Sunday, August 10, 2008

Writer 2.0 Notes: Blog Book Tours

I'm not going to commit myself to a new Category yet, but I will collect some notes here from time to time.

So Who am I?
People often ask me why I'm promoting blog book tours for free. Because I'm a kept woman and have nothing better to do? Wrong.

I'm a writer, and I'm fully aware that in today's publishing world, authors must offer up a promotion package with their manuscript submissions that puts the load of the selling squarely on their shoulders. In the traditional paradigm, that means they will likely travel. And I hate to travel.

Even worse, I hate the hotels, the airports, the food, not sleeping in my own bed, and that's just to name a few details I can get disgruntled about. I just flat-out don't like being away from home to work, and I don't like conferences either.

Fortunately for me, there is an oil crisis and travel will soon be curtailed for all of us. That means we all get to find better ways to promote. I knew early on that blogs and other virtual world vehicles would be my ride. So here I am, happily blazing my own new road.

This is a very intriguing idea.

Thing is, it'd be difficult to do well.

I read (not as much as I'd like to these days), but I don't do daily visits to "book" sites. And it's probably "book" sites someone would go to tour.

That's a mistake.

That's the sort of narrow-interest niche ghetto that most writers want to break out of, to engage the public at large who aren't necessarily looking at "book" sites every day (or once a week, or even ever!).

Even though I've never done a book site, I do write about writers and books from time to time. Yet I suspect this blog would be overlooked when planning any blog tour.

Fortunately, Barnes and Noble had someone with a keen sense for publicity and alerted me when M. Dylan Raskin would be appearing at one of their stores. The result was a blog entry.

Now how many other people have contacted me about books since then?


None of the writers I've posted about sought me out. I read and loved their work and want other people to read them too. But how many of their publishers have taken notice?


So, yes, a blog book tour makes a great deal of sense for generating interest (especially for eBooks -- which have to be gotten via the Internet) -- but it has to be done right.

I'll be very interested to see how this develops. Writers should pay attention.

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