The rise of the blogger has created a new, long, profitable road when it comes to marketing and ‘screen time’ for writers everywhere. Where marketers once relied on television, radio and billboard ads, bloggers have opened up a slew of doors for authors and publishers to build a brand. It has its limits, of course, and can sometimes have a negative result if done poorly; but with proper planning, a blog tour can end up making all the difference, and increasing a writer’s audience.
At Hallowed Ink Press, blog tours have always been embraced. The founding members originally started as bloggers and eventually became blog tour hosts and authors in their own right. They understand the powerful impact a blog tour can have…as well as its limits.
For an author, a blog tour can spread a book’s small niche into one that is marketed around the world. In some instances this can be done for free, allowing an author who does not have a large budget a chance to truly be recognized. Naturally if an author has a budget set in place for marketing purposes, an even more powerful and impactful blog tour can commence.
Some authors worry about negative responses coming from blog tours. Horror stories have been spread quietly, much like urban legends, about bloggers, readers, or fellow authors, who target an author in a smear campaign because they don’t happen to like the person, or his or her book. These are the requisite bullies (that are found in all industries, unfortunately), who will make it a point to follow blog tour ‘stops’ just to make negative comments with each post.
Stopping this scenario from happening is tricky and, at times, borderline impossible for the author without help. Even with a small army of followers it can be difficult to stop the fallout. The best thing an author can do is remain positive and not provide the bullies with ammunition. If you lose your cool, lash out in a post and attack the attackers, you could lose readers and see negative escalation begin. Sadly, some of the best bloggers in the world have had this happen to them, and they quit completely because of it.
But remember that does not mean an author can’t defend his or herself. Be smart. Let your audience know who you are, and that even if some people don’t happen to like your book, you hope others will enjoy reading it as much as you did writing it. Above all else, remember why you became an author. You didn’t do it for the bullies; you did it for you – to send your message, create your characters, and help readers either learn lessons, or have an exciting trip into the world of suspense, romance, history and more.
Blog tours have their pros and cons. It is a wonderful marketing tool that HIP will always highly recommend. If done correctly, it will serve author, publisher, blogger and reader alike, and create a positive, rewarding experience. Bullies might show up, yes, but the blog tours are not meant for them – they are meant for the readers who want to be a part of the adventure.
Resource List (Compiled by Emma Michaels):