Here on Daily (w)rite, as part of the guest post series, it is my pleasure today to welcome Anne Cater. Anne organises blog tours for some of the largest traditional publishers, including Transworld, Headline and Pan Macmillan. Today she answers question about blog tours, and how writers might benefit from them.
1. What value do blog tours add to book marketing?
The goal of incorporating a blog tour into a wider marketing plan is to increase and grow the author brand; create awareness of the book; gather reviews; spark sales and to build long-term relationships with bloggers and fans. Readers look for new book recommendations all the time and will go to sources that they trust; a nod from a well respected blogger can be gold!
2. What inspired you to start organising blog tours?
As a blogger, I’ve been taking part in blog tours for over eight years and have always enjoyed them. I think they are a great way to discover new authors, and publishers. A few years ago, I decided to give up full-time work, for many reasons. I’d worked closely with No Exit Press in the past and they approached me ask if I would consider organizing some blog tours for them. I was then approached by Orenda Books with the same offer. Everything grew from there.
3. Who can book a blog tour with you, and how? What are the do’s and don’ts?
I can and do work with all sorts of publishers and authors on blog tours, from the ‘big five’ publishers, to the smallest of independents. I work with established, best-selling authors, I also work with debut authors who are self-publishing. Everyone gets the same service.
Authors; DO thank the bloggers for their post; DO share their post on Social Media. DON’T be rude and dismissive to bloggers if their review of your book is not five stars and glowing; DON’T chase bloggers for their post at 9am in the morning.
4. Do you customise blog tours to individual books?
The bloggers on my list all state their preferred genre when they sign up. I target my invitations to tours to bloggers, depending on their preferences.
5. What are the factors you consider when including a blog on tour for a book?
The book has to have been edited professionally. I do look at the book cover too. There are a few genres that I struggle to get bloggers interested in, so that is a consideration too.
6. How can book bloggers apply to take part in your blog tours?
There is a sign up form on my blog for blog tour hosts
7. What five books would you like to mention to readers?
I rarely re-read books; but if I had to re-read five, they would be:
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Chocolat – Joanne Harris
A Quiet Belief in Angels – RJ Ellory
8. Five books you read last year that you’d recommend?
An Unremarkable Body – Elisa Lodato
The Cactus – Sarah Haywood
The Lingering – SJI Holliday
Putney – Sofka Zinovieff
Bitter – Francesca Jakobi
9. In your opinion, what makes a good book review?
A review that makes me want to read the book – no more, no less.
10. What is the best way authors can collaborate with you when on a blog tour you have organised?
- Give good notice, at least three months before the blog tour is due to begin
- Confirm the format of review copies available; digital and/or print
- Have your cover and blurb complete
- Communicate clearly throughout the process
- Ask questions!
Anne Cater began writing her blog ‘Random Things Through My Letterbox’ in 2011, as a way to shout about the books that she loves. She is founder of the Facebook group Book Connectors, which has 4000 members, a thriving and vibrant community where authors and bloggers connect. She reviews commercial women’s fiction for the Books on Friday feature in the Daily Express. She is a judge for the 2020 CWA Dagger Awards. You can connect with her through her Blog, Facebook account or on Twitter
Dear writers, what is your experience of a blog tour?
Dear book bloggers, what do you keep in mind while participating in a blog tour ? Have you had any good or bad experience of blog tours?
Do you have questions for Anne Cater?
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Anne Cater actually organized the blog tour for my last release, Those Who Came Before. I also signed up for a tour to publicize the first two books of my GhostWriters series back in 2017.
As for my experience, I’m not sure. It’s nice to see reviewers talking about your book around the release date. What I’m not sure about is if it results in sales, but I’d say the same about almost any publicity. It’s nearly impossible to tell, unless readers reach out and let you know how they heard about your book, which is rare. It definitely doesn’t hurt, and if your publisher is paying for it, go for it. You have nothing to lose.
So good to get to know Anne’s thoughts.
I think book blog tours are essential. So much readership out there! I enjoy reading opinions on books. I also check out reviews on Goodreads.
I did blog tours for my YA novels in 2014 and 2016 and found they were helpful to get reviews and spread the word. Later, I did an Instagram tour and loved the images that resulted from it.
Informative and interesting – great post thanks.
Interesting post. I’d never heard of blog tours. I have to say, after reading the interview, that while you told us what they can do, I’m none the wiser as to what they actually are! Am I being dense? Either way, I think I need to find out more.
Hi. A Blog Tour is like a tour of book shops, but you don’t have to leave the house!
The book is featured on a set number of blogs for a set period of time. Each blog will post about the blog, either a review, or an excerpt, or a feature about the author. Hope this helps. Anne
Yes it does; thank you Anne. As a writer, with a current book that I’m trying to publicise, I’d be interested to take part. Might that be possible? Thanks, Graham
What an interesting guest post. I have been a book blogger longer than I been writing. I’m not a huge fan of blog tours. I participated in many when I first started blogging. I felt like it was alot of work as a blogger and many authors didnt check in or even share the post on social media. It wasn’t worth my time even though I did read a few good books.
I’m sorry that you had that experience Allie. I’ve been taking part in tours as a blogger for around 10 years, and have been organising tours for around 3 and have had the opposite experience. Tours are not for everyone though!
I have not done a blog tour, but I have participated as a host. I think they bring traffic and eyes that normal might not see you. Happy IWSG!
I have participated in blog tours – they can be fun. I think they function better for certain genres than others.
I’ve never heard of a blog tour before. I’ve been blogging for well over a decade so this comes as a surprise to me because I thought I’d seen it all by now. Fascinating.
That’s interesting Ally. Where are you based? I’ve been blogging for around ten years now and have taken part in Blog Tours for most of that time!
I’m in the US midwest having started my first blog in 2004. Clearly I’m out of this loop, but will look forward to stumbling over Blog Tours now that I know they’re a thing. Thanks for the heads up.
Sounds like Anne does a great job!
I’m currently working with someone setting up a blog tour for my upcoming Dementia project (eek!) and Mason has been amazingly supportive, knowledgable, and organized 🙂
Interesting interview, filled with some useful tips for writers. Sharing.
Very interesting. Got to know a lot more about book tours through your post, Damyanti. Thanks for sharing.
This is so interesting. Thank you!
Great Post, I love being part of Anne’s blog tours.
Im happy to have found your blog 😁👍
When I got back into writing and first learned about blog tours, I thought they were revolutionary. Until then thought book promotions like book tours were mostly done in brick and mortar structures. Got to love the web and social media for making it possible to have virtual tours. And it helps to increase awareness of the book and spread it by word of mouth. Extending its reach through social media.
Only organized my own blog tour and when possible, try to sign up to be a part of someone else’s.
Really interesting interview. I’ve been considering hiring the pros for a blog tour so this was appealing. Your book favorites tell me a lot about the types of books you like.
Almost sad you have to remind the authors to thank and share. I’ve always organized my own (my publisher did one for me) and I found them very effective.