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More Success for Your Book With Blog Tours

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Book-Blog-Tour.

Blog tours are a fantastic way to get more exposure and to promote your books – if your target blogs’ audience has avid readers in your genre.  Each blog tour will be completely different in both, style and reach and it offers unique and interesting content.
While you can hire professionals to help set up your book blog tour, you can also do it alone.  But it will take time, planning, research, and a lot of patience, and it is only advisable only if you have connections to many book bloggers!

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Many book promotion sites require at least a handful of reviews for your book, blog tours usually don’t, which means they are ideal for new authors.  Blog tour organizers require a fee, but it’s worth it as you will usually get your book in front of targeted readers for your genre.  More benefits for you, especially increased online book visibility, more Twitter and Google+ followers, Facebook “likes”, more followers on your own website or blog, more book reviews, and eventually in the future more book sales.
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Carefully Choose the Blog Tour Organizer
You may already follow the most influential bloggers in your genre.  If not, research those focused on your genre with professionally presented websites/blogs, recent blog tours, blog posts, and an active social media presence.  Check how well these book bloggers promote participating authors.  Find out where fellow authors in your genre have participated in blog tours.  Ask your writer buddies and your writing communities for recommendations or readers for book bloggers they follow.  Study not only the blog tour web site, but also each of their social media presence and find out how popular the blog really is: use Alexa.com to learn about their ranking worldwide and national.   Carefully read submission guidelines and follow them.

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What You Can Expect
Blog tour packages can include a variety of content types ranging from guest posts, author interviews to contests, spotlights, book excerpts, or a high-traffic email newsletter to readers.  The tour organizer will pair you with blogs they know would work best for your books.
It’s always a bonus when the book blogger and participating blogs review your book as well.  Offer free book review copies, and maybe a couple more as prizes during the blog tour.  Book bloggers often place reviews on both, Amazon and Goodreads, and certainly on their own website or blog.  Popular prizes during a blog tour are also gift cards from online retailers, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Traditional book blogs, can also be excellent places to contact regarding their participation – if they post articles, relating to the content of your title. For example, if you wrote a thriller that takes place in New York City, find blogs that are related to travel and tourism, ethnic restaurants, gun shops, fashion boutiques, aviation… and so forth.  If you write non-fiction, you will even find more blogs to pitch to.
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What You Should Offer
During your blog tour you exclusively “stop by” at one blog per day and you want to prepare and offer unique content to each blogger (kind of guest blog about your book and yourself as a writer).  Offer different content on each blog a week in advance of the publication date.  You may have fans following you to each blog tour location and you need to share something different at each stop.
Plan your tour at least eight to ten weeks! ahead of the actual tour dates, which should ideally be soon after the launch of your book so readers can easily buy it after hearing about it on the tour.  Avoid any time short before or during holidays.  Each book blog tour length is different, ranging from one to four weeks.

Offer each blogger exclusive content, that their readers will not find anywhere else.  Send them unique interview and blog ideas, based on their audience.  Research their tours in the past – and which authors/books have been the most popular.  Ideas for book blog content include author interviews, Questions & Answers, observations, backstories, personal observations, character interviews, related recipes, and book excerpts tailored to the book blogger’s demographics, maybe advice, expert opinion or how-to’s for non-fiction.

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How to Contact Book Bloggers
After reading carefully their submission policy, write them a friendly email, commenting on their blog, or a favorite author in common.  Describe your book title, the genre, a brief summary, a short bio, your social media presences, and links to your sales pages and Goodreads page as well as your own website or blog.  Describe your ideas for blogs and how you will promote the blog tour, including any freebies.  Offer a free review copy of your book and don’t forget your contact information besides your idea how long you would like the tour to last.

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Create Valuable Original Content
Each stop on your blog tour is a great opportunity to win new readers and reviewers.  Each of your articles can be later used on your own site, so, preparing the content for your blog tour is not an additional work.  Edit each of your posts for perfect content.  Include photos of your book cover and an author photo for use on their site.  Every part of your blog tour should be promoted through your newsletter, blog, website, social media – including the free event announcements on Google+ and Goodreads.
Write a separate event invitation for every day where you appear on a book blog site.  Don’t forget to do the same on LinkedIn, where each of your followers will receive an email notification.  Include also the blogger’s social media and blog links in your promotion.  After the event, respond friendly and quickly to encourage additional interaction.

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Part of the Success is up to YOU
As better you plan your the timing and the right content mix and as more you promote the blog tour – as better the book promotion works.  Give readers and bloggers value!  Don’t forget to thank the blogger personally and publicly.  You will likely be contacting them again for your next book. Once you have a relationship started with bloggers, continue with commenting on their other posts, retweeting or sharing Google+ posts, etc.

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Examples of High Rated Blog Tour Offers:

Suspense, Romance, YA, Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Science Fiction
http://xpressobooktours.com/services/

Mainly Romance and Fantasy
http://www.enchantedbookpromotions.com/

Romance, Fantasy, Suspense, Paranormal, Historical
http://www.goddessfish.com/services/virtual-book-tours/

Young Adult FREE Blog Tours
http://www.rockstarbooktours.com/p/what-we-do.html

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Find more Book Blog Tours in author Greg Stranberg’s article for The Book Designer.
He even wrote a very detailed, helpful book about this topic, where he describes in detail 50 ebook blog tours.
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Including blog tours into your book marketing mix, is great for boosting your book’s visibility as well as for getting reviews, and to introduce your writing to new audiences.  For even more success, it is important to promote the blog tour before and after the date.
Blog tours are all about exposure, to become introduced to new readers, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see an immediate spike in sales.  It all takes time until you have a solid platform, and blog tours are a great tool to achieve this.

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Blogger versus WordPress Blogs – Pro and Con’s

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Blogging

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Many traditional websites only have 5-6 pages, so the maximum number of times they will ever get indexed by search engines is 5 or 6 times, if they are static pages and not constantly updated.
However,
when you create a blog, every single post you publish has its own URL. Suddenly you can go from 5-6 pages to 20, 50, 100 or over 1,000 at http://SavvyBookWriters.wordpress.com.

If you would like to use a free blog, you have the choice of WordPress or Blogger. Both of them are great blogging systems, but you might be wondering which one to choose. Both WordPress.com and Blogger are great free sites, but which is the right one for you?

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BLOGGER (Blogspot.com)
Blogger is a Google service, and just like YouTube, requires a Google account. It is very easy to use and maintain. With Blogger you get only Google+, Tweet and Like buttons on each post. There is luckily one workaround through the use of the excellent IFTTT web service. Embedding a video from YouTube is free. A domain name with blogger account is always like “yourblogname.blogspot.com” by default (depending upon your country ‘.com’ will be changed). Blogger let’s you choose your own domain name for $10 per year and to connect your blogger account with your personalized domain name.
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Blogger is the platform to choose if you are looking for a free product that might allow you to make a bit of money. WordPress is there for those who are in love with its huge variety of themes and the user-friendly approach. You can choose to enable Google AdSense on your blog which will show targeted adverts based on your content. You need to get some content up first, before choosing the option from the earnings menu entry. Blogger sites are hosted on Google’s servers so you’ll rarely experience down times and your site should run smoothly most of the time. Unless your Google account password is stolen, it’s virtually hacker-proof. At the bottom of every post Blogger embeds a row of social networking icons, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Gmail and other Blogger blogs. Google’s AdSense Integration is easy with blogger because both are owned by the same company. Those who want to start blogging to earn some money they can opt for blogger as it gives you by default the option of AdSense to start with. Or you can choose Amazon affiliate for example, program blogger itself allows to generate affiliate revenue.

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WORDPRESS.com
WordPress is greatly customizable, earning much of its good name for the huge number of themes and plugins available in the standalone open-source release. It allows you to connect to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Pinterest and Reddit for automatic sharing.

On their Stats site you can see how many visitors and views your blog received,

  • from which country they came,
  • your top posts and pages,
  • who or what referred to your blog’s site.
  • You will receive information how many total followers
  • how many shares your site receives,
  • what are the most popular tags (keywords)
  • who commented the most on your WordPress blog

WordPress offers only 3 GB of space and if your blog is the success that you hope it will be, 3 GB will eventually fill up – after 3000 blogs maybe, depending on how large your images are.
However, there is another solution available that gives you the possibility to have your own custom URL, but with all the benefits and statistics of a WordPress.com website: “Upgrade” for ca. $25 and buy your own URL (without the WordPress in it), sign up with a hosting company for approx. $6 / month. This way you get all the useful statistics and features from WordPress without having to use their name in your URL. Your blog will appear more professional to visitors!

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WORDPRESS.org
Don’t be confused with WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
WordPress.org is absolutely free. All you need is hosting plan from a hosting company and a domain name that you purchase. And also a knowledgeable person to customize your site for your needs… WordPress.org is made for those who like to have total control over their websites. It is open source and therefor offers you fully customization. Both are owned by same owner but WordPress.com is something like blogger – it offers you free hosting and a free domain name that contains “wordpress” in it: yourwebsitename.wordpress.com. While using WordPress.org you are the sole owner of the website, and you can choose if you use a free or paid theme (design) for you blog.

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But why is blogging important for writers? Blogging is telling a story, blogging is sharing your opinion, blogging is reporting news and more. But at the core, blogging is writing! It’s an internet stage upon which you hope readers will drop in to see what you have to say – and get an impression of your writing skills.
Where are you blogging: On WordPress or Blogger – and why?
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More sources:

http://www.epreneur.tv/blogger-v-wordpress-the-best-blog-platform/

http://learn.wordpress.com/
http://www.techlila.com/articles/how-to-create-free-website-free-blog/
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/blogger-vs-wordpress-comparision/
http://www.epreneur.tv/blogger-v-wordpress-the-best-blog-platform/
http://www.inkthemes.com/blogger-or-wordpress-which-is-better/02/

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Tagged: Affiliate programs, blogger, Blogspot.com, Wordpress Statistics, Wordpress.com, Wordpress.org


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