Monday, February 13, 2012

Blog Tour Rant- Live and Learn

So, I took the plunge, I did a month long Blog Tour. This tour entails having blog posts, book promos, or book reviews on other book/reading blogs.

I took the time to write several blog posts and I provided my novel for reviews. Everyone told me this was going to be a time consuming ordeal, so I should hire someone to plan the blog tour for me. So I did. I paid a bit of money, not cheap, by the way, because I was told the return on my investment would be worth it. Was it? In a word, okay two words, absolutely NOT!

The way I see it, if I'm being booked on blogs that don't even promote themselves, what the hell am I doing there? If I wanted to write a blog post and then have to promote it myself, I can just post it to my own blog. And if I'm doing the promoting of the blog tour, not getting any traffic, other than the people who already know me or have purchased my book, then how is this promotion at all?

The first few days were lots of fun, I was on my first tour. I'd post to Facebook, Twitter, and my IRI network, and they'd like the post and come by to comment, but hell, they already have my book. And they have their own books to promote, they don't have time to shout from the rooftops for me.

So then I stopped hitting up the usual suspects, because let's be honest, they were sick of commenting every other day on the blogs where I was a guest.

I definitely commented on the blogs that hosted me and thanked them for having me as a guest, and most were kind and gracious, thanking me back. Others didn't even bother to acknowledge my existence. Either way, I still sent out Tweets and Facebook posts to let people know I was blogging at "such and such." I felt it was my duty to send people to the blogs that hosted me.

I'm going to point out one blog in particular, who does it right. Liz at www.fictionalcandy.blogspot.com was wonderful. We communicated, she was so nice and helpful, and I will forever consider her a book blog queen. She promotes the books she reviews, offering a Rafflecopter.com giveaway, commenting, and bringing traffic to her website. Very cool. I should have her as a guest blogger on my site sometime. But here's the rub, she was the only person to do any promotion at all. The rest expected me to bring the people in. Hello? I was hoping for new faces, new readers, new whatever; what was the point of bringing in the people who already know me and have read my book?

I don't mind sending traffic to someone's site. As a matter of fact, I love it, but this was supposed to be about bringing in new readers, and promoting ME.  Believe me, I was stunned to see that several of the blogs had no comments at all, not even the author thanking the host. If I sound selfish, well, then so be it. I paid good money. And I was really looking forward to commenting on the posts and engaging people. I love meeting new folks.

And did I see the huge return on my investment that I was told I'd receive? What do you think?

Who do I blame? Me, of course. I took the lazy way out and paid someone to do the work for me. It's a live and learn process. But I was really hoping to bring some new readers my way. Yes, it's about getting the word out. Book promoting/marketing is hard work, and the only tried and true method is word of mouth.

Okay, my rant is over. Yes, I'm disappointed. Will I ever do another Blog Tour? You bet I will! But I'll do the legwork myself, making sure the bloggers are people who promote their own blog posts. I'm happy to promote their blogs too, but it's a win/win when we promote each other.

Have you done a blog tour? Did you set it up yourself, or pay for the service? Was it worth it? I'm curious to hear about the experience of others.

(side note: I'm very appreciative of the bloggers who took the time to read my novel and review, regardless of the traffic generated. They are exempt from this rant.)

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