Look at that, I didn’t post anything last month. March, my favorite month, and I hardly wrote anything here! I was busy writing, so forgive me — and I did manage to write a birthday post here.
Anyway, this post has been in the works for a while, and since it’s been a little over two months since I had the blog tour for my second book, Keep the Faith. It was the first time that I ran something like that on my own, and it was an interesting experience. Normally, you can get a blog tour site to host your tour so it lessens the work of preparing forms and contacting the bloggers, plus they may have a reach that you don’t have, but I think there’s merit in setting one up for yourself. Here are some of the things I learned during the tour:
1. Timing is important. I think this is one of the most important lessons I learned with this experiment! It’s good to have a tour to drum up hype for the book prior to release, but since the book has been out for a while, it didn’t have the allure that a new release had. It was just good timing when I checked the #romanceclass hashtag on Twitter that I noticed a lot of readers had put “Read #romanceclass books” on their reading plan for the year. I saw the opportunity and went for it. Social listening for the win. 🙂
We also had #BitterxSweet at Ayala Museum event coming up that time, so I scheduled the tour right before the event, in hopes of boosting print sales. And it worked — the books were out before the live readings started, and I realized I should have brought more copies. Heh.
2. Set reasonable goals. One of the most important things I learned in my marketing classes were to always set a goal. To be honest, I didn’t like this part before, because what if I don’t get it? But I tried it this time – a manageable goal that I hit a few days after I opened sign-ups. The goal also helped me in how much time I was going to spend in getting sign-ups, and if I wanted to aim higher. #1 helped in reaching the goal, and I did aim higher, but it was okay when I didn’t reach it.
That said, what I missed doing, though, was setting a time to measure the results, because life got too busy. I think I just set a goal for the start, but not with the end (i.e. how many books were sold during the tour, or how many other people picked up my book outside the blog tour). Oops.
3. Communicate with your bloggers. I think the good part of hosting your own book tour is you get to communicate with your bloggers directly. It’s a bit nerve-wracking, but it’s fun to see people live-tweet your book and fall in love with the characters you created. And these bloggers will also be the ones who you can tap again the next time you have a new book – building relationships will definitely help. They will also make these lovely things when they really like your book:
But of course, one must still be courteous and polite when doing this. Remember that you carry your own brand, and the readers do not really owe you anything just because you gave them a review copy of your book. 🙂
Would I recommend doing this on your own as an author? YES, if you have time and if you want to do this hands on. Still a YES, even if you don’t have the time, and this is where it helps to find bloggers who are willing to host blog tours for you. Blog tours are a helpful way to build buzz, earn user-generated content, get feedback, and learn more about your readers, which is always a good thing when you’re an indie author. 🙂 In case you want to run yours, here are some useful tips.
If you’re an author and you’ve had blog tours, share your experience in the comments and let’s learn from each other! And to everyone who participated in the blog tour, in case I haven’t said it yet: THANK YOU. ♥ (I still need to send you guys one more email. :D)