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Archive for December, 2010

Planning a Blog Tour

The last time I posted here I was talking about my virtual book release party for Secrets of Eden (Solstice Publishing Aug. 2010). When that book came out, I tried a gimmicky approach to getting sales. I offered a free book with each purchase and even a drawing for a free Kindle. Well, now that it has been a few months, I can officially declare that venture a failure. I didn’t even have one person enter into the drawing. Not one! I still don’t know how book sales went that month but they probably weren’t great.

But, I’m not out of sorts about it. I just took a step back and analyzed what went wrong before planning the release of my new book Priscilla the Great (WorldMaker Media Dec. 2010). My first mistake with Secrets of Eden was trying to plan a book release party for a book that was only available as an ebook. Many people do not want to buy ebooks. So many review sites I went to said specifically that they do not review ebooks. It’s hard to get the word out about your book when it’s in a format that many in your audience do not read. Instead of targeting traditional readers, I should have been trolling kindle boards and other electronic book sites. That’s where my readers were. Those were the people who would actually buy an ebook.

I’m not giving up on Secrets of Eden, I’m just going to wait until it comes out in paperback and try again. By that time, I should be almost an expert at marketing after what I’m doing with Priscilla the Great.

So what am I doing? First of all, I’m working very closely with my publisher in marketing the book. They are sponsoring a contest that will be featured on several website in which the prize is an eReader. Newsletters about the release of the book went out to my subscribers, plus they will be sending it to theirs as well. But I think my biggest endeavor with this book is my blog tour. In researching, I found that these can be very effective. But they have to be wide reaching. A small blog tour will not be very successful.

I considered paying a company to plan my blog tour for me, but I decided against it. For one thing, I didn’t have an extra $400 to throw away. Yes, I said $400. I did find another company who offered a blog tour service for $50 but I decided against that too. Having someone else contact each blog seems impersonal. Plus, I think it’s a good idea to only go to blogs that will be genuinely interested in your book. With a predetermined blog tour, what happens if a stop on your tour is not to enthusiastic about your book?

So, I decided to plan this tour myself. This was a huge endeavor. I found a website that listed over 300 YA blogs. I just started going down the list and contacting each one individually. First, I check out their blog to see if it would be a good match for Priscilla the Great. I am still no where near through the list, but I’ve had some great responses. Thirteen blogs have agreed to review the book and I have another 18 stops on my tour for guest posts or interviews. I’m aiming for 50 total blogs. Here is my schedule so far.

Dec. 10th – The Mortal’s Library
Dec 12th – YA Bookie Monster
Dec. 13th – MarjoleinBookBlog
Dec. 14th – Write Like Authors Do
Dec. 15th – So many books, So little time
Dec. 16th – The Bookish Type
Dec. 17th – Books From a Shelf
Dec. 18th – Closet Space Musings
Dec. 18th – Book Speak Blog

Dec. 19th – To Life!
Dec. 20th – Grace Elliot
Dec. 21st – Manga Mania
Dec 22 – Books are Like People

So, hopefully, the blog tour angle will be more successful than my virtual release party. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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