For today’s second ever Sales Saturday I decided to talk about something that was not as planned: The Walking in the Shadows blog tour. I had seen a lot of bloggers doing blog tours and had heard it was a good way to get exposure. Now, for those not familiar with blog tours, you find someone who sets them up for a price, or for free. They have contacts with numerous bloggers and set up reviews, giveaways, and other events to happen for the duration of time chosen (usually a week to a month). I found someone who was very kind and worked hard to set up the tour. The tour was a week, and it had several large blogs with followings of over 1,000, but many with followings below 300. There were to be 4 giveaways during the week as well and the tour would begin the weekend after the book was released. I’ve read a ton of places that the best thing to do to increase sales is to publish another book, but this wasn’t the reason I did it. The novel was ready to be published, and I was very happy with everything from the cover on the front, to the back, to everything in the middle.
I received some great reviews from several of the bloggers. One of the bloggers that was supposed to review the book and post never did. I am still not sure what happened there, but I hope she is okay because she hasn’t posted on her blog in a long time.
I saw several of the giveaways show up on GR group posts from the bloggers advertising them.
Well, from the giveaways I’ve learned several things. One is that Rafflecopter giveaways are the way to go. Why? No one entered the giveaways that required a comment posted, granted these were on smaller blogs, but I truly believe that the way Rafflecopter operates is great.
Rafflecopter has set up features that allows those that enter to earn extra entries by doing things such as following a blog, commenting on the blog, friending GR, etc. These are great because it allows the author, and the blogger host, a way to keep in contact with the “customer”. It gives an incentive to the one entering to get more than one entry.
As for the amount that entered, one of the larger blogs had around 140 entries, and the giveaway was only a few days long. The second giveaway is still going on, but still only has 48 entries.
None, no lie, absolutely no sales on either of my novels for that week.
What I’ve learned?
Well, they are great! I’ve noticed that some blogs have massive followings (upwards of 22,000+); now I really would like to know how they did it! I’ve seen several forums where you can gain “a follow for a follow”, but what this has me wondering is the value of that follow. If they are following, but don’t have an interest in what you say, is it really worth it? It forces the numbers up and looks great to those looking at the site, but how many are really following–looking at each post? Now, those that have many followers and participate in blog tours, may participate in a lot. So, how does an author stand out on a blog that posts 4-5 giveaways, books, a week? I’m not really sure. I’m guilty of going on those forums, but I’ve found some awesome blogs that I really enjoy reading.
I think that this was the biggest learning curve, and I’ve been trying to obtain some knowledge by looking at Rafflecopters that have 1000’s of entries. I’ve noticed one thing, the Rafflecopter is posted on multiple blogs. Thus, instead of doing 4 giveaways, one on each blog, there is one giveaway posted on all the blogs that are participating. I think this is a much better idea, and I plan to use it on my future blog tours.
Giveaways don’t give buying incentive. Okay, I’m guilty of this too. I enter for a free book, but then I forget about the book and never pick it up because I didn’t win, so I was never reminded that I wanted to read it. Believe me, I think that giveaways are great, and by no means am I saying I won’t be doing them any more, but I believe that moderation is the key to this one. I also think Rafflecopter’s bonus entry features can be utilized to remind the reader they wanted to read the novel.
Yes, I was utterly disappointed in this. I thought, and maybe this is where I went wrong, that the visibility factor, would boost my sales. I think there were a few factors in this.
- Blog Size- So, without offending anyone, we all have to start somewhere, a lot of the blogs were smaller blogs. Now, I do have to say, some of these smaller blogs have very valuable followers–ones who go out and buy the books because they said so. This is what I meant by the value of a follow. You can tell by the comments that they receive at the end of their posts. I would go with great, smaller blogs, with solid followers over blogs with a large number of followers who just click delete when they get the email about the post.
- Giveaways- I already went over this, but giveaways don’t give sales incentive.
- Car Accident- I was in a car accident on the third day of the tour, and thus I couldn’t do any promotion myself because I was sore, upset, stressed and looking for a new car.
- Variety- The tour consisted of mostly reviews, which is great, don’t get me wrong; I love reviews! From a readers perspective what really gets me is things that get me into the book before I’ve even read it, like a character interview, play lists, character profiles, dream casts, etc. I did have a character profile on one day during the tour, and I think that my readers really enjoyed that. I have to give credit to another for all the others I listed off, Kayla at Ramblings of a Book Junkie. Kayla happened to invite me to her new group where she sets up blog tours, and invited me to participate in her tours. Now, I am not in a position to do that right now, but I do plan on doing so in the future. At any rate, I contacted her because I wanted to see about doing another blog tour for Walking in the Shadows. I explained what happened, and we had some constructive emails back and forth about the subject. Now, this is not to say there is anything wrong with my other blog tour host–I am using her for another tour for In Between Seasons in the first week of January. The thing with blog tour hosts is they each have different contacts! So, I think it’s beneficial to use more than one. I also spoke to Kayla about some other ideas I have for my next novel to be published, hopefully in Spring. She will be helping me out with a month long tour, and a cover reveal that spans multiple blogs!
- Length- I won’t know for sure until my month long tour with the new novel, but I think that a longer tour, with more stops, allows for more visibility.
What will I do for future tours?
- One giveaway for all blogs involved
- Rafflecopter giveaways only
- Longer duration
- Followers are numbers, but faithful followers are the ones you want
I will be having a week long tour for In Between Seasons in the first week of January with Reading Away the Days Tours (my original host) and a week long tour for Walking in the Shadows with Ramblings of a Book Junkie in the second week. Now, what book will get the month long tour?
Well, that’s for you to find out and me to know 😉
I’m not sure if this sales information helped anyone, but I’d like to give a special thanks to the following blogs that help me:
Babblings of a Bookaholic
Cause I say So
Reading Away the Days
I am a reader, not a Writer
We Do Write
Young Adult Book Addict
Reading a Little Bit of Everything
Ramblings of a Book Junkie
Tiffany Loves Books
Bloggers are the best way for an author to reach their readers because bloggers are readers. They make dreams come true!
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