I was reading author Maureen Johnson's blog post on Book Blog Tours yesterday and why she doesn't do them. Here it is: Blog Tours, and the Word NO. And she makes a lot of sense. Blog tours are part of the standard marketing plan for books these days and they take a heck of a lot of time between answering 30 or so interviews, sending books out for review, writing witty guest posts, and then advertising the places that you're touring. With my first book I kept track of how long it took me to fill out the interview questions I had been sent: 30 hours. 30 HOURS. That's kind of crazy right? And did they do any good? Hmm. I don't know. I would like to think with my first book that they did do some good because no one had heard of me before so at least there was some mention of me and my book on various Web sites. But three books in now and I'm not so sure the interviews are effective. How many times can people hear about my writing process or how I get my book ideas? These kind of questions are shiny and new at school or book club visits because they aren't the ones reading the blogs. But the people who are faithful blog readers have probably seen my interviews a few times and don't really need to see them again.
I do think that cover reveals and hey, here's my new book and here's info about it is a good thing to do to get the word out when you first release. But if authors keep pushing and pushing talking about their books I do tend to tune them out (or hide them on facebook or unfollow on Twitter) because it gets really really old. No one wants to constantly hear about your book. Like what Maureen had pointed out about Jennifer Laughran's tweet:
"And someone just said something I enjoyed a lot:
YA marketing panel: “do blog tours & cover reveals!” My question: since EVERYONE does those, how is it not just noise? #bea12 "
It IS starting to seem like noise right? Sometimes twitter feels like one big advertisement. Each person saying check out my review, download my book, see my new cover. And I know no author can entirely get away from doing these things because it's part of the job to market yourself. But it gets to be too much sometimes.
There are also the book blog tours that are set up by blogging groups where they make a list of bloggers who will read your book and review it. You (or your marketing people) send a copy of your book to the first blogger and they pass it to the next one within a week. These can be really great because then you're getting a lot of thoughtful reviews out there. Which is probably the best way to market your book. It's hard to get people passionate enough to go review a book on goodreads or Amazon. Usually it's because they really really hate it or they love it so much they are dying to share. There's a lot of in between there. :-) Not that these type of book blogger tours don't occasionally fail too. I've had some tours where 20 bloggers read and reviewed a book and then I've had some where they only passed the book to maybe five bloggers and only two posted a review. So it can be hit or miss.
What do you guys think? Are you a fan of the book blog tours? Or do you get tired of all the "noise"?
Kristina, Miss Author in Action