New to the book blogging world? Learn all about blog tours, how to participate, and what some of the rules/best practices are!
You’ve been so helpful, so I thought you’d be the best person to direct this question to, and maybe it would help some others out there too. I’m hesitant to sign up for blog tours because I don’t know how everything works and I don’t want to mess it up, but I’d really like to get involved. Can you shed some light? For example, guest posts – does the author just send you their post and you put I up? Or do you talk about it? And character interviews – these are always fun for me to read, but I wonder how they’re written. Do I write questions that the author responds to with their characters? Are there best practices for when you should publish blog tour, or any of the special posts? I could list a ton of questions, but maybe you could just explain the process and go from there? It would be super helpful, thanks!!
When I first started blogging I was also hesitant to sign up for blog tours. I was so afraid of doing something wrong or not getting the process right!
It’s important to realize that every blog tour will be slightly different. Some might have strict rules and requirements, or slightly different processes.
What is a blog tour?
A blog tour is a marketing campaign for a book/author. It’s where a coordinator brings several blogs together (usually 10+) to promote a specific book over a period of time. The blogs participate by posting content related to the book, including: reviews, guest posts with the author, interviews with the author, character interviews, cast lists, and more.
How to sign up for a blog tour
So you’ve seen a blog tour that you’re interested in? Some tour companies might allow you to sign up right away, but others might require that you become a host first. If that’s the case, there will be a separate “Host Signup” form for you to fill out with your contact and blog information. Once you fill it out, you may have to wait for an acceptance or approval e-mail. Every hosting company is different. Some approve/reject applicants, and others accept everyone above certain, pre-set requirements (listed on their website).
Once you’ve signed up as a host (and been approved, if applicable), you can now sign up for the tour! You will have to locate the tour page and fill in another form with your contact and blog details again. This is so they can match your tour signup entry with your host application. Then you have to wait to see if you’re approved.
Signing up for a blog tour does not guarantee that you will be chosen for it. Usually, there are a lot more signups than there are spots. For example, there might be 100 signups for a tour with only 10 stops! So most of the people will not get accepted. But if you are approved for the tour, you will receive an e-mail informing you so, and with followup instructions. You are usually asked to confirm that you’ve received the e-mail and that the specified date works for you.
The next step is to wait for your necessary materials. If you’ve signed up for a review, that means you have to wait to receive your copy of the book. If you’ve signed up for a guest post, you have to wait for the post to be written and sent to you, etc.
Then once you have your materials, you publish your post on your blog on the date you were scheduled for.
How guest posts and interviews work
So to answer your first question:
guest posts – does the author just send you their post and you put I up?
Usually—yes. There are two different possibilities with guest posts:
1) After you sign up for the guest post, you wait for it to get sent to you, then you post it on your scheduled date. That’s it!
2) Sometimes you will be asked to come up with a topic for the guest post. So you’re responsible for choosing the topic of the post, then you send it to the tour coordinator, then they forward it to the author who writes the guest post, then it gets sent to you and you post it on your scheduled date.
So in one scenario you have to come up with the topic, but in the other one you don’t. It will vary from tour to tour, so that’s something you have to watch out for. If in doubt, just ask the tour coordinator.
What about character interviews?
I’ve honestly never hosted a character interview, but I’m pretty certain you come up with the questions, you send them to the tour coordinator, then the tour coordinator sends them to the author, and the answers get sent back to you. That’s how it works with author interviews, so I imagine character interviews are the exact same process!
When should you publish tour posts?
Before anything, you will want to check the tour company’s rules/requirements page. Most often, tour websites have a rule about this. It’s usually something like, “Your post must be published by 6am EST.” It is extremely important that you follow that requirement if it’s there! This applies to all kinds of tour posts, regardless of the format (review, guest post, interview, etc.)
Unless specifically asked otherwise, I always publish my posts at 12am (midnight) PST, because that’s when I schedule every single one of my blog posts. I only change this if it’s required that I post before then (which it never has been).
Follow the rules!
Above all, you need to carefully read and follow the tour company’s rules. Most touring companies have a rule like: if you’re reviewing the book and plan on giving it less than 3 stars, you may not post your review during the tour. Instead, contact the tour coordinator and arrange for a promotional post. Then you may post your review after the tour. This is because blog tours are marketing campaigns; the whole point is to promote the book. Authors don’t want negative reviews on a tour they’re paying for! You’re perfectly welcome to post your review when the tour is over, but make sure you arrange for an alternative post for your slot.
List of blog tour websites
Here are some of my favourite tour companies! Check them out and sign up!
- Kismet Book Touring
- Merp Squad Blog Tours
- PJ Blog Tours
- Rockstar Book Tours
- Xpresso Book Tours
- YA Bound Book Tours