Sep 18, 2011

Setting Up Your Own Blog Tour

I'd like to talk about setting up your own blog tour this week. I thought I'd share some information about finding reviewers who will give you the best exposure today, then Wednesday I'll talk about creating a reviewer's packet filled with everything they will need to post their review.

First, go HERE, where Danyelle Ferguson talks about how to find reviewers. She was my guest a couple weeks ago and gave some GREAT advice.

No, really. Go read that. I'll wait.

*Tapping fingers on desk*

Did you read it? Great info, eh?

Lets pretend you've done some research and found some book review sights that you think might work. This is where your search becomes a little like trying to find an agent. You need to make sure the sight fits your genre. You don't want a sight that reviews erotica reviewing your MG book. You also won't want your contemporary YA being reviewed on a Sci Fi reviewers sight. Make sure they are a good match for you.

At this point I had about 15 possibilities. I thought it was a safe number. I know not everyone will say yes.

Next, you'll want to email them. This part is tricky. I've gotten several review requests in the past and most are just a quick, "Hey, wanna do it?"  While this might be okay when asking a few of your writing buddies, it's not okay for a blogger you've never met. You want to make a great impression with them and be professional. This is especially true if you are an INDIE. Some reviewers won't even consider reviewing a self-published book, so show them you know what you're doing and that your book rocks.  Here's a copy of my letter.

Hi there,

My debut novel, BOUND, is due to be released on November 11th, 2011 and I’m looking for a few select bloggers who’d be willing to read and review it for me.  I’m a follower on your blog and am impressed with the quality of your reviews and wondered if you’d be willing to slip my book into your schedule. The review would need to be posted between the 11th and 22nd of November. It would be delivered to you by October 3rd in ebook format or as early as September 24th as a Word doc or PDF. Yes, this book is self-published, but I’ve taken every step, including a professional editor, to insure it is ready for publication.

You can check out reviews from other readers here:

BOUND is a YA Paranormal Romance (#1 in THE CRYSTOR Series) and is approximately 106,000 words. It will be released with five other novels from debut authors in a huge online extravaganza. Each author has an impressive online presence and circle of followers, so the potential to increase your blog traffic for those days is phenomenal. There will be an online book launch party, twitter chat with the authors, individual signing parties on our blogs, drawings, great prizes and SWAG. I’d love for you to be a part of our celebration.
I’ve attached the cover art and included the back cover blurb below.

Back Cover:
When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia, has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive.

BOUND is a heroic tale of true friendship, infinite sacrifice and untamed love.

Please contact me no later than Wednesday, September 14th with your answer. If you choose to review BOUND, include the date you’d like to post your review (between Nov. 11th & 22nd) and in which format you’d like to receive the book. When I send the book, I will include everything you need to post your review (graphics, author photo and brief bio, cover copy, tour banner and button, and links where the book can be purchased and where I can be found online). If a review is not possible, I’ll also be available for interviews or you could simply post the banner or tour button on your blog.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Christine (C.K.) Bryant

Within two days I had seven YES answers. By the deadline, I had three more. At that point I sent out a quick reminder in a little less professional tone, asking them if they forgot or if maybe my email got lost in cyberspace. I received 2 more replies saying they would be happy to post all the info about my book and the tour, but they weren't sure if they had time to read the book. I replied and thanked them and told them I'd send the book with the review packet and they could read and review it at their leisure, just to let me know when it posted so I could send my followers to their blog. They were thrilled to do that.

Now that I had enough reviewers to fill the slots, I decided I wanted two bloggers per day instead of one. Since I had several friends ask to be on the tour, I put them on the schedule, then sent out a few short emails to some others I wanted to participate and now I have a full schedule.

One more thing to think about. You may want to ask a couple published authors to review your book and give you a cover blurb. This isn't easy because most of them are very busy or have agents who don't allow them to endorse just anyone's book. If you plan to do this, get tough skin because you are bound to get a few rejections.

Have you ever set up a book blog tour before?  
Any advice you like to give us?

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