Wednesday, October 31, 2012

#WWoW Promotional Blog Tours on a Budget

I was at a loss as to what I wanted to blog about this week. I've been in the middle of planning for a virtual blog tour promoting my next book due out on November 15th and all I could see in my mind was the explosion of colored ink all over my calender. I have one color denoting my guest spots on other blogs and separate colors for the guests on the rest of my blogs. For example guests for this blog would be denoted with teal ink and those on Behind Closed Doors would be in blue. Sassy Vixen Publishing is in red and The House of Taboo is in purple. Yes, I'm that anal retentive that I use different colors of ink on my calender, so sue me. ;)

Staring at the rainbow all over November, I kept chanting, "What have I learned during this year that we haven't talked about yet?" Then the light bulb went off. Literally. The bulb in my desk lamp flickered and then died.  LOL!

My topic was right there in more than black and white. Do it yourself promotional blog tour!  Why not write about that? As a relatively new published author, I don't have the money to hire someone to take over the reigns of planning, scheduling and promoting a virtual book tour.  My promotional team consists of me, myself, and I. "We" had to do all the prep work alone. Last year with my first erotic romance release and also for that of my first book of poetry, I just winged it. I visited a few blogs, wrote a few articles for online papers and overall continued to blog about my experiences.

Now that I have a total of four of my own blogs and a fifth that I share with three other fabulous authors, I've had the chance to welcome many guests. I've learned quite a bit from all of them when it comes to tours, especially about media/promotional kits. Instead of sending all the information needed for their guest spot as a series of attachments to an email, many of these authors put together a single document with everything needed. I could pick and choose what I wanted for the post.

What are the absolute "must haves" for your media kit? Here's a list of what's in mine. Of course, you can tailor yours to suit your needs. 

1. Cover art
2. General information about the book: word count, publisher, heat level, genre/subgenre, category/imprint
3. Blurb
4. Story/PG excerpt 
5. Adult excerpt
6. Author photo
7. Author biography
8. Links for the book
9. Author links

I also started working on a variety of different kinds of blog posts from character interviews to straight up promos. I wanted to be prepared for any kind of post needed.  When I was ready to start setting up the tour, I sent our an inquiry to the authors who had been guests on my blogs and to the various yahoo groups and social media outlets.  I'm absolutely thrilled with the response! Not only will I be able to use the posts I've already prepared, many of my hosts sent me interviews to complete. 

I don't have to remember which blog only allows PG excerpts or anything goes. The host will be able to pick and choose what they want to use from my promotional media kit to go along with my post.

As for promoting the tour, I'm using my tried and true methods of social media (thank you Paloma Beck for introducing me to Triberr!), my own blogs, and yahoo loops. I've made two different banner ads using 

Here's the one for the tour  and the one for The Island's release.

So as you can see, if I can put together a virtual book tour on a shoestring budget, anyone can. One day when I have the budget for it, I will hire a promotional company to handle all the details for me. But until then, I'll keep wearing the many hats that come with being a new published author!

This week's participating authors

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A Smart & Savvy Group of Authors who write a weekly feature for their blog -Writer's Words of Wisdom- each Wednesday. The goal is to impart what we've learned about writing, editing, getting published, book promotion, and more along the way.


  1. Excellent post! Look forward to seeing your tour. I am also excited to see the Bannersnack link. Awesome resource!

  2. Aww... thanks for the shout out! And double thanks for the banner maker link. I keep a PromoKit (like your Media Kit) handy to send with every guest post I do. Honestly, setting up your own blog tour is simple enough.

    But hey... are you scheduled on Romance Beckons?? I'd love to have you as my guest!

  3. Thanks for stopping by, Melinda and Paloma! Bannersnack is quite easy to use and once the budget allows, I may spring for the ad free versions.

    Paloma, I'm not scheduled on Romance Beckons yet. I'll have to send you an email to set that up. Thanks for the reminder!

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