Blog Tour Companies Beware!
So, this has been bugging me for a bit so I thought I'd post something about it for my author friends--note: None of the blog service companies that I've used do this, but I've seen and heard a LOT of complaints from fellow authors.-- BEFORE YOU BUY A BLOG SERVICE WARNING: If you are going to choose a 'we'll book your blog tour for you' service from an author PR company, check out what blogs they use! More and more I see these services offered for 0 readership crap start up blogs where your post is never read by anyone other than the people who own the blog or the blog tour company. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY! You can get into 0 readership blogs on your own. :P Before you sign any contracts, or give anyone a single red dime, find out where your blogs will be posted at. Check out that blog. Does anyone respond, ever, to any of the posts? Is it just one unseen blog post after another from people using the same service that you bought? Are all the blogs owned by that PR company and/or their friends? Do your homework! If you are going to spend your hard earned money on a service like this it is okay to expect that they will provide you with a quality product, in this case the quality product being a blog where your post might actually get read. Your job is not to bring people to that blogger, if you are paying to have your blog posted there you are, in part, paying for that PR service to get you in with an established blog with established readers. Like I said at the top, don't pay for a service that you could do on your own. Do your homework, do your research, and demand accountability from the person your PAYING to see that your blog tour is a success. Anyone can call themselves a PR company, anyone can tout themselves as a blog tour company, don't waste your time or money on someone who is unprofessional and/or lazy.---rant end--
Indeed. A good blog tour company will be able to give you examples of their recent tours. You can then very quickly see if they are for real blogs with substantial followings.
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
Excellent advice, I had wondered about this more and more.
Thanks for this, Ann.
Let me add on a side note- There is absolutely nothing wrong with start up blogs. Everyone has to begin sometime and I've guest blogged on a lot of start ups where I became friends with the blogger. You, as an author, would be much better off contacting small blogs on your own and establishing a professional relationship with the blogger. In most cases they are great people to get to know, etc. The thing is, you can do this on your own and would benefit more from doing it on your own, rather than doing it through a blog tour site where you won't get to interact as much with the bloggers. So please don't think I'm downing small or start up blogs, I'm totally not and would encourage anyone with a book coming out to take the time to look at any blog that will host you, not just the big guys/gals 'cause you never know who, six months down the road, will be the next big guy blogger.
Superpowers: Making babies, writing
This is wonderful advice! Thanks! I had been contemplating a blog tour if I have to go the self-published route for my next book. I will be wary of which blog tour groups I go with!
Multi-published author of contemporary romance with Avon, Berkley, and Entangled Publishing.
I just canceled my contract for blog spots, partly because I've chosen to give up doing guest blogs on other authors' blogs (nothing against my fellow authors; it was just taking more time to promote those spots than it took me to write the blogs in the first place, and I'm trying to streamline my promo process this year) and partly because the person I'd contracted with had gone two months without scoring me a single spot.
I'm listed with three promo companies (including the one I'm contracted with) as a blog host, despite not being able to provide traffic stats because I can't get the stats thing on my blog to work.
Plus, if small blogs end up posting a review on Amazon, B&N, etc. that review has just as much weight as a review from one of the bigger blogs.
It does take a lot of work planning and coordinating a blog tour yourself. I'd advise to start well beforehand. Even then, I have a friend who started planning in September for a January tour. She asked me to review her book as well, and I agreed. She had everything planned weeks beforehand. But during the tour, about 5 blogs or more ended up not posting - and that was by the time I posted my review, halfway through the tour.
I also wanted to add that, like with most things in life, you can't expect the same if you sign up for a $1000 tour (yes, I've seen tours that charge that much) as when you sign up for a $50 tour.
I'm not the technical person to ask about this ... but have you tried Google Analytics? Here.
Originally Posted by KimJo
If you want to find whether a possible blog site is getting good traffic -- see here for some suggestions.
Getting back in the groove
Does anyone have blog tours that they absolutely love? If you could even PM the sites, that'd be awesome. It's hard starting out and being leery of everyone!
Having been part of a blog tour as a host, I have noticed that the way it tends to work is the company posts an advert somewhere asking for blogs willing to host a particular tour and you apply to them. I think the issue described here is likely to occur because:
- The sort of blogs that answer those adverts are the sort that are looking for more publicity themselves (I'm always interested in more traffic to my site and have done a number of guest posts for the quid pro quo that arises from it)
- The organisers may not have checked out the blog as thoroughly as they should. You get asked for a number of followers but that is often a strawman figure if you include number of twitter and facebook followers in that score...
What is wrong with start up blogs is generally that they get you no real exposure. It is a great to have a few in the mix, but to bother making the materials and providing the review copies, there should also be moderate and preferably high traffic blogs, and/or very influential niche blogs, in the mix.
IMHO a real blog tour company would find blogs that fit the target readership. Not just any blog willing to sign up for a free book. They would be selling their "in" with these blogs.
I haven't been part of any blog tours (I keep learning new things) but I do have a blog where authors can get reviews, book pages (the author supplies the info) and even author interviews. Anyone know how I can sign up to be part of blog tours?
I am just starting up. I put it up about a month ago but I'm already getting decent traffic (for a month old blog I mean).
I hadn't thought about guest posts, but I guess I could do that too. I'm always open to feedback.
Anyway, if you want a little bit of exposure (that I hope will get better overtime) and help out a startup review blog, check me out at http://first750.com
You can PM me here, I check in daily, or email to email@example.com
Note: There are no fees or anything with my blog and I don't need a copy of your book to post your book page or author interview. To do a book review, I would need an ecopy, but I really have a lot of reviews in the backlog, so you might want to do your book page first.