Blog Tour Preview

novel horseshoes and hand grenades on iphone with coffee ripped jeans

Next week marks my virgin foray into the wonderful world of blog tours.

Blog what? you might ask. A blog tour, I repeat.

What is a Blog Tour?

A blog tour is essentially a virtual book tour. In the old days, and in the today days for big-name authors backed by big-name publishing houses, authors travel from city to city to participate in events at local bookstores, schools and libraries. You know the type of event I refer to: the author sits at a table and signs copies of his/her/their new book. Sometimes the author reads from the new book, sometimes there is a Q&A session.

But publishing houses are less willing to invest in those tours as readers are less willing to venture out to scheduled events. Even the lure of meeting an author face-to-face often isn’t enough to build an audience. I’ve done a bunch of these events and while I don’t expect a huge audience at this stage in my career, bookstore owners have confessed to me that even better-known authors are finding it hard to draw a crowd.

So a virtual tour is a much-needed tool in the book promotion world.

How A Blog Tour Works

How does a blog tour work? Bloggers who write about books — meaning they post actual book reviews, author interviews, excerpts and extracts, etc. — commit to posting one of those types of content about a book on a specific date. The dates are set in advance by the author, publisher or publicist scheduling the tour. Bloggers then sign up for a tour date that works for them.

Blog tours typically last one to two weeks. One or two posts might appear on each day of the tour.

For example, here’s the schedule for my upcoming Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Blog Tour.

s.m. stevens schedule horseshoes hand grenades blog tour

Typical Blog Tour Content

Bloggers pick the type of content that works best for their schedule and readers. Or sometimes they let the scheduler choose. Of the 14 bloggers participating in the HAHG Blog Tour, 8 will post reviews of the book, 4 will post interviews with me, 3 will feature guest posts written by me, and 2 will run excerpts from the novel.

(The numbers don’t add up to 14 because some bloggers will post more than one type of content.)

Plus, one blogger will host a giveaway contest for a free copy of Horseshoes and Hand Grenades.

Guest posts usually address the content of the book, or the writing of the book. The three guest posts I have penned cover (1) why I chose to portray “lesser abuse” of an everyday heroine in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, (2) why I wrote the story in the first place, and (3) the narrative choices I had to make in bringing my co-narrators Astrid and Shelby to life.

The Beauty of Blog Tours

It makes perfect sense that virtual blog tours are replacing traditional author book tours. For starters, bloggers from all around the world can easily participate. Bloggers from the U.S., Canada, England, Scotland and Australia are taking part in the Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Blog Tour.

novel horseshoes and hand grenades on iphone with coffee ripped jeans

As with most things digital, blog tours reach far more readers than a traditional event ever could. And blog tours have leveled the playing field, allowing less well-known authors to grab some of the spotlight that previously only shone on the household-name authors.

So subscribe to my blog if you haven’t already, to get in on the fun of my Blog Tour when it starts on Monday, January 27. (Use the box to the right.) Or follow me on one of my social media platforms for tour updates. (Links to those also to the right.)

If you’re an author looking for help scheduling a blog tour, there are many wonderful bloggers/blog tour schedulers offering those services. Shoot me a message if you’d like some suggestions.