Monday Marketing Bite: 5 Mistakes to Avoid when Organizing Your Book Blog Tour
Blog tours are a great way of promoting a book – you get word out, you get reviews, more people decide to try you out and click buy. There is a lot of work that goes into organizing a blog tour, and sometimes mistakes happen. I’ve made or seen some of these myself, and learning how to be better at running a smooth tour will only help everyone involved.
Why is it important to avoid these mistakes?
- to send a clear, detailed message to your readers and help them understand you and your books
- to make things easier on bloggers – they work a lot to help authors and their time is precious
- to make sure everyone gets the whole story when reviewing your book
Mistake 1: Not offering previous books in your series for review
Let’s say you run a promotion for book two or three of your series. There are details, background, and characters that were introduced in previous books. It’s important for a reviewer to get to know them before delving into the current read. Especially if past events have a strong impact on current ones or the series should be read in order.
Making sure reviewers receive previous books also helps you get more reviews for those titles, and we all want more reviews all the time!
Mistake 2: Using only one excerpt for an entire tour
It can get boring to read the same excerpt over and over again. On a release day blitz or a cover reveal blitz, you might get away with it – the posts are very similar and sometimes the manuscript is still being edited or formatted (especially at the time of a cover reveal). But tours last longer and usually have a lot more stops, so it helps to vary the content. Plus, the more you tease your readers, the more they’ll want the whole story!
My rule of thumb – use as many excerpts as the maximum number of stops in your busiest day of the tour. It’s usually 3-4 on average. I know it’s hard to get many excerpts without revealing too much, but it’s not impossible.
Mistake 3: Only sending an HTML file
Not all blogs are the same. Not all HTML files will work properly on all platforms (or some coding might not translate well into the visual part of the blog). So sending both a text file and an HTML code kit would be the best way to go.
Besides, some bloggers build their posts in a certain order that does not match an HTML file. It’s easier to work with a text version than to fumble with code, especially if you’re not very HTML savvy.
Mistake 4: Very complex and ultra-formatted HTML files
Sounds strange, but the more visual elements and formatting elements you use in your code, the worse it can look. Why? Because blogs usually have different color schemes, different file size requirements for images, different font preferences, etc. What looks great on your blog or that of a tour host might look really bad on another. It can lead to a weird color mix, or the platform might not interpret things correctly. More so when there are multiple posts published a day, all with different formatting. It can lead to a crazy mix of different styles and text formatting choices that will make the blog look quite unappealing.
Besides, allowing each blogger to slightly adapt the code and how it’s displayed limits any duplicate content issues that might impact search result rankings.
I believe in having as little formatting as possible in your HTML files when you send them to bloggers. Or, if you prefer, you can send two versions, one of them cleaner. I usually only add paragraphs, links, sub-headings and giveaway/trailer codes. I do embed images, but only the banner, cover, and author photo. You can additionally provide all other elements as separate image files.
Mistake 5: Not attaching image files to your blog tour kit
Pasting the photos in a word file and only inserting them in the html code is not always enough. If you only send a text file, the images cannot be copy/pasted into the blog post. They will have to go through an editing software (as easy as Paint or a more complex one). That means a lot of time taken from the blogger. If it’s an HTML file we’re talking about, then they’ll have to search for the image links through the code, and either add the images afterwards, or download/upload them from said link.
The larger blogs usually have tons of different posts a day. The time needed to make all the adjustments could be freed to post about more books.
Over to you! Bloggers, readers, and authors – what do you like or don’t like about how blog tours are handled?
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