blog tour pic

{Note: I posted this blog post about how to set up a blog tour years ago, on the release of MISTRESS OF THE SUN, but much of it holds true today. See note at the end for an update.}

I’ve been asked about my Blog Tour twice in two days: How did it go? Who organized it (and how)? Who pays? So I thought I’d post about it here.

First of all, I’d say it went really, really well. A Blog Tour gets your book a lot of visibility and reviews.

I’ve never heard of a publisher organizing one, but it’s possible. [See my note below.] I’ve only heard of authors organizing a Blog Tour, and paying for the lion’s share of it. There are Internet sites that will do this—TLC Book Tours ( is one—or you can do it yourself, or hire an assistant or publicist to help set it up. I hired an assistant—my “VA,” or Virtual Assistant—but it was a lot of work, even then. My costs were low, under $500 for an extensive tour, but I think $2000 is more in range. (I’m no expert on this.)

The basic process

The process of setting up a blog tour, in a nutshell, is to contact suitable blogs, and ask if they would be interested in being part of the tour. If so, a book (or two) is sent to them (to give away in a lottery, and to review). They will then invite you to write a guest post or be interviewed. A schedule is made up, so that over the course of a month, your book is featured two or three times a week on different book blogs.

Making a list of book bloggers

The first thing to do is to make up a list of possible blogs. This takes a little research. My VA and I Google-searched for book blogs, and, in particular, looked for blogs that favored historical fiction. You need to look for “high-traffic” blogs, blogs that have a number of followers. I looked over the blogs other authors have included on their blog tours (just as others will do for my own).

Then the bloggers are approached, and if they are keen, arrangements are made for a date and an understanding of what, exactly, will be done. Books need to be sent to them well in advance: my U.S. publisher took care of this, which was great. My VA took care of all the correspondence and scheduling.

Some hold that a review should be required (and ideally, as well, that the review be posted not only on the blog but on, other book sites and a link posted to social networking sites such as Twitter, etc.).

Book give-aways are also great: they create so much interest.

Writing the guest posts and answering interview questions

The interviews and guest posts entail a lot of writing, however, and of the two, interviews are less time-consuming. My feeling, at the time, was that a Blog Tour was every bit as consuming as a Book Tour coast-to-coast, but that’s likely an exaggeration.

And then it’s simply a matter of keeping on top of it: sending in your posts and/or interview answers on time, and then sending out follow-up thank-you letters. Book bloggers are amazing: they work hard for free, and deserve lots of applause.

If you Google “blog tour” you will find lots of guides.

An update

In the years since I wrote this post, things have changed, but only a bit.

My publishers did send out review copies of my new novel, THE SHADOW QUEEN, to many book bloggers this time, so I think that’s something publishers simply do now. With fewer and fewer print reviewers, book bloggers have become all-important.

What helps is if the person setting up your blog tour has a relationship with the bloggers—this is what you are paying for, that contact. My VA, Diane Saarinen of the Saima Agency, was excellent at setting up a blog tour. (Unfortunately, she has now retired.) I also used France Book Tours, which was excellent value. If you are publishing a France-related book, I recommend them.

What also helps—in terms of both time and money—is to see if you can arrange for your publisher to send the bloggers the books.

V is for Virtual Tour provides an informative description of a virtual (i.e. blog) tour from The Publishing Bones.

Good luck! Let me know if this has been helpful, or if you have any suggestions or questions.