Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Putting together a blog tour


My novel 'Imogen's Chance' was released one week ago (April 1st). Since January, I have been very busy putting together a blog tour. Basically, a blog tour is comprised of several guest posts on various blogs, all within the same period of time. It is something I have seen other authors manage successfully. I've enjoyed participating in theirs but have never had one of my own before, so I decided that now was the time.

It has taken quite a bit of coordination. Some of the bloggers had only one date in April in which they could squeeze me in, so I had to take it. Others were able to let me choose my own preferred date, so that clashes were minimal. I managed to put together a tour which is more or less evenly spaced throughout the release month of April.

Parts which were challenging

1. Trying to answer all of the interview questions so that the posts were not repetitive
I wanted a blog tour in which every stop along the way is distinct from all the others. If I received questions from several bloggers which were similar to each other, I'd try to come up with different answers that nobody had read before. A couple of questions I can think of were along the lines of 'What are you working on next?' or 'Tell us something about yourself which may surprise people?' or, of course, 'What is Imogen's Chance all about?'

On the whole, I found the questions to be fairly varied. Some bloggers keep a stash of their own personal, standard questions which they send to every guest.

2. Getting all of the questions and guest posts finished in time.
I was overwhelmed that so many bloggers and fellow authors were willing to give me a plug. It was so heady that I'd accept every offer. It turned out this meant a lot of thinking and writing. The workload reminded me of schooldays, long ago, when I was always battling to get my homework submitted on time. Everything else, such as keeping up my regular blog and working on other writing, had to be put on hold. Getting ready for this blog tour turned out to be my life for several weeks. I still haven't finished all of them, although I'm getting close. It's been a bit crazy around my place.

3. Wondering whether I'm annoying old friends.
The necessary announcements on social media of each new post have been coming thick and fast so far. I'm trusting that the regular people who see my posts on Facebook or Twitter will understand that this is the nature of things for this month. Even though they may get tired of the sight of front cover, and Imogen's pretty face, by the time Easter has finished, they are still celebrating with me.

Parts which were great

1. Making new friends.
I'd never met some of these friendly bloggers before. I'm happy to have been introduced to several blogs which are brand new to me, and I've now got links to their blogs so that I can follow future posts. I'm anticipating news of several interesting books in the future. It's been lovely to see that each of the blogs I've been a guest on have their own unique character.

2. Having to dig into my heart of hearts for answers.
Some interview questions have been challenging, to say the least. Coming up with honest answers has helped me learn more about what makes me tick. Some of the insights were things I would never have necessarily tried to put into words.

3. Being able to meet new readers.
The theory behind a blog tour, of course, is for news of a new book to cover as much ground as possible. Each blog has its own loyal followers, maximising the number of potential readers who will learn about my new novel. It's been a pleasure to meet them, respond to their friendly messages, and even post giveaways to some of them. I love to think that just as I'm making new friends, others are learning about a new author whose books may fit well on their shelves.

It's been a rewarding experience, the challenging parts included, and I'd recommend putting a blog tour together to anybody else with a new release.

Paula Vince is an award-winning Christian novelist from South Australia. She writes contemporary dramas with elements of romance, mystery and suspense. She believes that nothing has the potential to make as much of an impact as a well-told story.
My blog tour for Imogen's Chance is well underway. If you'd like to have a look or join in, the link is here.


17 comments:

  1. I was one who had Paula as a guest for an interview and it was a lot of fun. This book deserves wide recognition.

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    1. Thanks, Dale.
      I enjoyed your questions. They allowed me to talk a bit about the story itself, which I appreciated. Thanks for having me as a guest.

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  2. I've also hosted a 'stop' on the tour, and appreciated Paula's considered answers to my questions!

    Imogen's Chance deals with real issues,some of which many Christian novelists are afraid to tackle. I pray God is able to speak to people through Paula's words.

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    1. Thanks, Iola.
      Yours was one of the first stops on the tour, and one of the first I prepared for. I really liked the way you got me thinking about my reasons for choosing to write Christian over secular fiction, and the main differences.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Paula.

    Yours is the second blog tour I've participated in. Narelle Atkins' was the first, earlier this year. I can only imagine how much time it takes to respond to interview questions and then comments on the blog itself, but you did a beautiful job interacting with readers on Ink Dots. Thank you. :)

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  4. Thanks, Dotti.
    Thanks for having me on your blog. It was a learning experience for sure. Yes, I could have also mentioned that responding to the questions needs to be factored into the tour too. We're thinking of going away camping for a few nights over the Easter holidays, and I'm consulting my blog tour schedule to figure out whether I'll be needing to respond to any comments on new blog posts.

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  5. I know some authors keep a speadsheet of all bloggers who have hosted them at any stage and ask if they are willing to help at other times.

    I am happy to help people doing blog tours (and participate)

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    1. Hi Jenny,
      A spreadsheet is a good idea. I'll probably be doing the same. I think I'll leave the blog post tour schedule up on my blog's toolbar for posterity too, at least for a little while.

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  6. Paula, great post! I'm looking forward to hosting your visit on Inspy Romance after Easter :)

    The best part about blog tours is meeting the blog hosts and readers. Blog tours take time and work to organise and co-ordinate, plus factoring in time to respond to the comments during the tour.

    I have a book promo spreadsheet, with a page for each book release. I highlight different items as I complete them, and my Falling for the Farmer page now looks like a rainbow, lol.

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    1. Hi Narelle,
      Thank you. I'm looking forward to that guest post for Inspy Romance being up on Easter Monday too. I can just imagine your rainbow-hued page :)

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  7. Great Post Paula. I was happy to have you on Jenny's Thread and appreciated the time and thought you put into your answers. A good friend reposted the interview on her FB page in glowing terms :) All the best for the rest of the tour and launch of Imogen's Chance.

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    1. Hi Jenny,
      Thanks for hosting me. I thoroughly enjoyed that too. And thanks for including all my links, including the blog tour link, on your blog. Much appreciated.

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  8. There are still a few things I don't grasp about a blog tour, Paula. Do you find new people by surfing the web's Christian bloggers? Or do you announce you're going to have one and then wait for folk to invite you onto their blogs? And are they happening day by day? Or sometimes all at once?

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  9. Hi Rita,
    What I did was post messages to some of the email groups of Christian writers many of us belong to. This includes the ACFW, particularly the Beyond the Borders group, and Omega Writers. I asked whether anybody would be willing to help me by either writing a review, hosting me for a guest blog post, or possibly both. I didn't need to do anything more than this, because several people replied and said they'd be willing to have me. I did send direct messages to two or three people, to make sure I covered all bases.
    Many are probably happening even now, as we speak. I don't think anybody could possibly be aware of all of them. The ones I've commented on in the past were tours I chanced upon, through social media announcements. I have a lot to learn about honing them for maximum benefit too.

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    1. Announcing on places like ACW is good too so you can hopefully get some reader bloggers who are not writers and often have a good following.
      If you have been a guest blogger on a blog keep the info of that blogger to ask them also cos often if you have guested as long as you have visited after guesting the blogger will normally be only to happy to have you again

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  10. Paula, congratulations on the launch of "Imogen's Chance". Wonderful how you've relayed your experience of your Blog Tour. I was surprised with how much time it consumed but was so rewarding. You'll find there will be readers that will stay with you for ever as a result of your tour.

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  11. Hi Ian,
    Yes. I'm sure that will make it most rewarding for sure. One month of hard work may result in reader friendships which will last for the long term.

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