The awesome news? Passion Creek, book three in the Layton series, is coming out Aug. 31.
The not-so-awesome news? I only have two months to develop a marketing plan and get reviews lined up.
It’s the promo dilemma. Sure, my publisher markets the books (thank you Evernight Publishing, thank you), but that doesn’t let me off the hook. This means I’m on the hunt for a virtual book tour company. I’ve worked with several companies in the past and each were great but not that star-crossed lovers type of perfect fit. Come on, I’m a romance novelist, of course I shoot for that. 🙂
I started sending out feelers the other day, looking for recommendations and I received and interesting reply: Why not just do it yourself?
The short answer is a lack of time. I’ve organized book tours before. It’s frickin’ exhausting. It also steals me away from writing, from the old day job (don’t tell the boss) and my family – not necessarily listed in order of importance.
When I hire a virtual book tour company, I have a partner that does all the legwork. All I have to do is write a few guest posts and do a few interviews. Heaven!
That said, I’ll still be lining up guest blogs, interviews and reviews myself. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some amazing authors and book bloggers who are very generous in letting me plunk myself down at their blog and chat with their readers. I cannot express how amazing these folks are.
So, anyone have any virtual book tour company recommendations?
27 thoughts on “The Promo Dilemma”
Congrats on the release date for Passion Creek. I can’t wait to read this installment of the Layton series.
Your topic is of great interest to me, and I hope you get tons of comments!
Do prizes work? Do book trailers? If anyone has a recommendation, I’d love to see it too!
Oh we did a great Ask a Mermaid on promotions that work: http://waterworldmermaids.com/2012/05/ask-a-mermaid-book-promotion-hints-tips-and-never-dos/
Check it out Jerrie!
Interesting post!! Helpful too. Thanks.
I wish I did know some virtual book tour folks!
I now know EXACTLY how hard it is to schedule your own book tour. I’m not sure I’ll ever want to do that again. Then again, I’m not sure I’ll have a choice. xo
Ugh and you arranged your own city-to-city book tour. The idea of it just makes my stomach hurt.
I don’t really have anything to contribute on the promo front but that is a sexy hot cover, Avery-Mermaid! Can’t wait to read it!
Oh Avery, my heart goes out to you! My publishers have lined up bloggers for my two books but I try to keep in touch with a lot of them regardless. Their generosity blows me away! The only blog tour company I know of is TLC, but I think they are more on the women’s fiction side than romance.
Best of luck!
Thanks for the tip Alma! I’ll have to check them out.
Holy Moly, I admit I’ve only read the first two sentences of your post, Avery! Wow! Did you see your cover????? Wow! Okay, back to your post and then I’ll bring my brain to my next comment!
Wow! Thank goodness I have no idea about virtual book bloggers because my brain hasn’t caught up yet and I couldn’t give you a suggestion even if I wanted to! I wish I could help you there. Of course I’ll be happy to help promo you grass roots style…always 😉 Did you see your cover????? And she’s blonde! Yay! Congrats!!!
I know, a blonde heroine is weird for me. I’m sure it’s not because of the epic struggle of natural brunettes against our blonde oppressors. 🙂
True that, boo!
Fantastic news about the book’s debut date! Love it!
As for promotions, I have no insights on this – except keep doing what you do. And oh yeah, the cover? I really like it, and you girls and your thing about blondes…can we all just get along (if you ever see a sliver of blond on me – you know the world has gone really strange…:)…(oh, unless it’s from a good looking man, and then, even blondes can have fun in my ballpark.)…
Okay, I’m still using my vacation brain…
It’s all love. 🙂
One of my SA friends does marketing and has a short tutorial called “Rock Your Blog Tour”. Check out http://www.lisapietsch.com. Lots of tips there and a link to a yahoo group that will trade off guest-blog spots. Scroll down her blog – it’s at the April 10, 2012 entry.
Awesome! Thanks Willa!
I had a lovely talk with Amy Atwell during last year’s conference registration. She has started her own company, http://www.authorems.com, specifically to help keep authors from drowning in social media. Here’s hearty congrats for a new book! Would that we all could have your misery… ♥
Another great tip. Thanks Susan!
As an author and a marketing consultant, I’m a firm believer that we shouldn’t have to pay for blog tours. I have a system set up that requires as few emails as dealing with a blog tour company, accomplishes the same end, but doesn’t cost you a dime. http://lisapietsch.com/2012/04/10/rock-your-blog-book-tour-handbook-available-free/
If you need additional help with your social media platform, let me know. My initial analysis and recommendations are always free.
I always like free. Lisa thanks so much for sharing with us!
I’m all about FREE and happy to help!
I am happy, happy, happy to pay for blog tours. Even the most expensive prices are truly not that expensive and well worth my time. Not only does it save me the time of connecting with people, but it is a built-in mechanism for hosts to check out my book and decide it’s right for their audience. It automatically sources new blogs for me. I mean, I find blogs on my own and guest with them, but several stops on my tours were brand new to me and just right for my book.
Plus, when you work with Goddess Fish Blog Tours, they ask their hosts to suggest topics, which I think is really great. If there was something that stuck out to the host when they read the book’s information, they can ask for a blog about that topic. I have also been happy with the quality of their hosts (aka. the level of comments they usually receive, amount of followers, etc). This is important, because I see a few newer companies setting up tours around small blogs. So the author is going to put in just as much work into guest posts and promotion, but get far fewer gains.
Because I wanted to make a big splash for my book, I also have a tour lined up directly after my Goddess tour with Sizzling PR. They have some larger hosts, some smaller, but it was just fine since I wanted to keep the buzz going. And honestly, Sizzling’s prices are so dirt cheap that I honestly can’t see how it’s worth their time to do that, but they do!
Truly my ONLY concern with using a company was the lack of personal connection between me and the blogger, but what I’ve found is that when one of them likes your book, they will reach out via social media anyway. And I’ve also setup guest posts myself that didn’t really result in much of a personal connection. So I don’t feel like it’s a big loss. Plus I am SWAMPED, so at this point there’s not much of a choice. I am barely managing to keep all my balls in the air using a tour company, so I wouldn’t consider doing without, at least not without hiring a personal assistant, but I feel that is less value for your money because the tour company has done so much leg work already to find blogs and have system setup.
There is also Coffee Beans and Love Scenes Blog Tours, Dark Mind Blog Tours and and Lucy Felthouse’s Company which I can’t remember the name of now, maybe Author Marketing or something. I’m thinking for my next release, I might hit another company, not because I disliked Goddess Fish but just to vary up the hosts and therefore, the audience I’m reaching.
Tons of great ideas here. Thanks Amber!
Oh yes, I have been on the author end of that canned interview that runs everywhere. I had no idea before it happened. Also the very sweet blog post that ends up running on a snarky book blogger site without my knowledge. Buyer beware indeed.
Avery, look what I found over at Savvy Authors–
It’s a blog tour wizard!
Carlene Mermaid smiles and overlooks earlier blonde comments made by certain fishy sisters 😉
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