As you are reading this, I’m somewhere between Washington D.C. and Salt Lake City getting ready to kick off a 10 day trek through the American West. What’s on my holiday reading list you ask? Well, Difference Press author, Nicole Pouchet’s latest paranormal romance novel, Layla’s Gale, of course!
Meanwhile, 10 of my newest authors are promoting their new books. Novelist Nicole Pouchet is one of the most impressive book marketers I know. She put together an incredible Blog Tour for her book. You can follow her process and repeat it with your book or even with a program you want to promote. She had so much juicy information I asked her to share it with you all. Hope you enjoy this guest post from her about how she worked her special magic on the blogosphere!
How to Create a Blog Tour: It’s Not Magic! By Nicole Pouchet
The most important tip is to find a marketing strategy that you like to do and kick ass at it. That could be Facebook or Twitter or blogging or shouting from your pink Cadillac. As the owner of a marketing agency, I like playing the odds. The odds are in my favor that if I send out a high number of review requests, I’ll get a suitable number of reviews for each novel that I release. And, once I have that suitable number, I’ve got the magical, all-desirable blog tour.
But, I’ve moved too fast. Here’s how to set up your very own magical blog tour without a magic wand.
Step One: Identify the reviewers.
This is probably your most important step. You want to reach the people who will reach your audience. Googling will be your first instinct, but the search engines only get you so far. There are resources that handily put together hundreds of book reviewers into one guide. I’ve used The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages by Christine Pinheiro with success. It includes an index searchable by subject matter.
When determining which subject matters to choose, don’t just stick to the obvious. If you wrote a nonfiction book on GMOs, health bloggers are an obvious choice. But, parenting, medical, and farming bloggers are also going to be interested. Cast a wide net.
On average, any marketing campaign of this nature can expect about a 5-10% positive return. This means that if you want to net 20 reviews of your book, you need to have a list of at least 200 reviewers.
Create a spreadsheet with all the info on your reviewers. Don’t forget to note all review request guidelines. Even if they want to be called “Book Goddess” in the subject line, make sure to follow all posted directions.
Step Two: Write your query letter.
Yep. You’re back to the query letter. If you’re like most writers at the publishing stage, you’ve probably written at least one query letter for your book. Dust it off and edit to address a reviewer instead of an agent/publisher. Your query letter to a reviewer should include:
- A blurb for your book
- An easy way to access a digital ARC (advance review copy) of your book
- A link to your website
- Your release date
- Requested timing for the review
- A post script mentioning that you’d appreciate spotlights, interviews, or guest blog posts in lieu of reviews
Just as important, your email query should not include the following:
- Other reviews
- Bribes (Seriously, they can get in trouble.)
Step Three: Email the reviewers.
Once you’ve got your email query finalized, send them off. Yes, you can send out 200 requests in one day. Keep your emails cordial, yet non-specific. A personalized paragraph is a great inclusion for your top ten reviewers, but otherwise, keep it simple.
This allows you to send a mass quantity of emails. Be careful not to send one blanket email or to list all addresses in a cc field.
One key note: The best time to send your emails is three to four months in advance of your release date. If that time has come and gone, email anyway. Stress your offer to submit a guest blog for their websites.
Step Four: Remember to follow up!
Always thank the reviewer for their time and review. It’s common courtesy, and helps when it comes time to ask for your next review!
So, those are the quick and dirty steps to creating your own blog tour. You have to figure out what will sell your books, whether that’s a blog tour or hours of social media. In any case, if you’ve written the next Tipping Point or 50 Shades of Gray (hey, it sold!), the most important marketing tip anyone can give you is to make a plan that works for you!
About Nicole Pouchet
Still amazed to be an adult, Nicole Pouchet co-owns a marketing agency and writes paranormal romance novels. She has managed to center her life around raising her two small sons and being true to her family, and is happiest near the water. She lives in Leesburg, Virginia with her husband and two small sons.
Nicole’s paranormal romance series, Elemental Myths, began with Ceiba’s Grace, A Paranormal Romance Novella, published in December 2013. Book one of the series, Layla’s Gale, A Paranormal Romance, is available now. Publishers Weekly said Nicole Pouchet “provides an intriguing blend of the earthly and supernatural worlds with emotional telepathy, reincarnation, superhero-like powers, and explosive carnal energy.”
Nicole is giving away a free copy of Layla’s Gale. Enter the contest on Facebook.
Find the Elemental Myths series on Amazon!