How does a writer get the word out? I have a friend who wrote a wonderful book about butterflies. Her publisher told her that advertising the book was up to her – the company had no money to send her to conventions or to have her appear at bookstores in large cities.
So she paid for her own author tour, starting in Ireland, where there are some famous sites for finding butterflies. Then a few other European cities and finally as many cities in North America as she could afford. Everywhere she was met with enthusiasm, but sadly – few book sales. She told me privately that, financially, the trip was a disaster – she spent way, way more than she made.
Another way to get the word out is a blog tour. Tasha Turner led me on one this summer. Every week I appeared on another writer’s blog and they appeared on mine.
As Bill Clinton says, “Do the math.” Let’s say every writer has fifty people who visit their site at least once a week. That’s a conservative number, but let’s work with it. Tasha’s tour lasted for fourteen weeks, so that’s 14 x 50 = 700. So seven hundred people saw my name and had some idea what I write about. That’s a way to get the word out. If I’d been sharp, I would have monitored the number of people who visited my web site before and during the blog tour.
And the nice thing is I never left the house and it didn’t cost me anything.
When I started this blog tour, I knew very little about Facebook. I didn’t know how to erase something, I couldn’t even find my way around my own page – a friend set it up for me. Thanks to the leader of the blog Tour – Tasha Turner – and to the leader of the MasterKoda Facebook group – Kim Mutch Emerson, I’ve learned some things.
I also picked up some valuable lessons on how to promote my own work and the work of others, if I’m on a blog tour.
The nice thing about a blog tour is meeting new people and getting to know them. When you have to put someone else’s work up, you begin to know them. When it came time to promote a book of mine, those people were right out front, helping me. For me, this was the greatest feature of the tour.
Having grown up in a Catholic seminary, I’m used to authoritarian types and I don’t like them. Tasha Turner set up the schedule for this tour, led us through it, and taught us as we went – and never an authoritarian word.
Another thing I learned on the blog tour is to ask a question at the end of a blog. So, my readers, please give me your opinion of having a new writer every week.
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