Monday, January 18, 2010

Featured Author/Blog Tours



FEATURED AUTHOR TODAY

As a result of my blog tour during the week of my release for Damned and Desired, I was asked to be a featured author on Erotic Romance Crush Junkies reviews. Check it out if you like. Interviews are a challenge. It’s hard talking about yourself. I’d rather talk about my books. More on the results of my last minute Blog Tour below.

BLOG TOURS

When I was notified I only had a week before the release of my novel, Damned and Desired, I scrambled for the best ideas to set up an emergency promotional plan. I’d just sold the book in November and hadn't expected such a quick turn around. It was a pleasant surprise, but I was also panicking. I put a call out on a couple writers loops asking to do last minute guest blogs. Fortunately, I had five responses for the week of my release. I had just set up my first Blog Tour. Ashlyn Chase has a list of bloggers interesting in hosting blog tours.

What do you usually include in a blog tour when you’re invited to be a guest blogger?
Ask the owner of the blog first. Usually, they like a short article (one to two paragraphs) on a topic related, more or less, to your book; your book cover with buy information, links and ISBN; a short blurb of the book and a short excerpt—about 500 words or less. Ask the blog owner if they prefer a PG rated excerpt before you submit a hard core sex scene. Also include your website and/or blog links.

Since I was blogging at five different sites within three days I wrote up five slightly different mini articles. Yes, it takes more time, but if you post the same article on each site people will lose interest.

On the day that your guest blog is posted, announce it with the topic on Twitter, Facebook, other social networks and loops, and provide the link.

After your guest blog is posted, check it regularly and respond to comments. That helps to keep the conversation going. It also helps to include a question in your post or comment to encourage more comments.

Check the blog a few days after for late comments.

Offer to return the favor to your host on your blog or in your newsletter.

You can also offer a give-away contest during your guest blog to increase traffic. Mention in your post the freebie (a book or other item) and when the name will be randomly selected from those who commented.

If you have more time to plan, advertise your blog tour schedule on your website or blog weeks in advance.

How effective was my blog tour? As with most promotional plans, it’s hard to measure. I did receive a request from a review site to review my book. Most authors will tell you how hard it is these days to get your book reviewed. I also was invited by another review site to be a featured author, AND they offered to review the new release and the first book in the series. That book Desert of the Damned only received two reviews. I hadn’t contacted these sites before. One author, Adele Dubois, did track the hits on her site for the day I guest blogged. We only had about fifteen comments which I thought was pretty good. But she said the number of hits were over 10, 500!!

If anyone has other suggestions or wants to share their experience or expertise about blog tours, please post a comment.

2 comments:

Cris Anson said...

Thanks for the info, Kathy. I loved reading about your experience.
Cris

crisanson@aol.com

Kathy Kulig said...

Hi Cris, Thanks for stopping by. The blog tour was a learning experience, but I think it's a great way to promote.