Updated: Oct 26, 2022
What are book promotions?
Book promotions can be anything ranging from advertising to spreading the word via social media or through your mailing list. However the Promotions I am referring to in this blog post are those usually, but not always, that are run by a promotional company such as those I recommend, Itsy Bitsy Book Bits and Phoenix Book Promotions. In this blog post, I will explain what each is and how they can assist in increasing sales and reviews.
You can also run your own promotional tours quite easily with a lot of time and patience, next week I will be running through a blog post on exactly how you can do this so stay tuned for that. You can also take a look at our "Top Ten Marketing Tips for New Authors" where we recommend running a promotional tour.
Cover Reveals & Pre-order
Not all authors promote their reviews and pre-orders through a Tour company, however, this can be an advantage and help build up interest in your novel way before release. The company you select should build a social media post as well as a blog post with an HTML file for the convenience of any blogs which chose to sign up. They are also responsible for reaching out to blogs and getting them to sign up to post on a specific day of your choice.
A release blitz is run on the day of release, the planning happens weeks in advance. A tour company will approach a number of blogs, that work with books from your genre, prior to the release of your novel. They will get a number of sign up’s to the release of your novel.
During this sign-up process, the blogs agree to share all your material on the day of release on either their website/blog or social media accounts. A reputable promotional company will provide these in advance with both social media posts and an HTML source file for the blogs to add directly to their website. Whilst conducting the sign-ups they also ask whether the blog wishes to review your novel, this will either be via Netgalley or direct to Kindle. DO NOT allow your promotional company to send .pdf files of your novel, it is always best to provide them with a mobi file which they can send directly to the kindles of any blogs wishing to review. This is a much safer practice, although not as safe as using a resource like Netgalley, and helps prevent your novels from ending up on illegal download sites.
On the day of release, it is the responsibility of your promotional company to attend each of the blogs which have signed up and thank the blogs for their time and post. If any blogs have failed to post they can contact them and ask if there is an issue with anything. It is also their responsibility to account for the reviews and chase up any that are outstanding. Usually, after the book promotion, they can email any who signed up to review requesting that these be put on Goodreads or Amazon.
A blog tour is run over a number of days, usually between 7 days and 10 days, however, they can be over any period of time you would like. Routinely they are run just after the release of a book, this helps to drive up sales as the exposure on social media and on blog posts is consistent over a period of days.
A blog tour generally has more content than a release blitz and different blogs can feature different exclusive content. In the build-up to a blog tour, your company should again contact blogs that suit your genre and ask if they would like to feature and review your novel. They would give the blogs a selection of dates to choose from and a selection of content such as bonus chapters, reviews, author interviews, or character interviews. This would depend on what you are also willing to do as an author, some authors choose not to offer author or character interviews for example due to the extra workload but remember the more we offer the reader the more likely they are to engage in your releases. Your tour company should then provide all the information for the blog tour along with a schedule detailing which blog will be posting on what day. They also act as a go-between you and the blogs for example sending reviews, gaining character, or author interviews.
Your tour company effectively acts as your personal assistant during, before, and for a short period after your blog tour. Some tour companies will run things differently so please take care in reading their terms and conditions and ask the relevant questions before parting with your money.
Just like with your release blitz, the tour companies can deal with the distribution of ARC (Advance Reader Copies), it’s important to always remember that these be done either via a platform such as Netgalley or Direct To Kindle in order to protect your copyright. They are also responsible for chasing reviews and posts on each day that the blog agrees to post.
How can promotional Tours help increase sales?
By having promotional tours around release this helps increase exposure to potential readers, anything that increases your reach will also increase your chance of sales. If you have conducted keyword research like we advised in our blog post “Top Tips to Publishing Via KDP” you will see a huge benefit to these blogs also using your keywords within their blog posts and social media posts.
Another highly beneficial thing to consider is the backlinks to your website, you can find more information about backlinks from our blog post on “Blogging Strategies for Authors” if your tour company includes the link to your author website when emailing out the tour information and HTML you will get a number of backlinks to your website this will help with google rankings and your websites SEO.
Benefits also include the chance of increasing reviews, the more reviews you have on stores such as Amazon the bigger the potential chance someone will take on your novel. If you would like to learn more about reviews please take a look at our blog post "Top Tips for Gaining Reviews".
Your relationship with blogs can make a huge difference to your career as an author; see them as a doorway to readers. There are a huge number of blogs out there with their very own following of readers, and even those which feature newsletters. Take for example the blog “Maryse’s Book Blog” she has a phenomenal following of 44,000 and that is just on her Facebook page. Your work with bloggers is essential. You support them in the growth of their blog and they will support you with the sharing of your content. This leads us back to our blog post on “Top Ten Tips to Self publishing” where we discuss the importance of Networking with tip number 4!
Would you like to learn how to run your own book promotion?
We now have available a specially formulated workshop giving you step-by-step instructions on how to create and run your own. This workshop was created for our membership and has been used to great advantage by the ladies in The Creative Writing corner! We now have the option for you to purchase the self-study workshop direct from my website.
Do you research when it comes to employing a company to conduct your book promotions. Questions to consider.
What genre of bloggers do you work with?
How many bloggers are on your mailing list?
Are there any hidden costs for things such as dealing with Advanced Readers Copies?
Do you provide blogs with HTML code?
Do you follow up on all blog posts?
Do you chase up blogs that have failed to produce a review that agreed to one?
Avoid any tour company which can guarantee you an exact number of blogs that will partake, having run many promotions for authors I know this is impossible. They can advise on what their recent tours have reached or how many sign-ups they have gained for similar novels but they should not GUARANTEE a number of sign-ups.
Never give a .pdf for review copies, always send a Mobi file, or use a platform like Netgalley for your reviews.
As an author always go around and thank Bloggers for taking the time to review or post your content on their social media accounts or blogs.
Always get a list of blogs partaking in your promotion.
Consider running your own promotional tour if you don’t have the funds to employ a company. I will create a blog post with how to run your own promotions shortly including how to create HTML.
Check reviews of tour companies or speak with fellow authors for feedback.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Should you want to learn more you can sign up for my newsletter below. We will also be running some workshops and having expert guest appearances in our latest monthly subscription service “The Creative Writing Corner” you can see what we have on offer for you and book your very own space!
You can follow our blog posts via My Wix or feel free to sign up for our Newsletter, where we are now giving away a FREE book launch checklist!