Blog tours to promote new books are a fairly new phenomenon, as far as I can see, but their usefulness has already proven itself to me several times over.
A blog tour is a virtual tour in which an author guest-posts at someone’s blog as a way to promote their book. This works out fairly well all around, as the blogger gets new content (and often new flavor), whereas the author gets introduced to a whole new cross section of potential buyers.
I was introduced to the Blog Tour method through Wow- Women on Writing. I would have to say that their blog tours seem to be the most well-organized and best-promoted that I’ve seen. Although, yes, I’m a bit biased toward WOW, I say this because I’ve discovered others blog tours while surfing, and the system didn’t seem to run as smoothly.
WOW was kind enough to arrange for me to host Jan Lundy here and at About.com, and through that I was introduced to her wonderful book, which I would not have read otherwise! Then, last week I surfed over to Annette Fix’s blog, and was floored by the wisdom of George Singleton. Although WOW had nudged me about his blog tour, I passed as I understood his book “Pep Talks, Warnings and Screeds” to deal exclusively with fiction. However, appearing at Annette’s blog really piqued my interest, and I also spoke with Singleton via email, hoping to pick his brain about some things in the writing world.
Last, but not least, I found out about the new book by author Sybil Baker, who is a AWP-published writer and MFA grad. I signed on for Sybil’s blog tour for one reason, exclusively: one of her proposed blog posts was on “crafting a novel from your travels.” My novel is based almost exclusively on several trips into Mexico, and was 50% written longhand in the backseat of a rental while driving through Mexico’s mountains.
Blog tours are definitely a valuable tool for authors. I’ve stumbled on multiple books that I never would have read throughblogs and others. I will often make a point of visiting my “friends” blog tours on their hosting day out of solidarity and support. Even if I don’t purchase the book right then and there, the title is now on hand and in my memory, and likely to come up in conversation or at a later date. Blog tours WORK!