How You Can Organize and Run Your Own Blog Tour – Part 3

In part 2, I covered email communication with bloggers and how to maintain an effective “contacts” list in your email program. In today’s post, I will discuss: how to schedule blog tour posting dates with bloggers, how to keep track of the blogs and dates for the tour, how to network and market the start of the tour, how to begin the blog tour, and how to promote the blog tour.

The way that I scheduled posting dates for the tour, and had no conflicting dates where two people wanted the same date, was I started slowly by contacting a few bloggers at a time. I started with the bloggers I had contacted first in the very beginning and replied to their last email. (One thing I would have done differently, was to forward emails I sent that were not responded to, to the blogger they were intended for, when I needed to contact the blogger again, so that all emails would have been in one email thread and they could have seen my previous messages.) In the email, I told the blogger the date range of the tour and I let them choose the date they wanted. I received responses the same day, so I emailed a few more. I mostly had one email thread per blogger to keep the exchange organized.

I made a “blog tour list” that had each blogger’s name, blog URL, email address, type of blog post, ebook format they preferred, and the scheduled posting date. I turned the Word document to “landscape” and put one blogger on each line. As I scheduled the posting dates, I typed them on my blog tour list and highlighted them in yellow so that I could easily see what dates were taken.

Around that time, I published my book and sent out the ebook copies to the bloggers. I looked at my blog tour list to see what ebook format each blogger wanted, then I emailed the ebook and cover image to each of them using the email threads I already had going. I waited at least a week before I sent them any more emails, to give them a chance to read my book.

I began receiving interview questions from the bloggers who would be interviewing me on their blog. So I answered the interview questions, and after editing my answers, I emailed it back to them right away. I also wrote my guest posts. During this time (about one week), I did as much writing as I could, because I knew that once the tour started, I would be too busy running and promoting it to do any additional writing. Plus, I didn’t want to save anything for the last minute.

Then one week before the tour started, I began promoting it. I created events on Facebook, Book Blogs, and Goodreads. For the Book Blogs and Goodreads events, I posted a description of the tour and listed all of the blogs’ URLs and posting dates (with live links). For Facebook, I did not list the blogs’ URLs and posting dates in the description of the event; I only posted a compelling description of the tour to get people psyched up for it. I also published a blog post here (on my own blog) with a full description of the blog tour and a list of all of the blogs’ names and URLs. I tweeted about the tour too.

One other thing I did – I asked the leader of my Goodread’s group, “Writers and Readers,” if I could be involved in a Q&A discussion, which is when an author is spotlighted and readers ask them questions. The group leader just happened to be looking for authors for Q&As. So we scheduled my Q&A discussion for the first three days of my tour.

Just before the tour began, I emailed everyone a blog tour banner, which listed all of the blogs’ URLs that were on the tour and had my book cover design as the background. It is a good publicity method. I created the banner myself by uploading my cover design (before I had put the title, the subtitle, and my name on it) onto a PowerPoint slide and added the blog tour information. Not all bloggers are willing to post a banner on their blog, so I did not force them, but I asked them if they would and some did.

The night before the first blogger hosted me, I sent them an email to remind them to post. The email was easy-going, but well-written, and it included the posting date. Here’s an example:

Hi [blogger’s first name],

This is a reminder to post [your review/the interview] tomorrow [month/date]. I look forward to seeing your post!

Christine

(As you can see, it’s a very simple message, used just as a reminder, without sounding pushy.)

When I woke up and went on the computer the next day, I checked my blog tour list for that day’s blog URL. Then I went on the blog to see if the post was up (most of the time it was – thanks bloggers!). I then clicked on the title of the post to display just that one post. If the post had share icons, I shared it on Twitter, Google+, my Facebook page, LinkedIn, and Digg. Otherwise, I copied and pasted the URL on those websites manually. Then I went to my Facebook event page and pasted the URL in a comment, along with a compelling description of the blog post. I then pasted the URL into the “Post Your Blog Updates Here!” forum post in the “Blog Tour” group on Book Blogs. Then I created new blog posts on Book Blogs and the Writer’s Digest Community with the title being the same as the title of the blog post and put in quotation marks; a “teaser” in the body of the new blog post with a direct link to the actual post; and appropriate tags, such as: blog post, book review/author interview, blog tour, Christine Rice, and Freelance Writing Guide (my book for the tour).

After I shared the blogger’s post everywhere possible, I emailed them to thank them for their post and for participating in my blog tour. I told them that I shared their post everywhere so that they will get some extra hits to their blog. Then I put a line through the blogger’s information on my blog tour list to show that the blog post had been successfully published and I finished communication with the blogger.

The rest of the tour consisted of the same: sending “reminder emails” the night before the next blog stop, promoting the blog post, and sending “thank you” emails the day of the post (preferably right after sharing the post). I kept all the emails in my blog tour email folder until the tour was completely over. I still have my blog tour list in case I need the information in the future.

I hope you enjoyed this 3-part series about how to organize and run your own blog tour! I hope you will take the plunge and create your own blog tour. If you do, you will save money that would have been unnecessarily spent on a blog tour company, and you will have a memorable experience. Good luck!

How You Can Organize and Run Your Own Blog Tour – Part 1

As most of you know, I recently finished up a month-long blog tour for my book, Freelance Writing Guide. I feel the blog tour was a success, because all of the bloggers posted on the correct days, there was effective communication between me and the bloggers, I made some valuable connections for the future, and it generally went smoothly and was easy to keep up with. Below I will share with you my tips on organizing and running your own blog tour.

For a month-long blog tour, you will need to start organizing it one month in advance.

I started announcing my blog tour around July 23rd (my blog tour started August 29th). I posted my announcement and my request for bloggers to participate on Facebook, Twitter, Writer’s Digest Community, LinkedIn, and here on my blog. Doing those posts was a good means of self-promotion, but it did not draw the interest of many bloggers who would participate in my blog tour. So I checked all of the blogs I had followed on WordPress by looking at my “reader” on the main WordPress page. I also checked the Blogger blogs I followed through Google Friend Connect (GFC) by going to a Google blog that I knew I followed and clicking on my profile picture in the list of followers; that brought up my GFC profile, which had a list of all the blogs I followed.

I checked out each of the blogs that seemed to be for writers or readers, to see if the blog owner was a book reviewer or an author interviewer. These types of bloggers usually have a page on their blogs that explains what types of books they review and/or their book review policy, what types of authors they host on their blog, and their contact information. If they reviewed nonfiction books or hosted nonfiction authors, I contacted them by sending them a message from their blog’s contact form (located on a page of their blog), or by emailing them if the email address was provided. I rarely came across bloggers that provided no means of contact. But if that was the case, I posted a comment on their “about me” page or on their most recent blog post.

I had not followed enough blogs in the past to acquire enough bloggers to host me, so I had to look at additional methods. In a comment to my blog post on here, Patty Apostolides kindly suggested I check out Book Blogs. I had never heard of the term “book blog” before, but I quickly learned what it meant. A book blog is a blog where the blog owner posts book reviews on their blog, and sometimes author interviews and giveaways. Book Blogs was where I found most of the bloggers for my blog tour. I will tell you how. After joining Book Blogs, the first thing I did was scroll through every one of their interest groups (currently there are 490) to find the ones that related to my purpose of acquiring bloggers who’d be interested in hosting me. Every time I saw a possible group to join, I wrote the name of the group down on a notepad. After I had gone through all of the groups, I separately typed the name of each of the groups I had on my notepad into the search bar on the group listing page to bring the group up. I reviewed each group a second time and joined the ones that were most compatible with my needs (to save time from joining groups that would not be very effective for my purpose). Some of the groups I joined were: Authors Needing Reviews and Interviews, Self-Published Book Reviews, Network Your Blog, Advertise Your Work, and Promote Your Books!. Network Your Blog was the most helpful, because it had the most members.

For the groups I joined, I looked through the forum posts, and used the search bar for the forums that had an overabundance of posts where it would take too long to look through them all. I commented on bloggers’ posts, who were looking to review books and host author interviews on their blogs, telling them about my book and asking if they would like to host me. I also provided my email address – since I did not follow all of the forum posts I commented on, because I ended up with a large amount of emails in my inbox from other people’s comments – because I would not get notifications for their posts. I clicked “stop following,” a link that is just below the main post on each forum post, if I did not want to get notified of followup comments.

Next, and this was the most proficient way to get in touch with bloggers, I went through every comment on the Network Your Blog forum post entitled “Bloggers Seeking Authors, Guest Posts, Giveaways, Or?”. That post was 27 pages long when I got to it, but it was more efficient to look through that one post with hundreds of bloggers on it, than to search for bloggers on individual posts. So I started from the last page that had the most recent dates and worked my way to page one, by reading each comment and looking into the bloggers’ blogs to see if they were compatible with me and my book (indie author of nonfiction book). Then I contacted them – not by replying to their comment on the forum post, because they probably unfollowed the post like I did, but by finding their email address on their blog (sometimes it was in their forum post comment) or (second best) by using their blog’s contact form.

In part 2, I will talk about what to write in emails to bloggers, how to maintain an effective “contacts” list in your email program, how to maintain an effective exchange with bloggers, what to do when bloggers don’t respond to your emails, and how to schedule the bloggers’ posting dates for the blog tour.

I’m sad to see you go…

My month-long blog tour is nearing its end. I feel like I’m losing a friend. It’s been fun seeing all the posts about Freelance Writing Guide and keeping in touch with the blog tour participants. It took me one month to organize the tour and one month for the tour itself, and now, it’s coming to a close. I will miss all of the fun I’ve had. I hope you’ve had fun too – learning readers’ opinions about my book, getting to read an excerpt from the book, learning more about me, and reading some guest posts I wrote of tips for freelance writers. I really appreciate your participation in my blog tour. I know some of you are following along and reading the posts. My husband is too!

In addition to enjoying the experience, I’ve learned a lot. A blog tour is a fun time and helpful for promoting one’s book, but it is A LOT of work. First, I had to find bloggers who would be willing to participate in my tour. During that time I also finished the edits of my book and published it. Then I sent out the ebook copies to the bloggers. Then I was answering interview questions for a bunch of different interviews. Then the tour started. I answered more interview questions and wrote some guest posts. Almost every day, I promoted each of the bloggers’ posts in up to 10 places on the Web. I also published a few blog posts here to keep you all included in the tour.

I will be publishing a blog post this week with tips on how authors can successfully run their own blog tours, so keep an eye out for that if you are an author who is interested in having a blog tour someday. Now, I will share with you where the tour has been during the last few days and where it is going to be in the next, and last, two days. Boohoo 🙁

Last Wednesday – September 19th – Chris Eboch published my guest post on “Tips for Writing for Content Websites.” If you are interested in writing for Yahoo, Suite101, Helium, or other sites, you should check out this post! On Thursday, Ansuyo reviewed Freelance Writing Guide on her blog: Writing with Both Sides of my Brain. Her review is detailed, honest, and well-balanced. If you’re interested in writing professional book reviews, you should check out my guest post from Friday, “Professional Book Reviewing Tips,” on YaminaToday.com. Yesterday, my guest post, “Three Important Tips for Freelance Writers,” was posted on Literary Lunes Publications.

Today, there is an interview with me and Sandra of JeanzBookReadNReview. The interview questions are pretty unique, so check it out for new information about me and my books! Tomorrow – Monday, September 24th – I will be interviewed by Chris at TheWriteChris. Check out that interview to learn my takes on publishing, promotion, and writing groups, and my advice for new writers and what I’ve learned as a freelance writer. Tuesday – the last day of the tour – will bring you back here where there will be a special surprise!

Have fun at the next stops of the tour and please come back here Tuesday! Have a great day!

Blog Tour Updates

Good morning!

The Freelance Writing Guide blog tour is still going great and I feel humbled by the positive reviews I’ve received so far. It has been a pleasure to work with every one of the bloggers. The blog tour has been an enjoyable experience, and I hope other authors will be inspired to run their own blog tours (don’t worry, because I’ll be publishing a post on how to do so in the near future). It is a good feeling to be directly involved in the blog tour process, to get to know new people, and to answer interview questions and write guest posts. Without further ado, here are updates on the tour and what will come in the near future, as we approach the end of the tour.

Adelle, on her blog, Honesty…in writing shared a wonderful review of my book on September 15th. The next day, Karen, at Karen Elizabeth Brown, interviewed me on her blog. Yesterday, there was a thorough review by Theresa at Theresa Leschmann, Author. And today, Sage posted a touching review on her blog, My Name is Sage. Thank you, everyone, for your great work and for participating in my blog tour!

Tomorrow, there will be a guest post from me called, “Tips for Writing for Content Websites,” on Chris Eboch’s blog. Thursday, September 20th, Ansuyo will be reviewing my book on her blog, Writing With Both Sides of My Brain. And on Friday, there will be another guest post from me, this one called, “Professional Book Reviewing Tips,” on YaminaToday.com.

I hope you will take a look at these blogs and visit them on the tour. Thanks for your interest in this blog and for your kind comments. I appreciate all of you!

Regards,

Christine

What is going on

I am very busy with work right now and that makes me really happy. I feel a little taxed from being at the computer all day, but I’m really enjoying the work I’m doing.

The blog tour is going excellently! So far I have been at the “Writers and Readers” group at Goodreads for three days doing a Q&A session, at Literary Lunes Publications for an interview, and at The Writer’s Block for an interview with Vanessa Eccles.

Tomorrow the tour will stop at Teresa Morrow~Author/Writer/Poet for another interview. Don’t worry; there are plenty of reviews of Freelance Writing Guide coming up towards the middle and end of the tour. In fact, on September 7th there will be a review on ShaynaGier.com. Other reviews to come will be on September 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17, 18, & 20. There will also be guest posts, book excerpts, author bios, and a surprise – right here – at the end of the tour!

If all goes well for the entire tour, I will write and publish a blog post about how authors can effectively run a blog tour.

I’ve also been doing finishing touches on interview questions and guest posts for the tour. Fortunately, that is all taken care of now.

Actually, I’ve been so busy lately with networking, my blog tour, and writing that I haven’t read from a book in about a week! I miss it and will hopefully be back to it soon.

I hope to begin working on Chronicles of a Troubled Girl again by the end of the month. It pains me, because I am so close to finishing it, but I’m happy Freelance Writing Guide has been published, since I started writing it first.

I have been working on getting word out about my editing services. So if you or anyone you know could use having their writing edited by a professional, I do thorough editing and proofreading on all types of writing for only $1.00 per double-spaced page (250 words). To view my credentials, you can visit my website. I will even edit a sample of your writing for Free, so that you can evaluate the quality of my editing services and can decide if you want me to edit the rest. This is a great deal and you can’t lose! You can contact me through my email: christine_rice@charter.net

Thank you, everyone, for your support – for following this blog and reading my work. If you weren’t here, I’d have no one to write this to, so I am truly grateful. I hope I can extend the same support to you.

The 2012 Freelance Writing Guide Blog Tour is here!

Hi, to all my readers!

I am happy to announce that the blog tour for my recently published book, Freelance Writing Guide: What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer, has begun! Today (August 29th) is the first day of the blog tour! The first stop is at the “Writers and Readers” group on Goodreads, where I will be doing a live Q&A discussion for three days! The discussion will kick off at 7 am (EST) today.

Here is a list of the dates of the blog tour and the participating blogs:

August 29-31 – www.goodreads.com/group/show/37092
September 1 – www.literarylunespublications.com
September 2 – www.vanessakeccles.com
September 5 – www.teresamorrow.com
September 7 – www.shaynagier.com
September 8 – www.cmtruxler.wordpress.com
September 9 – www.ravensartshack.blogspot.com
September 10 – www.lgib-bookreview.blogspot.com
September 12 – www.frellathon.com
September 13 – www.fromthebootheelcottonpatch.blogspot.com
September 14 – www.rdmeyerwrites.blogspot.com
September 15 – www.honestyinwriting.blogspot.com
September 16 – www.karenelizabethbrown.blogspot.com
September 17 – www.theresaleschmannauthor.blogspot.com
September 18 – www.sageadderley.blogspot.com
September 19 – www.chriseboch.blogspot.com
September 20 – www.writingwithbothsidesofmybrain.wordpress.com
September 21 – www.yaminatoday.com
September 22 – www.bahbammymusings.wordpress.com
September 23 – www.jeanzbookreadnreview.blogspot.com
September 24 – www.thewritechris.blogspot.com
September 25 – www.christinerice-author.com

The types of blog posts on the tour will be: book reviews, interviews, live Q&A discussions, guest posts, book excerpts, and more! You will discover inside information about my book, readers opinions about my book, information about myself as an author, informative posts from yours truly, and more! Stay tuned for a special surprise at the end of the blog tour!

If you would like to get regular updates on the blog tour, join my Facebook event.

I hope to see you along the tour!

Christine

A Very Busy Time

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m not reading a book right now! Actually, I’m taking a reading hiatus until Freelance Writing Guide is published and maybe until after my blog tour. I have a lot of work to do (edit the last five chapters, design a cover, format for the different epublishers, submit my book and author information, upload correctly, write a press release, create a blog tour banner) and I want to meet my goals of having the book finished by August 16th and ready to send to my blog tour participants on August 22nd.

Then there is the blog tour (September 1-22) in which I need to have the interviews and guest posts done before each of the participants’ scheduled post dates (I’m going to get most of that done between August 23rd and the 31st when the participants will be reading my book and before the tour starts). So I’ll be answering a lot of interview questions, writing guest posts, and keeping the blog tour running smoothly. It’s a very busy time for me, but I’m enjoying it! It’s really exciting and fun to be part of the publishing process and blog tour. At least right now, since everything is under control 😉

I will continue to keep you all posted on the publication of Freelance Writing Guide and my blog tour.

Checking in for the Week

It’s been almost a week since my last post. The blog tour is currently being assembled. I spent a lot of time on Book Blogs trying to gain tour participants. Thanks to everyone who is participating! I really appreciate your generosity. I’ll be writing at least a couple of guest posts, there are eleven book reviews and seven interviews set up so far, plus one author bio and one excerpt for good measure. It’s going to be exciting! I can’t wait! If you’re scheduled to be on my blog tour, please email me with the date you want to reserve during the first three weeks of September (if you haven’t already). I will also be sending out a reminder email at the end of this week.

Freelance Writing Guide is coming along great! I am impressed by how it is turning out with the edits. I have finalized 7 out of 22 chapters, and I’m almost halfway through page-wise. I’m working on getting it all finalized by mid-month (middle of next week!).

I’ve also been reading a lot! I’m trying to keep up with my 3 books a month review schedule, while also editing and publishing my book. I have not overwhelmed myself too much this month. I had to decline some opportunities so that I will not have a nervous breakdown from it all 😉

I’m reading The Zul Enigma. I will be posting a review, probably sooner than later, since it is such a great book and I’m flying through the 500+ pages. I find it hard not to talk about the books I’m reading when they are really good. I love this one, because it is science-fiction and has a positive message and an adventuresome plot. It is definitely a page-turner!

Well, that’s about it. I hope you all have a great week!