Talking Location With author Charlotte Rixon – Newcastle
Why our commitment to blog tours is waning
17th September 2017
Why our commitment to blog tours is waning.
TripFiction has taken part in innumerable blog tours over the years, bringing the work of authors to the fore and getting word out about the books that deserve wider recognition. It is a privilege to read works by talented writers, who perhaps don’t have their place booked on the flagship table of the bookstores, yet are as good as those authors who have greater financial backing and access to publicity.
It is not the first time we have debated the value of the blog tour for all those involved, the author, publisher/publicist and blogger. We can only share our own personal experience, and why we are taking the decision to reduce our commitment to blog tours. That said, we are in no way reducing our dedication to reviewing books that are offered to us and that we accept for review.
Imagine the scenario. A book is published on the first of the month, the blog tour runs for, say, 30 days, and our due date is towards the end of the month. By the time our post comes around, the market is saturated with reviews for the book. There is such ennui around, with little incentive for readers to open yet another review. The interaction and interest we gain at this position in the blog tour is virtually zero. If, however, we independently post around publication date, then we can present what we want to say to a fresh and enthusiastic readership. That is so much better for the author, the publisher and for us. Around publication date there is excitement, life, anticipation, all of which tend to tail off further down the line.
We have also researched that the blog posts we publish at a time of our choosing have much better interaction generally than those we publish as part of a blog tour. So it’s a bit of a no brainer why we we would consider reducing our commitment.
Then, factor in some weird and wonderful demands when an approach is made to take part in a blog tour, and the stress for us accumulates. We are often surprised how a first contact can be made that makes it seem an absolute privilege to take part in a blog tour, with a covert warning that the blogger must sign up immediately or the place on the blog tour will be forfeited, with the prospect that the blogger is left chuntering on the sidelines whilst everyone engages in the blog tour. Or, as a blogger, you apply to take part in a blog tour, but the response pings back to say all places are already filled. The underlying message, too, can often be, if you don’t sign up for the blog tour, you will not be sent a copy of the book. Ouch! Promised material to post on the blog by the deadline sometimes needs chasing, which is yet another feature on the “to do” list with a tight timing. Blog tours can be stressful. I, for one, really do not want to add to my daily stress.
For some publishers/publicists a blog tour is a cheap and easy way of getting publicity. And you will know who those publishers/publicists are because once the blog tour is up and running they have skedaddled, gone dead quiet, with not a peep of support on Social Media. Isn’t it supposed to be a joint effort to push an author’s work out into the wider world? That for me leaves me feeling just a tad exploited. There are of course publishers who are the exact opposite and who continue their support as the blog tour processes, but they are few and far between nowadays.
This is not about privilege and inclusion/exclusion, this is about fostering trust between a publisher/publicist and blogger. And maybe that is the relationship that needs building and honing from both sides going forward. It is about quality, too. Reliable bloggers will do what they say. Reliable publishers will do what they say too. That surely is the path to fruitful synergy!
All of these factors have contributed to our decision to commit to taking part in fewer blog tours. Our commitment to blog tours may be waning, but our engagement with books, authors and publishers is still as strong as ever and growing.
Tina for the TripFiction Team
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