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Book Blog Tours That Accept Self-Published Authors

| Posted in Advertising, Blogging |

27

A book blog tour is when you “appear” on a number of blogs over a week or two (some authors go bananas and schedule a different blog each day for a month) to promote your book. This usually involves being interviewed or writing a guest post for the site. Some blog owners will also read and review your book.

You can arrange tours yourself and hand-pick the blogs, keeping in mind that some people won’t respond or be interested in hosting you, or you can pay someone else to arrange things for you. Prices vary, as do the quality of the blogs that participate (naturally, you want to appear on established sites with a solid readership).

It’s been a while since I did a book blog tour (almost three years), but I may check into them again this summer, since I’m working on some new series. As I recall, the two or three tours I did weren’t all that useful insofar as selling books, but they did result in me getting some much needed reviews back in the days when I didn’t have any readers yet. Several of the hosts reviewed my book on their own sites and also posted the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

I’m fairly certain most bloggers and tour operators don’t guarantee reviews, but it’s natural that some of the bloggers will be curious about the authors they host and might check out your book of their own accord (you can also include a free copy with your post or interview).

In case you’re interested in trying out a book blog tour for yourself, I’m posting a list of some of the tours that accept indie/self-published authors and that aren’t hugely expensive (thanks, Elise, for putting the list together for us!):

Book Blog Tours

Bewitching Book Tours

Genres: paranormal, urban fantasy, and paranormal erotica

Cost: $40-$175

Notes: Geared towards the new author, the ebook author, the small and independent press author, and the mid-list author. Also for the author who doesn’t have a huge marketing budget but wants the most bang for their promotional buck.

Enchanted Book Promotions

Genres: accepts all genres (though geared towards scifi, romance, fantasy)

Cost: $29-$249

Fire and Ice Book Tours

Genres: most genres accepted

Cost: $35 – $90

Notes: Not accepting new sign ups at lower package rates.

Worldwind Virtual Book Tours

Genres: accepts all genres (though geared towards scifi, romance, fantasy)

Cost: $110-$340

Notes: Price includes $50 Amazon card giveaway

Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours

Genres: all genres

Cost: $299 and up

Notes: Clients have some national media placements; website is difficult to navigate

Jitterbug PR

Genres: Many

Cost: $55 – $180

Notes: Not exceptional website graphics or quality of writing on blog. Also a PR, marketing and publicity company.

Xpresso Book Tours

Genres: focuses on Young Adult & New Adult tours in all genres of both pre-release and post-release books

Cost: $150 – $250

Notes: Professional easy-to-navigate site.

Read Between the Lines Blog Tours

Genres: specializes in fantasy

Cost: $25 – $100

If you have any comments on these outfits or want to suggest any other book blog tour sites, please let us know below.

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Comments (27)

Reading Addiction Blog Tours and “I’m a Reader, Not a Writer” Book blasts have both been really successful (and affordable) for me. Not only do tours provide exposure, but you get reviews, which for new authors is vital. Both accept self-published authors, typically in the YA or romance space, but they do cover some SciFi Fantasy outside of paranormal.

Thanks, Kendra!

Here are the links for folks:

http://readingaddictionvbt.blogspot.com/
http://www.bookblasttours.com/

I had a totally different experience with Reading Addiction a couple months back.

I am not an indie author, but a publicist, and I placed 5 books on 5 different book blog tour companies. All had the same number of stops (30), but Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours is the only company I felt I was mislead by.

I paid for the Major Addiction tour which trumpeted 30 stops over 6 weeks, with 10-15 reviews. This was for an award-winning YA dystopian novel. While this is subjective, compared to the quality of books placed with other tour companies, I would rank this particular novel #2 out of the 5.

These were the biggest issues with Reading Addiction:

1. More than half of the blog sites hosting stops were either very obviously run by Reading Addiction or were sites that ONLY hosted Reading Addiction blog tours. Their tour hosts had little to no other content besides Reading Addiction Virtual posts. I don’t think it needs to be pointed out that book blogs with nothing but content from a single tour company (or only content from tour companies in general) are suspect.

2. Out of the 10-15 review stops, there were—in actuality—only 7 bloggers selected the book for a review. Out of those 7, 2 never posted their reviews (and were never heard from, meaning the tour days were lost). Out of the other 5, only a single blogger cross posted onto Amazon. SO, out of 10-15 review stops advertised, there were only 5 completed and only 1 that made it off a hosts blog site.

3. Reading Addiction is really disorganized. It was left up to me to check the stops daily and to notify them when a committed post on the tour wasn’t made. Sometimes it was posted within an hour or two after, sometimes it wasn’t at all. Worst of all, when it was NOT posted for the day I never heard back from Reading Addiction. This was frequent. Nearly ¼ of the scheduled stops weren’t posted until I inquired about them. Not that it makes much difference (see #1).

There are other issues, but these should be enough to discourage authors and publicists from using Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours. The other 4 companies I worked with all commented on stops along the way (which showed they were clearly checking for posts themselves), all had a variety of quality book blogs with both organic and tour content, and all maintained the advertised number of reviews with excellent cross-posting on both Amazon and Goodreads.

Needless to say, my experience with Reading Addiction was not a good one. But the simultaneous tours with Sage’s, Xpresso, and Goddess Fish were all perfect.

For those of you who are a little more DIY, there’s also Blogtour.org. It’s free. Full disclosure- I run it, and I built it specifically so I wouldn’t have to cold call blogs that wouldn’t be interested in having authors do tour stops.

Thanks Bryce for the note about your website. I have a publishing company and I am always looking for ways to provide value to my clients. I am hope to be using your services soon.

Bryce, this is about a year after your posting, but I’ve been touring through various sites and came across you – and yours. I’m interested, having just published a literary historical novel.

Carolyn Taylor-Watts

Wow, great list!

I think for struggling authors this is a real good option that’s overlooked. Many tour sites only charge $50 to $100 and a whole lot charge under $50.

Like you said, sometimes these are good options for new books that don’t have reviews. You’ll often pick up a few, and that could give you enough to get picked up by a larger promo site like BookBub or BookBlast.

I’m doing a guest post on thebookdesigner.com on February 5 for anyone who wants more info on blog tours.

Yeah, it can definitely be hard to get that first 10-20 reviews when you’re just starting out!

This is a great list!

From the blogger’s perspective, two other tour companies that I host for are: Goddess Fish (http://www.goddessfish.com/) and TLC Book Tours (http://tlcbooktours.com/)

Based on the tours I see them host, Goddess Fish does more indie/self pub/small press titles.

TLC seems to have more established authors mixed in. They also do tours for books that have been out a year or so.

Thank you for the additions, Marlene.

Ann Smyth on Twitter also mentioned: “Someone I know is doing one through these guys not on your list. http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com

Are blog tours actually helpful? I get regular requests via email from people asking if I’ll host an author’s post on my website. But, I’m a pretty weak sauce blogger and my website mostly just has my product updates, like a glorified catalog. Hosting on my website doesn’t seem like it would benefit these authors. I feel like there’s something about blog tours that I don’t get, at a deeper level.

That sounds more like a guest post with little behind it other than the person’s desire to be on your site. Now if they comment a lot maybe it’s a good thing.

The good blog tour sites will usually fit your book with sites that want that genre. People visiting those sites usually do so because they like hearing about fantasy book, for instance.

A regular blog tour might just be your book cover and blurb and that’s about it.

A virtual book tour will be you writing out a guest post, author interview, and maybe even character interview or description of your world.

You’re encouraged to reply to comments people make on your post. Really, interaction is key in my opinion.

Sure, some sites throw you to the wind, take your money and that’s it. The good ones, however, send you a list of blogs you’ll be on, your banner ads, and other things a month or more in advance.

Goddessfish is a good example of this, and I think for the little authors spend (usually under $100) you could get a lot of benefits.

Honestly, the sites I don’t like are the ones that offer review only tours, guaranteeing you 6 to 8 reviews or something. They’re out there.

The better sites do marketing in such a way that those reviews happen organically, and you get more of that long-tail benefit. Well, that’s the idea.

Alright, I’m done! 🙂

I think they’re most helpful for getting reviews. If you have a big fan base already and get reviews on your new stuff right off the bat, then you might not get much out of a blog tour. (Though it’s something I might consider doing again when jumping into a new genre — one’s current readers might not necessarily be the biggest fan of what one’s trying next!)

Lindsay, thank you for the information. I am looking forward to learning a little more about these companies. You have really helped me save some time.

Hi, Lindsay,
There’s also a new tour on the block that I’m doing business with now. Everything’s good so far.

http://fabulosityreadsbookpromotions.blogspot.com

Had no idea you had to pay for those tours! I am usually asked to participate on my blog, but have never been offered payment. Interesting.

Hi,

I have put together a spreadsheet that shows the relative traffic all of these tours get. What is more difficult to estimate is the traffic that the affiliate blogs get.

Anyway, here is the spreadsheet link:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkOyQ5SflEaodHllVjVmcTBvNzE2ZkhWWWVWVXpWUHc&usp=sharing

Oh, and here is a link that I did showcasing other, more traditional, ebook advertising options for comparisons sake:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkOyQ5SflEaodEM0VGlpRm5rU2ppTWpGQkFpUkxrY1E&usp=sharing

…I didn’t include BookBub because that seemed too obvious.

Thank you for sharing the links. Those will be very helpful! I had been meaning to put together a list of all the advertising sites myself, but too lazy. 😉

How did you find the traffic numbers? Are those figures per month?

I am a publicist out of Los Angeles and if you google me….you will find I’m real. I take on authors with marketable books, I have very reasonable rates, packages, also per item fees for publicity and marketing of your books. I have the ability to get you the author and your book known around the world via social media, press releases, media interviews in news papers, radio and television. I also have the ability through my connections to have your book on the largest electronic billboard at Times Square in NY….feel free to contact me for review of your books possibilities. rod@rlhtalent.com Rod L. Harrell

HI I am a tour operator, I operate not just tours but review matching as well.

Great post – not only do I accept self published authors – I run a special for Indie/Self-Pubs. Their first service, ANY service is totally free, I like to think of it as my contribution to spreading the word about the amazing Indie and Self Published Authors I come across.

Lovable resource thanks for sharing a great piece of information with us ,As a newbie in tours your resource will help me alot

Thanks for the mention! Our website has moved, and our new address is http://www.fireandicebooktours.com. Could this be updated? Thanks!

Lindsay, curious about your thoughts on blog tours these days. Is it something you would/do use for new releases?

Wesley, I haven’t signed up for any in at least four years, so I’m not sure what’s out there and what’s effective now. I think it can still be a way to get some early reviews though. I’ve heard of people contacting bloggers and setting up their own tours, and that may be more effective, since you can pick and choose blogs that are relevant and get at least a little traffic.

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