So, having taken part in a lot of blog tours over the years, I’ve seen all the different ways that they can be done. Whether they’re hosted by the author themselves or by a PR firm or promotional blog tour package, there are various ways to do it.
Me? I can’t afford packages and I’m too controlling to trust my tours in other people’s hands (Divine Magazine excluded, as my experience with them was amazing). However, here are some tips on how you can do it yourself, successfully, without too much trouble. That means having a Media Kit.
How to Create a Media Kit
This is a given for any author, hoping to host events, do takeovers etc. Even if you don’t go in for all of this, you should have one set up anyway. It’s real easy: You use a word doc to lay it all out however you like. Here’s how I set up mine –
List of books
List of Books in Series
Social Media Links
By including all of this ^ you are giving the blog company everything they could ever need about you, as an author, and making sure that they don’t have to get in contact with you, requesting more information. Because, let me assure you, very few will bother. If you don’t send them what they need first time around, they might not post and they might not care about it, either. So it’s always best to have it prepared in advance.
Now, my next tip is to save this doc, but to also convert it into HTML. I do this by uploading it as a blog post, clicking the HTML button and copying that code into a separate word doc. If you don’t have the ability to do this, ask around, I’m sure someone with a blog would be more than happy to help you do this. And, the bonus is that once you have it, you only have to update it whenever you have a new release and, by then, you can read the code you’ve got and figure out how to add it directly into your document as HTML.
So, why do you need HTML? Because copying direct from a word doc doesn’t always translate well into a blog post. I’ve seen this myself, with my own formatting here. Sometimes the font gets mixed up or you get two different sizes of text and don’t even get me started on images. So, always make sure you send some images with your HTML doc, to the blog operator.
Author Logo / Author Headshot
Book Cover (if it’s just one book) or Banner with Series books (if you’re doing a series post)
1-2 Teasers (make sure they’re easily legible and enticing)
Once you have all of this attached to your e-mail, you are good to go. But always make sure that your e-mail is polite, to the point and explains what the e-mail is about, without drifting off point. You wouldn’t believe how many I’ve seen that are just “Here’s the stuff” or that ramble on into nonsense that has nothing to do with me, as a blog owner. So make sure that you explain what the tour is for, because it’s likely that your blog operator is handling multiple tours in a short space of time. Make your subject line something simple, like Blog Tour Info: Book/Series Name, so that there can be no misunderstanding. Don’t leave it blank. Again, I’ve seen that more times than I care to admit. Because it’s a guarantee that no one who owns a blog is going to open an e-mail with no subject; they’re going to think it’s spam, unless they know your e-mail address off by heart.
Now, be warned. The blog operator might not use your HTML exactly as you’ve formatted it. This is a risk you take, but it’s why you send both your doc version and your HTML version, because it’s totally their choice. Some blogs love the HTML because it saves them mountains of time and they don’t have to read it through to make sure it contains everything you want it to have. Others don’t want the doc version, because it means they have to spend time formatting it all and they don’t have time for that.
Either way, having a Media Kit will save you and your chosen blog mountains of time, in the long run, and will make sure that your posts are clean, well presented and full of the information you want to provide.