Pondering the Pros and Cons of Blog Tours

KEEP-CALM-BLOG-ON[1]I have a confession to make. With seven published full-length books and two novellas, I’ve never taken part in a blog tour. I have nothing against them as they seem like a good way to promote one’s book. But with two part-time jobs, family responsibilities, and several writing projects on the go, I never felt I had the time or energy to prepare a dozen or more blogs.

I have written guest blogs before and answered interview questions, but I can do this only half a dozen times before I run out of steam. Honestly, I’m not even sure how to come up with ideas for twenty or more blogs. I have maybe two topics in the works and one completed blog, but that won’t be enough.

I follow over seventy blogs and a number of them host guest authors who are on blog tours, but very few focus on crime fiction. I read some of the guest blogs, but not all of them. It depends on whether I know the author and what the topic is, and how much time I have for reading blogs on any given day.

So, I could use your advice. Are blog tours a good way to spend your time and energy?

If your answer is yes, then do you have tips on how to find guest blogging opportunities that would especially interest mystery readers? I know there are services that arrange blog tours for authors, but again I know little about them or their price range. So, any input would be appreciated!

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired me to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for my my Casey Holland transit security novels. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at dpurdykong@gmail.com

27 thoughts on “Pondering the Pros and Cons of Blog Tours”

  1. Hi I don’t know about blog tours, but your sentence 7 published novels sent me to Amazon again.. I’ve just bought Fatal Encrytion.. the other book seems not available on kindle. I’m assuming the Evan Dunstan books are the novellas.. Thankyou for the enjoyable read! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you, Marian. Yes, Fatal Encryption is a stand-alone, which I wrote before the Casey Holland series, and is set in Port Moody, BC which is where I live. It also has more humour than the Holland series, and is still a book close to my heart. My Evan Dunstan mysteries are indeed the novellas released by a publisher who is no longer in business, so they’re currently out of print. Again, they’re short and more humorous, and I would love to re-release them with new covers and add a third book to the trilogy. I just have to someone find the time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi.
        I enjoyed this post.
        I personally don’t do blog tours mainly for the same reasons you give.
        I do however have a coupld suggestions and referrals for getting your books rereleased so please do get in touch with me if you’re interested.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never done a blog tour either but I’ve started to prepare pieces for an LGBTQ blog tour in the States. A friend gave me the info. The couple who manage it give lots of suggestions for topics and interviews and it looks well sorted. I have some cool ideas that I can’t wait to write. It will take me some time to get it all prepped but I plan to try it this year. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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  3. Debra, I don’t do blog tours either and wouldn’t have the time or energy! I love taking part in interviews visits on other’s blogs, writing the occasional guest post … that’s enjoyable and rewarding both for me and readers as well I feel. I wonder if huge blog tours aren’t a double-edged sword, in that there comes a saturation point and people might actually become slightly fed up with seeing the same book out there. It is different with smaller tours though. Have a good time whatever you decide but I’m with you on not paying for one though! No way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Annika. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t have tons of time and energy to work on blogs and other promo things. And I agree with you about over saturation–it can be a double-edged sword!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I did one blog tour, was underwhelmed by its effectiveness, and since then, have run my own. It seems to accomplish what I want but I’d love to hear from others who pay the professionals to do it. Maybe that works better?

    My complaint about the one I used was that it didn’t focus on my genre so I think your concern is valid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your input, Jacqui. I agree that finding mystery-focused blogs is probably a helpful way to go, or writing my own blogs but posting links on one of the many mystery-focused chat groups I belong to on Facebook. I’m not surprised that you were underwhelmed by the blog tour you participated in only because I’ve read this from authors on other blogs as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I find it difficult enough to write my blog posts for my own site and keep them interesting, let alone do the work required to fulfill a book-release blog tour. More power (and a little bit of envy) to those who can. I’m looking forward to reading your latest. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I did a blog tour for The Divorce Diet, and I’m still trying to figure out if it was worth it. The definitive answer is, I don’t know. I have no way to track the impact. I did hire someone to set it up, and the cost varies from reasonable to unreasonable. I was able to go with unreasonable and did on the theory that they’d do a better job. I doubt they did, frankly. Next time, I’d go with reasonable and see how it goes–or set it up myself if I could. I do follow a handful of book blogs, but I seldom see anything on them that grabs my interest enough that I buy the book. But that could easily just be me–they’re not writing about the books that draw me, for the most part. Which leaves me with the old problem: How the hell do you publicize a book? I wish I knew, and so do lots of other writers.

    The only thing that felt useful was that I had enough free copies from the publisher that I offered them to blog followers who’d publish a review somewhere. It gave me a good solid base of reviews on Goodreads, and some on assorted non-book blogs.

    Wishing you luck. I wish I could offer something more useful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi.

      Hiring someone to set one up can sure cost some money.

      I’ve found the best way is to find bloggers in the blogging community who are doing them and get in touch directly with them.

      The only way to track if they’re helpful is to watch your stats for the first couple of months after you’ve completed one.

      If they go up then you can safely say that it helped. If not then maybe not.

      Of course if you’re doing other forms of advertising as most are then it becomes harder to tell.

      Unfortunately unless you have someone helping you or if you know how to measure your analysis it’s really hard to know what’s working and what isn’t.

      I do have some clients who have seen significant improvement after hiring me and they say it was because of what I helped them do.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you, Ellen, that is useful information, and pretty much what I’ve heard from others. For me, it’s making enough time to set things up, which I’m on the fence about right now, but I’ll do what I can hopefully without wearing myself out.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The best way I’ve found to publicize is in person. Find venues and groups that echo your topic and give talks. If your books are murder mysteries or thrillers, then attend conventions that have to do with that. See if you can get invited to give a talk at your local VFW, Red Hat Society, or Women’s Club meetings. Go to libraries and offer to give a reading or a talk. Give away bookmarks, offer T-shirts or coffee mugs in a raffle to be held after the reading/talk. Word of mouth sells more than ads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the tips, and yes, I’ve done a number of those things in the past, except that I haven’t approached any club meetings. In person has especially worked for me at Christmas craft fairs. Thanks for dropping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Those are all very good suggestions. If a person can get to those places, or has the money to attend conventions, that is a wonderful idea. However, for those who have transportation issues, or financial issues, they are not such great ideas. It just goes to show, that everyone has different promotional needs.

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      2. Very true, Patty. The trick is to both experiment while implementing practical considerations, and finding strategies that best suit an author. What I’ve come to understand about promotion is that it should be customized for every author’s needs, budget, and strengths rather than a one-strategy-fits-all approach.

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      3. I agree with that. In my mind there is no way you can have one size fits all. We are also different. What we write, and how we disseminate our information. It’s kind of what inspired me to do the work I do. 🙂 Happy writing and promoting.

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