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05-19 Sarah Raplee – Riff on 7 yrs. Of SPAM & a Giveaway

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blog Tours

Last month, Shadowman, the third book in my Shadow series, released. To get the word out and let readers know a little bit about the book, I went on a blog tour. When all was said and done, I blogged over twenty times during the month, including here at RTG. It just so happened that I was on deadline for my next book at the same time, so I would spend my day writing Fire Kissed, my nights writing blogs.

I knew from past blog tours to prepare in advance. Here are some basic pointers for authors just setting out:

  1. While writing your book, make a note of blog topics. That list will be crucial when it’s time to promote and you can’t think of a thing to write about. Research topics, funny stories, games—it’s all good.

  2. Start setting up the blog tour a couple months early. If possible, get a review copy of your book to the blogger—and as early as you can. (I’m probably going to go with a blog tour service the next time around as this takes time to coordinate.)

  3. My experience is that weekend dates have less traffic than weekdays. I know now to give myself those days off to refuel and catch-up.

  4. Aim for a good balance of article-style posts, interviews, and excerpts. (Or mix it up with first person interviews of your characters, either/or posts, etc.) Save some of your most fun ideas for the end.

  5. Don’t post the same blog on different sites. Try to create new content for each one.

  6. Don’t double book tour stops on the same date.

  7. Do giveaways. They give readers a reason to comment. Specify whether the contest is international or not. My first blog tour had packages going to Indonesia, England, and Mexico all in the same week.

  8. Make giveaway questions easy and fun. And put the contest announcement up top to help hook readers.

  9. Be careful about the length of blogs and excerpts. Too long and you lose the reader's interest.

  10. Include your cover and other graphics.

I hope this list helps. It is by no means exhaustive and I invite everyone to add more to the comments below or share their insights.

Happy blogging!


Judith Ashley said...

Great information, Erin. I love the tip to make notes of possible blog topics as you write. I'd never thought of that but it certainly makes sense. I'll designate a special pad of paper (yep, I'm still one of those) next to my computer for those notes.

There is so much to learn in this business and it's wonderful that romance writers are so generous in sharing their knowledge and experience.

Paty Jager said...

Great advice. I'm lucky that I use the historical research I glean for my book to use as blog topics. I agree, I've found the weekends are the worst time to get people to comment on blogs. I think they blog surf during work hours when bored.

Congrats on a great blog tour!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Sounds like great advince, Kris. I've just started thinking about blogs as I start thinking about sending my work out with hopes of getting published finally at last.


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Erin,
Some very good advice there. I am surprised by the fact that the weekend is quieter for blogging than the week days, I would have thought it the other way around.



Jessa Slade said...

Keeping notes about potential topics is a great idea. I write down story ideas all the time, but I've slacked about doing the same for my blog. Must change that.

Donna Hatch said...

I hadn't thought of keeping notes about research, I just expect myself to remember--ususally a mistake :-)
Thanks for the handy tips.

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

I, too, love the idea of keeping a list of blog ideas. And the mention of historical info . . . that was great too! Thanks.

Rachelle said...

Thanks for this excellent advice. I did a big blog tour for my first book and I'm preparing for my second next year. I've been collecting ideas of what works, so I'm adding these!