So what is a blog tour? In the “olden days” before the Internet, authors did book tours. They traveled from city to city, smiling, speaking, talking to readers and signing books in bookstores and libraries. It meant lots of time on the road, away from their desks where they could be writing their next book, and (just as importantly!) away from family and their own beds. The big guys still do it. You see them on Good Morning America or the late night shows, talking about their soon-to-be bestseller. Most of us don’t have the money to get there or the name recognition to get the interviews or draw a crowd if we did.
But the Internet gives us all a voice. You have seen me review books I recommend on this blog. Others do the same. Readers who respect our opinions buy the books (or ask their public library to do so!) Authors and publishers have started organizing virtual tours, arranging for a series of reviews to all come out the same week in an effort to build momentum. Ideally they generate enough sales to raise the Amazon ranking, which can, in turn, generate more sales. (This is a business after all.)
About six weeks ago Cat Hoort, the publicist at Kregel, wrote and asked if I was interested in doing a blog tour for Glastonbury Tor. I was thrilled. She lined up thirty bloggers who agreed to write about it. They each received a free copy of the book (as I sometimes do.) They were committed to post something about it this week, but they had no obligation to say positive things any more than Publishers Weekly or the New York Times Book Review is obligated to "be nice."
On Cat’s advice, I wrote to each of the bloggers ahead of time offering to answer any questions they had. Only one took me up on that, but several wrote friendly notes in return.
Here is how it's going so far.
Blog Tour Day negative 2:
One blogger jumped the gun, but no big deal. She liked the book. We’re off to a good start.
Blog Tour Day 1:
Six bloggers reviewed Glastonbury Tor today. Most were positive even if the place and time were new to them. One was full of enthusiasm for the things she learned when she checked out the background on the internet—a woman after my own heart! Kevin Sorensen, a pastor in Rochester, Minnesota, wrote a very thoughtful review. A bigger site picked it up and linked to it. Great way to increase readers.
Blog Tour Day 2:
Another five reviews up. Remember how I said they weren't obligated to say positive things? I wish I had had Jon Vowell in a critique group when I was writing the book. I am making note of places where he thinks I should be more subtle in case I ever have a chance to edit a new edition. (Sorry, Jon. I doubt I will ever expand it to twice its size as you would like.)
Today Kevin posted quotes his wife especially liked in Glastonbury Tor.
Blog Tour Day 3
Twelve down and eighteen to go. Can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring, and I even get to sleep in my own bed!
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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