Welcome back to virtual book tour week, where we are talking about mistakes writers make. It’s been a brutal one, hasn’t it? It’s hard to listen to mistakes but every one we make gives us a chance to learn. Now, take a deep breath, we’re almost done! Here’s the next one.
Mistake #4: Not Making Your Blog Host Feel Special and Expecting Them to Drop Everything
I know some of you are reading this and thinking that this tip is just a little too much. After all, I’ve been hammering at you all week about blog tours, and now I’m suggesting that you don’t treat the blogger special? After all, you’re gracious… you thank them…
But you can do more than that, and if you do, it will pay off. Let me give you an example of an author we hosted here: Michelle Moran. She was so wonderful here that she volunteered a guest post, answered my questions for an interview, offered up a signed book as a giveaway, and then did something no other author who has ever stopped by our blog had done: kept in touch! I’ll tell you the special things she did after that, and why I think her unique touch in marketing has helped her achieve best-seller success and even (last I heard) have her latest book optioned for a mini-series.
Have a Special Spot on Your Blog for Bloggers
A quick visit to Michelle’s site and you’ll see that she has a special link just for bloggers.
The very first thing she says is:
“This page is for the many, many bloggers who have helped make my books a success. Thank you so much for taking the time not only to read my novels, but to post Q&As about them, links to them, and thoughtful reviews!”
Then, she offers up a wealth of resources for bloggers. This special attention to detail has probably gotten her quite a few kudos from bloggers (like me – I’m here writing about her because she made an impact).
Give Bloggers Plenty of Lead Time!
One of the biggest pet peeves I have is when authors don’t understand that bloggers have a life, have jobs, and can’t just drop everything they are doing and review their book. Some authors are very reasonable with this, to the point where their behavior borders on arrogance. I’ve had this happen from an author who wanted me to read and review their book in a week. First of all, the types of books this person wrote wasn’t my “thing” at all, so if I had reviewed I probably wouldn’t have given her the type of review she wanted. Second, her unreasonable expectation made me want to tell her to take a hike!
If this sounds like you, pay attention! Even if a blogger drops everything and squeezes you into their schedule, they probably won’t continue to recommend your books. In other words, you’ll have missed the opportunity to get a new fan.
Offer to Do More
Let’s go back to Michelle Moran’s example. She contacted me after I had interviewed another writer friend of hers. I agreed to interview her and since her book was in the subject matter of something I enjoyed (historical fiction), I offered to review her book. She then came back and volunteered a guest post and a book giveaway as well. This was in such sharp contrast to what I get with most authors. So many authors want to have space on my blog but don’t want to write unique guest posts, they whine about interview questions, and act as if I’m the one putting them out.
Well, contrast that experience to Michelle. Which author do you think I am happy to continue to promote?
Stay In Touch
Michelle has kept my address and continued to send me things, like a review copy of her fabulous Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution. Her personal touch has kept me interested.
Unfortunately, not all authors are this way. Hey, I get it, we’re all busy. We can’t keep up with everyone. But if you do manage to add something more personal, it will go a long way in keeping that new fan you made.
I’ve had far too much of the opposite of this experience, where an author hounds me to death while their book is being published, and then drops me like a hot potato after that.
Michelle is the only author I can think of that actually sent me a lovely gift after her interview. She asked for my P.O. Box and a few days later I got an ancient coin that she had picked up from her travels, along with a note thanking me again for my involvement in her book promotion.
How many thank you notes (the real ones – not the quick email numbers) did you send after your last blog tour?
Tomorrow: Mistake #5