Discussion #13 Question: What are the benefits and drawbacks of participating in blog tours?
Blog tours can both help and harm a book blogger, depending on who is running the tour, how much free time the blogger has, and how many other people are hosting stops for the same tour.
Sometimes blog tours seem to be more trouble than they are worth, but I continue to participate in them.
I think my two and a half years of book blogging have taught me a lot about the pros and cons of participating in blog tours. If you are a new blogger, I hope what I am about to say helps you to decide whether to sign up for tours. If you’re a pro at book blogging, I’d love to hear your opinions.
Keep in mind my lists below are from the perspective of a blogger. I’m sure there are lists that could be made from the perspective of authors as well. But, I’m just focusing on bloggers today 🙂
The good things about blog tours
- Learning about new books and authors
- Free review copies of books
- More exposure because the tour stop is often promoted on other people’s social media
- Allow for more giveaways without the added expense
- Provide additional content for the blog
- The good feeling from helping a new author
The negative aspects of blog tours
- Deadlines for reviews and other posts, which sometimes can be difficult to meet
- Pushy promoters that ask for too much or send a gazillion reminder emails before the tour
- Duplicate content hurts search engine rankings. If a ton of people are posting the same thing, Google (for example) will know it and penalize the blogs for having duplicate content. I don’t know the extent of the damage this does; I just know it happens.
- Time needed to put everything together for the post. Examples:There is one tour company we have worked with a lot that I always dread setting up posts for because they never send the images separately. They put them in a Word doc, which I can’t just copy and paste into the WordPress editor. I have to right click on an image, find the right folder to save it in, save as a picture, upload it to WordPress, insert it into the post, etc. for every single image. If they would just send the images as email attachments, it would save me several steps.There are also some tour companies that create lovely html files, which would ordinarily be helpful to just copy/paste, but I end up having to do major reformatting because we use the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin, which requires I put certain info in fields, not in the text of the post. So, I have to delete it from what they sent me and add it all in the right places on the plugin.A lot of times I don’t have all the information I need like the publisher, the author bio, the publication date, the genre, the number of pages, the buy links, etc. and I have to go searching for this information to add to the post.
- Tours can be risky. Will the book be good? Will the excerpt be clean? If I say something negative, is someone going to be mad? I hate the feeling of giving a less-than-stellar review for a tour. I do it anyway, because I’m not going to lie about the book, but I feel guilty. On a couple of occasions, I have had to contact the tour company to tell them that I couldn’t finish the book. I hated doing it, but I thought it was better than forcing myself to try to find good things to say about a book that I didn’t even like enough to finish reading.
- Losing top post space, depending on the tour company and the way your blog is laid out. Some companies require top post, some require top three, and some don’t require anything. Even if your blog template has the option of doing a sticky or featured post to keep it at the top, you probably will still have to remember to remove the sticky the next day. You also have to be careful with how you schedule tours to make sure you don’t sign up for more than one that requires top post on the same day. If you’re not a solo blogger, this can get messy if you don’t coordinate schedules with the other blogger(s).
So, if you are a book blogger, what do you think about the pros and cons of blog tours?
Did I miss anything on my list? Have you experienced any of the things I mentioned?
About the meme…
Each Tuesday, we will post a discussion about a book-related topic. Sometimes, we will gear this toward writing books rather than reading them.
If you’re a blogger and you would like to join in on the fun, you don’t have to post about the same topic, but you are welcome to do so if you want. Just post a discussion and leave your link in the comments. If you’re not a blogger, that’s okay too. Just leave a comment with your answer to this week’s question.
This post is part of the 2017 Discussion Challenge, hosted by It Starts at Midnight & Feed Your Fiction Addiction