A blog tour, also sometimes called a virtual book tour, is when a number of book blogs post a review of a title during a set period of time, for example a couple weeks or a month, usually right around when the book launches. As with a traditional book tour, the goal of a virtual one is to create “buzz” by reaching avid readers (i.e. potential customers) through multiple channels. If they suddenly see your book popping up everywhere, they are more likely to check it out – or so the thinking goes. Along with a book review, the blog may also feature an author spotlight, a Q&A, a guest post, a giveaway, an excerpt of the book, or a combination of any of those things, depending on what you’re willing to do.
If you’re raising your eyebrows right now wondering what book blogs are, they’re exactly what they sound like: blogs dedicated entirely (usually) to book reviews. I say “usually” because some also review additional products according to the taste of the blog’s owner.
There are plenty of companies that will coordinate a blog tour for a fee (a simple internet search will turn up many), but you can also set one up yourself if you have the time and the energy. All you need to do is reach out to book bloggers, ideally a few months before your book comes out, and politely ask them if they’d like to review your book. You can also offer to do a Q&A, a guest post, etc. (Click here to see my SheWrites post on how to find book bloggers.) Always offer to email a MOBI or PDF file, which doesn’t cost you anything. If a blogger will only accept print copies, be sure to request the book rate at the post office to keep your costs down.
It takes a lot of coordination and follow-up to set up a blog tour on your own, but you can do it!