Back in August, it was Snapshots' birthday. Since release day the year before had gone so wrong, I wanted to throw a bash and basically pretend this year was Snapshots' release. (No, I will not tell you what happened. If you really want to know, I think I blogged about it last year after it happened.) To do this, I wanted to have a blog tour, but my previous experience with hiring someone to do it (Snapshots release tour incidentally) hadn't gone that well. I decided I would do it myself.
Now, I am not a planner. I don't know what I'll eat for dinner, but I knew a successful book tour would needs lots of planning and organization. My first step was the sign ups. I went to Google and used one of their templates and created sing up form and made a blog post asking for people to sign up. Then I went to Twitter and personally asked a few blogger friends. I also posted about it on Facebook and had a book reviewer who had reviewed Snapshots (for its release tour) spread the word too. The nice thing about using Google to create a form is it will convert the entries into a spreadsheet in Google docs.
This spreadsheet was the most important aspect of the book tour. It kept me organized and in control. I was in constant contact with the participants and was the first to know if there was problem. I didn't have that when I hired someone else.
Another thing I did was start organizing early. I'm talking at least a month, if not more when I say early. After I posted my calls for sign ups and got the spreadsheet organized, I contacted everyone about a week later. That gave reviewers plenty of time to read (very important to remember. Reviewers have a lot of books and need time) and gave me time to write the guest posts.
I also set a reminder date a few days before the bash. When I contacted everyone I said I would be emailing a reminder to make sure they had everything they needed and to remind them. People forget, lives get busy, so a polite reminder is helpful. That did cause a little hiccup. A couple people posted on the reminder day, but it was quickly resolved.
When the big day came, everything went off almost perfect. Out of 19 blogs, two didn't post on time. One was my fault. Even with the reminder, we missed that I hadn't sent all the information to the blogger. The other was just a hiccup and the post went up later in the day. There was one more blog that I couldn't find the post, but still, that's not bad. In total, I had 18 blogs talking about my book's birthday. People were tweeting and entering the giveaways. I was pleased and it made the release day a distant memory. Also, on the big day, I included a linky list for the participates. If they didn't add their link, I did. That made finding their posts and sharing it super easy. (Thanks Tui for that idea.)
For my next book tour, I will definitely be doing it myself. I liked the control I had and being in contact with the participants. The work wasn't too hard since I was organized and that allowed me to know what myself and others were doing.