Blog Tours, Guest Posts, Promos & Giveaways – How Much is Too Much?

Blog Tours, Guest Posts, Promos & Giveaways - How Much is Too Much?

Do you ever feel like the blogosphere is drowning in promotional posts? Have you ever stopped following a blogger because they publish too many guest posts and giveaways, and not enough reviews?

I have.

How I feel about promo posts

I have a very strict policy when it comes to guest posts, promotional posts, excerpts, and giveaways. I won’t put a promo post on my blog unless I’ve read the book and loved it, or unless the book sounds absolutely amazing and I’m DYING to read it. I know everyone has a different policy, but that one is mine.

Why do I have this policy?

and

In my opinion, as soon as I start putting frequent guest/promo posts on my blog, my blog is just a piece of advertising space. I do love authors and I love promoting their work, but I don’t want my blog to be a billboard. I only want to “advertise” books that I feel like I can vouch for. So my Facebook and Twitter accounts are very similar. I often get requests from authors saying, “My book is on sale, can you promote this link on your Facebook account?” No, I’m not going to do that. I don’t want to spam my viewers with books I haven’t read and can’t vouch for.

The way I see it, my readers follow Nose Graze because they like my posts and trust my opinion (on reviews or whatever). So I’m not going to start throwing books at them that I don’t have an opinion on or that I can’t vouch for.

As a reader, I don’t love promo posts

Another reason that I don’t do many promo posts on my blog is because as a blog reader, I don’t love reading them. I follow your blog to read your reviews, discussions, etc.; not posts by someone else. So I usually skip over promotional posts, giveaways, and guest posts (unless the guest post topic is awesome). And 90% of the time I don’t read excerpts. (That’s hugely a personal preference thing though; I don’t like reading parts of a book before I can read the whole thing.)

Are guest posts and promos the easy way out?

Sometimes I feel like guest/promotional posts are taking the easy way out. Like if you don’t have time to review a book, or you’re getting low on scheduled posts, then just load up with promotional and guest posts. It’s an “easy” way to get content.

Take blog tours for example. You can opt to review the book, which means you take time to read it, form an opinion, and review it. Or you can sign up for a guest post instead, in which case you sit on your ass and wait for the work to be done for you.

Maybe that’s really over simplifying it, but when I see bloggers LOADING up on guest/promo posts (instead of one or two a month), sometimes I feel like they’re just being lazy and don’t have the time or desire to write up their own posts.. especially when many of those posts come with copy and paste HTML.

How do you feel about promotional posts?

How many promo posts do you publish per month?
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51 comments

  1. I personally don’t do promo posts/ tours, but I feel like people should blog about whatever they want to blog about and as often as they want to do it, for whatever reason they want to do it for. They know their stats and time constraints, and work accordingly. I don’t think every post has to be an expose – so I don’t think it’s lazy to put up a post that might not take as much time as something else.

    I also don’t read promo posts – but I’m sure there are people who do. I can’t expect every post on someone’s blog to appeal to me, so I honestly don’t care when I come across something that doesn’t, like a promo post. I just keep it moving.

  2. Ashley, I feel exactly like you and seeing so many promo posts drives me insane. I don’t read promo post and I don’t care about them. I do however like interviews and guest posts and I do join some blog tours. But. I only join a blog tour when I’m super super excited about the book or the author. I rarely join just because I’ve been ask. I want books and authors in my blog I’m excited about not books or authors I barely know.

    I believe it’s different for everyone but for me that’s how I do it. Sometimes there are weeks with only reviews besides some selected memes.

    Anyway the worst for me to read or simple book blitz promos and those I skip completely.

    Great post!!

  3. I don’t like promo posts and I have only done those a few times and those were with reason. Today I did one because I wanted to review the book but didn’t have time to do it, so I did a promo stop because I know the organizer and wanted to help her out. Other times were that I had to change it to a promo stop because my rating was too low after reading it. And I feel obligated to make the post because I’m scheduled, so I do it anyway. But I’m being more selective for my blog tours now. I only do it when I have time to read the book and really want to read it. 🙂

    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted: {Blog Tour} Soul in Present Condition by Mary E. Merrell
    1. Like you, I only do tours for books I at least would like to read. But then, I always read the book first. If not the whole book, enough to know the writing style is one I like. We get so many requests any more. I’m doing one for the Healing Crystal Trilogy but I’ve read all three books and loved them.

      Sunday Smith recently posted: Lifeboats: Tales from the Evacuation
  4. I have to disagree mostly. I think each blogger should be able to post whatever they want and we get to choose if we like it or not and become followers or not. I, for one, love reading guest posts, interviews, and entering giveaways. For my blog, I like to set up at least one guest post or interview a week because I feel like a blog with all review gets boring. Some people want to see different content. I also like to do a giveaway a week because I think spreading the free book love is important.

    I do not like doing promos and only do them when I am part of a blog tour and I did not like the book so the blog tour host asks me to do a promo instead and to post my review after the blog tour is over. I don’t necessarily like this practice, but I get it. I can’t change that. And I don’t want to stop doing blog tours because I read so many great books from them, and it’s a FREE book.

    I started my blog to share my reviews, but I also started it because I love to help authors out, especially indie authors. I’m a writer, so I know how hard it is to get your work out there. Even if I haven’t read the book, it doesn’t mean it’s not good. I don’t say the book is good, I just give the author the platform to show some people their book might be worth reading.

    I also go to school now, work, write, and all this other crap, I don’t know about you but I don’t have the time to review a book a day. I need some days in which I can post something that is easy for me to get together. I try to write 3-4 reviews (sometimes it’s only 2, but rarely) a week, I think that’s pretty good, especially since I write detailed reviews that take a long time (I can’t help it). The rest of the days are either my free kindle and nook post, a guest post or interview, a giveaway (With excerpt usually. I like excerpts and read them.), and now my new discussion posts.

    Your lucky to have all this web design knowledge so you have a feature you can post when you don’t have the time to read and review a book.

    But you also have the right to not like bloggers like me who do participate in blog tours, I totally understand that. That’s what makes the book blogger community so awesome, we all have different content and opinions and we get to choose to follower our fav peeps.

    Great post, love getting into discussions like this. 🙂

    Jennifer Bielman recently posted: Bookish Blatherings #2: Judging a Book By Its Cover
  5. As a blogger I occasionally do promo posts for books I haven’t read and this is something I’m working on minimizing because like you I’m not entirely comfortable promoting a book I have no clue about.
    As a reader, I NEVER read promo posts. But if it’s a book I’m excited for and if there’s a giveaway attached I’ll skim through it.
    Guest posts on the other hand are something that I enjoy. I think it adds a lil spice to the blog when there’s an ‘outsider’ voicing their thoughts.
    When I have guest posts on my blog I usually come up with the topic. That way, it’s not just a promo piece because I pick a topic that I think readers would enjoy.
    I think it all depends on how often bloggers use these posts sometimes you see 30 posts per month on a blog and 20 of them are cover reveals/promos/blog tours!

    Great post, Ashley-Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Nuzaifa @ Say It With Books recently posted: Blogging with R & N: Co-Blogging
  6. I totally know what you mean. I don’t do promos of things I haven’t read for the same reason I don’t do author interviews or cover reveals or similar things — I find it dishonest. If you don’t even know what you are posting, it does feel like the easy way out. My followers must hate me and my posting moods, because I definitvely don’t post every day, and I don’t participate in every meme each week. But I don’t think it’s a bad thing — because I only post if I actually have something to say, and then it’s definitvely my honest opinion.
    However, I let myself get swayed if I’m really excited about something, like a new book from an author I love. Or a sequel I’m wayting for. But I think that’s okay too, since it expresses my feelings and opinion again.
    I think I have a bad day of expressing myself right. Am I making sense? oO

  7. I don’t like reading excerpts either! I prefer just to read the actual book when it comes out (unless I’ve just been DYING to read the book, in which case I may take a peek at the excerpt :P)

    When I first started blogging, I think I did quite a few promo type posts. I did a fair few author interviews + giveaways, probably because, I’ll admit, it was a good way to build up followers. These days though, I do pretty much no promo posts, except when it’s an author or book I really love. I also don’t read promo posts unless they’re for authors/books that I like. And even then, to be honest, sometimes I don’t bother. I’ve definitely stopped following quite a few blogs because of the annoying flood of promo posts that come in (I’m talking several posts a DAY).

  8. No one really likes me, so no promo posts for the next few months (yet, hopefully).

    But I do so agree with what you say about your blog being just a billboard for authors. There was a blog that I followed because of the giveaways, but then I realized that I was getting tired of it all, and that blogger never really had any original content. It was cover reveal after cover reveal. And I wanted to sigh and ask her if she thinks her readers are enjoying it.

    It was so bad to the point that I hated it when she showed up on my feed, so I just unfollowed.

    Shannelle (The Tracery of Ink) recently posted: Book Review: Reached by Ally Condie
  9. I only do book tours if I think I would like the book I am going to post on the blog. I make sure I read & review any books like this (only 2 so far, but I haven’t been doing this as long as you). I’ve done a couple of Cover Reveals as well, but only if I actually felt they’d be a book I’d borrow from the library/buy. I don’t always have enough time in my personal life to commit to tours and things so I try to do ones that are far enough off that I can read the book and review it in time..

    Chantelle (aka the Blogmonstar) recently posted: Book Review: The Blue Blazes
  10. As a reader: I like guest posts sometimes if they are from the author or pertain to something interesting to me. As for promo posts…nah. I skip over them. I follow the blogs I like on bloglovin and glance over the headlines. I read what interests me and skip what doesn’t. I typically only unfollow a blog if they only cover/review books I don’t have any interest in.

    As a blogger: I typically only post interviews, giveaways for books I LOVE. I won’t interview if I’ve not read the book and rated it a 4 or 5. I don’t giveaway books I don’t love either. This is just because I want to feel passionate about the books I’m spending time and money on. I have a hard time even joining a blog tour if I’ve not read the book or it’s a sequel to a book I love (been burned by hating a book and getting stuck with promo post–awkward imo). I figure people visit my blog because they have a similar taste in books as I do so I just stick to what I love.

    Great discussion post and I really enjoyed reading the comments too.

    My Friends Are Fiction

    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted: Showcase Sunday #22
  11. Totally agree with everything you said! I don’t participate in Cover Reveals, Book Blitz, etc unless I’ve read and loved the book or I’m dying to read it. And as a reader, if I see that a blog is mostly promotional posts instead of reviews then I usually won’t follow them.

    Great topic!

  12. I don’t necessarily hate promos, but I prefer reading interviews to guest post. I like giveaways as sometimes I win cool books that I never heard of before. I don’t do a lot of promos on my blog but I have done a few, mostly they are from my favorite authors or because I really liked the book.

  13. I agree with you. I don’t read any of the promos, blog tours, etc. I don’t enter give-aways…partly because they seem to be mostly physical books and I read e-books these days. I also don’t have time to read or follow all the blog tours or promos.

    I only post two or three times a week and I don’t have a lot of followers or traffic, but that’s okay. I’m blogging because I love to read and review books (it’s a great way to keep track of the books I’ve read), I love getting info on books I’ve never heard of and might want to read and I love the technical aspects of blogging.

    I like that you talk about a number of topics related to blogging on your blog. It’s good to have this conversation.

  14. I don’t like reading promo posts, but i do eenjoy reading guest posts. To me, it gives me a glimpse at the author’s personality. A well-written guest post, particularly the humorous on, will make me want to buy their book and visit their site.

    Lizzy recently posted: Ouchy!
  15. When I first started blogging, I use to go A LOT of promo post and signed up for every tour known to man out there. Now? Not so much.

    I do like doing those post. It’s a way to share more about a particular book/Author. I try to not post too many a week now, because there were times i felt like I was spamming.

    As for other blogs, I only read the promo post/blitz that interest me. Which in turn, was a factor in how many post I was doing. How many read actually READ THEM? Not many, in fact haha

    I don’t feel it is fill space for bloggers. I am sure some people USE it that way but I personally don’t. There are quite a few out there that I know of off the top of my head that I have quit following because of it or just skip completely.

    To each his own though.

    tonyalee recently posted: Some (more) Changes
  16. I’ve done a total of one “promo” type posts, and it was an author interview for a book I had already read & LOVED. I’m not a huge fan of an overload of promo posts, but I do like quality guest posts by authors–like interviews, or them talking about a specific aspect of their books. Those, I read. Cover reveals, blasts, excerpts, etc. are not my thing, for a few reasons.
    1)I personally don’t like reading those posts
    2) An overload can seem spammy
    3) But most importantly, my blog is my space to talk about books with other *readers*. I never want to feel like a huge part of my blog is promoting the publishing industry. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an industry I really love, but I don’t want to feel my content is driven by THEIR promotional needs–I want it to be driven by mine, and I feel I do that more effectively when I participate in promotional events very, very, VERY rarely.

    Stormy @ Book.Blog.Bake. recently posted: Looking Forward & Looking Behind: September 7th Edition
  17. I have the same policy as you. I’d rather not post anything at all than post content as a filler. I will post a blitz or cover reveal or guest post, but ONLY if I have read the book and want to promote it, or I really LOVE the cover, or if I want to read it a lot. Otherwise, I just don’t want anything to do with that, and you are right. As a reader, those are the things that make me not read, and in extreme cases, unfollow a blog. I try to do what I know I like as a reader.

  18. I do post some promo posts, but only a few per month. I think I have 4 for September, but they’re for books/publishers I’m really exited about. I also don’t post them in place of another post. I have a promo for tomorrow, but I still have my own review going up, too. I definitely don’t use them to fill space.

    I personally don’t read many promo posts at all, and I have unfollowed blogs which had these as the majority of their posts. Sure, they constantly had giveaways, but I was getting bored with their blogs as a whole.

    Angie F. recently posted: Showcase Sunday [94]
  19. I don’t like to see a blog with JUST promo posts on it, but I think saying that posting a guest post is just sitting on your ass is a bit harsh.

    I’ve had authors come on my blog with guest post topics I come up with, and I love seeing their response. If it’s a post from an author I love, I’m very likely to read it and I enjoy the further insights they give into their worlds, characters, and writing process.

    Tiffany (About To Read) recently posted: Books and Beauty
    1. Yeah I didn’t really mean to imply that anyone who does guest/promo posts is lazy. But if that makes up like 70% of the blog, then it does kind of feel that way. It just makes me think: What’s the point of having a blog if most of your content is written by someone else?

      But doing guest/promo/interview posts now and then is totally fine. 🙂 I think it just starts to bug me when they become the majority of a person’s posts! It makes me feel like they don’t want to write their own posts (or don’t have time) :/

  20. I don’t post promo posts, but I do interviews/guest posts/cover reveals twice a week (and also do 2 reviews and one discussion/extra review so it’s pretty balanced). It’s a great way to learn a little bit about an author/book if you don’t have time to read the book right away.

    Sarah recently posted: Week in review Sept 8
  21. When I first started book blogging, promo posts for books I had no idea about was my specialty. I never realized how unoriginal there were until months in. I would just sign up for blitzes and cover reveals because I thought everyone would be interested. Now, I barely participate in any promotional posts. My policy now is a)I have read the book or something from the author that I enjoyed b)I really, really want to read the book! My last two promotional stops were both for books I was dying tor read, the latter I am currently reading and I am not enjoying it as much, which goes to show that you can never know what you promote unless you have read it!

    I do unfollow blogs that are virtual billboards. I hate going into my Feedly and seeing things like ‘Book Blitz’ over and over and over – especially the same one! This is why I have created features such as discussions and blogger interviews that serve as unique filler posts. When a blogger has nothing to post, they should not feel obliged to post anything for the sake of not being humiliated, and that I think is the root cause of all these ads – avoiding shame or guilt for not posting. Great discussion!

    Christine @ Oh, Chrys! recently posted: The Weekly Digest, #1:
  22. Hi Ashley, I enjoy following your blog and after reading this post, I felt compelled to respond. I am a long-time avid reader and fairly new book blogger. I appreciate your views about promotional posts. Book blogs have different purposes, and, of course, readers follow the blogs that meet their needs and interests. I know some bloggers who only post promotions on their blogs, and I know some people who only follow a blog so they can enter the giveaways for prizes.

    Because I have eclectic reading interests, I read and review books from a variety of genres, so I have a diverse community of followers. I enjoy sharing my thoughts about the books I read, but I have discovered that it is a time-consuming process. I will not write a rushed review just to get something posted, and I have found three reviews per week are a realistic goal for me.

    With that said, I do affiliate with blog tour companies because it’s one way that I can discover books that I, otherwise, may never have heard of. If I see a book that seems interesting and one that I, perhaps, may read in the future, then I will agree to participate in a tour and post a spotlight about the book. These spotlights are another way that I can let readers know about books they might enjoy. I also indicate on my blog that spotlights are for informational purposes only and are not books that I can personally recommend, since I obviously, haven’t read the book.

    I respectfully disagree that bloggers who use promotional posts do so just because they are lazy. I cannot speak for others, but when I take the time to put together a promotional post, I do so because it is a book that I would consider reading and that I think readers might like as well. If I’m going to sit on my ass and be lazy, I can certainly think of betters ways to do this than sit in front of a computer…I’d much prefer to lounge by the pool with a nice, cold Mai Tai cocktail. Cheers!

    Thank you for the thought-provoking post, Ashley. It certainly makes us take a moment to consider our blog’s purpose and content.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      You’re totally right—all blogs have different purposes and target audiences. I’m sure some people out there are like you and enjoy using promo posts to discover new books, and that’s great. It means those people can follow and enjoy the blogs that tend to post a lot of those, and it’s a win-win!

      Unfortunately I’m just not really one of those people. If a blogger posts A LOT of promo posts, it makes me feel like that blogger will publish any promo post if they get an e-mail from an author asking (that may or may not be true, but it’s the impression I get). And if the blogger is willing to put up anything, it makes me value promo posts less. I usually follow a blogger because I like his/her taste in books. But if a blogger can’t personally vouch for a book, I’m not interested in seeing a promo for it, because it just feels like an advertisement. It’s a different case if the blogger has read the book and talks about how much they loved it in their promo post. ( But I usually don’t see that personal touch in promo posts :()

      So I guess what I’m saying is that promo posts don’t really work for me, but I totally get that they work for some people! I don’t mean to offend bloggers who do post a lot of promo posts, I think I just wanted to convey that they’re not my thing. But bloggers can certainly run their blog however they want, and I’m sure they’ll find audiences who appreciate their posts. 🙂

      1. Ashley, you have brought up some great points, and I don’t think your post was meant to be offensive to bloggers.

        I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s opinions from this discussion, and it has made me think more about how others may perceive my blog. I wouldn’t advertise any book that I wouldn’t read myself, but I also understand that too many promos can diminish a blogger’s unique voice and message.

        I’m going to be more cognizant in the future about the promos I include and make a greater effort to explain in my post why I’ve chosen to feature a particular book or series even though I haven’t had the chance to read it.

        So, thank you for generating this lively discussion!

  23. I tend to avoid blog tours and promotional posts unless they’re organised by the publisher themselves, which we get in the UK. Whenever I see blog tour posts or book blitzes or any of that other spiel in my feed, I’ll just scroll past. I find that most of these are now done by indie authors and I don’t get along very well with indie books so I’ll only join tours that really interest me or I’m asked by the publisher.

    Great post, Ashley! You’ve really got me thinking!

    Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary recently posted: Embracing My Inner Geek (13)- I was a Gameboy Addict…
  24. Okay so I do participate in quite a few blog tours and as a semi-new blogger I know that I may not want to keep doing this and that as time goes on, I will participate in less blog tours.

    As of right now though I see blog tours as a way to discover new books. I blog on pretty much a daily basis and most of my posts are reviews. To be quite honest, doing blog tours gives me the illusion (however true or false) that I am getting more views to my blog. Since I am still so new at this,getting more blog views is important.

    Eventually I will scale down in the Blog Tours that I participate in.

    Alexia @ Adventures in Reading recently posted: Stacking the Shelves #10
  25. This post really caught my attention and I’ll tell you what drives me the most crazy: when I get about a half dozen emails in one day from the exact same blogger about 6 different book blitz’s or tours. I feel like one or two emails a day is plenty and anything over that gets deleted without me even opening it.

    Being an author, I totally understand the need for tours and I also understand how the author may get too busy to write individual guest posts or interviews for each one. I’m guilty of doing excerpts and vlog readings even though it seems those get the least amount of attention. When you sign up for a tour, the tour hosts pretty much run the show and tell you what to do and when to do it. I try to get creative…come up with ideas I think people will like, but in the end, sometimes I feel like if it weren’t for the giveaways there wouldn’t be that much interaction. Sadly.

    I have a handful of favorite book blogs and I love reading the reviews, but I also enjoy reading other author interviews and guest posts. I admit, I don’t usually read excerpts because the blurb is enough for me to decide if I’m going to read the book or not. If I win a book, I always buy a kindle copy to support the author. Always. I never participate in a giveaway of a book that doesn’t appeal to me.

    So I guess in summary, I do think some bloggers go overboard and I do end up deleting their emails without even opening them. But it’s their right to do that, and unlike me, some people might be excited about those posts. Or the giveaways attached to them. Outside of blog tours, I’m a bit selective where I’ll do guest posts or interviews. It almost always has to be a blog I love to follow personally. I also do my best to cater to that blogger. After all, getting interaction—not just page views—is the main reason to do them in the first place. 🙂

  26. I’m not really a fan of promo posts and that includes cover reveals, author interviews, and guest posts. They’re just not my thing. I have done one blog tour and the only reason I signed up was that it was a reviews only tour. I don’t have plans right now to do another but if I do, I would want to do a review again. I’m reading the book and writing a review anyway, right? A lot of times I’ll come across a tour post on Bloglovin and I won’t click through because I assume it’s just a promo post instead of a review.

    Jenna recently posted: Weekly Rewind: September 01-07
  27. I totally agree with you. There was a time, not too long ago, when I was actually posting a whole lot of promos. While it was to fill up my week of posts, it wasn’t that I was lazy or anything. I still put up the same amount of reviews that I normally do. But, I felt like I needed to post something every single day. Then, I came to the realization that I don’t need to post everyday, that quality is better than quantity, and that it’s okay to only post 3 or 4 times a week if it’s good posts like reviews and discussions and stuff that I actually care about enough to write up myself. So, I agree with you and am still in the process of cutting down on promos. I have a few more scheduled for this month and then I’m done! Then, I can really re-evaluate and think about how I want to go about them. I like your motto of having already read and loved a book or are actually looking forward to reading it! Thanks for this post 🙂

    1. Yeah I think that’s kind of what I meant. I get the impression that people often use promo posts as “fillers” (when they don’t have anything “better” to post, just post a promo). And filler posts (whether they’re a promo or something else) usually seem less important, or you can tell that less effort was put into them.

      I think it’s great that you’ve opted for quality over quantity! I totally agree with that mentality!

      1. Agreed! 🙂 And I just checked and noticed I have a couple more next month too…ugh! You really got me thinking about it more than I even was before when I decided I didn’t really want to do them anymore. I kind of wish I could back out of them now haha. I wouldn’t do that though!

  28. I’m pretty much exactly on board with everything you said. I don’t want to promote a book unless it’s something I want to read myself, or have. Oh and my feelings on excerpts are the same. Unless it is a book I’m dying to read so very much (like last year I totally read the excerpt from Insurgent before it came out, I couldn’t help myself), I won’t read them because it sucks not having more. I get why some people do them, but they are not from me and I don’t ever read them on the blogs of people who do them all the time.

    sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books recently posted: ‘Post’ on Sundays (54)
  29. I hate doing book tours, for the most part. They are a lot of work for very little return. And chances are I haven’t read the book. The only exception I make for tours is if I really loved the author’s previous work, and on very rare occasions, if it’s a publisher I really like and I’m throwing them a bone. I refuse to do cover reveals on the blog anymore for the most part, unless it’s a book I’m excited about. I hate doing interviews because I’m lazy.

    My god, I’m a horrible book blogger!

    Truth be told, this is a hobby for me and I don’t want it to feel like a chore, so I avoid the things that feel the most like “work.” I don’t enjoy reading promos and book blasts on others’ blogs, so I definitely don’t include them in mine.

    The single exception to all of this is my weekly Indie feature. I do the Excerpts because 1) they are easy and give me a weekly regular feature, and 2) it gives people a chance to read a snippet of indies when people are still pretty scared of them. There is probably going to be a time when my feature will become irrelevant, but until then, it’ll keep chugging along, since I’ve gotten remarks that readers like it and use it to find good indies.

    My name is Jennifer and I’m a lazy book blogger.

    Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog recently posted: Indie Author Excerpts: Antioch by William Harlan
  30. I agree with you on some points and disagree on others. I do hate when a blog is JUST promo posts and no reviews. But I’ll usually just skip over those posts/blogs. I don’t understand the need to make a post about it. And I don’t agree that if you sign up for a promo post as part as a blog tour that you are being lazy. Those take time to put together even though they still give you all the materials. I don’t do many cover reveals/promo posts simply because I don’t have time. But if another blogger chooses to do so, it doesn’t bother me. No one is forcing me to follow or read their blog. If I happen to post a cover reveal or blitz one day and people think I’m lazy for it, so be it. They don’t know I’m at work 7am to 6pm or that I have 2 kids and a family and don’t have time to read or review a book a day…

    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted: Stacking the Shelves (67) + Weekly Recap!
    1. Well if someone posts a cover reveal/blitz now and then, I don’t think they’re lazy for it. But sometimes I see bloggers signing up for every single blitz they see, or signing up for TONS of blog tours but only ever selecting “guest post” or “promo” options, and at that point the blog becomes mostly content written by someone else other than the blog owner. I think that’s when I start to question what the blogger is doing. Obviously they can do whatever they want; it’s their blog and that’s cool. But if a blog is mostly content written by someone else (guest posts or promos you can copy HTML from), then I would start to think that maybe they just don’t want to write their own posts (or don’t have time).

      And even if that is the case, they can still do whatever they want. It just means I’m personally not interested in following the blog! I usually click with a blogger’s reading preferences and writing style, but if most of the posts aren’t written by the blogger, then there’s nothing for me to really click with, if that makes sense O_O

  31. I try to limit my blog tour participation especially promo blitzes. I’ll do it for a book that sounds really interesting. As for promo posts-I do post book / author spotlights, but I tend to do it for books that are about to be released that I’ll be reading or as a way to highlight an author that isn’t well known. For example, in the next week or two, I’ll spotlight an upcoming release for an author because I don’t have time to review his book before it is released and his publicist and I have been going back and forth on setting up an interview, but she had a family emergency so for several weeks everything was left in the open.

    A general rule for me regarding interviews is: if I haven’t read your book then I’m not going to interview you. I like being able to engage the author about their work and at the same time supply my followers with something a little more than your basic questions. As for guest posts-I don’t see them as an easy way out especially when it comes to a blog tour. Sometimes you just don’t have the time to read the book or have already reviewed it, but an interview isn’t an option.

    Honestly, I don’t like to read excerpts and don’t read them even for books I’m looking forward to. That being said, I do post them on occasion because some people do like them. Sometimes it is an exclusive that no one else has or it allows people to see a “sample” of the book and decide if they want to pre-order or add it to their TBR shelf.

    I will say this, I’m aware of a few blogs where they do a lot of promo / cover reveal posts because those are “easy” and you don’t have to do anything. I try to limit my participation. Great discussion post! 🙂

    Jess @ Literary, etc recently posted: Book Review: Jessica Lemmon’s Can’t Let Go
  32. For me, my policy is that I don’t like to do cover reveals or book blitzes because, to me, I hate copy and pasting content onto my blog because it makes it feel less original. Also, those other blogs who chose to participate as well aren’t as original because they have another blog in the mix that has the same stuff as them. So I felt like, for the blogs that really wanted to do them, I was like detracting from their possible traffic. It doesn’t really make sense but it did to thirteen-year-old me’s head >.<

    I used to do them once in a while but now I stopped altogether, and I have no problem with those weekly cover reveal round-up things that people do, but I do get a little annoyed sometimes if all I see are guest posts and book blitzes and cover reveals on a blog. I've had instances where I'll meet some people who think it's totally fine to do those kinds of things, and I mean sure it's their blog or whatever, but my personal preference is just that I don't like to see those. 🙂

    Fantastic post, Ashley! <33

    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted: Blogger Interview: Queen of Contemporary
  33. I have a hard time thinking on what to comment on this post, Ashley. I am just a new blogger so I can say that I still have a lot to learn regarding book blogging. I’ve just signed up as a tour host to get experience on what it’s like. Right now, I’ve been receiving notifications regarding open book tour sign ups. But like what you said, it’s not really my thing joining book tours if I’m not interested about the book or the author. I think it would look phony if I am promoting something which I am not interested. As of today, I only signed up for two book blitzes and one book tour which is due on November. Apart from that, just thinking about book tours pressures me and it makes me paranoid. What if I messed up the whole tour? I couldn’t have that in my conscience.

    Moving on, I can tolerate reading promo tours and interviews on the blogs that I follow. As long the as the blogger keeps things varied, then I am all okay. If the author interview is goofy, then I am inclined to read it even if I don’t know the author. I read it just for the laughs.

    I am not really sure if it’s just laziness on the part of the bloggers when they just post cover reveals, book tours, guest posts and the likes. Maybe their blog existed because of that, I don’t know. We’ve got different reasons why we started blogging.

    As for my blog, I intend to keep it as a book review blog keeping book tour posts, cover reveals & blitzes to a minimum. Well, I might change my mind if it’s JK Rowling asking me to promote her books.

    Great post, Ashley! I’ve learned a lot. 😀

    Charlotte recently posted: Stacking the Shelves {9}
  34. When I first started blogging, I got really caught up in the cover reveals and promo posts – but I’ve started to cut back because I realized that it wasn’t getting me anywhere and a lot of the books I wouldn’t think twice about. It was starting to be overwhelming to keep up, too!

    I still do a few, IF it catches my eye and I think it’s something I would be interested in actually reading. I want to be a blog and book reviewer that readers can trust the opinion of, not feel like they’re constantly being spammed. It’s a delicate balance, I think. There needs to be *some* promotion of books out there to get word of books out there (other than the main-stream books that *everyone* is talking about), but too much isn’t a good thing, either.

    Bree recently posted: Stacking the Shelves: September 7
  35. Great post, Ashley. I do agree that a lot of the time I skip promotional posts. It’s funny because when I was a newbie blogger I started doing a lot of cover reveals because I thought that’s what would make my blog “legit”. But then I realized I never looked at them on other blogs.

    It’s weird. I’m more likely to read a review if it’s NOT part of a blog tour (unless it’s for a book I am already super psyched about).

    But I never really thought guest posts were an easy way out. Honestly, I’m more inclined to read a guest post, because it’s more interesting content instead of just another review. Maybe it seems like less work to you, but I’d rather read a discussion post than a review, even if it was written by an author instead of the blogger. Plus, usually the blogger reviews the book at some point anyway. Shrug.

    Kelley (Another Novel Read) recently posted: Book Journals – How Do You Take Notes While Reading?
  36. This is a really good topic. I find that as a new blogger, blog tours help bring in traffic and exposure to the blog. This is especially true when the tours include giveaways. I have been trying to scale back and stick to tours for books I would actually read, even if I don’t have the time to read it for that particular tour and do an excerpt or guest post instead. I love guest posts, since the authors have something unique and interesting to add to your blog. I do think that promo posts or book blitzes are a bit of an easy content type and definitely don’t take as much time as a review would. But I think that doing reviews as part of a blog tour is a great way to keep the reading habit from getting expensive, since blog tours = free books for review. So they definitely are useful but it is good when blogs post other content than just blog tours.

  37. Gah, Ashley, it’s like you read my mind! Last year the blog-o-sphere was so FULL of book blasts and such around the holidays, and I could give some leeway then, because we’re ALL busy. But it seems sometime like that’s *all* I see. Honestly, I have unfollowed several blogs that began posting nothing but promo posts.

    The way I see it, one or two every now and again, even a few a month is fine (for me personally) if I’m reading your blog avidly. But if it seems like the number of posts I’m seeing is slanted more toward promos, guest posts, etc and less toward reviews or other original content, yeah, I don’t want to read all of that.

    My policy (and I need to add it into my actual review policy) is a lot like yours. I used to get authors asking me quite regularly if I’d mind posting that their book was on sale/free/coming out soon and I mean…how is it fair to promo something I’ve never read? That’s why when I DO sign up for blog tours I almost always sign up to review the book, so at least my readers are getting MY thoughts, and not just an excerpt or something that tells them nothing about how *I* thought the book was.

    FANTASTIC post, girl! <3

  38. I only post about books that I’ve read since I want to ensure I’m recommending quality to my readers. I would feel horrible if I did a promo for a book and realized when I read it that it isn’t something my readers are likely to enjoy. I agree as well that I nearly always skip promo/guest posts on other blogs.

    Anya recently posted: Updates from the Lair 9/15/13
  39. We are fairly new to blogging and are currently trying to increase our followers. We are starting a few blog tours as a way to do that but….we also read the books for the tours we have signed up for and actually will do reviews. I agree, I don’t really see the point in spotlights etc., however I do see tours as a way for less known authors to get introduced to the book fan communities. I also enjoy the author interviews to gain some insight into what motivated the book and what other writers inspired them.

    Nettie with Diaries of 2 Thick Chicks recently posted: Interview and Giveaway with Lisa Kessler!

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