Some of the more common questions on the request form have been about Blog Tours and Author Interviews. These two sort of go hand in hand, because typically during a Blog Tour you have the option of interviewing the author. Both of these topics can be pretty daunting when you first start blogging, and I know I was scared of both for awhile!!! When I found out how easy it really is to get involved in blog tours, as well as interview authors I was stoked! Now when I find authors I really love I immediately ask for an interview, and blog tours are great ways to help publicize both your blog and the books!
Remember, these are just my own opinions and experiences. I am not an expert in any way, shape, or form.
What is a blog tour?
A blog tour is basically an online book tour, that a tour manager will put together with a bunch of bloggers. Each blogger will be assigned a day and a post type that will go up for their scheduled tour stop. Your choices typically involve author interviews, guest posts (you pick the topic), reviews, character interviews, this or that, and many others! Sometimes the tour manger will specify the different types of posts that are available and you will have to follow certain guidelines. Blog tours are a great way to link up your blog with a bunch of other bloggers and help publicize great books, as well as promote yourself!
How do I get involved in a blog tour?
For a long time I would see one of my favorite bloggers, Giselle from Xpresso Reads, participating in a different blog tour every week! I thought to myself, “Wow, these look like so much fun! I want to be involved!” The first step to participating in a blog tour is to find out which ones are going on. This can be tricky if you don't know where to look. Here are some tips on finding fun blog tours:
- Ask Twitter: A lot of the times, authors will host their own blog tours and if you send out some tweets showing interest in joining blog tours they will track you down. Also, friends and other bloggers may know about some good tours going on and will inform you of the correct person to email if you are interested.
- Ask your friends: If you stop by a fellow blogger's page and notice they have a bunch of upcoming tour posts coming up, ask them how you can get involved! Sometimes tour managers will be looking for tons and tons of bloggers to participate! However, for bigger tours that are organized by publishers (like the upcoming Hemlock tour) you'll have to get an invite from the publicity person in charge, so if you didn't get one then it's probably going to be impossible to join in.
- Novel Publicity: I've worked with this blog tour company before and it's usually pretty easy. Plus, they only send you blog tour info for books they think you'll be interested in, and no matter what type of post you choose to do, you'll get an e-copy of the book!
- Tribute Books: This is another great tour site that I work with and I really love the way they manage everything. It's incredibly professional and the authors are very prompt with getting you all the needed information.
One thing to remember about blog tours is that you shouldn't post negative reviews for the book. At least, I don't think you should. In most cases, you're more than welcome to post whatever you want to say if you signed up for a review, but I myself cannot in good taste write a negative review for a blog tour. Yes, I will probably review the book on my blog on a later date, but as a courtesy to the tour manager and the author, I will only post my review for a tour if it is a 4 or 5 star review. I try to read the book about 3-4 weeks before my scheduled date so that if I am not interested in the book at all (which has happened) I can email the tour manger and let them know that I need to change my post because of my feelings towards the book. They will be more than happy to get you an interview or guest post as long as you let them know with enough time for them to talk to the author! If you don't mind posting a negative review for a tour, than by all means go for it, but I feel like it's a bit disrespectful to the author.
Guest Posts or Interviews?
Personally, I like to do author interviews more than guest posts. Guest posts tend to be easier because all you have to do is give the author a topic and they'll write a few paragraphs about it, and then you can copy and paste it into your blog. Done! But as a reader, I enjoy interviews MUCH more, especially when they're with some of my favorite authors. I think interviews give us more of an insight into the mind of the author and what inspired them to write the stories that we love so much. Also, I love learning about weird quirks authors might have, and the other things that make them so normal.
I absolutely love this author, how can I interview them?
Authors are some of the coolest people out there and I just LOVE interviewing them. Some of my favorite interviews have been with Jodi Meadows (author of INCARNATE) and Veronica Rossi (author of UNDER THE NEVER SKY) which are AWESOME debuts!!! I also have an interview with Tera Lynn Childs (author of SWEET VENOM) coming up that I'm really excited for :) Any ways, some people were wondering how they can go about getting an interview with an author, and honestly it's really quite easy. You ask them! You just go ahead and send them an email with the subject line: Interview Request. Then you tell them a bit about yourself and your blog, and then gush about their books because you loved them SO MUCH, and then you politely ask if they'd be willing to do an interview on your blog. Typically, I follow this up by saying, “If you are available for an interview, here are the questions I'd be interested in hearing the answers to:” and then list about 5-10 questions that I have thought up, that way they can just fill in their answers and email me back quickly. Then I say THANK YOU VERY MUCH, and maybe tell them again how much I loved them, and that's that! If they don't respond after 2-3 weeks I would just send a quick email asking if they received your first request, because occasionally your emails will get lost on the internet.
How do you think up the questions?
I try not to do interviews with authors until after I've read their book, that way I can ask questions that pertain to their specific books, rather than general questions. However, I do have a list of questions that I LOVE to ask all authors, because I think the answers are always so fun! If I haven't read an author's book, I'll just pick and choose questions off that list that I think will relate well to their books. Some examples of MY questions are:
- What kind of research did you have to do while writing your book?
- Which character did you enjoy writing the most? The least?
- Which character do you most relate to?
- Who has been your biggest inspiration?
- If you weren't a writer, what kind of career would you like to have?
Those are just a few! Obviously you're welcome to ask whatever you'd like!! However, it's better to specifically ask for interviews of authors you love and adore so you can ask questions about their books, and let readers know what they're up to as far as what they can expect in an upcoming novel, or how they figured out their setting, or weird things like that.
What about you? How have your experiences been with blog tours? Do you prefer guest posts or interviews more? Do you have any advice for people who want to get involved in more tours??