Earlier, I received the following question from Fynn:

I have been doing my own marketing on whatever level I can and have self-published an LGBT fairytale. It is a coming of age story about two knights that grow up together and slowly figure out that they are quite different from most of the people they know. It is called [*Redacted*]. I have taken it just about as far as I think I can on my own I was wondering if you might have tips, suggestions, maybe if you like the tale can you help me get the word out better?

Unfortunately my workload is such that I can’t read books to give specific marketing feedback, but I do wonder if a blog tour was set up with the release? If not, there’s no reason not to try one now — particularly if you can link it to a giveaway or some other time sensitive and/or newsworthy event.

There are services that you can use that will set up the blog tour for you so that the only thing you have to do as an author is write the content (guest blog posts, Q&A’s, etc.) But it’s also possible to set up a blog tour yourself.

I’ve done both. For Effie, The {Teen} Book Scene set up the blog tour and I just provided the content that each blog was looking for. It certainly was easier and more time friendly to have a team doing all the initial outreach to get the tour together.

I’ve also set up a blog tour myself for Hot Ticket right before a freebie run on Amazon. To do so, I researched book bloggers that were open to my genre (middle grade mystery) and then emailed them to offer a copy of my book. In case it helps, here is how I structured the email:

Dear [blogger name]

 

My middle grade mystery, Hot Ticket, will be free on Amazon from January 10 – 14th, 2016.

 

I’m in the process of organizing a blog tour for that week, and I’m hoping you would be interested in posting an excerpt, author interview or guest post during that time that includes a link to Amazon for readers that might be interested in a free copy of Hot Ticket.

 

About the book:

Juliet Robinson is the only sixth grader in John Jay Jr. High who hasn’t received a “hot ticket” from the mysterious ticket dispenser. When one of the dorkiest kids in school – Crammit Gibson – receives a ticket before she does, Juliet decides that the ticketing system has to stop. With the help of her best friend Lucy, a Daria-esque Madeline and her almost-crush Crammit, Juliet is determined to climb a few rungs on the middle school social ladder and catch the ticket dispenser once and for all!

 

Hot Ticket is a laugh-out-loud middle grade mystery.

 

Please let me know if there’s any additional information you need from me to consider Hot Ticket for your blog (including a digital copy). You can also find out more about the book here: http://tracymarchini.com/book/hot-ticket/

 

Thank you in advance for your consideration!

In approaching bloggers for your tour, I’d make sure that you:

  • Start early, bloggers book their tours in advance
  • Include a short blurb about the book
  • List the dates you’re hoping to tour
  • Be clear about what you can offer – Q&A, guest post, a book giveaway, etc.
  • Make sure that blogger is still open to submissions in your genre and is actively blogging

I’ll admit that it seems like there are fewer active book bloggers now than there were a few years ago, but there are still plenty of people looking to celebrate books that they love.

Once you’re on tour, be sure to:

  • Tweet, Facebook, etc. each post on your own social media and retweet/share the social media of your hosts
  • Read the comments on each post and respond
  • Be genuine
  • Be grateful
  • Be ready to support another author in kind

And if you haven’t tried it already…

People have had varying levels of success with:

  • Goodreads and LibraryThing giveaways
  • Giving away free copies on Amazon and other retailers (particularly if you have a follow up book in the series). Note that you have to market the run up to the freebie days as you would the run up to release.
  • Starting a mailing list of readers
  • An active social media presence
  • Local book fairs and bookstores open to indie signings
  • Sending press releases to your local paper, alma matter, and any other organizations you might be a part of
  • BookBub, Ereader News Today, and other promotional sites
  • Writing the next book!

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