You put together an impressive blog tour for your new release Givin' Up The Ghost. What steps did you take to get this done?
1. I researched the process and learned from others who had already been through the experience.
2. Pre-planned. I had my cover made four months in advance. If you’re having someone create your cover or format your ebook and print book, make sure you reserve their services, so they’re not booked up.
3. Started planning the tour early. Angela Brown and I put our tour plans together two months in advance. I’d recommend three months in advance.
4. Used social media for self-marketing. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, GoodReads. Since I partnered with another writer, we also set up social media for our partnership: Partners in ParanormYA.
5. I blogged about my self-publishing plans. When other writers found out I was self-publishing, most wanted to help, whether for cover reveal, hosting or advice on editing and formatting.
6. I posted a comment linky asking for volunteers, and also asked what kind of posts they’d like. FYI, most wanted short, quirky, fun, and character based posts.
7. Based on the above research, we generated interest by bringing our characters to life. We posted short character sketches, character dialogues and character interviews.
How did you find hosts for your blog tour? How did you approach them to ask for their help?
For the most part, we didn’t approach people directly. We posted a comment linky on each of our blogs (hers, mine and ours) asking for volunteers for our cover releases and tour hosts. The response was overwhelming. The blogging community is so generous and willing to help.
We did approach at least two high-traffic blogs separately, though. They tend to fill their guest spots pretty quickly, and you’ll want to reserve a spot at least two months ahead.
You are one half of Partners in ParanormYA. What were some of the benefits of working with a partner?
I lucked out in partnering with Angela Brown. Not only is she clever and creative, but absolutely reliable. Here are some of the benefits we shared:
1. Sharing in the excitement, stress and the occasional bouts of self doubt.
2. Sharing in the work. Double-booking our blog tour required ten fun, interesting and creative posts per week, in addition to our regular blog posting schedules. Once we started the actual tour, we published 25 posts per week between the two of us. That takes some real creative brainstorming!
3. Since Angela and I critiqued each other’s books - twice - we know each other’s books and characters well enough to write posts for all the characters. Our characters even interact with each other in our posts!
4. Laughing with, and at, ourselves and each other. Priceless.
Has your release been how you expected it to be? Any surprises?
There were no real surprises. I’ve done a lot of research and benefitted enormously from the experience of other writers.
What advice do you give to other authors promoting their new release?
Start early and do your research. Use social media to engender interest, but don’t risk alienating your friends and writing buddies by bombarding them with pleas to buy your book. I believe I read the recommended ratio is 80/20, i.e., 80% of your Facebook posts should be about something other than your book.
Thank you for visiting Gwen!