by Kara Leigh Miller & Sharon Kleve
With the advent and popularity of ebooks, traditional marketing and book tours/signings aren’t as effective as they used to be. You don’t always have a physical book to carry around to do book signings. So, what do you do to promote your book and get it in the hands of readers?
You do a blog tour!
Planning a blog tour is both exciting and exhausting. It’s a lot of work, but it is well worth it. However, working in conjunction with someone else to celebrate the release of two books is way more fun! This is exactly what we’ve done.
How, you ask? Here are the steps we took to plan and organize our Sweet ‘n Steamy Blog Tour.
- Get organized before you start any planning. This step is crucial!
- Start a spreadsheet where you can keep track of all the stops you schedule. You don’t want to forget about a stop or forget to send materials to a blogger after they’ve been kind enough to host you. We have a spreadsheet we’re using via Google docs. Goggle docs is convenient because you can access it from any computer, without sending a word document back and to keep the other author up-to-date. It includes: blog name, blog link, blogger’s name, blogger’s email address, date of scheduled stop, type of post (guest post (topic), interview, spotlight, review), and date the materials were sent to the blogger. So, at a quick glance, we can see what dates we have left to fill and which bloggers we still need to send stuff to.
- Pick dates that you want your blog tour to run. Be sure it coincides with your book release. Starting the day your book is released or the day after is a good choice. For example, our Sweet ‘n Steamy tour is running from 9/15 – 10/16, so we know we have to try and fill as many dates within that time frame as possible. One blog stop per day is good. It’s better if you can schedule 2 or 3 per day, for maximum exposure.
- No blog tour is complete without a giveaway of some sort. Determine what prizes you’d like to giveaway and make a list of them.
- Create a standard form email that you can copy and paste when contacting bloggers. Trust us, you don’t want to have to retype the same email over and over again. Be sure to include your name; pertinent blog tour information such as dates, tour name, etc.; the giveaway and what prizes you’re offering; the book(s) information; and what kind of promotion you’re looking to do: book spotlight, guest post, interview, or a review request. Also, be sure to personalize it for each blog you send it to.
- Start contacting bloggers. In our case, we both contacted our personal friends/bloggers first. They are your best resource. If you’re a new author and don’t have any blogging contacts yet, don’t worry. Start by going to your publisher’s author loop and ask your fellow authors to help you out and participate in your blog tour.
- Find blogs that fit your genre of book. For example, you don’t want to ask blogs that cater to a young adult audience to help promote your erotica or adult romance book. It’s very easy to Google “romance blogs” or “paranormal blogs” or “young adult blogs.” Be prepared. There will be a LOT of options.
- Systematically start going through the search results. Visit each individual blog and read their guest post/review request requirements. Then send them an email asking to be a guest on their blog. Some blogs will post an email address that you send requests to. Others will have a form right there on the website to fill out. This is where your pre-written form letter will come in handy. Also, be sure to update your spreadsheet each time you schedule a stop.
- Repeat step 3 until you’re exhausted or you’ve run out of blogs to visit.
- This is optional: create a new page on your personal blog that will stay there until the end of the tour. This allows people to see the complete tour schedule and follow it if they want. It’s also added promotion for random visitors who may not know you have a blog tour going on. You can see a sample one here: http://www.karaleighmiller.com/p/jilted-blog-tour.html .
- Most importantly…Have fun and sell some books!
Author: Kara Leigh Miller
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 9.15.2013
Heat Rating: Hot
Amy and Brett have been friends since they were kids; and their friendship has withstood the test of time. But can it withstand Brett’s fiancée, Vanessa?
Brett Hudson has often wondered what it would be like to be more than Amy’s friend, but when he’s chosen as the newest professional dancer on Dancing with the Stars, he meets Vanessa, one of the shows costume designers and it’s a whirlwind romance that ends in a wedding proposal. As the big day draws closer, Brett begins to think that marrying Vanessa might be a bad idea. She wants him to give up Amy. Completely. Will he give up his best friend for the woman he’s supposed to marry?
Amy King is heartbroken to learn that Brett is marrying another woman. But, when Brett is jilted at the altar, he begs Amy to go on his honeymoon with him. A week on a tropical island with her best friend, the man she’s fantasized about for years is a dream come true for Amy. But when Brett suggests crossing the line from friends to lovers, Amy is reluctant. Will she risk years of friendship for one night of passion?
“It’s because you go for the wrong type of guy,” Brett said matter-of-factly, pouring a third shot down his throat. “Those muscle bound jocks are all bark and no bite. They look good on the outside, but they’re a mess on the inside.”
Amy threw a piece of ice at him and laughed. “And the goody two shoes, school teacher types you date are much better?”
“Nope.” He grinned. “Which is why we’re both still single.”
She sighed. “Yeah, so much for my dream of having kids.”
“You’re young. I’m sure you’ll find someone.” He drank his last shot and chased it with his beer.
“I’m thirty, Brett. By the time I find a man, date him, and get married, I’ll be an old hag with no viable eggs.”
The thought of Amy finding a man to marry and have kids with didn’t sit well with him. He couldn’t stomach the thought of losing her. “I’ll tell you what.” He leaned across the table and pointed at her. “Three years from now, if neither of us are married, I’ll marry you and give you as many babies as you want.” Brett’s words were slurred. Yup. He was definitely drunk. He wouldn’t have made that proposition otherwise.
“Yeah right.” Amy rolled her eyes. “You and me? That would be like fucking my brother. Thanks, but no thanks.”
He flinched at her words. “You think of me as your brother?” That bothered him a lot more than it should, especially considering he’d never once thought of her as a sister.
She shrugged. “We’re best friends. How else would I think of you?” Amy glanced away, and then set her gaze on him again. “Why? How do you think of me?”
Oh shit! He hadn’t expected the conversation to backfire on him like that. What was he supposed to tell her? That he thought of her as a best friend that he wanted to fuck? No, he definitely couldn’t tell her that. “As a friend, I guess. I don’t know. It’s not like I sit around and think about how I should think of you. You’re Amy.”
“And you’re drunk.”
“Maybe a little.” He grinned. “So, do we have a deal or what?”
Kara is a multi-published romance author who dabbles in young adult, new adult, paranormal, and contemporary romances. However, her genre of choice will always be erotic romance. She’s a member of the CNY Writers Haven and the Romance Writers of America. Writing is her passion and she loves to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with her fellow authors and her fans.
Today, Kara resides in Upstate New York with her husband, five kids, three cats, and two dogs. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends.
Nothing excites Kara more than hearing from her fans. So, send her a note. She’ll go total fan girl over it!
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Author: Sharon Kleve
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 9.15.2013
Heat Rating: Sweet
Halo Ann Carlyle wishes for a home, family, and a boat-load of pets. What she gets is a bruised hip, a lump on the head, a broken ankle, and her new yellow Honda Civic is demolished.
Rich McFarland, a sexy veterinarian, keeps showing up in the most unexpected places, promising everything she’s ever wanted.
Halo believes she only has time to pursue her career as a pet detective and must ignore her growing attraction to achieve her dreams.
Will Halo trust her heart, and find a way to get both for Christmas?
She’d just placed another call through to Pemsky’s office, which went straight to his voicemail, when the office door opened. Halo smiled and looked up into dreamy, gold-flecked green eyes, short sandy brown hair, a slight cleft chin, and full lips set in a hard line. Even with the stern look he had on his face, my hormones jumped into overdrive.
Mr. Dreamy cleared his throat—she must’ve been staring. In her most professional voice she said, “Good morning. How may I help you?”
He removed a piece of paper from his shirt pocket and unfolded the sheet.
“I was parked in front of the Beacon Hill Ale House and my driver’s side mirror was sideswiped by one of Pemsky’s Security’s SUV’s Friday night.”
Halo loved the Beacon Hill Ale House. Every Saturday night the Ale House allowed local bands to jam together. That’s where she’d met her last loser boyfriend. She’d had a lot of loser boyfriends. She’s currently on a hiatus from dating, but she wouldn’t mind jumping back into the dating game for this dream-boat.
He handed her the piece of paper.
“I wasn’t able to get a look at the driver, but I got the license plate number of the vehicle that hit my car and drove away.”
He emphasized the last part.
“I’m very sorry about your car. I’m sure Mr. Pemsky will be happy to cover the damage.” Halo checked the company log and Pemsky’s name popped up as the driver—she gulped.
Sharon Kleve was born and raised in Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband.
Sharon is a writer of paranormal and contemporary romance. She loves romance. She loves reading romance, living romance, and especially loves writing about romance. She gets no greater feeling than watching her characters come alive in each other’s arms. Most of all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever after they deserve—with a few bumps and bruises along the way.
One of her favorite things to do is picking up a new book and sinking into the story, immersing herself in the emotions between the characters. She hopes to inspire her readers the same way her favorite authors have inspired her.
When not writing, she can usually be found either curled up in her recliner with her cat and a good book, or in the kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels.
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Rafflecopter Giveaway Info:
- One (1) Winner will receive a $25 gift card to a book seller of their choice
- One (1) Winner will receive Kara Leigh Miller’s complete backlist, which includes five novellas and two full-length books
- One (1) Winner will receive Sharon Kleve’s complete backlist, which includes six books
- Three (3) Winners will receive a signed paperback copy of Kara Leigh Miller’s, Death of a Waterfall
- Three (3) Winners will receive a signed paperback copy of Sharon Kleve’s, Love Crazed
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a Rafflecopter giveaway
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