Alright writers, the time has come to talk about the dreaded topic of Book Blog Tours. You know, that thing where you convince all your friends and family members as well as strangers on the street and basically anyone else you can think of who has a blog, to dedicate some space during a set stretch of time, toward promoting your book.
Or…of course…you could just pay someone to do all that for you.
Book Blog Tours, they’re huge. In fact, not only have I had a couple for my own books, basically spreading the posts around my author friends, but I’ve also been host to more than a couple.
Rather recently, in fact, I’ve become something of a regular host to one of those groups that actually gets paid to organize these things. It’s surprisingly cool, in that not only do I get a little extra exposure (not much, but anything helps, right?), but I also generally get an actual physical book out of the deal, which I then read and review, and then, you know, get to fill up my book cases, which haven’t been filling as quickly now that I do a lot of my reading through ebooks.
In fact, many of these books will end up cropping up in my Little Outdoor Library thing that I’ll be building this summer.
But, the question is…do these things really make any real difference in how many books you sell.
For myself, and my own sphere of influence, meaning, the people I can convince to help promote my books without paying them, I’m not so certain it is. I have quite a few author friends, and they all already pretty much help me promote my books…but they all have about as many readers as I do…meaning that going with the standard (not researched) percentage of 1% ROI, I may get one new reader for every 100 blogs I put my book on.
Obviously, this is, as per my usual, all exaggerated. In fact, if you get yourself passed around to real blogs, I’m guessing that you can get some fairly nice exposure…but the question is…how do you get passed around to the real blogs?
That, of course, is where these companies that organize book tours come along, but I fear that there might be good reason to question the legitimacy of their efforts. First of all, they contact folks like me…you know…folks who don’t actually run book review blogs or anything, but just so happen to write the regular review on things like books. I don’t have much of a readership on here, and these folks are shipping me books to read and review, so it’s not like it’s just the cost to have the organizers find me, there’s also a physical book charge in there as well. In other words, although I can’t seem to come up with any real numbers on what these organizers will charge to get your books toured around the world…I fear that the places you’re actually going to get to, might not really be the places you want to get.
Unless you want reviews…which are supposed to be the bees knees as far as authors are concerned.
In the end, these things definitely create exposure, and they’re definitely worth some time spent…but I also know that in order to do it correctly, you could spend days upon days of setting things up (or spend piles of cash for those book tour folks who are getting you into the places you really want to get), and even then…I’m not sure that you’re going to get a strong Return on your Investment.
But…I’m pretty cynical when it comes to these sorts of things…if anyone else has had other experiences, I’d love to hear about them.
Have fun out there!