Saturday, February 9, 2013

On Organizing a Blog Tour & Making The Button

If you haven't signed up for The Sweets Blogfest yet, please consider participating. Kelly & I appreciate it.

My friend Charity Bradford is here today to talk about organizing a blog tour. I can tell you firsthand, this is a lot of work, so maybe these pointers will make it easier. Charity wrote The Magic Wakes which was a quarter finalist in ABNA contest and has been published by WiDo. She's also a sweetheart and loves to help other writers. You can find more about her here.

Organizing a Blog Tour

This was a lot easier than I thought it would be thanks to the wonderfully supportive blogging community. I believe it helped that I’ve been blogging for a while and had already made some amazing friends. Here are some quick pointers:
  • Be willing to help others regardless of whether or not they can help you. Remember how your mom used to tell you to be the kind of friend you wanted to find? Yeah, it’s sort of like that. 
  • Use the resources that are out there.
  • Be professional.
  • Be prepared with ideas for your tour such as guest post topics, games, giveaways, etc.
  • Start early. I started almost 4 month early and managed to grab the last slot on the one blog I REALLY wanted to get on.
  • Take some time to create good headers and buttons that draw the reader’s attention and give a feel for your book
  • Keep good records of Who, What, When, and Where so you can deliver what you promised and answer questions when someone asks about “the plan”.
  • Don’t be afraid of trying something new.
  • Work a little on it every day so you don’t feel overwhelmed. I ended up with 34 tour stops, which is WONDERFUL, but if I had to prepare all of those posts within a month I’d curl up and die. Because I started early, I was able to work on them over two months instead of weeks. Hopefully they are better because of that.

Creating Headers and Badges

I was a bit nervous about this part, but I knew I couldn’t afford to hire someone else to do it. In the end, I learned that keeping it simple is once again the best advice I can give. 1. Look at other banners and badges and take note of what you liked about them. 2. Choose a program to work with. There are lots out there from free to various prices. I’ll name a couple: Windows comes with Paint and then there is Adobe Photoshop. However, I’m the most familiar with Microsoft Publisher. I created a little movie to walk you through my process. Don't worry, it's only a bit over 1 minute long.
video

Other Swag

Now that you know how to make banners and buttons, making swag to give away will be easy! I use the same program for everything. Whatever you decide you like, stick with it. I used the same images and text to create some postcards and bookmarks. 
All I have to do is print them on nice white cardstock or photo paper if I want to get fancy. There are lots of great resources out there and if you watch you can catch the sales to make your printing more affordable. Some sites I keep my eye on:
As of 12/13/12
vistaprint.com--50 "rack" cards starting at $14.99
winkflash.com--4x6 prints are $0.08
shutterfly.com--4x6 prints are $0.15
walmart.com--4x6 prints are $0.09

15 comments:

  1. Great post! I'm organizing a big tour for my next release right now - and you're right - starting early makes a big difference! :)

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    1. It was a life saver for me. Good luck with your tour!

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    2. @J.Anne, if you're book is PG-13, I'll promote it. Just email me.

      @Charity 34 stops is amazing! Did you do this all on your own, or did you have help from your press?

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  2. I'm a bit of a control freak and they let me run with it. They were very helpful though as I bounced ideas off of them. I think if I had wanted more help they would have given it. :)

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  3. Great post, Beth. I'll be tagging this one to come back to. :)

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  4. Great post and loved your video. Was that difficult to do? Anyhooo, very helpful. *(*

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    1. I like learning how to do stuff. It didn't seem hard, but it took a while to put together. good luck!

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  5. I need a program where I can make buttons and banners. I don't have one.

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    1. Kelly for $29/year widget box makes great widgets quickly, but they dont make buttons :(

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    2. I'm sure there are some good free and cheap programs out there. I used Microsoft publisher because it's what I know. Years ago I got it to do my neighborhood newsletter and discovered I can use it for all kinds of things. It's easy and saves things in pdf format as well as others.

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  6. I'm going to be referring to this post a lot during the next few months, Beth!!! Thanks for writing it. :D

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