In Thoughtful Retrospect: iRead Book Blog Tour

It’s been a week or so since my book blog tour ended. And I have to say I kind of miss it. After all, during its six-week run, I felt like I was doing something useful to raise awareness of the three books in my series, Between Two Worlds. I was promoting without expending too much effort beyond visiting all the stops to see the bloggers’ posts on each book, and to browse around each site. I did leave comments here and there and thanked all the hosts.iReads book blog tour

I’m generally uncomfortable with promotion. But when I don’t do something about it I feel guilty. I’ve been willingly conned into believing it’s a task I must take on as a writer. So yes this tour was good for my conscience. Of course, easing your conscience is not the main reason you do a blog tour. But it’s a nice perk that helped me sleep better at night.

BTW books
BTW books

For me the greatest benefit of this iRead book tour are the reviews. Of the 54 stops, 51 (94%) did reviews of my books. That means 17 reviews for each of the three books in the series.I have done only one other blog tour in the past. The percentage of blogs that did reviews in that tour was closer to 50%.

It would be pretty hard to beat 94%, in any case. Many bloggers prefer to have you do guest posts or interviews, which is quite okay and understandable. Doing guest posts/interviews benefits you, the author, (wider exposure) and it gives a blogger an entry for the day without as much sweat as when she has to write it herself. Reviews require a real commitment on busy bloggers that I find priceless.

raining books

The reviews were helpful for more than the obvious reasons—from scoring better on elusive Amazon algorithms to inducing a reader to buy. Based on things bloggers said they liked or found wanting about the books, I got some sense of the attributes/characteristics that likely resonate with readers.

I also got a clearer idea of the profile of the reader who might find these types of books appealing—a profile beyond the demographics of female, 18+ years old, with some college education. Granted, in the nebulous, shifting world of book promotion/marketing, a “clearer idea” is never enough to go on, but it gets me a little closer to targeting an audience.

Defining my readership has always been a nagging issue for me. I think it’s a big “must” unless you’re a celebrity or already a well-known author. Since like most self-published authors, I’m neither, I have to really work at it.

Knowing that readership—not only by demographics but, more important, by interests (see Painless Promotion by Cathy Yardley for the best discussion and suggestions I’ve so far come across on this topic)—focuses your promotion/marketing efforts (and, if you so choose, your writing) on the most responsive audience. Less of your efforts and your resources are wasted. You might even sell more books.

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