Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pat Bertram on Author Blog Tours

Today I welcome author Pat Bertram to Mystery Fanfare. Pat has been conducting a Blog Tour for her latest mystery, and I asked her to tell me more about what constitutes a Blog Tour. Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado and a lifelong resident. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own. Daughter Am I is Bertram’s third novel to be published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC. Also available are More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire.

Pat Bertram on Blog Tours:

Virtual book tours have become prevalent very quickly. I've heard how great they are -- mostly from the major publishers who don't want to spend the money to send their authors on an unvirtual tour -- that I wonder how worthwhile blog tours really are. I know the most popular book blogs do help get the word out, but it’s hard to get a guest spot on those blogs unless you have a publicity department behind you. Some people who have done tours think the tour helped with sales, other says not. Me? I’m still in the middle of my tour, though it is winding down, and I have yet to see an increase in sales.

I’ve read that for most authors, the real benefit of doing a book signing in an offline store is the connection one makes with the bookseller, and perhaps the same holds true with a virtual book tour. I’ve made connections with other bloggers, introduced my books to people who would not otherwise have discovered them, and talked about my books with those who have read them.

Setting up a blog tour is easy, though time-consuming. You need to research blogs to find the best fit, and then you need to query the blogger. If you are invited to be a guest on the blog, you need to find out what is expected of you -- an article, an interview, a giveaway -- and you need make sure that every article you write, every response in an interview is different and appealing.

People will not follow your blog tour if you keep recycling the same article. Make sure you send your guest post, a bio, a photo of you, a photo of your cover days in advance. Then on the day the article is posted, you need to visit the blog several times and respond to comments.

One of the disconcerting aspects of my tour was how few bloggers did anything beyond posting the article. No mention on Facebook, no Twitter, no promotion of any kind. So, the main thing is, make sure you do what you can yourself to promote. Which means, for me, two blog articles a day, one for the host, and one for my blog to promote the host. Plus Facebook status updates, posting the link on my profile, and Twittering.

So far, the tour has been fun and challenging, and I’ve certainly done what I could to launch my latest release, Daughter Am I, but will I do it again? Probably. I have a hunch the benefits of a tour are long term, and the more one does to get their name out there, the better the chance of getting known.

Description of Daughter Am I: When twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents, grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born, she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead. Along the way she accumulates a crew of feisty octogenarians-former gangsters and friends of her grandfather. She meets and falls in love Tim Olson, whose grandfather shared a deadly secret with her great-grandfather. Now Mary and Tim need to stay one step ahead of the killer who is desperate to dig up that secret.

Love to hear comments from other mystery authors who are conducting Blog Tours.--Janet

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds good!