Blog Tours 102: Working with a Blog Tour Organizer

On last week’s Social Media Monday post, I wrote about my experience with setting up my own tour  in Blog Tours 101: Setting up your own virtual book tour. This week, I’m sharing my experience and tips for working with a blog tour organizer.

Blog Tours 101- (2)

Finding an organizer

Finances are very much a consideration for me when it comes to promotion, so when I decided to hire a tour organizer for the release of my second Grigori Legacy book (and later for the third), cost factored heavily in my Internet research of various companies and the plans they offered. Fortunately, there are tour organizers out there to suit just about every possible budget…though you do need to bear in mind the “you get what you pay for” caution. For my second tour, I went with Parajunkee’s PJ Blog Tours, and for my third, with Rockstar Book Tours. In both cases, the tour organizers specialized in the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genres, were well connected in the book blogging world, and did a fabulous job for me.

What I was looking for

Having learned my lesson from my first tour with regard to schedule intensity, I asked my organizers in both instances to plan for six weeks, beginning one week before my launch and averaging three stops per week. This left a little wiggle-room for adding in last-minute hosts and/or switching dates if a conflict arose. I requested a return to some of the blogs that had hosted my first tour, along with a few new ones in a bid to reach new readers. As with my previous tour, I was looking for blogs that reviewed books in my genre (urban fantasy) with a minimum of 200 followers on a blog.

Staying organized

This was where hiring someone to do the legwork really paid off, because I didn’t have to do a thing. No emails or follow-ups with hosts, no spreadsheets, no tracking of any kind. Both Parajunkee and Rockstar took care of it all, creating and maintaining spreadsheets and keeping my publicist at Penguin apprised of the details. They chased down hosts and handled all the scheduling, and then let me know who wanted what from me (i.e. guest post vs. interview, etc.). Both organizers also took care of forwarding the finished posts to the blog hosts, so that they could keep track of what was still outstanding.

What I wish I’d done differently

While it was nice having someone setting up the tours for me, I must admit I had a hard time with letting go of the detail-keeping (it turns out I really am a control freak about some things *sigh*). This was particularly true with the second tour, organized by Parajunkee, where I wished I had pre-arranged a weekly update so that I could see how things were progressing. This would also have allowed me to get many of the posts/interviews done ahead of time so that I wasn’t having to write them after the tour was up and running. I made sure I requested this update when I set up the third tour through Rockstar, and it made a significant difference to my stress levels. 

I also needed to have communicated more clearly on the second tour about reviews at the host blogs. While my Penguin publicist and I intended for each blog host to receive a review copy of Sins of the Son, Parajunkee understood that a review was one of the options (in lieu of an interview or guest post). That mistake on my part meant losing out on several opportunities to have the book reviewed, and also several opportunities to interact with readers at blogs that chose to review instead of having me as a guest. 

What I may do differently

While I thoroughly enjoyed having someone else manage the time-consuming tasks of contacting and scheduling blog hosts, I also really missed that personal interaction with the hosts…that sense of human connection that can already be somewhat lacking in the virtual world. Now that I’ve had the experience of setting up my own tour once, I wonder if it might not be easier a second time around. I also wonder if I might not have rocks in my head for even considering taking on such a large project again. (The jury is still out on that one. 😉 )

Bottom line

Whether or not you should hire a tour organizer depends on a lot of different factors…and on personal choice. If you’re a hands-on kind of person, you might be better off managing your own details…or at the very least ensuring that you work with an organizer who understands — and is willing to work with — your need to be kept in the loop. If spreadsheets and scheduling aren’t your thing, however, a tour organizer can be a gift from heaven.

Time vs. organizational ability vs. money: only you, your wallet, and your agenda can determine what will work best for you.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below and I’ll get back to you! 🙂

Check out my other tips on Social Media Marketing for Authors!

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Comments

2 responses to “Blog Tours 102: Working with a Blog Tour Organizer”

  1. Ally Brielle Avatar
    Ally Brielle

    Thank you for this Linda! You are such a great mentor and are so generous with sharing your expertise and resources. It is so appreciated! 🙂

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      You are so very welcome, Ally! I’m glad you’re finding the information useful! 🙂

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