- by Nancy Gideon
I’m not a gambler. I like sure things that I can depend on. When I make an investment, I want a guaranteed return.
So why the heck am I doing a blog tour?
Blog tours are a purely terrifying ball of uncertainty that crowds the pit of your stomach like holiday leftovers, making you queasy, your breathing shallow, and your hands sweat . . . kind of like your driver’s ed road test, except even less under your control. I’m not talking about the blog visits you pre-arrange on sites that love your work and put together a fabulous page to flatter and exult you.
I mean the ones your publisher sets up for you by putting out an open invitation to any and all to post reviews on a specific date around your book release. You and your publisher make a big deal of promoting the event, inviting everyone to come for the reveal. The effect will be dramatic. Like a cluster bomb.
I remember my first when MASKED BY MOONLIGHT, the debut book in my dark paranormal series for Pocket, came out last year. I was so excited, so . . . apprehensive. I was a Social Media virgin when it came to blogs and had no idea what to expect. Then on blog tour day, with list of participants in hand, I started to go through them, forcing myself to look the way you do when passing an accident scene.
First blog. Four stars. Okay, maybe this won’t be so bad. Second site, Five Hearts and a rave review (bless you, bless you!). Then, boom, from a reviewer who admittedly didn’t read . . . or even LIKE paranormal romance. Why would they even sign up to review a book they knew they wouldn’t enjoy? But there they were, spoiling my party like a bad smell in the wall. Still, I soldiered on, gamely moving to the next review, reminding myself that everyone had a right to an opinion.
Of the twenty or so planned participants, only a handful had their posts up on the scheduled date. Being chronically OCD, I went back every hour looking for updates, graphing the results, weighing the percentages . . . in other words, a completely obsessed basket case wondering what I’d done that my publisher would purposefully torture me so.
It took weeks for all the reviews to surface (some never did). The vast majority were favorable. I took my first relieved breath and assessed the damage path. Survivable. In fact, even the less than glowing reviews had decent pull quotes in them. Hmmm. Maybe this was worth all the antacids I’d crunched. Then, I realized something else . . . the ripple effect. The tour generated buzz.
When I Googled my title (yes, I know, glutton for punishment!), it was everywhere. People were talking about it in places that amazed me . . . places my own carefully planted PR plan never would have taken me. Places where they didn’t read or even like paranormal romance—and were often times pleasantly surprised!
Convinced my publicist was a genius (She is!), I couldn’t wait to sign on for the next tour.
Flash forward to today, Day Three of the blog tour for HUNTER OF SHADOWS, the fifth book in that same series. Reviews are coming in from those who signed up for the tour—some repeaters who have become great friends and supporters . . . and some first timers who don’t read or even like paranormal romance.
Chewing my Tums, I pounce on them eagerly looking for pull quotes to slap up on Facebook and Twitter, waiting for that Buzz to generate. First review—Four stars. Second review—Five Hearts. Third review—boom! And so on.
I still don’t like to gamble. But sometimes you’ve got to just roll the dice.