If you’re an independent author like me, you will know that the struggle is real.
The above doesn’t work; people (friends) don’t leave reviews for your book/service/product/restaurant because you asked them to. The best reviews are from those who connected with the book they just read. They were willing to part with brass (and time) to read your creation and they felt compelled to tell all their friends that they should read your book.
Book reviewers are as rare as rocking horse s*** though.
A while ago, a blogger told me about a Facebook group called ‘Book Connectors’. I learned about blog tours for books published by indie authors. My books were first shown in 2019 when Edna and Genevieve Escape From Curmudgeon Avenue was hosted by Random Things Tours three years later my latest novel My Half-Sister’s Half-Sister has just completed a blog tour (blogs, Instagram, Twitter).
In a world where advice for indie authors changes weekly, blog tours have consistently helped me to market my books.
There are some precious journalistic skills going on out there in the world of publishing. Blog tours are how to make the connection between your books and those in the know (speaking as an indie author).
We have come a long way since Dickens’s to and fro about Bleak House with George Henry Lewes, and you may be wondering ‘Why don’t I approach bloggers myself?’ You could, but aren’t you too close to your book? You just lived breathed and dreamt it for the past I don’t know how long – you will be tempted to think that everyone will want to read/review/market it. They won’t unfortunately, that’s why you need a blog tour organiser to match your book with the right blogger.
Reviews are not the only fruit.
Blog tours are not only about book reviews. Yes, some bloggers do go to the trouble of reviewing (thank you) and sometimes this is posted only on their own blog post. These words are worth their weight in gold because book bloggers are well practised in the art of critique and if you have permission (I think a sentence or two is covered under Copyright in the UK) then you can use these ‘soundbites’ as quotes in your blurbs and adverts, like this:
Blog tours also give authors exposure to new audiences. It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve been on Twitter, or that ‘#’ is my most used key on all my devices, I am not as good at social media as I’d like. Blog sites are like the mayor of social media, this filters down to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in the ‘chatter about new books’ world. If you’re an indie author, I would give some thought to paying for a blog tour. Traditional publishers use them and so could you.
I have had excerpts of my books printed in blog posts during blog tours. Put your ‘reader’ head on. How many times have you gone on to buy a book or at least add it to your reading list because you read an excerpt somewhere on the internet?
Graphics; again, bloggers are well equipped with the know-how when it comes to attractive looking blog posts. Is your book Instaworthy? Find out with a blog tour.
Cost and making your money back.
There is another issue here about goals; for the purpose of this post, let’s just say that regardless of making money – we would all like our books to be read. You shouldn’t expect automatic sales in return for the money you spend on blog tours. Like most of your advertising, consider them as an investment. I am not a blog tour organiser so it would be unfair of me to tell you how much I have spent. But let’s just say I am not a rich person; I lost my job in 2014 because of ill health, however, I could afford to pay for a blog tour. This is my way of saying it’s not expensive and for what the blog tour organiser does, I don’t think they charge enough. Emailing between blogger and author, and if content is involved then there are even more emails. I once had a blogger interview me for their blog post – so many emails!
Aside from all of the above, it was great to get my book read. Honestly, my last book, My Half-Sister’s Half-Sister gave me a huge emotional rollercoaster. I was excited about it for a long time before beginning writing it. The research involving witches blew my mind and revisiting memories of working as a psychiatric nurse brought emotional turmoil. The publication day was an unexplainable anti-climax. I submitted it to two review agencies but no one picked it up. I was starting to feel horrendously invisible and heartbroken; My Half-Sister’s Half-Sister felt like the best thing I’ve ever written.
I think you can understand now just how important this blog tour has been to me – I just hope the posts about it were read (I think they were).
Here are some highlights:
BEYOND THE BOOKS
This is a clever, humorous, and sometimes dark story. I personally thought it was a compelling read and hope Samantha Henthorn writes more books like this.
NICKI’S LIFE OF CRIME
As a reader, every so often, you encounter a book that you really enjoy reading but you can’t honestly say why and for me this was one of those books. It’s an extremely well written,cleverly and intelligently plotted blend of genre’s that kept me guessing and wanting to know how the author intended to conclude her heroine’s realistic and relatable journey. Mental health is a complex issue which is still a grey area for the experts in its many fields of study and the author has written about her subject matter with care,understanding and sensitivity.
I absolutely fell in LOVE with Pippa. She is one of the best literary characters that I have come across in a long time and I wish so much that she was a real person.
This book was incredible! It is sad, but humorous, a real piece of fiction, that is so believable.
I could not stop pressing next page on the kindle and found myself reading this in one sitting.
I cannot recommend this book enough and it is up there with one of my favourites!
Wow, this was so good! It started off really slow for me & just when I didn’t think we were going anywhere, everything went full speed & snowballed into something totally different to what I was expecting.
Very realistic & well researched, with some very flawed, but well executed characters. And so, so cleverly written.
A poignant and humorous story about family dynamics and secrecy, ‘My Half Sister’s Half Sister’ is a fascinating piece of twisty writing.
CHAPMAN’S CHAPTERS AND PAGES
Safe to say I did not see the plot of this book coming. This is a slow burner, richly interwoven family history and family eccentrics have you thinking it’s one thing. And then it becomes another. And the plot then becomes something that is written so empathetically and subtle that you find yourself completely dumbfounded at having not seen it coming. This is a brilliant contemporary look into how family history shapes us, and how mental health is a sneaky little thing that has us in its grip before we realise. Bravo to Samantha! What a book!
As AC/DC said, It’s a Long Way to the Top if You Wanna Rock n Roll. Book bloggers post for free because like you, they love reading. Blog tours improves your networking, some book bloggers are editors, newspaper columnists all are dedicated to the cause that all indie authors want ‘if you liked reading my book tell everyone you know. If you didn’t like it, tell no one!’
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. In 2019, I published Edna and Genevieve Escape From Curmudgeon Avenue. This is a romantic comedy I want to advertise on social media and will go back to the blog tour of three years ago to help me do this. This is what I meant by an investment.
Another roaring good read.’ Against The Flow Press ‘All in all, a lively, breathless and definitely unique story.’ Books Are Cool.com
Are blog tours worth it for indie authors? Yes, I think they are.
Happy reading, writing and blogging, Samantha 🙂