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Blog Tours: Pros and Cons of Hosting on Your Book Blog ~ Talkin’ ’bout Books Tuesday (Discussion #13)

talkin' 'bout books logoTalkin’ ’bout Books Weekly Discussion

Discussion #13 Question: What are the benefits and drawbacks of participating in blog tours?

Blog tours can both help and harm a book blogger, depending on who is running the tour, how much free time the blogger has, and how many other people are hosting stops for the same tour.

Sometimes blog tours seem to be more trouble than they are worth, but I continue to participate in them.

I think my two and a half years of book blogging have taught me a lot about the pros and cons of participating in blog tours. If you are a new blogger, I hope what I am about to say helps you to decide whether to sign up for tours. If you’re a pro at book blogging, I’d love to hear your opinions.

Keep in mind my lists below are from the perspective of a blogger. I’m sure there are lists that could be made from the perspective of authors as well. But, I’m just focusing on bloggers today 🙂

The good things about blog tours

  1. Learning about new books and authors
  2. Free review copies of books
  3. More exposure because the tour stop is often promoted on other people’s social media
  4. Allow for more giveaways without the added expense
  5. Provide additional content for the blog
  6. The good feeling from helping a new author

The negative aspects of blog tours

  1. Deadlines for reviews and other posts, which sometimes can be difficult to meet
  2. Pushy promoters that ask for too much or send a gazillion reminder emails before the tour
  3. Duplicate content hurts search engine rankings. If a ton of people are posting the same thing, Google (for example) will know it and penalize the blogs for having duplicate content. I don’t know the extent of the damage this does; I just know it happens.
  4. Time needed to put everything together for the post. Examples:
    1. There is one tour company we have worked with a lot that I always dread setting up posts for because they never send the images separately. They put them in a Word doc, which I can’t just copy and paste into the WordPress editor. I have to right click on an image, find the right folder to save it in, save as a picture, upload it to WordPress, insert it into the post, etc. for every single image. If they would just send the images as email attachments, it would save me several steps.
    2. There are also some tour companies that create lovely html files, which would ordinarily be helpful to just copy/paste, but I end up having to do major reformatting because we use the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin, which requires I put certain info in fields, not in the text of the post. So, I have to delete it from what they sent me and add it all in the right places on the plugin.
    3. A lot of times I don’t have all the information I need like the publisher, the author bio, the publication date, the genre, the number of pages, the buy links, etc. and I have to go searching for this information to add to the post.
  5. Tours can be risky. Will the book be good? Will the excerpt be clean? If I say something negative, is someone going to be mad? I hate the feeling of giving a less-than-stellar review for a tour. I do it anyway, because I’m not going to lie about the book, but I feel guilty.  On a couple of occasions, I have had to contact the tour company to tell them that I couldn’t finish the book. I hated doing it, but I thought it was better than forcing myself to try to find good things to say about a book that I didn’t even like enough to finish reading.
  6. Losing top post space, depending on the tour company and the way your blog is laid out. Some companies require top post, some require top three, and some don’t require anything. Even if your blog template has the option of doing a sticky or featured post to keep it at the top, you probably will still have to remember to remove the sticky the next day. You also have to be careful with how you schedule tours to make sure you don’t sign up for more than one that requires top post on the same day. If you’re not a solo blogger, this can get messy if you don’t coordinate schedules with the other blogger(s).

So, if you are a book blogger, what do you think about the pros and cons of blog tours?

Did I miss anything on my list? Have you experienced any of the things I mentioned?


About the meme…

Each Tuesday, we will post a discussion about a book-related topic. Sometimes, we will gear this toward writing books rather than reading them.

If you’re a blogger and you would like to join in on the fun, you don’t have to post about the same topic, but you are welcome to do so if you want. Just post a discussion and leave your link in the comments. If you’re not a blogger, that’s okay too. Just leave a comment with your answer to this week’s question.

This post is part of the 2017 Discussion Challenge, hosted by It Starts at Midnight & Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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Jen Schaper
I am a mom of three kids, a wife, and a wannabe author. For Books That Hook, I review books, create features and discussions, design the website, and do all the administrative stuff.

8 Replies to “Blog Tours: Pros and Cons of Hosting on Your Book Blog ~ Talkin’ ’bout Books Tuesday (Discussion #13)”

  1. I’ve only ever participated in blog tours a couple times, and remember enjoying the experience from a blogger standpoint. As a reader, however, I avoid any posts labelled as blog tour – I find they get repetitive and unless it’s for a book/author I’m SUPER psyched for, I don’t care enough to read 20 posts about the same thing.

  2. I go back and forth, and go on a big sprint of blog tours like crazy, then I remember that I end up not liking half of the books that I’m reviewing / touring. And, well, like you said, I feel really crummy about not liking the book. I HAVE backed out of the review portion of a tour because I didn’t like the book, and then I still have this weird dilemma about even doing the promo for a book that I didn’t like. Worse is when I get comments from people excited to read it and I want to tell them that it’s not that good, but this is a tour, so I shouldn’t do that. *sigh* You’re spot on about the insane amount of work. Tour stops take, without question, the MOST amount of my time to put together because I always have to go hunt all the pieces down and rearrange them.
    Michelle @ FaerieFits recently posted…Mini-Review: Jackaby was a Fun Read, but Nothing SpecialMy Profile

    1. I totally agree with everything you said, especially about the weird dilemma about doing the promo. Also, having to hunt down pieces and rearrange them can be frustrating. Thanks for visiting!

  3. I used to do a lot more tours, and now they’re more spread out. I definitely agree with you about the pros and cons: I really like being able to provide a giveaway for a book I enjoy (without the expense). But it’s the worst when you don’t like a book for a tour. It makes me feel horrible, even though I know I shouldn’t. Deadlines are also tough (though sometimes for me it’s better to have a solid deadline so I know I’ll review in a timely manner!).
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Bite-Sized Reviews of Waking in Time, Redux, Confessions of a High School Disaster, Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and Mutant Mantis Lunch LadiesMy Profile

    1. You’re right about the deadlines being helpful sometimes. They force me to get the books done.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels horrible when I don’t like a tour book.

  4. I participated in one blog tour and then decided I didn’t have any desire to participate in any more lol. There was nothing wrong with the tour company, it’s just more work than it’s worth to me. I might do a blog tour in the future if it were for a book that I really really really want, or if I really really really love the author and want the chance to have a guest post or something, but if it’s just a book I kind of want? Not worth it. And kind of like how you use the UBB plugin with different fields, I have my blog set up so that my review posts are super customized with different fields, which creates a problem with blog tours unless I’m allowed to post the review separate from the rest of the tour stuff. And the one tour I participated in didn’t bring any extra visitors, didn’t seem to have any social-ness to it. It was just like any other old post on my blog, except it required a lot more work lol.
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Author Chat: Supernatural Creatures, Telekinesis, & The Immortal Coil Series // An Interview with J. Armand + Win a Signed Paperback!My Profile

    1. I definitely agree about the extra work! I think the main reason we keep doing them is because we like to be able to provide readers with excerpts and giveaways. Plus, a lot of requests for spotlights and stuff come directly from authors and publishers, which we like to do to keep relationships going with them.

      Thanks for visiting 🙂

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