First, a commercial break for today’s stop on the Susannah Sandlin Omega tour—check over at the Susannah Sandlin website for the URLs on today’s stop. Only two days left to enter for the big prize!
So, I said earlier that today’s Shop Talk would be about ebooks and the recent news from Barnes and Noble that made me wonder if the Nook platform was going to become an endangered species. But I think it’s too early to have that talk. Too much is uncertain with B&N right now. And don’t even get me started about the indie bookstores suing Amazon (but not B&N) for creating proprietory ebooks.
Instead, I thought I’d see what you guys think of blog tours. I’ve done three in the last six months—for Absolution and Omega by “Susannah” and River Road for my Sentinels of New Orleans series. I’ve had some of you awesome people who’ve followed me along the tours, which is great and SO appreciated. There’s nothing more discouraging than spending an hour or so writing a guest blog post and having nobody show up, or to not know whether they showed up or not.
But, as readers, when you come to a blog you normally read and see a blog tour stop, do you find that interesting? Or do you think, oh there’s that blog whore over here now?
Do you only want to see guest blogs by authors with new releases? Coming at it from the author’s point of view, I would like to continue to get word out about my Sentinels series even though the blog tour is over. But are people tired of seeing stuff about a book that came out in November? (When the new one won’t be out until August?)
I think promotion is something all authors struggle with. Back in the old days, or so I hear, publishers did a lot more to promote their authors, and a lot of that responsibility has fallen on the authors’ shoulders. In a lot of ways, that makes sense in the changing climate of book buying and selling in the digital age. Now, blogging and social media has taken on a bigger role. I used to be more active on Twitter but, recently, I’ve spent more time on Facebook.
Authors having to do their own promotion has created some new cottage industries. There are people and companies who organize online blog tours; I’ve used the fabulous Bewitching Book Tours for all of mine (tips hat to the uber-organized Roxanne Rhoads), because after handling all my own stops for Royal Street, it was just way more time than I could devote to it. By letting the tour host do the scheduling and tracking, it lets me write more.
Another cottage industry fueled by the move of publicity to authors’ shoulders is the “virtual assistant,” and I know a lot of authors who have one, including myself (tips hat to the uber-organized and conscientious Stephen, who really needs to move to Alabama so he can help me catch up with all my mailings-LOL).
Anyway, I’ve wandered far afield, but I guess what I’m asking is: do you follow blog tours? Do you like them, or get tired of seeing the same author over and over? If you’re an author, do you struggle to keep up with publicity? What have you found to be most effective?
I’ll choose a commenter from this week’s Shop Talk to win a Book Horde book or a $5 Amazon gift card…your choice. Weigh in!