The downside to the internet is that it’s crowded. There are a lot of voices competing for attention and until a reader has heard your name or the title of your book a few times, he or she isn’t likely to form an intention to buy your book. This is why name recognition is important, because most people don’t rush out and buy something the first time they hear about it.
Given this fact, I decided that it was important to find the early adopters. In technology and in books, there are key people who are not only willing to try something new right away, but also likely to tell their friends and get others on the bandwagon. That’s why a blog tour can be effective–even if you’re not published yet. Get bloggers talking about you and your work and suddenly their readers are interested. What’s more, you can reach many more eyes online than you can in a book store. But a good blog tour takes a lot of effort.
I made a goal of visiting thirty sites in the month leading up to the release of my book. I scheduled big blogs and small. I agreed to give away big prizes, like gift certificates. Then I wrote thirty different pieces–some of them interviews, some of them very thoughtful articles about the genre.
What did I learn?
1. Start Early
When people see your name over and over again, it starts to have a synergistic effect, and that’s good. In fact, traffic to my website doubled in that time. But interest in my first book peaked too late. Perhaps if I’d done more blog stops during that month before release, I could have made the peak come sooner…but only at the expense of my sanity. Consequently, I’d advise starting at least two months before the release of your book; schedule a second blog tour after the release as well.
9. Choose a Pace That Works for You
On the other hand, I’m certain that traffic isn’t mine to keep and whether or not the sheer number of man hours is worth the payoff in terms of sales? That’s a mystery to me. A blog tour with book bloggers will definitely help with name recognition within the community, but I’m acutely aware that most of my potential readers don’t visit book blogs. Some of them aren’t even book enthusiasts. I didn’t reach them with my blog tour.
With my next effort, I will make more of a concerted effort to find popular blogs outside of the book reading community.