So I was debating on doing a post on this but thought it might be worth talking about to get a better idea of what everyone thinks.
A majority of blog posts that aren’t my own content, come in the form of guest posts. Namely, blog tour posts.
A blog tour, for those that don’t already know, is an online tour of various blogs and websites usually over a week or two. Each day a new post goes live with some sort of exclusive content on a subject from the author, a book extract, interview or feature. The idea is to give the readers an insight into a book or author and, ultimately, promote a new or upcoming book release. Often these tours are put together by the publishers or a PR company, though much more recently I have seen authors organising their own.
A while ago I decided to stop signing-up to every tour going and be more selective about the kind of posts I want for my blog tour stop. Once Upon A Time I would just say: “Sure! Sign me up and I’ll take whatever you’ve got!”.
I wonder how much blog tours ACTUALLY help promote a book and if people even want to read/follow a tour. I find them interesting, but even as a blogger I know there are certain kinds of posts I won’t bother reading. “Exclusive extracts” hold no interest for me because I’d rather just read a whole book when it arrives. Sometimes I’ll take part in posting extracts if I’m really behind an author or want to show my support, but would rather pick another kind of post. People rarely read them.
Interviews are great but only when the questions actually give information that hasn’t been rehashed in every interview I’ve already read. This is partly why I have my 20 Random Questions feature because it’s silly, fun and a laugh but it also gives an author a chance to answer questions they probably haven’t before and gives a reader a look at an author in a way they haven’t before.
Special posts that relate to the upcoming book and its themes in it can be really interesting to read but not every time. Sometimes I find my mind drifting and wondering if there are any biscuits left in the cupboard.
Now my rant:
Lately, on the last few tours I’ve done, I’ve been contacted a few days later for the page view numbers for the post. This is very much a new trend. I wonder why they need to know the figures? Am I, as a blogger, having my card marked with low numbers or are the authors. Are my posts being used as testing ground for publishers own blogs?
I have happily given the information, I’ve nothing to hide, but it does have a bit of a strange whiff about it in my opinion.
I think tours have lost their charm and didn’t do much anyway so why are they still going on? They’re easy to do.
A blog tour should find a way of uniquely showing an author off to an audience. Not making them just another face in the crowd. You want to see their personality and then think “oooo, I’d like to see them at an event and read more by them”. I think blog tours aren’t being used to their full potential and thus are getting very samey.
There needs to be less confined rules about what authors can do for tours and posts and give bloggers a chance to interact with the authors. We can discuss ideas and perhaps come up with something really unique for us both. I’m not saying that all tours are the same, because they aren’t. I will say that, many do seem very much alike in content and don’t have enough flare that’ll get people talking about it, or the book.
I think my main reason for posting today is to pose some questions to you as authors, publishers, bloggers, readers and people at large.
Do you like blog tours?
What kind of posts do you enjoy/not enjoy reading?
Do you even think that a blog tour has any effect on books-sales? Is it a good and valid form of promotion?
I think that a blog tour shouldn’t just be hashed together for the sake of it or even just added to the list of jobs to do in the run up to a book’s release. A blog tour should have things in it that someone will actually want to read, not just ticking boxes with standard features from the catalogue. A tour shouldn’t go on forever! I’d rather see a tour of just 4 or 5 bloggers than a month-long tour of every person on the contacts list. I’ve seen some tours go on endlessly and 3 bloggers posting all on the same day. It feels like there isn’t a personal touch to the tour at all, plus I’ll never read them.
I’d love to hear thoughts on how you’ve found blog tours from your individual point of view and if you’d like to see more of some things in them or less of other stuff.
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