Publicity Tip #37
Okay, so your book is nearly ready to launch. You have a modest (or so) mailing list worked up and you want to start making waves. One good use for that carefully crafted e-mail list is to generate book reviews and set up your own blog tour.
Make sure you have a prototype (or the actual) cover for your book, make a pre-run of the text available in multiple e-formats (.mobi, .epub, .pdf) and develop a message that covers the following:
– A nice welcome or hello in the style according to your author persona
– Let people know you’re trying something new and would like their help if they have the time.
– Announce the date your book will launch, including the full title, genre, and one sentence hook (don’t go into too much detail just yet but mention that you’ve attached the cover image and the back blurb in case they’re interested)
– Explain about generating reviews prior to the launch (and how important they are for early publicity options on various sites) and that you’d like to arrange time for a guest blog, interview, or author spotlight on their blog to help spread the word
– Invite those interested in helping you to respond back within one week
– Be gracious and let people know that you will return the favour any way you can
Then, when you get the replies a week or so later, develop a “Thank you for your interest” e-mail:
– Acknowledge the time they will be dedicating to help you out
– Let them know you will be sending along a media package & information page that they can use at their disposal for generating their own interview or spotlight
– Let them know that you are able to do guest spots on “these” topics (give them a list and mention you could write a new one or they could borrowing one they like from your own blog) and that they can send you a list of up to “so many” questions they’d like to include in a more detailed interview particular to their site if that is what they prefer
– Give them the time line for your blog tour and when you hope to have their reviews posted by (ask them to specify where they will be posting their reviews: personal site, Goodreads, Amazon, etc. to help you keep track)
– Let them know when you will be sending out the ARCs for your book (Advance Reading Copy)
– Set up a calendar on google (for free) to stay organized and allow your contacts to input what day they would like to have you “stop by their site” on the blog tour (don’t over book yourself for any one day. Give them guidelines ahead of time – like 1 or 2 blogs/day on a first come, first served basis)
Make sure you keep your promises and stay in contact with those who have agreed to help you. When a review is posted, thank them. When your blog tour day on their site approaches (about 2 days out) send them a quick e-mail to let them know you’re ready and will monitor comments on their site. This prevents you from hounding these kindly elves who’ve agreed to help you and yet shows them how professional you are and that you haven’t forgotten about them.
Then see where all this planning takes you. No matter what, enjoy the ride and have fun with it!