We write. We rant. We wrestle the magic.
I hate blogs. No, that’s not fair. I can’t say that I hate them with any certainty. The evidence certainly doesn’t lend itself to that conclusion. I’m writing on one right now — hell my name is in the damn URL. What I dislike, if anything, is what people who don’t read blogs or write on blogs say about them. The comments are tried and blue — the grammar is awful, the arguments are made of straw men and all anyone wants to do is sell some second-rate product with no discernible use.
Blog tours, they cry. We can’t stand the blog tours.
You know what’s wonderful about a community? People share things among themselves: ideas that excite them, books that open up new characters to their worlds or comics that make them laugh ’til fluid comes out of somewhere. Blog tours are an extension of particular communities with similar interests, in the same way that magazines are extensions of interest groups. People like the same stuff, and they want to read about it or experience it together. Blogs (and blog tours) are a team sport.
The talk show circuit of the Internet, blog tours expose readers/viewers to whomever the blog owner might be hosting on a given day. The higher the readership, the better the exposure — at least in theory. The popular knock on blog tours when it comes to authors is that only other writers read them, and they have their own books to sell. Basically, everyone is hawking their wares to a public that isn’t interested in buying.
Those bloggers are just doing it wrong.
Content that’s interesting and shareable attracts readers on its own. Readers send the links to their friends, post comments on the blog, follow the writer responsible for said hilarious/provocative/insightful words — y’know that whole community thing we talked about earlier. If the blog isn’t entertaining because the writer is boring or the interviewer (blogger) hasn’t taken the time to personalize the article and make it interesting, the reader isn’t to blame for yawning and clicking away. A blog tour is only as successful as the blogger and the author (or whomever) make it through their individual efforts.
Blog tours are not dead. They’re alive and well for those who engage in them the right way. Be funny in your interviews on tour. Be mean in your guest posts for blogs. Hell, be funny and mean. Just don’t be boring. Can’t expect to sell anything (much less a book) if you can’t entertain a reader for 400 words.
Yep. It’s blog tour time for me too. To kick-off the release of Crossroads, a Demos City Novel, I’ll be embarking on a virtual tour of 20 or so blogs from November 4th through December 4th. We’ll be giving away free stuff for those who visit the sites, comment and choose to contribute through Twitter or Facebook. Picking up a copy of the novel may also help the cause. Until then, see you on the interwebs.