As with the rest of my writing career, I simply jumped in. So, I am still learning. But that is cool because I love learning. The day I stop learning will be the last day of my life. And I hope that day is still a long way off.
Anyway, with the level of impact and infiltration technology has over our lives now, the idea of touring the country and even the world has opened to those of us with a budget... which is almost everyone. The self-publishing community has grown at an incredible rate. You can't go anywhere without seeing someone on a cell phone that is often more of a mini computer than phone. Blogs are amazing tools to reach the masses. For some reason connecting through rambling thoughts and brief messages online has opened up the world for so many, no matter what your personality or interest. There is something for everyone.
Blog tours are set up to introduce new books and oftentimes writers to people they would otherwise never knew existed. I have already made some amazing connections with other authors and readers alike. In the process of only the past three weeks -- yes, only three weeks (WOW) -- I have met people, read books, learned how to use various online resources, published my first book, started my own blog, been interviewed, interviewed others, written articles, started at least two new writing projects (short stories), participated in a blog tour, signed up for more, and I am organizing my own blog tour. There has also been my personal family activities, Christmas, etc. I've been a bit busy, but I'm really enjoying myself. As far as I'm concerned, that is the most important part.
So, how do blog tours work? There are a few different ways that I have learned so far. One way is to set up a schedule with willing bloggers and let them have free rein over their assigned day. Another way is to select specific "activities" set for certain days.
Facebook is generally where the blog tours I have knowledge of are organized. The event is announced, people are invited and interested bloggers jump to get a day that will work for them. Non-bloggers and bloggers alike are then provided, via the event page, with the schedule of which blog is on which day. Readers, fans, and other interested parties can then visit the set blogs on specific days and follow what's happening. Many times there are giveaways, free books or swag (either from the touring author or other donating authors.
What is swag? This was a fascinating new term for me. Swag is all advertising and promotional items related to the book(s) or author(s). There can be bookmarks, posters, postcards, bags, shirts, hats, signed printed copies, posters, etc. It is also fun.
Many times the giveaways include eBooks. These can be downloaded and opened on your computer if you are one of those that hasn't ventured into the eReader purchase yet. Most formats have apps that can be downloaded to your computer for free. I have several eReader apps downloaded to my laptop so that I can read anyone's books. (I own a Nook). If that doesn't work for you, many books can be downloaded in pdf form.
Blog tours can open the writer's market to people otherwise unreachable. It can also introduce readers to a variety of reading opportunities. Either way or even both ways, since I don't know any writers that don't love reading as well, blog tours are fascinating and fun.
Through these early days of my writing career I hope that my writing will improve. I hunger for interaction with other like-minded individuals, and so far I have been having a feast! I hope that you will join in or at least follow a blog tour in the future. Maybe even mine. ;-)