Blogger Confession: Blog Tours are great tools but not miracle workers @HuffingtonPost

Posted March 13, 2013 by Felicia S in Blogger Confession / 52 Comments

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 Blogger Confession: Blog Tours are great tools but not miracle workers @HuffingtonPost

This was not my planned post for today but last night an article came to my attention from Huffington Post that really made me think.  If you were on twitter last night you probably saw my mini-rant.  I thought sleeping on it would make me just forget it BUT alas that just didn’t work.

In the art of fairness, I will admit that haven’t done many blog tours this year.  However the last two years, my blog was full of them!  Some of them were good, others were painful, some were super-successful, and others were just complete bombs.  Through all of that I learned that blog tours do work but they are not miracle workers!

Why Blog Tours are fantastic tools for authors, bloggers, and readers!

  • For Readers:  It gives us a chance to discover new authors that we might not have previously had on our radars.  I have found several “new to me” authors through book tours.  I have also found several books that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.  This has usually been because of the bloggers review of the book.  They took a chance and liked it.  That made me more willing to take a chance.  Book Tours have also given me a chance to learn more about the author, their characters, and how they approach their craft.  Sometimes the author sells the book to me during the book tours by being the kind of person I want to support.  As a reader, I find virtual book tours a wonderful tool for guiding my buys!
  • For Bloggers: If the tour is done right it can bring more people to our site.  Tours can encourage interaction and connect us with readers that might not have found our sites otherwise.  For those blogs that run ads (I don’t but I know plenty that do) it can give the ads a boost and in turn make that space a valuable commodity in the future.  It can bring us closer to other bloggers that we might not have previously known.  Building our community and making it stronger through connections. Also, it is a  great way to bond over books/authors/characters that we love.  As a blogger, I have been very lucky to have been part of many successful blog tours and wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world.
  • For Authors: If the tour is done right it can bring more people to your books.  It can bring your work and characters to people who otherwise might have never seen your books to begin with.  Each review, guest post, giveaway is a chance to connect with a reader that might become your biggest fan.  If the author puts in the work this also can be another way to connect with their readership in a more meaningful way.  By answering comments and following up with winners (for giveaways), the author has an opportunity to form bonds that will carry over to future releases of their books or even their backlist.  For authors, despite the work, if you work a blog tour right then you can gain fans for life.

Here is the line from the Lev Raphael: Planning a Blog Tour? Think Twice article that really got me thinking about expectations from blog tours:

“Worst of all, I saw no bump in sales over the previous month whatsoever.”

Here is why blog tours aren’t miracle workers: We can’t sell your books if your package is not enticing!  Everything counts!  This is more true for independently published books that don’t have marketing teams behind them.  However, I would argue that this holds true for traditionally published authors as well!

What do readers consider the packaging for a book (in the digital age this is far more wide-ranging than just what your book looks like on a shelf):

  • Price Points:  If you are an unknown or relatively unknown author then most readers are not going to be willing to spend $5.99, $6.99, or up on your eBook (they might on a paperback but that will depend on some of the points I list below).  It is hard enough to get people to spend that much when they know and LOVE the author.  For authors that don’t have many ratings or reviews usually the biggest price I am willing to pay is $2.99.  However, I am willing to pay that because I know that is the point the authors start earning their full commission (if self published) but if I didn’t know that (which most readers don’t) then $1.99 would be my limit on “new to me” or “new to my friends” authors.  Even for authors that we (most readers that I talk too) know and love, price point is a huge deal.  Everyone has limits on what they will spend on eBooks and $4.99 to $5.99 seem to be a pretty sweet spot.  Of course, some will pay more but this is a big part of your e-packaging and something that can stop sales cold! Paper Books (paperbacks, trade, and hardcovers) are a little more “flexible” in the pricing structure and what people are willing to pay BUT I would argue that it is still a selling point that can work for or against the author.
  • Cover Art: A great cover can sell a bad book.  A bad cover could make a “classic in the making” go unread.  In this day and age of visual stimulation, covers are becoming more and more a huge part of the packaging.  This is going to seem counter-intuitive but this is especially true in the digital world (I am talking the internet not just eBooks).  You need something that makes people stop, take a look, and want to read more.  People do image searches (which means you should be leveraging SEO on your images too but this isn’t an SEO class), if they are searching for Vampires and a cool cover comes up then you just got a pair of eyes on your book that might not have been looking for books at all.  A great cover can do wonders!  However, a bad cover will probably get you skipped over even if your book is free.
  • Attitude: Just going to put this out there, once you have submitted something into the virtual world it is there for life.  So those rants you want to do against those readers that didn’t like your book or those “woe is me, nobody understand my pain” confessionals that you blogged about are there for your readers (or future readers) to see.  You may not think it at the time but who you are can help sale or hinder the sale of your books.  Just think twice before doing something that might alienate your readership.  I am not saying to keep your mouth shut (that is your decision) but be prepared that there are consequences to all your actions.
  • Blurb:  This is very important to people who are on the fence about a book.  I have no idea how to tell you to write a good blurb BUT I do know that you should make it a priority in your packaging.
  • Online Content: From author websites to Social Media presence in the digital age this is part of your packaging.  Your website should be up to date with your latest information.  If people are googling to find your books they should not have to “work” for this information.  It should be on your page even if it is only a basic book list.  I would also say that GoodReads, Library Thing, and any other social book site should be a priority.  Make sure your books are listed so that people can add it to their shelves.  Social Media can be your friend but also can be your enemy.  Take time to look up social media do’s and dont’s!  You need to educate yourself on the best ways to reach your readers and interact with them in the digital world.

A good blog tour combined with good packaging can be a win/win for all parties involved.  Do bad blog tours happen? Absolutely.  On a whole are they great tools? YES! Does the work have to be on all three sides (Coordinator, Author, and Blogger) for it to work to the fullest extent? YES!  Overall Blog Tours are a great tool but the end result will depend on the work of everyone involved.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I was not part of the Lev Raphael blog tour so I can’t really say from the blogging side what went wrong. I can tell you as a reader that I looked up his books on Goodreads and Amazon.  He has a high price point with limited reviews/ratings.  Just with Goodreads/Amazon there was not enough information to “sell” his books to me at the price point he had listed.  There were 54 ratings (his most rated) for one book on Goodreads but only 8 reviews. His average rating is 3.5 and that isn’t bad but with limited people rating combined with his price point that would not be enough to sale me on his book. On Amazon the number was smaller but the results were similar.   So while there may have been some bad blog tour experiences for him, I am not sure that the blog tour is the whole reason for his problem.  This is important to note because I think it plays into the whole experience.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with him choosing to price a book a certain way or package it the way he did.  I am saying that a blog tour can only bring people to your books, it can’t make them buy it if the rest of the packaging is unappealing.

 

Felicia S
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Felicia S

Felicia is just your average gal from Texas that loves Audiobooks and Libraries with a passion! She can wine them, dine them, and love them forever. Her eclectic reading tastes include: Cozy Mysteries, Thrillers, Swoon-Worthy Romance of all kinds, Zombies, Urban Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and the occasional YA read.

During her non-reading time you can find her hanging with her rescue furr children named after book characters: Lizzie a beautiful cattle dog mix (Pound Pup), Cinder a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Pound Pup), and Minerva a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Foster Fail). Gathering with friends and family, attending conventions, watching movies/tv shows, rooting for the 49rs, and crocheting.

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52 responses to “Blogger Confession: Blog Tours are great tools but not miracle workers @HuffingtonPost

    • He really just feels the need to be right. I wouldn’t let him get to you but it is sad he feels the need to respond. You are allowed to feel however you want about his book. That is what art does–it inspires us or disappoints us.

  1. Book Savvy Babe

    I totally agree w/ you. Blog tours are a tool, one of many. I haven’t participated in many lately, mostly due to time constraints, but I have been part of some really great tours. There are no guarantees to the online sales and marketing, and you’re right, blog tours are not miracle workers 🙂

    • I think they are a tool and only as useful as the work you put into them. I think unrealistic expectations are probably what kills authors where blog tours are concerned.

      I was kind of sad that he was disparaging them 🙁

      • Book Savvy Babe

        it’s really not fair to blame bloggers on lack of book sales, especially when bloggers tried to promote the book, not disparage it

  2. Awesome commentary, Geeky!! I agree with your article 100%. Some people just don’t get it and shouldn’t have an audience as big as they have. It’s a classic, “… but I said this,” & “but I didn’t say that”. Oh, Bill Clinton…. what are you saying?

  3. I also was not super happy with that article, especially since I always do review posts for blog tours which takes a good amount of work on my part (i.e. reading the book!). It definitely seemed like he didn’t have a good idea of what blog tours are supposed to do, but he also seems to need the increase in reviews…. Excellent point about the price of new to you books as well!

    Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

    • I don’t think he did his due diligence. He also probably would have saved some time if he would have asked questions about his particular type of book.

      I could give him a list of what probably went wrong on his tour but alas I do not want to get into another conversation with him.

  4. Wow, I missed all the drama while I was at work Weds. I did not read the author’s post, but I can say that I agree about your views on blog tours and the actual books marketing. I rarely participate in tours, because I prefer to review them and since I plan 2 months out I am usually booked by the time a tour approaches me. Great post 🙂

    • It wasn’t really drama as much as an unfair swipe at blog tours (or bloggers less-than-professional reviews). I kind of wrote this as an op-ed opposite view point but he seemed to take it personally. I will say this, I don’t do many blog tours but I do think they are a useful tour especially for those that might not have the money to do the live tours. I was just frustrated at his overall tone. Plus, you know me—I get momma bear and feel the need to defend our community because I love it so much 🙂

  5. I completely agree with you Felicia. I actually just blogged about this as well, and then I saw Ellie tweeting about your post.

    It’s always the same – authors complaining about our supposed lack of writing good reviews. They should be glad we’re taking the time to read their book at all.

    • I just read his responses to you on huffington post! His arguments are so circular and ignorant. The thing that gets me is he is the “professional”. Though his ego seems to get in the way of taking any kind of personal responsibility for why his tour went wrong (and there are several reasons why after so much research this weekend on it). Though I went back to read a few of his other articles on HP and it appears this a theme of his “argument and/or negative” narratives. He tore apart Dick Wolf’s The Intercept so I guess it is not just aimed at bloggers.

      (I find that funny mostly because I really enjoyed The Intercept)

  6. Well said. I don’t take on blog tours that come through companies. I’m personally a little uncomfortable about people making money out of bloggers in that way (I know co-ordinating takes time but I think each individual blogger puts in more time and effort). I also don’t think they always do a great job in matching blogs to books…the amount of times I’ve been contacted and thought “why on earth did you think that was my thing?”.

    As a reader, often tour content isn’t interesting enough to read, let alone make me want to buy the book. If I’ve never heard of an author, why do I care about their inspirations and how they write? I would much rather see them writing about something that was only vaguely connected to their book. Say if the book is a cooking themed cosy mystery, recipes would be awesome content. Pre-written interviews are a big no-no, they should always been between the blogger and author.

    • I have spent way to much time researching this tour this weekend. I think he left a LOT of information out of his article that would be prudent to other authors on why the tour didn’t work:

      1) His book is 49 pages and sales for 4.99 (whoops he marked it down to 2.99)way to high of a price point for that short of a book.
      2) He did not comment on one single blog tour stop
      3) All of his comments both here and on the HP piece have all pointed to him having limited time. He did evidently get his “homework” done on time though.
      4) His snobbery is driving me nuts. He keeps bringing up the big 6 yet of his 24 books only 4 are published by the big 6 (1990, 1991, 1993, and 1997). Which on a whole would mean nothing to me but he keeps bringing it up (I love indy published books so I don’t know why he needs throw the big 6 in his arguments when they aren’t part of his life).
      5) His lack of research before even agreeing to the blog tour is evident. He should have had a list of the blogs that agree in the first place (especially if he was paying). He would have then known what type of review to expect and whether it was “up to his standards”

      So yep I agree with you and now I am glad I wrote this on Wednesday. It might had been harsher had I written it later in the week LOL

  7. Ok so I missed the twitter drama….I always miss the good stuff…LOL. I thought this was an excellent piece Felicia. And I loved your mature, professional response to this Lev fella. Since my blogging has taken a slight hiatus this year Im doing more tours than reviews. It keeps content on my blog and makes me feel less stressed to get review after review up. I think personally tours can be super fun, and given good content and a good cover I think they can boost an authors sale. But if the author does a rant (like one of mine did on a Sat Spotlight) I agree it can give them bad PR.

    • I am all for tours! I love following them. The only reason I took a break from them is because they are some work on the behalf of the blogger (I have been on reading goal kick this year so my blog work has been a bit lacking). Things like that article just make me get all mama-bear for our community because our community rocks!

  8. Bravo!! I love this post. I think authors can be very emotional (understandably) about these things and makes them less objective at times. I think a blog tour can only be as successful as the book allows. I actually heard about Cinder through a blog tour. I also think that blog tours are most helpful when they are coupled with other things. They have to be well done. If they look like spam, people will treat them as such. Overall, I agree with you completely and I think this rant needed to grace the blogosphere.

    • I have found a ton of books through book tours. Heck the few YA books I have read have almost exclusively come through blogging tours where more than 1 of my friends have loved the book 🙂

  9. This is a great post Felicia. I read this article yesterday when I saw the link you tweeted, and it irritated me to no end. I understand where he’s coming from, I do. He spent some money (I have no idea how much) for a tour, and he had high hopes that tour would draw some interest to his book and result in sales. I can’t blame him for those hopes, as I myself would have had them in his shoes.

    BUT, I take huge exception to his comment regarding the bloggers’ writing skills. Nowhere does it say that you have to write well in order to have a love of books and want to start a book review blog. And nowhere is there evidence that a well written review sells more books than a review that someone might consider not as well written. Maybe a gushing, over-the-top enthusiastic review full of OMGs and all caps and exclamation points encourages someone to buy the book more than a more analytical approach to the pros and cons of the book. Who’s to know either way? If he was that concerned with the quality of the writing in the reviews, he should have asked the tour coordinator if it was possible to check out the bloggers they were hoping to contact for the tour ahead of time.

    As far as the fact that he didn’t sell any books as part of the online tour, well that was never guaranteed was it? Like you said, bloggers aren’t miracle workers. We do the best we can to get the word out there, but after that it’s out of our hands. We can’t physically make someone click “buy” on amazon.

    I’m sorry he was so disappointed with his tour experience, but I know many authors who’ve had amazing tour experiences, and there are way more factors in play in making it a success than just the bloggers themselves.

    • I read his comments both on my blog and on the Huffington post article. I even took time to visit every blog on his tour last night. He did not leave a comment on one single stop on his tour. His book is a novella (why he did a blog tour for a novella I have no idea) so the reviews are short. Also, 9 out of the 14 stops were reviews. He was only responsible for 5 days worth of posts and while agree that is WORK, it isn’t unexpected. It is also pretty tame compared to some tours I have seen. He also stated in a comment (on Huffington Post) that he had limited time because he was teaching, planning two classes, and had a family emergency. He did turn in the stuff the blog coordinator asked for. I didn’t see any giveaways associated with the tour so that probably played into the success too. Oh, this novella is priced 2.99 for a 48 page book. After finding all of this out last night, I was even more angry that he didn’t include any of these factors as to why his tour was less than successful.

      I am glad that he did thank (privately) all of those people who participated.

      Oh he put how much he spent on it down in the comments of my blog ($200)

  10. I have mixed fellings with blog tours, because sometimes it feels like people are only following the tour for the prizes, but other moments we fnd some really great books from upcoming authors that otherwise wouldn’t think twice in reading.
    So I agree with you, for the authors they need to think about selling the book, with pretty covers and a nice price, because I don’t buy indie books over 3.99 and only if it’s a really great plot.

    • I love them as a reader but as a blogger they sometimes can be more work than I can handle and/or have time for. I do have one coming up in May but I have done a tour with that particular person several times so I know what to expect.

      I think your pricing point is pretty equal to mine. I will occasionally go over that amount but it is an author I already know and love. Otherwise, I just wait till the price drops. There are so many books these days and while I am sad to miss some, my pocket book just has to come first 🙂

  11. I haven’t done nearly as many blog tours as my first or even my second year (not for any particular reason, just preferred to review & do other posts). For an author who’s got to promote his/her books, blog tours seem a good alternative…if done right. There are some fantastic blog tour organizers out there–people who screen their bloggers and fit the blog to the book. Of course, there are others who don’t take quite as much care, slapping together a bunch of blogs and calling it a tour.

    But, like you said, the package definitely counts. You may have a successful blog tour (everyone’s posts go up, you get good reviews, whatever) but still not see a bump in sales. There are lots of reasons why that might happen, as you pointed out. It can be quite arbitrary.

    Appreciate your insights — your op-ed, so to speak — and pointing out this article! I’ve been a bit out of it lately (deadlines got me down!) so I missed the hubbub! Just goes to show how you really have to be aware of what you write and how it might be read/interpreted.

    • You were right on time with this one then (his article posted yesterday). It is so funny because I probably would have missed it if I didn’t have book club on Tuesday night. It forced me to stay up later than I normally would have (yes I am an old lady where bed times are concerned).

      Packaging is probably the one thing that can make me buy a book (tour or not). I am a cover whore so visually you have to stimulate me. If you can hook me with a good blurb then I am good to go. I have to also admit that I go to goodreads to see if any of best buds have read it too or what the general feedback is 🙂 What can I say? So many books, so little time, and I don’t have a sugar daddy to build me a library with a hidden reading room (I am planning on that sugar daddy some day LOL)

  12. Wow! Reading this kind of post makes me glad I stayed on the Reader end of the industry and not the writer! LOL

    But to comment on the post, yes, from a reader’s perspective, a sale can all be in the packaging, especially if you’re looking for a new author.

    My love is in the criminal mysteries and thrillers genre – James Patterson, Tami Hoag, Steve Martini, etc. But before I bought any of their books for the first time, I was drawn to the book covers, then to the ‘blurb’ either on the back cover or right inside the front.

    Unless it’s an author I’m very familiar with, I’ll rarely buy a book unless there is a sort of summary or teaser on the cover somewhere; it’s like my preview of what’s to come.

    I’m really not sure what a ‘book tour’ is – online or offline, unless it’s the same as a book signing at a local store or mall. But for an online tour, absolutely I would think presentation has a lot to do with the sales, even if there’s a lot of traffic.

    I’ve been into swapping my book collection through an online service, but I won’t get a book unless I can see the cover and read something of what it’s about, especially if it’s a new author. And most of my books I’ve picked up at yard sales and flea markets because I can actually see and feel the book, look the pages and leaf through it.

    There’s just something about the actual feel of a real, printed book that actually even keeps me away from a “Kindle.”

    Well, good luck with your tours and sales! I have this site bookmarked because I’m an avid reader, so I should be back!

    • Thank you for the wonderful comment!

      I think presentation is a huge part of a book too 🙂 I am an avid reader of a lot of genres and the cover/blurb have to hook me. I will always buy my favorites (I am counting down to the next Karin Slaughter book and/or stalking the book) but for new authors it takes something to put their books in front of someone else’s.

      Blog Tours are sort of the virtual equivalent of a book signing tour. The author comes to a blog and either does a guest post or the blogger posts a review. There are often giveaways associated with the tour and it is just another way for books to be presented to the public. They are usually pretty fun 🙂 I love book signings though and those are my favorite just because you get real-time interaction. I saw James Rollins last year at a book signing and he was a delight. I had not read him before that but I think I bought all of his books immediately afterwards. So both are pretty similar just one is more real-time and one is more delayed 🙂

      PS: I love your list of favorites for authors. I don’t know if you ever go to book conventions but there is one named BoucherCon that would be right up your alley. I went last year and had a blast 🙂

  13. Oh I did want to comment where he did, but I didn’t want to add to the argument because I think you handled it well even though I think “he” put words in your “mouth”. One should look at those 3 fingers pointing back.

    However…

    Good reviews does not mean that there were positive aspects of the tour. Those can be separate… so what? Really what is the point of pointing it out twice?

    I also had the same reaction as you. So, I and a lot of other people misread it in the same way.

    I’m not a writer nor do I pretend to be one. I have no doubt he would have problems with my review. I am a hobbyist reviewer who loves to read (and doesn’t see a dime from my efforts). You know… his audience. Perhaps he missed the point that he is insulting his audience and not just the bloggers who took time out for the tour.

    I didn’t think you responded with anger, but were insulted. Hey, I was insulted. I think he should read the points you made here. All of them excellent and I think all of them are better points than he made in his article. His article read very personal and yours reads much more professional. Sorry, but it’s so true.

    PS. Any flack about my response should be e-mailed to me and not to Felicia… just sayin’…

    • Oh I think you make valid points!

      I have broad shoulders and can handle any kind of response I get. He hasn’t gotten one response on his article that states they read it in the way he keeps trying to say he mean it. Yes, I was more insulted than angry. Plus after research, well that is a personal opinion on why I don’t think his particular book sold (it has nothing to do with what the book is about but other packaging issues).

      *high five* to us hobbyist that read for fun 🙂

  14. I read the article via your tweet last night. I have to agree with your interpretation. I also don’t care for his response in your comments.

    The book blogging community means so much to me and I LOVE seeing how much it means to you as well.

    He could have better expressed his views on why other marketing may be best for authors without offending the people that took the time to help him.

    • *huggles* you!

      Yes the community means a lot to me! It has brought many laughs, fun, and wonderful friends. 🙂

      I think he could have found a way to relate his experience in a more succinct fashion.

      I don’t really understand he responses. My article really isn’t about him at all. It is more about the positives of blog tours and what I think of packaging. The first part is what spurred me to thinking and the last part was just what I saw as a reader who had NEVER heard of him before. I don’t think I attacked him at all but he is definitely reading it that way. So I suppose I could have been clearer in my article to state that it was not about him or his experience.

      Though my responses to his comments were about him.

  15. Wow! This obviously a heated debate and I can see where both sides are coming from. I did countless blog tours last year. I don’t even know how many probably fifty or so. While for the most part, I enjoyed my experiences I noticed that the majority of the time that the authors didn’t even stop by and comment on the post, nor did they email me and thank me. Do I get offended? No, but sometimes a thank you goes a long way and I can assure you, Lev, that if you took the time to comment and interact with the bloggers and the commenters that it spread good will. I am far more likely to pick up another book by an author who took the time to thank me as opposed to one who didn’t. I am sorry that the bloggers you emailed didn’t respond, we are not all like that. I personally take the time to email each and every author who guest posts on my blog and thank them. I have cut way back on tours this year because I am a bit frustrated with the way they are going. Just my own personal preferences, and I won’t get into all that here. I instead choose to approach authors individually and arrange guest posts. Even though you didn’t see a huge bump in sales, you got your book out there, got some nice reviews and put it on the map. The number of reviews plays a big factor, at least for me, when I am deciding on purchasing/reviewing a book. If I come across a book that has only a handful of reviews, especially when they are all glowing, I tend to steer away because I have found that too many times these reviews are coming from friends and families. On the other hand, if I see a book that has only a few positive reviews, but some of them come from bloggers whose reviews I trust, I usually don’t hesitate. So even though you didn’t perhaps see the jump in sales you were hoping for at least you got some reviews. I understand your frustration about spelling errors and such in blog posts, I am a stickler for that type of thing and I read and reread my posts checking for errors, but you know what, some of them slip through the cracks, as they do even in published books. Blogging is a huge undertaking and a lot of work, and no we do not get paid for our time and efforts, unless you consider the books we receive as compensation. It is a hobby and I love it because I enjoy sharing the good books that I find. I am sorry that this has burst into such a heated debate. I respect both of your opinions. Blog tours are hit and miss and there is no guarantee that they will increase your sales, but at least you are getting publicity. Best of luck in the future. Felicia, thank you for taking the time to express your opinions as well. Your response was well thought out and I stand behind many of the things you said. Thanks for sharing this today!

    • Wonderful thoughts Heidi 🙂 *Muah*!

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment. A lot of the reasons you listed are the reasons I stepped away from blog tours too. I have one coming up in May but it is an author that I have done every blog tour of hers for the last 3 years. I know how she works with her coordinators and I am familiar with her writing. I have found that it works better for me to go with authors that I am familiar with and know what to expect.

      I think each author has to decide what does/does not work for them. Just like those packaging things listed above are more of what I look for in a book and it isn’t what everyone else does 🙂 Though it was funny this came up last night because we were talking about similar things at book club last night so it was already on my mind (the what do readers look for when purchasing part).

  16. Wonderful post, Felicia! I’m glad you pointed out the Huffington Post article – I had not seen it yet. I wasn’t part of Lev Raphael’s tour either, though I remember it. A few bloggers I follow were hosts.

    It does feel like a slap in the face, doesn’t it? Most book bloggers (or at least the ones I follow) are just avid readers who love talking about books. I don’t see what good would ever come out of insulting readers.

    • It did feel like a slap in the face whether he meant for it to be or not. I don’t see what good will come from alienating potential readers but to each their own. I think most of us do it out of our love for books and talking about them with like-minded people.

  17. Amy

    Way to go! I luckily missed the tirade. But I loved how you laid it all out there.

    1) most important rule. You can’t take back nasty things. And there are always consequences to what you say. Tsk. Tsk. Way to try to alienate a whole community away from reading your book.

    2) competition is a bitch. The whole package does count when I decide to spend my $. And I don’t spend it lightly on a unknown, especially with so few reviews a in the ok range. Usually when there are only a few, they are all the author’s best buds. So ignore those anyways.

    • 1) Nope you can’t 🙂 So as my grandma would say–own it! You say it and then you take what is coming based on it 🙂

      2)Competition is a bitch! I know that a lot of elements go into picking up a book when I am considering it. Now that the market is flooded with tons of reads, it is even more competitive. You need a lot to catch a readers eye and hold it.

  18. Thank you SO MUCH for writing this post. I went on a mini-tirade about this article on Twitter last night myself. I don’t do many tours but the fact that this author generalized based on one experience really angered me.

    • He did generalize and just now left a comment with “Wow. Why do people insist on misreading what I wrote and then go on to rant about something I most definitely did not say”. I don’t think I misread it nor do I think others misread it. It was angering!

  19. You’re right about everything but here’s the deal, most publishers are putting way too much pressure on authors to sell their own books. I learned as an indie author that book marketing is a complicated thing and not all books are going to make it to bestseller status. If authors want massive sales, they’ll have to do a combination of everything like; advertising, blog tours, and interviews on a consistent basis. But even then, it’s a shot in the dark. Ask any of the big 6 publishers.

    • Oh I totally agree! I think there is probably a lot of pressure on authors to market/sell their own books. I couldn’t/wouldn’t want that pressure at all. There is no sure fire way to do it but his article was insinuating that blog tours were a waste of time. He also took a step further by saying he was not impressed with the level of professionalism with the reviews. While the coordinators for the blog tours may be paid (I have never organized one so I have no idea), the bloggers are not (a book is not payment). I just was really upset that seemed to deem the service as trivial. Blog tours are work for all parties involved including the bloggers on the tour stop. It is not just copying/pasting. It irks me when someone devalues my time (or my friends) because their expectations were not met. I thought it was a slap in the face to bloggers and even though it wasn’t me in particular, it was my community. My community that matters a whole heck of a lot! So while I feel for authors trying to figure out the best ways to promote/sell/and reach for readership. I honestly felt like he (in particular) was maybe working with unrealistic expectations and drawing people away from a tool that could be valuable to them. It is, in the end, just my opinion though and everyone has to do what works for them.

      • Wow. Why do people insist on mis-reading what I wrote and then go on to rant about something I most definitely did not say? I never said blog tours are worthless or not worth doing. I haven’t said anything condemnatory of all bloggers or all blog tours. I said my tour was not worth $200, nor was the $75 I spent on advertising on a genre web site.

        Yes, some, repeat some, of the bloggers didn’t write well. As the author of 24 books–one of which has sold over 250,000 copies–am I not supposed to notice that? And how does saying that impugn all bloggers?

        But people are incredibly defensive, so much so that one blogger whom I had thanked acted as if I hadn’t.

        I worked hard with my blog coordinator, and I did try to comment on every blog as soon as it went up, but there was something wrong with my browser and I couldn’t get through on every one, and I even contacted some of the bloggers, but didn’t hear back. What would people suggest at that point? And after thanking someone, what else is there to comment on?

        In my Huffington Post blog, I advised authors to think twice about doing a blog tour, given how much pressure we’re under to push, push, push our books. What’s wrong with that? Are blog tours and bloggers sacrosanct and exempt from criticism? Are authors not supposed to pick and choose what they do for publicity?

        And just because I, one single author, reported my individual experience with one blog tour, how on earth does that draw people away from bloggers, blogging, or blog tours? No author has that kind of power.

        As for the questions of price point, the book I toured with was $2.99 that month and the month after. And the book had at that point a dozen 4-5 star reviews on amazon, as well as a rave from indiereader.com, so there was plenty of info there and on my linked web site.

        Years ago authors were urged to do bookmarks, key chains and tchatchkehs to market their books. Just because some people have success with these things doesn’t mean everyone will. Blog tours are the same.

        • I am not sure what you meant when you wrote the article then because at no point did you mention that not all blog tours or stops are like your experience. All you did was highlight the negative and did not even manage to list one positive experience you had with the blog tour, stops, or bloggers your worked with.

          You did mention this: There was a good side, of course. I didn’t have to deal with flight delays and all the other hassles of a real tour. But those were the only advantages, and they don’t add up to much.

          Of course the blogging community is going to take offense to that and if I was a blogger on that tour I would have been offended. I am offended for them, you are essentially saying that transportation is really the only positive you had in the whole experience.

          Bloggers are not sacrosanct or immune to criticism. I think anytime you put yourself out there, you are open to criticism. I don’t mind that you feel I read your article wrong. How it read to me was negative. You might have meant something different than what you wrote but the way it read (to me) was very devaluing of the bloggers on your tour. You did not say one good thing (that involved them) at all during your article. So you insinuated that you had 14 bad experiences.

          As far as “Yes, some, repeat some, of the bloggers didn’t write well. As the author of 24 books–one of which has sold over 250,000 copies–am I not supposed to notice that?” …

          Bloggers (95%) do not get paid to blog about books. This is a hobby that they choose to share with a community. They are not professionals and each one of us write reviews in a different manner. Grammar/Spelling mistakes happen to us just as it happens to you. Do we always proofread as well as we should? Maybe not (I had to edit this comment for spelling and missing words once) but if they are anything like me, this hobby fits in between work, family, friends, and life. While you may have paid your blog coordinator that money to run the tour, that money is not given to the blog stops. Each of the bloggers volunteered to host your material. They gave up a spot on that day to put your book on display. That counts and will always be out there. It isn’t advertising that is gone tomorrow, it stays out there and can be stumbled upon any day.

          Like I said before everyone has to do what is best for them. You choose to share your experience with why a blog tour did not work for you. I chose to share my experience on why blog tours do work and can work. Consider it a couterpoint Op Ed to your piece.

          • Once again, your apparent anger is making you misread what I wrote. I did in fact say something positive: I got good-excellent reviews. How is that not positive?

            Y also put words in my mouth. I did not insinuate that blog tours are a waste of time. I said *mine* was (and a waste of money), and advised authors to think twice before they succumb to the latest fad.

            Well, not the latest anymore, actually, since a friend at one of the Big Six publishers tells me his house is urging him to advertise on Facebook. His publicist doesn’t think anything else works.

          • Once again, your apparent anger is making you misread what I wrote. I did in fact say something positive: I got good-excellent reviews. How is that not positive?

            You also put words in my mouth. I did not insinuate that blog tours are a waste of time. I said *mine* was (and a waste of money), and advised authors to think twice before they succumb to the latest fad.

            Well, not the latest anymore, actually, since a friend at one of the Big Six publishers tells me his house is urging him to advertise on Facebook. His publicist doesn’t think anything else works.

            • I am not angry and wish you only the best. I was just saying how the article read to me is maybe not the way you meant it. It might not have meant to come across that way but it did to me as the reader.

              Good luck with your book and I hope it does well 🙂