Saturday, March 2, 2013

On The Road

This week I embarked on my first blog tour with my e-book Then Came Love. I debated for a long time about doing a blog tour, mainly because I couldn’t quite get a handle on how it worked. Turns out it wasn’t that difficult. The company I chose sent me an excellent package, informing me what to expect, along with a list of blog ideas I’ll be mining for some time to come.
Yes, you can do much of the work yourself, but I prefer to be ‘taken around’ to various sites. If I were to do it again, I would spend a bit more time researching the blog tour organizers. Most of them specialize in genres, and I have no doubt that they’d rather place an author who fits with their contacts.
After settling on a date, deciding length of the tour, and paying, I was sent a list of ‘stops’, their URLs, and what was expected of me at each stop. My participation was split between Interviews and Blogs, with the rest of the stops being devoted to spotlights, which entail a bio, blurb of the book, and a generous excerpt.
I estimate that I spend 10-12 hours writing up the Interviews and creating blog posts, and a few more hours in communication. I had it all organized and sent off to the blog tour organizer a little over a week in advance.
I decided to offer generous prizes: ten e-books, plus a Kindle Fire, with the winners to be chosen by Rafflecopter. In connection with Rafflecopter, I was sent a list of activities and points awarded for each one. This is where my lack of knowledge stumped me for a while. My blog didn’t have a way to follow. A couple of kind contestants pointed that out and after a bit of fumbling, I figured out how to add the link.
Here’s the interesting part...what I’ve learned.
I’ve learned that there are thousands of people out here in the Twitterverse and on Facebook who devote a lot of time to entering contests and giveaways. They say so on their Twitter profile. How cool is that? It’s something I’d never considered before. I’d love to hear some of their stories. Remember how we used to hear tales of women or sometimes couples entering contests in magazines, and how they became selective about which ones to enter? I’m thinking that this is the new version of that pastime, and it’s fascinating.
I also learned that offering the Kindle Fire as a giveaway may have been a mistake. Why? Because my ultimate goal is to gain name recognition for my books, and, if I’m lucky, sell a few. It’s just a feeling I have, but I think that if I’d offered only free e-books, and visited sites more closely related to my genre, I may have reached more potential readers. I may be wrong, but somehow I don’t think so. At least not this time.
I’ve gained a lot of Twitter followers, and my Facebook likes are more than doubled at this point, with eight more days to go. I expect many of them will unfollow – either immediately or after the contest is over – and that’s okay. It’s the way it goes, and I understand that. I just hope that some of them are romance readers, that they find my work, and enjoy it.
In the meantime, I’ve learned something new, and knowledge is everything...after love, of course.



Beate Boeker said...

Great advice! Thank you for sharing, Mona!

Barbara Morgenroth said...

I think you learned everything I learned, Mona

Book bloggers are a vital to writers. We need that promotional avenue.

We need to do everything we can to get the word out about our books in this highly competitive market.

Sandy Cody said...

Until now, I didn't really understand how blog tours work. Thanks for sharing your experience, Mona. You're right - after love, knowledge is everything.

Heidi said...

Mona, I totally agree--I think giveaways that will attract sincere potential readers is a much better idea than attracting people who just want to get their hands on that Kindle Fire. If a book is super mainstream and the potential audience is pretty much everyone with a kindle, it's different.