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VBT – The Author’s Guide to Blog Tours

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About the Book

Title: The Author’s Guide to Blog Tours
Author: Tiffany Shand
Genre: Nonfiction

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You’ve put a lot of time and effort into writing your book and sent it out there into the world. Now it’s time to start marketing it – but you don’t know where to begin. That’s where book blog tours come in. Blog tours are a great way to market your book and find readers at the same time.

In this short eBook, you’ll learn what the benefits of blog tours, how to find tour hosts and organise your very own book blog tour.

Author Bio

Photo of Tiffany Shand

Tiffany Shand started writing short stories when she was a child. She has always done writing in one form or another and started writing novels in her early teens.

Tiffany loves to read books and discovered her love for fantasy and paranormal romance.  She writes both non-fiction and fiction, and love helping writers to build their author platforms.

After doing a creative writing course in her early 20s, she is now a freelance writer and professional editor.

Tiffany lives in Essex with her two spoiled cats and one very nutty hamster.

Links:

Amazon Link (For Blog Tour Book)

Tiffany’s Website

Tiffany’s Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Book Excerpts

Except 1

What is a blog tour?

A blog tour is a virtual blog tour. Instead of going to different locations and doing a book signing, you’re hosted on different blogs used by book bloggers. Blog tours are a great way to promote your book, get reviews and generate more sales.

How blog tours helped me

When I published my first novel I literally spent hundreds of pounds I couldn’t afford on two awful editors who did a lousy job with my book which left no money over for any kind of marketing. So I started searching around online for ways to market my book and I read a lot of different books about book marketing.

I became overwhelmed as there so much information out there by authors who say do this, do that. Their recommendations included spending hundreds on ads or PR packages, going to book signing events or giving away dozens of paperbacks. None of these options were financially or realistically possible for me. I started searching around for free ways to market my book. Aside from using a Kindle promo, where I made my book free for a few days and promoting on Facebook groups, the other result I had was of doing a blog tour.

I had heard about blog tours from other authors in my writing group but I wasn’t sure how they worked. So I queried another author from my group and she explained that blog tours are virtual book tours. Instead of going to bookstores and other places to do book signings, you are instead hosted on a blog where they promote your book via different kinds of posts.

Once I figured out how blog tours worked, I had a look around some different blog tour companies for the type of services they provided, but it still seemed a lot of money for my non-existent budget. So I decided to learn what I could and go down the do-it-yourself route.

Using a site called blogtour.org I started going through dozens of different blogs. This site isn’t as well indexed as other blog directory sites. I had to go through and search each blog individually.

Except 2

What are book bloggers?

Book bloggers have only been around for the past few years since the use of blogs became much more popular and website platforms became much more affordable for the everyday user.

Since the growth in popularity of blogs over the past few years, dozens of booklovers have taken to writing about their favourite books. A book blogger is someone who loves reading books and writes blog posts about it on their blog. This can include thoughts on books, excerpts and posts about different books and reviews.

The different blogs reflect their owner’s tastes and vary in focus. Many readers will read a variety of different genres; other blogs will focus on a specific genre such as romance, fantasy, or young adult, etc.

Different blogs will have different kinds of audiences depending on what genre that blogger chooses to read. A blogger who likes to read a lot of different genres will probably have an audience who likes the same thing and chooses the type of posts they read on that blog.

Not every blogger will want to read your book, don’t ask a romance reader to read your sci-fi novel to help you promote your book. Choose a reader who enjoys your type of book. This may seem obvious but a lot of authors mass email book bloggers in any genre to try and promote their books, regardless of whether that blogger reads their book’s genre or not. There’s no point in trying to contact them if they don’t like your particular type of book, it’s just a waste of your time and theirs.

Excerpt 3

Querying book bloggers

Now you know what book bloggers are and what they do. After you’ve found some bloggers in your genre that you want contact, it’s time to write the all-important query email. It can be good beforehand to comment and respond to some of their posts.

This is where you want to start approaching bloggers and find out what they can do for you. If you were trying to get your book published by traditional publishers and agents, you would send query letters asking them to consider your book for publication. It’s very similar when contacting bloggers as you’re asking them to consider reviewing or possibly promoting your book.

One word of warning before contacting any blogger: make sure you to check the reviewer’s particular reviewing style. Some reviewers can be quite snarky or may even post bad reviews if they don’t like a book. So as I said before it’s important to choose bloggers who like your style of book.

Can bloggers leave bad reviews? Yes, it does happen. I find you have to be thick-skinned to be an author. Don’t take reviews personally, not everyone is going to like your book. You can’t please everyone.

Now you’ve got your list of potential bloggers, start by approaching the first blogger on your list. It’s a good idea to always check their review policy again before you email anyone as review policies often get changed, especially if the blogger decides they are no longer taking submissions. Read through the page again and see how to contact them. Some bloggers have a contact form on their website, some will give out their email addresses or some prefer you to fill out forms such as Google forms.

Some review policies will state what kind of timeframe they have to review your book. Some bloggers may have a waiting list several months long. I have even seen blogs that have a waiting list of up to a year or two. So take that into consideration before contacting them if you want your book to be reviewed quickly. Remember it’s their blog and they make the rules.

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VBT ~ Building Your Author Platform

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About the Book

Title: Building Your Author Platform
Author: Tiffany Shand
Genre: Nonfiction

Becoming an author in today’s world has never been easier with the self-publishing revolution. But how does an author stand out in a crowded market?

Setting up and building your author platform before you even publish your first book is the best way for building a solid platform that will last and help you grow your tribe of fans. This book contains all the fundamentals from creating your author website, to choosing your route of publishing and much more!

Building Your Author Platform Cover

Author Bio

Photo of Tiffany Shand

Tiffany Shand started writing short stories when she was a child. After doing a creative writing course in her teens, she discovered her love of nonfiction writing and is now a freelance writer and professional editor.

She writes both non-fiction and fiction, and is the author of the urban fantasy Excalibar Investigations Series. When she’s not writing, you’ll usually find her reading.

Tiffany lives in Essex with her family, two very spoiled cats and a hamster.

Links
Amazon buy link
Tiffany’s Blog
Tiffany’s Author Website
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon
Goodreads

Book Excerpts

Excerpt 1

When I first started my publishing journey back in early 2014, I had no idea what an author platform was or how to build one.

So what is an author platform? An author platform, as the name suggests, is a launch site from where all your book marketing takes place. A platform encompasses everything from a website, social media to readership. A platform is basically the number of people you can broadcast your message to.

Publishers don’t usually gamble on new authors who don’t already have a platform and an audience ready and waiting. If you already have an established platform and a readership, they are much more likely to take an interest in you.

Essentially, a platform is built out of a website and/or a blog, social media channels, and an email newsletter. It’s a direct link to your readers.

It’s the amount of influence you have over your readership, the level of visibility and authority you have in your particular genre, and your connection to your readers.

Authors can easily reach their fans on a global scale, thanks to the Internet. Gone are the old days of having to write letters or press releases. Now you can reach readers with a click of a mouse.

Excerpt 2

Do you need an author platform?

My answer would be: yes. In my opinion, every author needs a platform, whether they are writing sword-fighting fantasy, historical romance, children’s books or business guides. Every platform is different for each author, depending on their genre.

New authors need to have a strategy to launch their book and create a hype for it. Without any kind of strategy, it will make it harder for you to sell books or gain any real readers and long-time fans.

Some authors may say that they don’t need an author platform to sell books, and this may have been the argument for authors 50+ years ago. Writers aren’t just authors nowadays, especially if you are an indie author. Now authors have to be marketers and entrepreneurs. Having a solid author platform can help you market your book and leave you able to write more in the meantime.

When should you start building your author platform?

Ideally, it’s best to start building your author platform as soon as you start writing your book or at least before you publish your first book. Many authors don’t do this. I didn’t start building my own author platform until after I had published my first novel and this definitely made things harder for me to start growing my audience and building a readership. So the time to start building your platform is right now!

It’s common for non-fiction authors to establish their reputation based on speaking events, articles, guest posts or having their own niche website. They grow their audience by building interest in their books and selling them to their target audience.

If you write fiction, it can be easier to gain interest in your book by posting teasers and snippets of your book before publication on your website and social media channels.

An author platform is something that is forever growing and changing and something you will never stop building. It’s part of your long-term strategy and almost everything you do related to your book business.

What steps do you need to take?

One of the most common things I have heard is: how do I start building my author platform? Which is why I’m writing this book in the hope it will help other new authors to avoid some of the mistakes I made, and build their platforms much quicker. Your platform is the bridge between your books and your readers. So take the time to build a strong one.

Excerpt 3

Your author brand is your promise to your audience. Branding is how authors market themselves. Many writers don’t do this, but it is an important step before you build your platform and market your book. If you can’t show what you have to offer by making your work and writing unique, you won’t be able to connect with your audience.

Identify your target audience

This is a very important step in building your platform.

Who is your ideal reader? What are their wants, needs, interests and desires?

A lot of authors say that everyone is their ideal reader, but this definitely is not the case.

You need to target your audience.

  • Male or female?
  • What age are they?
  • What age group do they fit into?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are their beliefs? This is important when it comes to political or religious works
  • Where do your ideal readers hang out online?

I found that a lot of my fiction readers spend time on Facebook and Twitter. But younger readers usually spend more time on Instagram.

What do your ideal readers want?

With fiction, they want to be entertained and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Reading a book takes them away from everything.

With non-fiction books, readers want to learn something new. What do they want to know? What kind of problem do they need fixing and how could you solve it?

Understanding what your readers like and need is an important step, and is something that most authors often miss when they are first starting out. Taking the time to get to know your readers and their needs can be very challenging, but it’s worth the effort in the long run.

You must recognise the fact that not everyone is going to like your book. It’s not a “must-read” for everyone and won’t appeal to every single person on the planet.

How to determine your author brand

Some good ways of doing this are asking yourself:

  • Why do you write what you write?
  • What message are you trying to share?
  • How do you want to be perceived and why is that important to you?

Identifying your target audience requires an understanding of the characteristics of a particular group of people and the relevance they have to your work before you do anything to promote yourself or your book. You must be able to know why you write what you write and who cares about what you write.

The key is to identify and research what the target audience cares about and recognise what you have to offer in order to benefit your ideal reader.

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