Friday, February 24, 2012

Coordinating a Blog Tour

Part of writing a book is marketing it when it is published. In the past, it was all about magazine ads and book tours. Today with the internet, there are many different avenues for talking up your book, and most of them are free!

Among these is a tour of writing-related blogs. This consists of contributing an article or answering interview questions on others' blogs, having other guests comment, following these conversations, and perhaps giving away a copy of the book as a thank-you for participating.

While this is great marketing for your book, it is also very time-consuming. Not only do you have to contact the owners of all the blogs, you have to write all the content, visit the blog and reply to comments, then follow up with the winner of your contest. You have to be organized to keep track of all these dates.

The first thing you should do is create these documents for collecting the information.

1. A spread sheet with all the blogs you want to visit. Include the name and email address of the primary contact person or owner of the blog. Add columns for progress (dates contacted, confirmed), notes (content each blog requires) and the post date.
2. A calendar for the dates encompassing your tour.
3. A spread sheet to record the dates you need to complete each of the tasks associated with the blog.
The first step is emailing blog owners. Always send your emails with a delivery and read receipt so you know they received/read it. Every time you contact a blog owner, record the date in your log. Move these emails to a folder in your Inbox for easy tracking. Follow up if you don't hear from them within two weeks. As you confirm live dates, enter those dates in the Posting Date column. Enter the guidelines in the Notes column. Also enter the name of the blog in your calendar on the day you are posting for that blog.

The spread sheet for your tasks should include columns for the blog name, content confirmation with blog owner, draft composition, material submission, posting, thank you, winner notification, and sending out the prize.

Each of these columns will have a date. Starting with the live date, calculate backwards the submission date (usually one week before the live date), draft date (the number of days you need to complete the submission), and confirmation date (usually about two weeks before the live date.) Going forward, calculate the thank-you date (the day after live date), winner notification date (the day after the live date) and the date you will send out the prize (2-3 days after the winner was notified.)

Sorting this sheet by draft or submission date will give you a visual of what needs to be done first. Once you are in the midst of the tour, you will be doing several of these tasks on the same day for different blogs. For example, you may be composing the draft for your next blog the same day you are thanking your previous host. Changing the color of these dates as you complete them will help you keep track of what needs to be done.

If you are under contract and writing your next book, finding the time to do all this is difficult. At Prima By Design, we can help you coordinate your tour. We can find blogs for you to visit, or work from your current list. We contact the owners, confirm the dates, ask for guidelines, then put it all in a spread sheet for you. We can also send out the prizes to the winners.

We give you back what you need most--the time to write! Contact us at for more information.

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