21st century PR: Organizing a blog tour

From the virtual corridors of SheWrites comes this handy post, How to Organize a Blog Tour For Your New Book’s Release by published author Nava Atlas.

A blog tour is a virtual book tour to promote your book using relevant blogs around the internet. Instead of the author physically travelling from bookstore to bookstore or from a writers’ conference to an interview with a local newspaper, the author seeks attention for her book from blogs that receive high traffic and carry some influence with their readers. As Nava says, “It’s a relatively easy, inexpensive, and potentially very effective way to reach a decent-sized audience that’s just the right one for your book.”

Nava’s five-point plan is incredibly valuable, full of references to websites that provide information about the world’s millions of blogs. The most important step is the first, which is to develop a community of bloggers in your area of expertise. Fiction writers can interpret this more freely than non-fiction writers by thinking about all the topics covered in their novel. Imagine a topic, and you’ll find there’s at least one blog about it – and usually many more. To discover them use a blog directory like Google Blogsearch or Technorati.

The publicity plan is valuable even if you’re not yet at the stage of having to organize your own blog  tour for your new book. In fact, now’s as good a time as any to start building your connections with relevant bloggers. Find a handful of relevant blogs, engage with the blogger and the readers who comment there, and you’ll gradually build a network that will help you when you do finally have a book to promote. As Seneca said, luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

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