Never underestimate the power of paying it forward.
When I launched my book two years ago, I had a small network of authors. I could count on a single hand how many connections I had with fingers still left over. When I planned my first blog tour, I was touched by the number of people who agreed to post materials for me, totally free of charge, and I was inspired to do the same.
Most authors already have their own blogs. If you don’t have one, I urge you to go out and get one (I have three–they’re great!). I purchased my own domain name, and pay a web server provider yearly to house my email and WordPress account. If you can’t afford to do that, you can still begin a blog, totally for free.
Creating a secondary blog
If you already have a blog, contact your web server provider and ask how you can set up another. My site uses WordPress, and it was really easy to set up another web site, totally free of charge. Keep the site under your author’s domain name strictly for your self-promotion. Keep the second site strictly for promoting other authors.
If you have a blog with a free service, like WordPress.com or Wix.com, then you can create a second blog at no extra charge.
When someone offers to host your blog tour, offer to do the same for them when the time comes.
How to find stuff to blog about
If you’re worried about how you will ever find enough time to create posts for your promotional blog, simply sign on as hosts for services who promote blog tours. These sites are always looking for blogs to help them out. They often send emails directly to your inbox and you can pick and choose which ones you would like to post. You might even get a free book or two out of it if you sign up to write a review.
Here are a few that I’ve discovered over the years:
- YA Bound Book Tours
- Mother and Daughter Book Reviews
- Rukia Publishing
- And, of course, feel free to sign up for my publishing company’s email at http://eepurl.com/bRSxDj
Call in a favour
The first thing I did when planning my blog tour was to contact everyone I had hosted on my promotional site a month in advance of the book’s release date, and ask if they’d be willing to host for my new blog tour.
I live in Canada, and there are strict rules for advertising via unsolicited email, and the last thing I wanted to do was to have the CRTC at my back, so I began with the following disclaimer (slightly edited):
Firstly, I want to thank each and every one of you for helping me to build Britbear’s Book Reviews into a success. Whether you have contributed by allowing me the opportunity to review your book, or by posting publicity materials, you have helped me to build my network and provide a platform for authors to help sell their books.
Now, I have a favour to ask.
I have my latest release scheduled for this July 12th, and I’d love it if you would be able to help me publicize my books, either by posting a review, or by posting publicity materials for me during the week of its release.
If you are unable to help, no worries. Britbear’s Book Reviews remains open to each and every one of you as a venue to help you publicize your future releases. If, however, you are able to help, it would be greatly appreciated.
Once more, a HUGE thank you to each and every one of you!
This was followed by
- a cover image
- the title of the
- the title of the
- the logline (one sentence summary)
- genre list
- number of pages
- release date
- blog tour dates
- back cover blurb
The email went out to 46 people. Three people volunteered to post materials. Three others volunteered to post reviews (that I know of).
I know some of you will be doing a bit of math now–roughly 13%.
But remember that a week is only 7 days long. One email and 6/7 days are already taken care of.
Now do the math: one email and roughly 86% of my blog tour booked–those are numbers I can get behind!