I’ve always been a little mystified by the concept of blog tours. Through the last few years I’ve dabbled with the and with little success… mainly because I was treating them incorrectly (kind of like using a wrench to hammer a nail—it’ll kinda work, but leaves the user unimpressed).
A blog book tour is much like a traditional book tour, except the stops are all virtual. Instead of going from bookstore to bookstore the author maintains a short presence at each of the blogs. This is an opportunity to talk about your book with that blog’s regulars. Many different people set these up: publicists, publishing agents, or even authors themelves.
WordNerds has a nifty video explaining them in a nutshell:
The best way to utilize a blog tour is to treat it like a real book tour! This has been my failing on the last few that I’ve done: even though this is a digital event it’s not a “set it and forget it” thing. You should check in at each of those blogs, interact in the forum and on the comments threads. Just because its online doesn’t mean you can check out on it and expect positive traffic. If you want a Virtual Tour to have the maximum impact for what you spend on it you ought to put regular stops onto your schedule so you can interact with readers—that is the real reason anyone does a tour anyway, to connect with the audience. Anything else is just a glorified television commercial.
Penguin/Random House has some great advice for those planning to do one of these (Click here to read it).
If you’re looking for a great place to get started, one of my favorite blog tour companies to work with has been Silver Dagger Book Tours. Check it out and tell Maia I sent you!