Building the Buzz: Day 18 Blog Tours

No marketing challenge would be complete without talking about blog tours. So let's do this.

Oh, the blog tour. A pain in the rear to organize and quickly becoming one of those must have marketing items that noone is sure about how effective it is. Know what I mean? But a blog tour doesn't have to be a hair-pulling shot in the dark.

Before we go much further, let's take a second to acknowledge that there are a ton of companies out there that will organize your tour for you. Some of them are wonderful, others will promise you the moon for a pretty penny and deliver a smooshed Moonpie. Get the picture? If you decide that going on your own isn't in the cards, do make sure you do your research. Talk to clients and not just the ones they feature on their site. Stick your nose into one of their active tours and see how it's going. Just make sure you go in with both eyes open.

Okay, moving on. When it comes to organizing your own blog tour you need to focus on the two Os: organization and originality. You need to get your act together well in advance of when you want the tour to run. This is not a plan it in a week sort of thing. You should know how many stops you want, when you want them to happen and exactly what you are asking of a host well before you approach anyone.

Make sure you keep a good log of who you've contacted and their response. You'll also want to make sure you have all the pertinent information everyone needs readily available and accessible. These are constants in a tour like a cover photo, blurb, author bio, head shot, purchase links, etc. Not only should these be compressed into a file you send to every host, you should make them available either on your website or via a document sharing site so your hosts never have to search for your information.

When it comes to the actual tour, originality is your friend. The standard tour of only the information listed above with the occasional review comment just doesn't cut it any more. You need to stand out and give your readers a reason to sit up and pay attention. The tour is only limited by your imagination and the amount of work you're willing to put in.

Here are my Top 10 tips for making your tour as unique as your book:
1. Create a scavenger hunt of sorts that encourages your readers to visit every stop on the tour. Make sure the content of each host is different.
2. Instead of the standard blurb, make each stop an interview with a different character from your book.
3. Feature all the locations in your book at each stop.
4. Incorporate your book's theme into the stops. For example, if your main character is a pastry chef. Include an amazing pastry recipe at every stop. Take it a step further and show a picture of you making it.
5. Run a blitz where every stop is on the same day and hits the internet like a literary tidal wave.
6. Share a favorite quote or scene from the book at each stop.
7. Share a different song from your writing playlist on each stop and how it influenced your writing.
8. Team up with a few other authors with release dates close to yours and run a team tour.
9. Tie your stops together with a Q&A reveal or a clever Choose Your Own Adventure like the one recently done by Eliza Tilton.
10. Include an awesome giveaway. Tune back in tomorrow for my best giveaway advice.

Today's task. Start planning your tour now. Brainstorm at least 10 things you can do on your tour that no one else can because of the uniqueness of your book.