Thursday, July 10, 2008

Blog Tours

It’s Thursday and I’m still looking for input on what makes a great blog tour host (those people who have blogs and host author visits).

I hope I’m a good host, but, heck, who knows. No one’s spit on me yet.

Here are some of the things I do as a host:

1. If I have the book, I’ll read it ahead of time.
Sometimes the authors will send me the book – bless them.

2. I let the author decide whether he wants to do a post that he writes or a Q&A.
I do ask her to write about writing, since that’s what my blog is about and if it’s a Q&A, I try to ask questions about their books or their writing process or something related to the writing.

3. I ask the author to send me jpgs of herself and of her book covers.
I cut these down to the size needed for posting on the blog.

4. I ask the author to send me links and a bio.
I can embed the links in the post so people stopping by can get to the author’s site/blog/publisher’s page easily. And I use the bio to write intros and closings.

5. I don’t ask, but I do suggest, that the author do a giveaway, like a book or a t-shirt.
This draws in readers and makes the stop more fun for them. It’s also a plus for the author, since he can gather email addresses from those who enter the drawing.

6. Once the author sends me her post or the answers to my questions, I create four posts.

a. I do two posts that will go up the week before the actual visit (one for my newsletter, Doing It Write, and one for this blog). Each one is different; each one has its own intro and close. These are “promo” pieces to let readers know the author is coming to visit.

b. Then I do two more posts. One, a snippet from the actual post, for the newsletter that runs on the same day as the final post. And then the final, full, post on the blog which also includes the drawing and pictures. Each one of those has its own intro and wrap.

c. All four of these posts are put up on a website page for the author to review before publication.

7. The night before or the day of the visit, I drop a note announcing the visit to friends, family, listservs I belong to, anyone I can think of.

8. On the day of the visit, I post it on Straight From Hel.
Then I monitor the site during the day in case there are comments. Hopefully, the author is also monitoring and answering questions. I try to answer questions and respond to comments, as well.

9. The day after the post, if the author has asked, I send him/her stats for the day of their visit.

That’s what I do as a host. Here’s what I’m thinking of adding to my list:

10. If I can figure out how to add a clickable way for readers to go buy the author’s book, I would add that to the final post.

11. If I can find the time – and time is always in short supply – I would go do brief reviews of the author’s book on Amazon, GoodReads, and other places. I admit I feel compelled to do this more for the authors who send me their book, but there’s no guarantee on what I would say.

Okay, all you authors out there who do blog tours and blogger who host authors, what am I missing? I’m still compiling information for the survey I talked about on Monday.


  1. The post must be up by 8AM at least. (Learned this one the hard way.)

    The host must be available for questions any commenters might have. So should the author.

    The end of the blog should have a link to the entire blog book tour. In fact, all the sites mentioned in a post should have a live link. This also makes the stop more viral.

    I find it's easier to read an interview if the questions are in a different color or font than the replies. Old eyes, I guess.

    What else? I'm thinking, I'm thinking.....;)


  2. This is a topic of great interest to me, since as a blogger I host about one blog tour a month, and my first book will be published in September, and my co-authors and I are putting together a polished blog book tour, aiming for 100 blogger hosts.
    I will read all your followup posts with interest. One thing I manage to do when I host a blog tour is I post reviews on the 3 big online stores (Amazon, and I enjoy sending a free copy or two provided by the publisher or author to blog commenters.
    Oh, for my book we have a blog that began this week at where we have new posts each day through January, on Christmas ideas.

  3. Ooh, I like the idea of having the question a different color or font than the answer. I'd been thinking of having the answers in block quotes to set them apart. Hmm.

    Thanks Dani.

  4. Hi Terra. Congratulations on your first book and your tour. Wow, a hundred blogs! Go girl! For your tour, are you doing posts or Q&As or a mix?

    I like that idea of posting reviews for your authors. Do you try to get them up before the tour comes to your blog?

    I really am in awe of you setting out to do a hundred stops on your tour. And this ought to be interesting for you, to see "blog touring" from the other side. Keep us up on your insights!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Hi Helen,
    You asked about our upcoming blog tour, and we are offering the bloggers an interview with us, as an easy cut and paste document.

    We will check in and answer questions at each blog. I have 5 co-authors so this is possible to do. When one author writes a book, she/he has a more daunting task. I hope to experience that too!
    You asked when I post reviews at the online stores, and usually I post about a week after the tour.

    We six have a joint interview at if folks are interested, on how we are marketing our book.

  7. Thanks Terra. I hope one of your stops on your blog tour you talk about the whole process of getting 5 authors to work together on this book! That should be interesting.

    I couldn't get the link you provided to work, but I think I found the post you were referring to. Anyone else who has trouble, try this link:

    Or try this TinyURL:


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