Hi friends! This post is going to be the first in a series of ‘how to’ posts. There are a lot of things I’ve had to research and learn for myself as I’ve started book blogging. It’s taken a lot of work and some trial and error, but I come a long way in my book blogging knowledge. I hope to share that knowledge in these posts to make book blogging a little easier for anyone who is trying to get into it.
I had no idea what book tours were or how to be apart of them when I first started blogging. I had to do a lot of research to figure out what book touring companies were out there, what a master list was, how to know when my blog was ready for it, etc. I hope this post will answer some questions any beginner book blogger may have about book blog tours.
What is a blog tour?
A blog tour is where a book is promoted across multiple blogs over a set period of time. Usually, tours last a week or two and might promote the new release of a book.
How can a join one?
Most blog tours are run through book blog touring companies. Usually, an author or a publisher pays a blog touring company to help bring together a group of book bloggers to promote their book. Most blog tour companies have sections titled ‘open tours’ or something to that effect that allow bloggers to sign up for the tour. (Note: Just because you sign up, doesn’t mean you’re automatically apart of the tour. The company usually selects a handful of the bloggers that sign up due to limited spots).
Some companies, however, have both ‘open tours’ and a master list for bloggers to sign up for.
What is a master list? Should I sign up?
I had no idea what a master list was when I started looking at book blog touring companies. At first, I wouldn’t sign up for them because I thought it meant I was going to have to host the tour and compile the bloggers and make all the graphics. But that’s not at all what it means!
The master list, also referred to as tour host list, is basically like signing up to be notified anytime there is a new blog tour available for sign-ups. Whenever they have a new tour, they send the basic info and sign-up sheet to everyone on their master list. It’s all done through email so make sure you check yours often!
Now, just because you’re on the master list, doesn’t mean you have to sign up for every tour sent your way! You might be sent 5 blog tour sign-ups in one week, but are only interested in 2. Just ignore the sign-ups for the ones you’re not interested in and sign-up for those you are! It’s that simple.
What book touring companies are out there?
I’ve compiled a list of a few companies who I’ve worked with or still work with. Some of these companies also encourage bloggers to post to their book-related Instagram accounts (bookstagram) so just be aware of that before signing up.
- Rockstar Book Tours | Twitter
- iRead Book Tours | Twitter
- Xpresso Book Tours | Twitter
- TLC Book Tours
- Colored Pages Tours | Twitter
- The Book Terminal | Twitter
- MTMC Tours | Instagram
- Social Butterfly PR (separate bookstagram sign-up)
- Rachel’s Random Resources | Twitter
- Hear Our Voices | Twitter
- TBR and Beyond Tours | Twitter | Instagram
- Caffeine Tours | Twitter
- Booktamins | Instagram
- Inkslinger PR
- Entangled Publishing (emails only)
How long should I have my book blog before signing up for tours?
I don’t think there is a set amount of time required, at least for most touring companies, before you can start joining book blog tours. But I think having a solid grip and foundation of your blog is important.
Putting together blog tour posts and keeping track of tours you’re participating in can take a lot of work. If you already have a solid template you use for most of your posts, then it will be easier to put these posts together. As well, if you already have a calendar, or consistent way to track everything that needs to be posted on your blog, you’re going to be in a better position. This didn’t happen for me until I had been blogging for a couple of months.
Some touring companies will ask how many followers you have and only give you tours based on that, but most don’t care too much about that. They just want you to follow their rules and promote the book.
In other words, there isn’t a set time you need to have had your blog, but make sure you’re established and have a little bit of a reach. Some say to wait 6 months, but I didn’t wait that long. Just do what’s best for you.
What else is there besides book tours?
Most book blog touring companies have more options than just blog tours to sign up for. Many offer blog tours, book blitzes, and cover reveals. So what’s the difference?
A blog tour usually has a specific schedule of bloggers that it follows. Usually bloggers will post reviews, author interviews, guest posts, and other book related creative content. The blogger is assigned a specific date that must be adhered to.
Book blitzes are a little different. Usually for a book blitz, every blogger that is signed up will post on the same day or within a week. The schedule is usually not as strict for bloggers to follow and many companies let any blogger who wants to participate do so. You don’t have to have a copy of the book or even have read the book.
Blitzes are all about promotion. They just want to get the name and info to reach as many people as possible.
Can I just get free books and review them?
Not exactly. You can get free books in the form of advanced reader copies (ARCs), but there is a little more work involved than just posting a review. As I mentioned above, when you sign up for a blog tour, you might be assigned only a review, or something completely different. It depends on what your blog touring company needs and assigns you. Most often you will be assigned to do a review post, but some companies like for you to include other content along with your review. Each company and tour is different so just pay attention to what you sign up for.
As well, each company has their own set of rules for what they want from each blogger. By this I mean many companies want your post to be up by a certain time each day, or they want you to keep the post the top one for the whole day, etc. Before signing up to work with a tour company, make sure you’ve read through their guidelines. I only signed up for the companies whose rules I knew I could follow. I looked at some companies who had some weird rules that I didn’t want to have to deal with so I didn’t sign up to work with them. Make sure you know what is required of you before signing up.
What should I include in my post?
Regulations for each post are different for different companies. Some of the most common things to include are: the content you’ve been assigned (i.e. review, creative post, interview, etc.), links to buy or preorder the book, author links, author bio, book cover, book synopsis.
For each tour, the company will remind you what you should include in your post. As well, they’ll provide all the graphics and usually all the links that you need. And if you ever have any doubts about what to include, just email the company! I’ve contacted companies multiple times with questions and they always kindly answer them. Don’t be shy! They’d much prefer to answer your questions than for you to publish a post that’s missing a bunch of information.
Whew. That was a lot to cover. I hope I explained everything plainly, but it’s very possible there are still a few things that don’t make sense.
Comment below any questions you may still have! I tried to answer as many questions as I could think of about book tours for beginner bloggers, but if you have other questions, feel free to ask them.