March 20, 2013

tour galore

Blogger's Note: I previously published a version of this post on a short-lived writing blog I shared with friends. It's a topic people have brought up with me in the past year, and with a little updating, this post basically shares my perspective. Enjoy.

One of my favorite roles as a blogger is hosting blog tour visits. Blog tours provide authors an opportunity to promote their material and gain feedback with reviews on participating blogs. It's great for authors. Either they manage the blog tour themselves, they pay a reasonable fee to have someone else do it, or they're lucky enough to have a publicist who tackles the whole thing.

But what's in it for the blogger? He or she is not being paid to run a guest post/interview/etc. or review the book (or they shouldn't be paid by the author/publisher, because that leads to bias). Why do it?

For me it's an easy answer: Blog tours are fun.

Not only do I have the chance to read the latest books from a variety of authors AND gain new voices on my blog, but I'm networking. I LOVE networking.

As a writer, you have to be a reader. In my case, I am fortunate enough to receive blog tour requests predominantly from authors who write books in the genres I most enjoy. This keeps me on my toes and shows me what else is happening in the field.

A majority of the books recently featured come from debut authors. To me, there is nothing as special as reading an author's first book. You see his or her potential and can later say you have followed him or her from the beginning. It has been more rewarding than I can say to watch several of these debut authors become established in their careers. It's truly amazing.

When it comes to having authors contribute guests posts or participate in interviews, I like to make them as informative as possible. This blog focuses on my writing journey and lessons I've learned in addition to sharing book reviews and author promos. Through blog tours, I hope to give readers multiple other accounts of how it is done.

Blog readers aren't the only ones who get educated, because I learn something every time an author joins in.

My favorite part: in some many cases, I stay in touch with the author through social media and email. These authors keep me motivated, and in turn I support them in continuing their career. I owe a couple of book ideas or story developments to authors I met through this. And, because they have been there and done it before, they know just what to say to push me toward my goals. 

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