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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.

Why our commitment to blog tours is waning

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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Comments

  1. User: Jennifer S. Alderson

    Posted on: 10/01/2018 at 4:21 pm

    Excellent article. You’ve convinced me to reconsider organizing a tour. I think spacing posts out makes more sense. Happy 2018!

    Comment

  2. User: JB Johnston

    Posted on: 18/09/2017 at 5:25 pm

    As someone who organises blog tours I can tell you that I try to discourage authors from having anything longer than a 2 week tour and I generally cut longer tours. I think the desired publicity can be achieved in a short tour just as well. Blog tours do remain a favourite of authors and agents and I’m still taking plenty of bookings. They are time consuming not only to organise but to run and some authors do find it difficult to keep up with whats going on but the general feedback I get is that most love them.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 8:52 am

      They are time consuming all round, that is for sure! I guess we still review the same books but post at a favourable time and therefore the book might garner more attention. Doing less BTs also means we can focus on more creative ways of getting titles out to our audience, and that is fun!

      Comment

  3. User: Evie Gaughan

    Posted on: 18/09/2017 at 10:12 am

    Very interesting post. I have noticed a trend for ridiculously long blog tours lately and I agree, the excitement has gone out of it by the end (or the middle!). I think Indie authors and small publishers really value the effort that bloggers put into supporting the book and the author, so I hope people don’t stop blog tours completely. For my new release next year, I think I’m going to follow the ‘less is more’ rule and have a shorter tour featuring bloggers that I already have a connection with.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 18/09/2017 at 12:05 pm

      I think you are right that “less is more”. I think the nature of the BT will change and it is catching the wind of change and working out what the future will look like, so that it is more productive for the author… and this can happen if it is a joint venture between all concerned…Interesting times, I think!

      Comment

  4. User: Deborah Lawrenson

    Posted on: 18/09/2017 at 8:59 am

    This is so interesting from an author’s perspective. I have looked longingly at the organised blog tours arranged by book publicists and publishers while I felt locked out in the UK. (My last novel 300 Days of Sun was a strange hybrid of HarperCollins in the USA, where it did well, including a great blog tour, but no UK publisher.) I made hundreds of personal approaches to bloggers here but got only a very small percentage response. Mostly they were already booked up for months on end with blog tours!!

    But – and this is what bears your view out – the bloggers who did engage with me were terrific and there was a great sense of mutual rapport that certainly didn’t happen during the US blog tour, which was completely impersonal from my end. Perhaps this was closer to what the blog scene was always supposed to be about, with spontaneous interaction between blogger, reader and author.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 18/09/2017 at 12:10 pm

      There are so many ace book bloggers out there. I do think that if everyone gets stuck in to promoting a book, then anything is possible. I just think we need to catch the wind of change about blog tours and work out the future before it goes a bit sour….

      Comment

  5. User: judith barrow

    Posted on: 18/09/2017 at 8:12 am

    I had my one and only blog tour on my fourth book published by http://www.honno.co.uk/. They followed and shared every day and I was so grateful for that… and to all reader/reviewers who did the same. But oh, how time consuming and exhausting it was keeping up with everything. And how many readers did I really gain? Seems the sales went well – but the review numbers are low (if 4 and 5 stars)And while the book tour ran, I wrote nothing of my next book. Don’t think I would have a book tour again. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 8:49 am

      I think if you have a relationship with a blogger, they will automatically share and do the necessary and if it is on a more individual basis, or short tour, then there is more quality than quantity…. sounds as though what you did worked quite well for you!

      Comment

  6. User: Rebecca Stonehill

    Posted on: 18/09/2017 at 6:37 am

    Really interesting read. I was considering a blog tour for my new book a few weeks back but, instinctively, it didn’t quite feel like the right thing to do. I’m all for building relationships between authors / bloggers but sometimes this kind of pressure can take all the joy out of this relationship.

    Comment

  7. User: nickimags

    Posted on: 17/09/2017 at 8:11 pm

    Your post couldn’t have been more timely for me! I had an email from a publisher this week asking me I wanted to join a tour. I’ve never participated in one before, but have read a few posts about how stressful it can be, especially when the publisher doesn’t provide on the information on time. I’m fairly interested in the book, but have seen mixed reviews for it, and couldn’t decide what to do. Your post has helped me a lot. Thank you. 🙂

    Comment

  8. User: Janine Phillips

    Posted on: 17/09/2017 at 7:36 pm

    I have never given much thought to the ins and outs of blog tours. Having read this post I totally understand your point of view.

    Comment

  9. User: Sue G

    Posted on: 17/09/2017 at 4:58 pm

    Coincidentally I’m putting together a post on the pros and cons of blog tours – they seem to be a divisive topic! However individual bloggers feel about them they are still a firm favourite with publishers.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 8:51 am

      Do flag your post when you are ready… the publishers who do long BTs are super happy with the outcome. I think it would be great to start the debate on how BTs are going to morph now, as there is a clear wind of change…. Thank you for stopping by!

      Comment

  10. User: Annabel (annabookbel)

    Posted on: 17/09/2017 at 4:58 pm

    I feel exactly the same way. I see no value in the long ones either. I am extremely choosy now, and will only do very short tours.

    Comment

  11. User: Juliet Butler

    Posted on: 17/09/2017 at 4:49 pm

    This is spot on and why I am stopping to take part in blog tours. I have asked members of several book groups and they say that if a book is reviewed day after day for a period of time it actually puts them off reading the book and they certainly don’t read the reviews.
    Personally I get less views on blog tours and a lot more if I review a book near publication or just when I want.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 17/09/2017 at 6:05 pm

      The feedback you have had is interesting, thank you for stopping by!

      Comment

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