I researched “blog tours” for the past six months, polling some 1,500 authors (self, indie, small house through major house (note: not Big5) publishers) and received responses from 793. The majority of responding authors are USA based (368), second high being Canada based (297), and a conglomerate minority (128) making up the Europe, Australia, South America, the Middle East, and a few African nations. No responses came from any Asian countries.
The question set was:
- What is/was your expectation for a blog tour?
- Your success/failure with blog tours.
- Best blog tours you’ve experienced (listed 1, 2, 3, and no more than 5, please. It would be grand. if you could provide a brief explanation for your ranking)
- What gets you the most response/feedback/attention: video, podcast, text?
- Would you pay/what did you pay for your blog tour (and was it worth it)?
- Anything else you’d care to share.
I followed these up with further email exchanges and, in some cases, Zoom chats.
Note that this survey occurred during 2020, “The Year of COVID.” Personal appearances, conferences (cons), book signings, and public interaction in general stopped. This caused people who had not considered blog tours to rethink their marketing strategy as blog tours became one of the few ways an author could socially safely publicize their book.
What is a Blog Tour?
One thing that turned up was confusion re what a blog tour is, exactly. Is it being interviewed on a blog? In writing? Video? A podcast? Is guest posting part of blog touring?
There was no clear definition and I’ll offer one based on commonalities arising in the responses: Any author intentionally selecting and contributing post content to one or more blogs (not their own) per week for two months or longer for the purpose of self-promotion (they are not paid for their content) is on a blog tour.
It doesn’t matter if the contribution is video, audio, text, images, Q&A, interview, excerpts, et cetera, so long as it’s part of the main post (rather than a comment or pingback) and for the purpose of self-promotion, it’s part of a blog tour.
Be advised: a book review is not a blog tour. A blog tour is when you and your work are the show and has more marketing power than only your work on show. People pay more attention to people interacting than they do when someone writes about a book.
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