Monday, July 30, 2012

How NOT To Run a Blog Tour

So, my Quarantine blog tour is finally over, and I'm breathing a sigh of relief! I hope that readers had fun - I know that at least a few people bought copies of the book and told me they really liked it. Wouldn't it be nice if they were just the tip of the iceberg?!

However, the way this tour played out was far from ideal. I've learned a few lessons over the month of July.

Don't schedule a blog tour for a time when you'll be out of the country

Three quarters of the blog tour stops occurred while I was traveling, with little access to the Internet and paying big bucks when I did get a chance to check in. This made the tour far more difficult to manage. I had "emergencies" that I just couldn't do anything about.

One blogger, due to email issues, didn't get my guest post. There was nothing I could do about it. By the time I got her message, asking "where's the post", I was long gone.

In another situation, a guest of mine discovered that her post, which I'm 100% sure I scheduled before I left, never appeared. Again, I was helpless to remedy this until I returned. (It seems that Blogger simply ate it. I have no idea where it went.)

The most important reason to stick around during a tour, of course, is to read and reply to participants' comments. I hated the notion that my readers were sending their comments into "limbo".

Unfortunately, I couldn't really control my schedule this time. The business aspect of my trip meant that I had to leave just two days after the book was released. And I wasn't going to cut my husband's vacation time short with the excuse that I had to run a blog tour. When all is said and done, family comes first.

Keep it short and don't leave gaps in the schedule

I think this tour was too long. I felt as though I was nagging my readers, sending them almost daily messages about where to go next. Also, in several cases I had several day gaps between posts. That sort of lag makes readers forget what's going on.

Next time I think I'll restrict the tour to seven or eight consecutive days, maximum.

Make sure you've got reliable lines of communication with your hosts and guests

I lost one guest on my blog, and one guest post location, because of communication failures. I sent out what I thought was an excellent post. It never appeared on the author's blog - in fact I never heard from her at all. In similar fashion, I had a guest scheduled for the ManFest component of the tour, on this blog, but she seems to have fallen off the face of the earth.

Avoid Wordpress blogs

Possibly this isn't fair - but at several of my stops people weren't able to comment because of some problems with the blog platform. I suspect that these were Wordpress blogs because I've had the same sort of issues myself.

All's well that ends well

Despite the difficulties, I'm fairly pleased with the way the tour played out. I'm particularly happy about the response to the character interviews and snog excerpts I put up here at Beyond Romance.

I want to thank the readers who followed me around for more than two weeks! There are one or two of you who, I think, commented on every single post in the tour. Now that's loyalty!


Unknown said...

But you did great and it was a fun tour :) Congratulations on ending it with at least part of your sanity :)

Lisabet Sarai said...

And congratulations to YOU on (I think) commenting on every single post!

Fedora said...

Lisabet, I think those are some great tips for future blog tour hosts! While I haven't run one, I've seen some of those issues come up before for others. I'm glad you were able to spend time with your family, and you did fabulously with this tour despite the hiccups. Congratulations again with Quarantine, and happy August :)

Lisabet Sarai said...

Thanks Fedora! (It IS you, Fedora, isn't it?)

Actually, the main thing I've learned is don't sweat the hiccups! Because they're always going to happen! I'm sure that five or six years ago, the sort of problems I ran into would have had my blood pressure up and my poor husband afraid to talk to me for fear of having his head snapped off! Now I can say, "Well, that's just the way it is. Nobody's going to die if one of my posts doesn't show up!"

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