Remember way back in July I asked for your help with my dissertation? And made you complete a survey expressing your point of view as a reader and/or blogger when it came to blog tours? Yeah?
Well, after procrastinating for a bit (because I needed a break from thinking about blog tours after completing my dissertation) and checking out Valeria’s post on Piktochart, I have finally decided to share the results of my survey. Behold, a fancy infographic sharing my survey results! (And below that, some of my main findings of my research through the use of the survey results and interviews with two publicists in the UK publishing industry.) Enjoy!
(To access the infographic in it’s full size and glory (because it gets sort of squished to fit into the width of our blog post and ruins the formatting on some browsers), view it on the Piktochart website.)
Determining When to Use Blog Tours
Some of the main factors to consider when determining whether or not to use a blog tour (apart from the benefits and costs) include:
- The author’s online community – If the author has a strong online community, organizing a blog tour can be beneficial as it feeds the existing fan base and ensures there will be interested parties who will consume and spread the content.
- The physical location of the author – Blog tours are a cheap alternative for international (or national) travel and allows the author to gain a presence in an area they might otherwise miss.
- The coverage available elsewhere – If an author has engaging content to share but cannot secure traditional coverage, blog tours may be the next best option for reaching out to readers.
Benefits Associated with Blog Tours
The perceived benefits of participating in a blog tour, based on the survey results and interviews, include:
- Generating awareness for a title – Blog tours can be effective in helping readers become aware of a new book. Once the blog tour is online, all the readers of the blogs involved have access to it and the online promotion done by the bloggers, publishers, and authors involved increases it’s reach.
- Relationship building between bloggers and publishers – Organizing blog tours give publishers, authors, and bloggers an opportunity to work together and form relationships which can be utilized in future promotions.
- Fresh, informative, and engaging content – Blog tours help bloggers by providing them with fresh content for their blogs which can be informational or entertaining.
- Impact on sales? – The impact of blog tours on book sales can be incredibly difficult to ascertain as there are too many factors at play. According to my survey though, 34% of participants have bought at least one book that was featured in a blog tour. This does not guarantee that a blog tour will sell books, but it may have some small impact.
Costs Associated with Blog Tours
The perceived costs of participating in a blog tour, based on the survey results and interviews, include:
- The time and energy of the publicist and/or author – Organizing a blog tour requires a lot of time and energy. The publicist/author has to do everything from coming up with the tour idea to creating the content to determining which blogs to involve in the tour to delivering the ARCs, content, etc.
- Cost of books and mailings – If publishers/authors decide to send out free copies to bloggers participating in the tours (or through giveaways hosted on the tour) they must cover the costs of the books and mailing.
- Cost of reputation for bloggers? – Some bloggers shared concerns that participating in blog tours would hurt their reputation. While there was a small number of survey participants who shared concerns about the trustworthiness of blog tour reviews and others stated their dislike for bloggers who only produce blog tour content and nothing else, blogger participation in blog tours did not negatively affect how readers felt about most blogs.
Content Associated with Blog Tours
When it comes to the content that is involved in blog tours, there are a couple of things to note:
- Creative and unique content is important for engaging readers – Blog tours that involve copying and pasting the same content on multiple blogs or those that involve very generic tour post content like spotlights, excerpts, and cover reveals received the least amount of interest from survey participants. While such posts are appealing as they require the least amount of work, they have little positive impact on engaging readers.
- Giveaways are useful for attracting readers to a blog tour. While it does not guarantee the reader will read the content of the blog tour post, most readers cannot refuse the opportunity for winning a free book.
- Author-provided content is great for both the existing fan-base and new readers. Many readers visit blog tours for authors they already like as they want to learn more about the author and his/her next publication. And for some readers who have not consumed the author’s work, blog tours are a great tool for deciding whether or not they want to read a title.
- Blogger reviews and recommendations have the largest impact when it comes to the effectiveness of blog tours. Out of all the tour content available, reviews are the most likely to be read and were mentioned the most as a reason why participants had purchased a book featured in a blog tour. Many blog readers visit a certain blog because they like/trust that blogger. If he/she gives a positive review for the book, it can greatly increase the reader’s interest in the publication.
And that’s it! While many of the results of this research are a bit obvious, I hope between my infographic with survey results and my bullet points of my main research conclusions you’ll have found something useful from my work.
I was personally quite surprised by my results. I’ve always been weary of blog tours and critical of their power as a promotional tool, but overall it does still seem to be a positive endeavor for many publishers, authors, and bloggers. I really think the quality of the content makes all the difference. (Seriously, I’ve loved the blog tour for Fairest, between Debby’s The Lunar Sims, Hafsah’s free downloadable wallpaper, and Brittany’s Lunar Chronicles Personality Quiz, it’s just perfection.)
But enough blabbering on my end…
Are you surprised by any of the survey results? What do you think about blog tours?