My book tour: via blog?

Traveling across the country to promote my book will be expensive, time-consuming and tiring. But thanks to the Internet, I’ve got another option for self-promotion: virtual marketing.

This month and next, I’m participating in a free online class where I’ll learn how to promote my book via a blog tour.

Once again, I’m a little ahead of myself. Yes, I remember that I still have to write the book. Yes, I realize I need to convince an agent to represent me. And yes, I am fully aware that in order to launch a book blog tour, my book has to actually be published.

But my attention span for writing is pathetically short, and this gives me another excuse to take a break to do something productive. It’s a skill I’ll need to promote my book in the future, so why not learn it now?

What is a book blog tour? It’s a schedule of virtual stops at blogs that are willing to host me, ones that cater to readers who might be interested in my book. A stop at a travel blog, for example, might include a Q&A with me about traveling alone. At a book-review site, the blogger might give her opinion about my book and then let readers ask me questions. A blog for writers could host me for a chat about the process of pulling together a plot.

The idea is to get as much exposure as possibly via blogs, as well as having a successful blog myself. This is just one aspect of online promotion, which also includes social networking tools like Twitter and a personal Web site like the one I recently launched.

Of course, I’ll share what I learn with you here at Aspiring Author.

23 Responses

  1. You’re laying the groundwork now and that’s good. Just don’t forget to set aside some time each day for writing!

  2. Karen — That’s the difficulty. With so much other stuff going on, gotta make time to write!

  3. Yea, Alexis, if you find the time to write, let me know. I need to know where to look for some, too. Really informative post today, to let your minions know what you’re up to.

    I took a quick side trip to your website, which is really pretty, but I IMMEDIATELY understood Marvin’s comment about opening our links in a new window. I’d love to stay and chat, but I gotta go update my blog to take care of that problem!


  4. It’s great that you’re thinking about these tasks as you write the book. It will be helpful in giving you a lot of thoughtful attention to how to structure it to appeal to readers. How will they want the reading experience to unfurl? Will they be carrying it along as they make a trip?

  5. Alexis, really good article and great links embedded into the text. I need to do more of that.

    One point: I don’t think your book needs to be published for you to do a blogtour. You could tour before the publication date in order to drum up interest, then again after the publication date.

    BTW: I ended up going to my family’s early-mother’s-day celebration yesterday, so I indugled in lots of great food. I’m not eating today, instead of yesterday, in support of Roxana.

  6. Hi, Alexis,
    At the end of your blog, you mention the social networks. Have you found FaceBook or MySpace particularly useful? How frequently do you Twitter, and, generally, about what?
    Best Regards, Galen

  7. I’m looking forward to doing the blog tour class with you! There’s a lot of great information to glean there. Best of luck with your writing.


  8. It’s good to plan ahead, Alexis. Then when your book is ready, you know all about how to promote it.

  9. Thanks for so many comments today!

    Alan — Did you sign up at about your fast? (Even if you already fasted, it’s not too late.) Your good deed will go unnoticed unless your name is on our fasting list and adds to our numbers. Thanks!

    Also, such a good point that I could do a blog tour now. I hadn’t even thought of that!

    Galen — Facebook is super useful, and so is Twitter. I use them both every day, but in different ways. If we don’t go over this in the class, I’m happy to help you learn!

  10. At least you won’t be one of the authors who says, “I wish I’d known then what I know now.” You’ll be many steps ahead of the game. But let me echo the advice given by others: Make time to write.


  11. Good post, Alexis. But you don’t necessarily need to make finding an agent part of the road to publication. I’ve published two mysteries with a print-on-demand publisher, and I’m very happy I did. That said, I’d still like to find an agent and make the big time, but meanwhile, it’s enormously gratifying to get my work out there.

  12. I think you are very smart to plan ahead. Like the others have advised don’t get so caught up in laying your groundwork there is no time for writing though. A lot of publishers like you to include a marketing plan – ways you can help at the very least because a great deal of the promotion is going to fall to you. It helps to have a good website, blog and making your presence known. Networking will be an asset as will this class. Good plan!

    NA Sharpe

  13. Looking forward to sharing your learning experience with blog book tours. The BBT course really is an eye-opener and informative.

    All success
    Author: “Think, Write & RETIRE!”

  14. Good post. Best wishes on your upcoming virtual tour. Also like the hyperlinks in your text and they way you chat with your commenters here in the gallery. Nice job. 🙂

    Marvin D Wilson

  15. I wanted to take that course, but thought you had to have a book pubbed first. Darn. You’ll have to keep us in the loop.

    Since you’re a writer, I thought I’d mention there’s a writers’ support group you might be interested in. It’s called Writers_on_Writing. If you want to know more, check out my blog. I posted some info about it yesterday. Maybe you know other writers who might want to join? The group’s a SUPPORT group, not a critique group for writers 18 years or older.

    Lynnette Labelle

  16. Hi Alexis,
    I think it’s fabulous that you are getting a jump-start on promotion before completing your book. And yes, finding time for everything is difficult. In fact, my blog today is about that very thing and how I needed to shift my priorities so I could find time to write. Wishing you and the rest of our class the best of luck in balancing writing and promoting.
    Karen W.

  17. Nice blog post, Alexis. Good for you doing so much ahead of time. You’ll be so glad you did when the book is published!

  18. I’ve done some book reviews and interviews for writers doing online book tours and there seem to be a lot more writers doing this these days.

    I think one thing new writers don’t do enough of is building a platform and considering fresh ways to promote their work on a minimal budget. Editors and agents will be glad you’re planning ahead!

  19. […] and query letter, choosing agents to approach, applying to writers’ colonies, learning about blog book tours, and then […]

  20. […] blogs, too. We connected through an online book blog tour […]

  21. […] market it using my Web site, social networking, Skype (with book clubs), an online book trailer, a book blog tour, etc. I’ll expect my agent to advise me — or at least know and understand what […]

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