book tour.   In October 2006, they asked readers of their blog, Church of the Customer, to help them select cities for their upcoming book tour.  Readers could invite them to speak at events in their locala area.  As a result, they went on a book tour that spanned 40 venues in 5 months.  They sold almost 7,500 copies of  their book and in the process tripled traffic to their blog.   Nice work!

intrepid explorers

intrepid explorers

The blog tour is coming of age in step with the maturing of the blogosphere.  At some point in the future, much of the experimental wisdom will be refined into neat should’s and should not’s, must’s and must not’s.  Until then, success belongs to the intrepid explorers who aren’t afraid to try new things.  We salute you – and keep that wisdom coming!


 

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