Take the Party Online with a Well-Planned Blog Tour!
Now is the time to start planning your online blog tour if you’re going to do one. The first order of business is to find bloggers. If you don’t have a list built you can start with one or both of these directories. There will be a lot to weed through so the best way to do this sifting is to check out each blogger’s submission guidelines. They may have a lag-time between when you submit a book and when they can get back to you. But don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to get a review. Even if it doesn’t fall into the holiday window, a review is still a good thing, no matter when it comes in!
Here are the two directories I recommend:
Once you identify the bloggers you’ll pitch, here are some quick pitching tips to help you out!
Tips for Pitching via Email
Email is fast, quick and easy to pitch bloggers but there is a right and wrong way to do this. A bad pitch or a rambling email can send your email into the delete bin so here are some quick tips to get your pitch the attention it deserves:
- Always attach the image of the front cover or, even better include a link to Amazon or Goodreads. That way the bloggers can see information such as pub date, book cover, and any reviews garnered.
- Be straightforward when crafting a subject, or you’ll risk sounding like spam. Remember subject lines are super important and often the reason that reviewers either read or dismiss your pitch.
- Consider a tagline when crafting your email! Since so many of us read on our mobile devices, using a tagline before you get to the actual pitch might entice them to open the email!
- Always let them know you’re happy to mail them a book or gift one via Amazon.
- And finally, always, always address the blogger by their first name. If you don’t have it then spend the time finding it. Sending a pitch that’s not personalized or just addressed to “Dear Blogger” won’t get you anywhere!
Tips for Pitching Fiction
- Always include an intriguing opening paragraph. Don’t just say “I have a book.” Create an effective hook. What’s the heart of your story? What’s the one element of your book that makes someone want to read it? That’s your hook.
- When describing your story, hit the main points that make your book unique but keep it short. I find that fiction folks often want to write long tomes in email describing their book.
- Leave a cliffhanger. Make them want to read it, to find out what happens next!
Give ‘em Swag!
Since it’s the holiday season, there’s no better time to offer a nice swag package for bloggers willing to review and maybe have you guest blog or just highlight your book for the day. And if the idea of swag makes your head spin with worries you’ll have to dig too far into your budget, take heart – you certainly can spend a lot of money but when it comes to swag more is not always better, sometimes it’s just more. Consider a gift basket with your book, maybe a $25 Amazon gift card, book trading cards and maybe (as a grand prize) actual book edits. I know you may be frowning right now wondering, “Book edits?” but fans love this stuff. We had an author who did actual manuscript pages with hand-edits and gave out a chapter at a time as swag, readers loved it. Another author gave away “coffee with the author” and while she didn’t plan to actually meet the fan, she gave out a $10 Starbucks gift card and did a 20 min video Skype chat with the fan. Readers *love* meeting their fav authors so get creative with this. The thing is that as we get into the ‘season of giving’ bloggers will love to have some prizes they can gift as well, it makes their site more interesting so you’re helping them out too, which makes you a stronger candidate that the other person just asking for the blogger’s help – so consider what you may want to do and include it in your pitch!
Read part 3: Book Events & Holiday Gift Guides
Read part 2: Get More Reviews
Read part 1: eBook Promo Scheduling