BC: Debriefing from a Blog Tour—Part I
Recently I and my latest novel, Web of Lies, zipped around the country—and world, actually—on a blog tour. (At my own blog, Forensics and Faith, known for its word-coining among other strange things, “blog tour” ended up shortening to “blour.”) These virtual road shows are the latest thing in online book marketing—and they have real merit. Herewith, I impart to you what I learned on my blour du jour.
First, some history. The Christian Fiction Syndicate (blour idea) is the brainchild of T.L. Hines (author of Waking Lazarus, releasing this summer from Bethany). Currently about 60 people have signed up to be a part of this group. (About half participate each month on a regular basis.) A year ago, Tony saw the idea of a literary "blog tour" being hatched, with a couple of places even running the tours for money, then matching authors and their books with appropriate blogs. Tony liked the idea, but wanted to create something a bit different.
First, it wouldn’t involve money. Second, whereas typical blog tours feature the author guest-blogging at individual blogs over a long span of days, Tony wanted to feature an author on several blogs all at the same time—over a tight, three-day span. During these simultaneous blog appearances, the posts would include an agreed-upon link for the book. Why? All of these extra links posting at once would help push the book onto the "most talked about" lists in blog search services such as Technorati and BlogPulse—lists that many bloggers visit every day. Such a blog blitz could also boost search engine rankings (such as Google) for the author and book in various categories.
In addition to creating this online buzz, Tony sought to create a connection between writers and readers. Bloggers get to interact with authors and have interesting topics for their blogs, writers get to promote their own work, and blog readers get to discover new writers. Everybody wins.
The Christian Fiction Syndicate holds a blour once a month. During this three-day span, some of the bloggers review the selected book. Some run interviews with the author. Others simply mention the book and show the cover. Whatever they do, the important thing is to include the assigned link for the book that Tony sends them.
This link goes to amazon.com, but it’s not the typical long URL you’d find if, say, you visited the Web of Lies page at Amazon. The link that Technorati and other blog search engines like best for a book is: http://www.amazon/com/exec/obidos/asin/ISBNNUMBER. This link is always accepted by Amazon and auto-refreshes to the book’s product page. (The “asin” part of the code string refers to books.)
So, what happened on my blour du jour? And how far up the Technorati list did Web of Lies go?
Part II tomorrow.
~ Brandilyn Collins, Seatbelt Suspense™