Yakkety Yak, Let’s Chat … Blog Tours #YakketyYakLetsChat

Yakkety Yak Let's Chat

2015 has been a unique year for Delighted Reader. Why? Well, we have slowed down on accepting blog tours. *Gasp* Yep, we have. Want to know why?

  1. Cover Reveals – you get a bunch of blogs together and have them all post a cover. No content beyond a blurb and a cover. Is it me or does this scream boring? I love a cover as much as the next reader, but it doesn’t make or break the book for me, so *yawn* I can do without them.
  2. Release Day Blitz – Another 50 blogs post the same thing without variety. Seen it once, you’ve seen enough. I am happy to help authors, but let’s make it original.
  3. Tours Without Content – You get a cover, blurb, and author info and they want you to promote it. Maybe a review, but not guaranteed. So you take time to format the post and get nothing in return. I doesn’t bring in viewers because you aren’t offering up anything new or that they can’t see on those other 50 blogs that have the same post.
  4. Blog Tour Companies Thinking They Are All That – There are so many rules on your posts you feel like you were locked away in prison. It has to be the top post. You have to share it 25 times on social media. It has to be up by 4 am. We will annoy you with emails reminding you. And it all has to go their way but you have to do all the formatting work. They get paid for this, I don’t. So I will help as much as possible, but I won’t turn my site over to them.
  5. Review Tours – Great tours, but we have been burned by never getting the book for review. Several times. Again, someone is getting paid to host this tour and it isn’t me. It makes us look bad when we can’t post a review even if it wasn’t our fault for never getting the materials.
  6. Not Getting Our Materials – I try to schedule a week to two weeks ahead and sometimes I have things months out. Waiting until two days before a post just doesn’t fly with me. I have a life and if I don’t plan ahead, it just doesn’t get done. Emergencies aren’t something I deal with well. So after getting put on the hot seat for materials the night before it goes live, you bet you are going to not be asked back to visit.
  7. Guest Posts That Are 2 Sentences – Yep, I have gotten several of those. That isn’t a post. *shakes head* I just can’t say what I really feel about this one.

Now I am not saying all blog tour companies are horrible, just a select few that have decided they own my site. It doesn’t work that way and so the story goes. I have pulled out of a lot of blog tour partnerships this year and we have slowed down on how many blog tours we accept. Have I seen my viewership go down? Slightly, but not a huge amount. This tells me that blog tours aren’t helping us a whole bunch. Interviews and guest bloggers are still welcome as we love getting to know authors.

Readers/Bloggers: What do you think about blog tours? Love ’em or Hate ’em?
Bloggers: Do you have blog tour policy?

 

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!
  • It depends on the tour company. Some of them are alright but some of them have so many strict rules and one of my biggest pet peeves is the whole 3 stars or higher on reviews. That is just ridiculous. I do blog tours, since I have moved my blog and its been helping a bit with raising my audience. But every time I do I try to make it a bit personal if I can…ask questions or give my thoughts on the author. It is a pain when you are signed up for a tour, they don’t give you the materlals and then complain when you don’t have the post up even though you have emailed them already about the issue. So annoying.

    • Oh boy, it sure does depend on the tour company. Some conduct themselves as a reputable company while others, not so much. I think it is wrong to ask for a review and then dictate whether it can be posted or not based on the rating. I also find it particularly annoying when they send materials at the last minute or send important changes or updates at the last minute and get in a huff b/c you can’t jump right on all that for them. We’ve slowly weeded out a few that consistently make it rough to fulfill our side of the commitment.

      I think you have the right balance of special tour posts and your own content, Renee. And that makes sense that you are using the tour to help draw traffic and attention to your site.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      There are some wonderful blog tour companies, but the some I have worked with just haven’t felt right. I haven’t given up on all tours, just cutting back and in the end, my mind is more relieved with it. I felt like I had to choose between my family and spending hours on formatting tours that came in last minute. So decided I had to cut back and maybe move back into it once I have time to re-evaluate each of the partnerships I have.

  • As I own a tour comoany I guess I am slightly biased, I love organizing tours, but I also understand what you’re saying. As a tour organizer I try to make things as easy as possible for the bloggers, I sent three different formats of media kits, one in word and two html premade kits (one for blogger and one for wordpress) and I send out materials 2 weeks before the start of the tour and one week for a cover reveal.

    When I first started my company I also did all the rules like top posts and posting at a certain time as I thought you had to do that as a tour organizer. Eventually I realized it was frustrating for me and the bloggers and as far as I noticed it doesn’t really make a difference for authors or how the popular the post is. I can kinda see the logic behind top posts as if I have two posts on my blog on a certain day the top post usually is more popular, but that also can be as the posts I like more or think is more interesting is the post I make the top post. All in all I think as a organizer it pays to be a bit more flexible sometimes. I give bloggers the whole day to post and only send reminder e-mails the next day if they don’t post. As a blogger you have to make sure to post on the day you’re schedule or else notify the tour organizer. As an author you have to make sure to book your tour in time and try to write great content for the posts if there are guest posts etc. Communication is key.

    As a blogger I have had those not or badly formatted posts as well or where the materials are send the evening beforehand and I live in the Netherlands, so middle of the night for me, sorry but then I can’t post. And if I ask to get the materials earlier and I don’t get the materials earlier, then I rather not work with them. I’ve gotten pretty selective about with which tour companies I tour with as well.

    I agree cover reveals are kinda the same on every blog, but it also depends on the author and the blogger in some cases, I often ask the author is they have an excerpt, not all do. And even when there is an excerpt lots of blgogers don’t post it. On my own blog I like to talk about the cover to make the posts more interesting. Those guest posts that are short are often things a blog tour organizer can’t do much about either as that’s the author their job. Although I think at least an alinea or two would be ncie for a guest post.

    I think blog tours can help bloggers, but they are mostly for the authors. As a blogger I participate only in tours when a book really appeals to me or if I know the author, in that case I like the extra opportunity to feature them on the blog. So in general i think blog tours can be a valuable tool for both bloggers, organizers and authors, but I think it depends on how all parties handle it. Everyone has a role to play and if they do it well you have a great tour.

    Sorry for the long comment! I just have a lot to say about this topic.

    • I like seeing your dual perspective as you do have a leg on both sides of the fence, Lola. So it makes sense that you would have more to say. And having done a tour with you, you do a nice job of organizing things and in plenty of time.

      I also like the way you turn your cover reveals into a discussion. Very creative, there!

      It has been so much nicer lately and less stressful for Shari and I not to deal with folks who aren’t as organized or, as she said, expect more than they should while doing less than they should. You’re right that communication is key, but also understanding. We have some decent folk that we work with and that makes for a good time had by all. 😉

      • Thanks! It’s certainly an interesting perspective to have seen both sides of the fence.

        I don’t do a lot of cover reveals, but when I do them I want to make them fun. Like Shari mentioned everyone can see the cover on another site or goodreads, so I want to give them a reason to still read my post and make it interesting.

        And I agree if a partnership isn’t working you shouldn’t work with that tour organizer. It isn’t worth the stress and it’s your blog. I think it’s important for a tour organizer to also think of the bloggers and make it easy for them.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Thank you for you long reply. I wasn’t putting down all tour partners, just a few that I have had enough of. I do not want to do cover reveals at all anymore. I want post that have something important to say and not a cookie cutter type post I can go to any blog to get. I work hard on my site, make no money and invest so much into it. So when someone thinks they own my site and criticize everything I do, then I want to leave them in my dust.

      Communication is key and that is where I feel a lot of my partnerships went down hill. My life got extremely busy and it was becoming a burden to try to make everyone happy. So I cut the one thing that was upsetting me and have found that in reality it has been nice.

      Sophia Rose still does some tours, and I am happy for her. I just needed to get back to some basics of why I started this site and it had nothing to do with blog tours. It was because I loved reading and wanted to share my views. So I have grounded myself and gotten back to what I love.

      • I know what you mean, I’ve also worked with some tour organizer that just don’t work for me. Especially when they sent the materials late. And I agree it’s your blog and you should be able to post and do things how you want and I don’t think it’s a tour organizers place to tell you how to blog.

        Lack of communication or communication can really disrupt things and I think it’s very important that tour organziers communicate things clearly so the bloggers know what to expect and as a blogger to let the tour organizer know if you can’t make your stop or have to change something.

        And blogging is hobby and it should be fun, I think that’s the most important thing. If something doesn’t work for you, you shouldn’t do it.

  • I only go with one tour company and I’ve never had problems with them. I don’t do promos I’ll only do reviews, guest posts or interviews. I’ve signed up with a few publisher blog tours recently but then I’ve heard nothing back from those.

    • Stick with what works is a good plan, Nelle. That’s great that you’re all about original content for your posts. Oh yes, we have three publishers out of the current four that we work with who tend to forget to confirm tour dates or or declines. I shot them a few reminder emails to let them know that we expect follow-up and not just to get tour materials out of the blue quite some time later. Which reminds me, I have a tentative tour that I need to check on. LOL!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Sorry to hear that! I signed up for on tour in Sept. We shall see how that goes as I haven’t dealt directly with this blog tour company before. It’s for a review, which comes back to why I started the blog so hopefully it will work out ok.

  • Personally, I was happier when we went this direction. It got frustrating following up with folks, waiting and worrying about stuff, and then getting skimpy posts when all is said and done. And I know it is easier on you since you do all our formatting and posting. Appreciate your hard work more than I can say, Shari!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Thank you so much Sophia! I don’t mind tours, but a few things I needed to say to make sure we get out there what will make a bad relationship. I wanted meaningful posts that didn’t feel like I was working for someone else. A few times it felt like they took over the blog and I got a chafing feeling afterwards the just put me in a bad mood. Then choosing between my kids, sleep or the blog just became a burden. So I chose my kids and sleep, lol.

      • Definitely the kids and sleep come first, LOL! And I think your approach to tours is very fair. It’s not high expectations to want original content and want it in a timely manner. You’re not saying they can’t do those other types of posts just not here. I try to sprinkle tour acceptances amongst those who ask, but it is always with those books by authors I’ve read or plan to read so there is a personal connection already established. I’ve also tried to keep to only 2 or less a month that I accept so that reviewing and book talk stay the focus.

  • If I do a blog tour, cover reveal or release or whatever, I want more than the cover and blurb. I want an excerpt, interview with author or character or anything that offers the reader more than just what they can get on Goodreads or Amazon. I also don’t do many. I would only do ones for authors that I’ve already read. If the tour company isn’t organized and doesn’t provide great material in a timely manner, I would never do it for them again.

    • Your blog tour philosophy works for me, Melanie.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Mostly I am getting back to ones I want to do because I loved a book or books. I have done a lot for authors I have never read and felt like crap afterwards with all their demands. This is my site and I decided it was time I do what I want and not host every little things along the way.

  • I only work with a few tour companies and I’ve worked with a few at a authors request, but then they start spamming the hell out of you and that is just annoying. We decided to cut back on tours too (well I did, lols). It’s just very frustrating sometimes so I’m feeling this post 😉

    • Yes, that has happened. Do one tour or review one book and the next thing you know, its a weekly thing on their email list or that you will automatically keep doing reviews and tours. I had to graciously let one tour gal know that ‘no, that date will not work for me b/c it is not okay to just sign me up for a tour especially since I’m the junior person at this blog’. Haha!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I feel your pain. I get tons of emails every day for review requests and tours. I clearly state on the site we aren’t accepting requests because frankly, there are only two of us and we are back logged. So tours just take a back seat to everything. Spam me…well, then that will get your email address blocked faster than snot out of my kids nose 🙂

  • I never had any return on doing blog tours especially since authors rarely shared them. I stopped hosting for the most part because of it. Just never found the tour company that was for me. When I put together a blog tour I try to share each stops post via FB or twitter and always add them into the giveaways so at least there’s a chance of new followers.

    I don’t get paid a lot for my tours (I try to be reasonable and not charge and arm and a leg) but it’s not near enough to deal with some of the blogs who are seriously NOT professional. Most are great and get posts up but I’ve had to message so many on where posts are and they won’t post em until 11pm on their day or they sign up and never post their interview or whatnot. That’s so frustrating.

    It’s hard finding the right balance between blog tour and host site.

    • Yes, there are definitely nightmares on both side of the fence. I think its neat that you and Lola straddle the fence b/c with knowing both sides, you know exactly how to make tours better for bloggers and know what to expect as a tour organizer from bloggers.

      • It can be very weird to straddle that fence. And Lola does it so much more often than I do. I’m just a here or there one but it is interesting seeing both sides. Hopefully we both avoid a lot of the blips that can happen. Only human so it does happen sometimes but hopefully not as often 🙂

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Your tour company wasn’t one I was talking about at all. You do good work!

      I try extremely hard to make sure all posts are up on time. I make mistakes at times, but then again I am human and will go out of my way to make it better. I have had authors get quite angry with us over what a tour sent. Not my fault. So I just have to take a step back and be more selective and indulge less in my need to please everyone.

      We do still do tours, I just won’t do promo or cover reveals any more unless there is something to draw in readers that make our post unique to everyone else’s. I don’t want copy-cat type posts that you can go anywhere to get.

      • Oh yes. I know some are very difficult. Like I said. I stopped working with nearly all of them for a lot of reasons you mentioned. There’s two I’ll work with though I’m not ‘active’ with either. But if they contact me and I can I usually will. Lola (that Sophia mentioned) being one of them.

        I so agree on the copy cat posts. I’ve had bloggers get upset with me because I don’t provide the html they can use copy/paste so every detail is the same. That’s just not good for anyone involved I don’t think. Easier for the blogger sometimes but gah like you said who needs 50 of the exact. same. post.