Wednesday, August 12, 2015

BOOK TOURS: Do you or don’t you?

We welcome Sheryl Browne to the blog today to tell us about her experiences of blog tours.

Have you ever tried to organise your own online Book Tour? I have – and I feel faint at the idea. I lie not. Panic clutches at my insides at the thought of the work involved, let alone how to word those dreaded emails asking overworked – and unpaid – bloggers to read your book when their TBR piles are teetering to the point of plain dangerous. What are the benefits anyway you may ask. Well, apart from the reviews – cue more panic-filled moments – there’s the exposure: getting you and your book noticed where you couldn’t hope to get attention if you exposed yourself naked.

A good book tour, with a mixture of reviews and interviews, allows you to flaunt yourself in your best light, your gorgeous book cover, as opposed to your not-so-gorgeous bod. And in tweeting, retweeting and sharing the posts that bloggers have worked so hard to put together, friendships are forged. You don’t just hit RT and toddle off to the next tweet. Mostly, you are so astounded by the thought and effort that has gone into creating those blogs, the content all about you and your book, including links, Rafflecopter giveways and videos if you have them, you just want to kiss the bloggers concerned. Naturally, you thank people, you chat and you begin to realise that bloggers are batting firmly in your corner. They’re shouting about you because they’ve read your book and they believe in you: the author. That’s one hell of a confidence boost.

So, do I think Book Tours are beneficial? Yes, absolutely. Would I organise one myself? Having tried it once, I think I’d rather flaunt myself naked (or possibly not). My advice would be to hand it over to a book tour organiser. I’ve just toured with Brook Cottage Books and I couldn’t have placed my baby in safer hands. Without going into detail and boring you to tears, I have definitely had one of those years. In short, on the major life events front it’s been not so great, and it left me not knowing whether I was on my derrière or my elbow (a quick thank you here to all those lovely RNA members who picked me up, almost carried me to the conference, and proceeded to feed me chocolate and wine and generally buoy me up). Despite my befuddlement and complete disorganisation, Debbie Johnston took over the reins and organised my tour smoothly and totally professionally. I owe a HUGE thank you to her.

The book on tour was for my new release from Choc Lit, appropriately titled The Rest of My Life (here’s to a slightly less frenetic start to the rest of it!). Did I mention the cover? I think I might have a few bazillion times, but just in case you ran screaming when you saw me coming and missed it, here it is:

Isn’t it just divine? *Sigh*
And here’s a snippet from one of the reviews I picked up on the tour, which had me hooting out loud:
THIS Choc Lit book will have you giggling a bit, crying a LOT (I love books that spot up my glasses with projectile tears. This book is brilliant and was very hard to put down. It’s one that made me want to forget about necessary real-life things like peeing and sleep.” Thank you so much: Double-Edged Words

While I’m here, I do have a bit of good news to share: a second contract with Choc Lit for my contemporary romance, Learning to Love. Yay!
The book has a temporary cover at the moment, created by yours truly, which couldn’t hope to live up to Choc Lit’s to-drool-over covers, but it’s not bad, if I do say so myself. All of my romance novels are now sporting new covers and I must say I do think they look rather smart.

Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to share.
Keep safe all.

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, poignant fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for Innovation in Romantic Fiction, Sheryl has seven books published to date.


Thank you for such a bright and cheerful blog post Sheryl and good luck with your next blog tour!

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Elaine Everest & Natalie Kleinman

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June Kearns said...

Thank you, Sheryl!
I loved your first paragraph. It struck so many chords!

snoopsspots2 said...

Thank you so much for my lovely feature, Elaine and Natalie! I shall flaunt it! But not naked, you'll be relieved to hear. :) xx

snoopsspots2 said...

It's hard work, isn't it, June? Thank goodness for bloggers though, who really do support us tremendously, helping us get ourselves out there. I would be ever so quiet without them. ;) xx

Rhoda Baxter said...

I've worked with Brook Cottage Books (as a host, mostly). Debbie is totally professional and scarily organised.

Gilli Allan said...

It strikes terror in my heart and, having just done one (and busted a gut over it - to use unladylike language), wish I could see many of the benefits you mention. The friendship is there. Feeling that other authors and bloggers support you and want you to do well, which is lovely, but there are few comments and even fewer sales at the end of it all. It can seem like wasted effort.


angela britnell said...

Interesting to read your perspective on blog tours - properly organised as opposed to my rather haphazard efforts! Will have to consider it next time. Looking forward to the new book :)

Unknown said...

A lovely piece. Thank you, Sheryl xx

snoopsspots2 said...

Thanks for your comments, lovelies. Yes, Rhoda, Debbie is totally professional AND scarily organised. Good job she is with my happenings this year (say no more). Gilli, you are quite right. It’s a case of what to do and what not to do and what reaps benefits. We would like those to be in terms of sales, obviously, but a huge part of what we are doing is trying to get our names and book titles out there and recognised. Is that a ‘right’ thing to do? I don’t know. I suppose we have to suck it and see (if you’ll excuse the expression!). My consideration is how much time I spend organising such things versus how much time a book tour organiser (one who is organised and known) will. If it takes me days and days and exhausts me, this is time taken away from my writing – and God knows I’ve lost an awful lot of time this year (and I’m shattered – but reviving!). One huge benefit is that bloggers and reviewers – who really do work so very hard – are possibly going to be more receptive to someone whose book they know and who they know will share their posts. It takes an awful lot of time to review a book, write the review, post the blog and share it, after all. I think we’re all finding our way. I know I would have been lost without bloggers shouting out for me and I do see that as a huge benefit. OK, I’ll go before I write a book! Thanks so much, Elaine. :) xx

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this interesting angle on how to promote our books, it's tempting me to rush straight into signing up! Like many writers I suppose I find the promotion side of publishing my new novel daunting; it's the aspect of writing I have the most difficulty with, since it's the one thing that's not in my control I suppose - it's the great unknown. I can't force people to buy my books, enjoy them, let alone write a review. I always used to think a good novel would sell itself - but there are so many good books out there all competing for attention. These days perhaps we have to stand out from the crowd, wave a flag and shout about it! Theresa Le Flem

Hywela Lyn said...

I was so pleased to be able to take part in your tour Sheryl, and I can quite understand why you're in love with your cover. I hope you gained plenty of exposure for your book and are doing well with it.

I didn't tour with my first two books, but wanted to pull out all the stops for my third in what has become a trilogy, so I felt I just had a cover reveal tour and have also booked a release tour for when it is published (I don't have a date yet). It was quite hard work, even with a professional tour company, as I made a point of commenting on every blog to thank the host, and answering anyone kind enough to make a comment, but it's as you say, if the blog host has invested time and effort in setting up the post, and people take the time to comment, it's the lest one can do. I agree wholeheartedly that it's a great way of making friends and the support of fellow authors/bloggers is heartwarming. I'm looking forward to my next tour!


Just back from holiday and saw this lovely post. Thank you so much for mentioning me and Brook Cottage Books. As always Sheryl, it was an absolute pleasure to work with you. I love organising book tours and get a real kick out of them. Yes I am that sad lol. Wishing you continuing success with your books.

Thanks also for everyone else who said nice things! You guys are the best!

Debbie. x