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?
This post was written for IWSG: Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing and hosting the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) every month! Go to the site to see the other participants. In this group we writers share tips, self-doubt, insecurities, and of course, discuss the act of writing. If you’re a writer and a blogger, go join rightaway!
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