“What’s a “book tour”? you ask. Glad you asked.
A “book tour,” also known as a “book blog tour,” is when a book goes on a virtual tour across the internet, hosted on various book blogs. These tours allow a book to gain more exposure to potential readers. Tours can also be an effective way for authors to promote their books, especially if they’re indie or self-published authors. (Find out more here.)
Mom and I get boatloads of book tour invitations. (Here a tour. There a tour. Everywhere a tour, tour.) We ignore most of them. We’re either not interested in the book being promoted or our schedule is already jammed.
But they can also be fun. A chance to meet new people. Explore new books. Find new authors. Make new friends. Sniff out a nice, thick, juicy steak…
Wait. Where was I?
Oh yeah. Blog tours.
Anyway, Mom and I accept a tour invite every now and then. We’ve learned a few things in the process. Like what to do and what to avoid if you want us to hop on your blog tour.
So we’ve come up with our Mom-Tested, Kimber-Approved list of 13 Book Tour Dos and Don’t if You Want us to Join Your Tour. Here ya go:
- Make accessing the book so difficult it’s like breaking into Fort Knox with bells on or towing a forty-ton logging truck with your teeth.
We’re busy. So if you’re lackadaisical about making a book available in a timely manner, your invite goes straight to The Big Kitty Litter Box in the Sky. Likewise, if we have to repeatedly nag you to get us the book, then you’re not a serious tour coordinator. Bye!
- Tell us what to do or say regarding the book you’re promoting. As in, what part of “Honest Book Reviews” do you not understand?
If we love the book, we’ll say so. If we hate the book, we’ll say so. If you’re looking for a pre-fab, artificial review of the cookie cutter variety or a guaranteed score, you’re in the wrong place.
- Insist on a score of “3.0 or higher” for the book, sight unseen.
There’s no way in h-e-double toothpicks we can promise or otherwise “guarantee” any rating until we’ve actually read the book. So don’t ask. (See above.) We also reserve the right to bail out of any book tour at any time, without explanation.
- Load us up with 88 million “requirements” you want us to include in our post.
Some book blog tour coordinator’s lists of “must-haves” are a mile long. They want specific images, banners, and social media links. Also pre-fab descriptions, giveaways, buy links, author web site links, tour schedules, excerpts and All the Tea in China to accompany a book tour post.
Newsflash, sweetheart: Mom and I don’t roll that way. While suggestions and recommendations are welcome, you don’t decide what belongs on our blog. We do. And you for darn sure don’t dictate what we include in a post. Cuz it’s our blog. Not yours. We’re just funny that way.
- Ignore the dates we signed up for and assign us some random date we didn’t request.
Our blog schedule fills up fast. Often weeks or even months in advance. If we provide specific dates that we’re available to host (we typically provide several within the specified tour time frame), those are the dates we’re available to host. Not any others. So if you want to tick us off in a hurry, ignore our input on the calendar.
- Related to the above, don’t ask us to confirm our select a date to host and then change it out of the blue without consulting us first.
- Avoid wasting our time and yours by familiarizing yourself with our Submission Guidelines prior to issuing an initial tour invite. (You wouldn’t believe the number of invitations we get that are as far outside our guidelines as an igloo is in the Serengeti.)
- Make the book available at least two weeks in advance of the tour host date.
- Clearly indicate a rating for the book you’re promoting. That’ll also save us both a lot of time.
- Clearly indicate a page count. That’ll save us both… oh, never mind.
- Keep in mind that hard copy is our first choice. We may or may not choose to pick up a digital copy of same.
- Provide appropriate high-resolution graphics (book cover and author photo), timely. Note: Providing these items the day before or morning of the scheduled tour date doesn’t qualify.
- Offer uplifting Historical Fiction, Christian fiction, biographies/memoirs, Narrative Non-Fiction, and YA. (For the short list of what we are and aren’t interested in, kindly click here.)
Are we clear?