Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blog Tours - Some Reflections

Yesterday this blog participated in a blog tour hosted by Zondervan with author Latayne Scott and her book The Mormon Mirage. This has been my third blog tour and I thought it would be nice to reflect on why I do them and how they benefit those involved.

First, let's be honest every blogger wants as much traffic as he/she can get. I'm no exception. It is a nice way to reach new people and have them spend just a little time on your blog. But with that out of the way I find there are other reasons.

How about the author? Well, without leaving their home or office they can cross the countryside in a day and visit a number of venues where they can interact with those who have taken the time to read and ask questions about their book. As a bookstore I've witnessed more than one "author signing" where very few people showed up. Though some bloggers who originally signed up for yesterday's tour did not post anything there is virtually no loss of time or resources for the author, publisher or a bookstore when there is no post (although the publisher does provide a free copy of the book to those bloggers who sign up).

How about the publisher? The more attention the book gets the better the sales will be. (This will also help the author too!) Also, potential authors watch how publishers handle books and sometimes will be drawn to a publisher who is serious and innovative about getting the word out about a new book. Thus the publisher is indirectly drawing fresh new authors or authors who are unhappy with their current publisher.

The biggest winner, I think, is the reader. For anyone interested in the book or author they have an opportunity to read a number a reviews and to see interaction with the author. They can also ask questions of their own and have the author respond. No books will get signed but that can wait for another day.

Any disappointments? My biggest disappointment is visiting a blog that is listed as participating and finding nothing there. Now this could be due to any number of reasons and I'm not trying to find fault. I suspect one of the biggest reasons for this is people sign up and then forget when the day rolls by. I know I almost did and had to remind myself several times of the day of the tour. (Mental note: the next blog tour for me is July 14th.) But people are busy and a blog is a voluntary luxury that is often last on the list of priorities. By the way a few of my favorites that did participate in yesterday's tour can be found here, here, here, and here. Visit them and see what a tour is all about.

The tours have been fun. If you are a blogger I encourage you to participate in one. Zondervan announces their tours through their blog Koinonia. Visit it regularly to see what's coming. Not to mention it's just an amazing blog in its own right. So, many thanks to the folks at Zondervan who put these together and I, for one, say keep them coming!

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Thanks for the kind words Louis!

I'll add something here to: blog tours increase Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for book titles and author names.

I.e. Before a blog tour you could google Johnny Author's name and find his site, his publisher and maybe one or two blog reviews before being inundated with online retailers.

After a blog tour in which 20,30, or more bloggers post about Johnny Author and his book the SEO is greatly increased. You could then search Johnny Author's name on Google and come up with 20 or 30 different sources of info about Johnny before getting just a list of online retail sites.

Yesterday's tour was great. Thanks for you participation. I look forward to the "Busted" tour on July 14.

AR for Z