We get this question frequently from new authors: Should I do a blog tour? The answer, like most things in the publishing business, is, “it depends”.
What is a Blog Tour?
A book blog tour is a virtual tour to help an author promote their book without leaving home. It’s the digital online equivalent of going to a string of brick and mortar locations to promote your book, but without the expense or hassle of travelling (or even wearing pants). The author is featured on a series of blogs to hopefully encourage readers to purchase their book.
Blog tour lengths vary, but most last about a month and include a combination of reviews, author guest posts and giveaways to create buzz. The blogs will embed point of purchase links to retail outlets and websites that carry the book.
How Much Does it Cost?
The raw cost of most blog tours range between $150 and $350. All expenses for any book giveaways (including shipping) are also the author’s responsibility.
Is it Worth It?
It depends. If your sole criteria is book sales, then probably not. When you consider giveaways, your total cost will be approximately $250. If you’re netting $5 for each book sale (average between paperback and eBook) you’ll need to sell 50 books to break even. That’s tough, real tough.
If your criteria is increasing exposure and optimizing SEO for your blog, depending on the blog tour’s readership and click through rate, it might make sense. The problem is that most tours don’t have the circulation to make a difference. Make sure you get hard analytics on any blog tour you’re considering. Subscribers are far more important than hits. Also, make sure you talk to other authors who have done the tour. What results did they get?
If you’re doing it get reviews of your book and have just fun, go for it. Keep in mind that doing a tour is very time consuming. Writing guest posts and doing Q&A sessions are a lot of work.
That’s the spirit! There is nothing stopping you from reaching out to blogs and getting yourself booked. If you take the initiative, you can pick and choose which sites are best suited for your book. Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to limit yourself to just “book review” blogs. Think out of the box and approach any blog or site that could be beneficial. When we promoted The Balding Handbook, we reached out to hundreds of humor, radio station, podcasts, bald-centric and news blogs. We had great success, The Balding Handbook lasted two months on Amazon’s Top 100 Humor Kindle Books List.
The Bottom Line
If you’re doing the blog tour to get rich, don’t do it. The chances of making back your investment are low. On the other hand, if you’re doing it to get some exposure and have some fun, a good tour might be a valuable experience.
For help with blog tours, out of the box marketing ideas and comprehensive marketing strategies check out our publicity packages.