The Passive Voice: Blog Tours Waste of Time?
You know how I’m always saying that every author has different experiences. Well this is a good example of that. There’s a post at The Passive Voice Blog today where author, Elene Sallinger, talks about how blog tours (I’ve always known them as blog hops, so that’s how I’ll refer to them from now on in this post.) haven’t worked out very well for her. She also talks about how she’s been disappointed with a PR firm she hired. This is one experience she mentions:
The bloggers on the tour didn’t always post when they promised they would. Many didn’t post on the advertised day (some never posted at all) or didn’t post my giveaway.
From the way this all reads, her PR firm got her into these lackluster blog hops? I’m ending that with a question mark because I don’t have a PR firm, I’ve been in tons of blog hops over the years, and frankly I didn’t even think PR firms did that sort of thing. It really is news to me.
Now, I’m not saying if you only have 100 followers that I don’t want to be on your site, I’m simply saying, I want to truly know what I’m paying for and if I’d understand the lack of reach I was going to be getting for my money, I would have looked elsewhere before signing up and throwing my money away.
First, you can’t judge a blog by followers. Most blogs get far more traffic than what the “follower” list suggests. I read many blogs, and I don’t officially “follow” them. This is interesting, too.
I’ve found that excerpts garner a good bit of traction as do guest posts, but over all, the only truly great exposure for a book is a review.
She goes on to mention more about how important book reviews are, and then ends with this on her own blog.
Right now, my US publisher, Sourcebooks, is setting up a blog tour for me. Perhaps, with an established publisher booking the stops, there will be a difference in quality. I hope so, because right now, I’m just frustrated and over the whole process.
I can’t dispute anything she’s written because it’s different for every single author, and it always will be. From the way it sounds, she’s new to publishing (I’m not certain, though) and she’s trying to figure out what works best for her. Obviously, getting a guest spot on The Passive Voice Blog helped her get some exposure…only I’m not going to buy or read her book, ever, as a result of that exposure. I’m only posting about her experiences with blog hops. I personally find guest posting a waste of time. I have my own blog for posting.
It’s not a simple process to promote books, with or without a PR firm. I’ve been writing genre fiction for over twenty years and it took that many years to reach a point where I get five to eight thousand hits a week on my blog. And that’s considered small. I wish I could say there was one standard rule…or secret…but there isn’t. My readership also tends to be more discreet, too. In my case, I prefer to keep it smaller scale. In other words, I don’t write to be the next E.L. James. I write because I love to write.
As for blog hops, I’ve found them to be beneficial for me. In the same respect, I’ve never actually gone out and hunted one down, and I’ve never had a PR firm get me into a blog hop. I’ve always been asked to be part of the blog hops I’ve done by other authors/bloggers. And it always came out of the blue when I least expected it. This summer I did two, and I had two give-aways. With each hop I increased traffic for the blog, I got a chance to get to know more of my readers personally, and I thoroughly enjoyed the blog hops with each step of the process. In fact, whenever I do a give-away for a blog hop, I always give a consolation prize to each person who commented on the blog. I don’t mention that up front either. I wait until the end of the hop and surprise them. In fact, I have something very different and very interesting coming soon the weekend of GRL that I will announced very soon.
But I will honestly admit that I sometimes groan when I’m asked to do a blog hop. It’s a great deal of work and in my case, by giving away even more prizes, it takes hours to just figure out the e-mail addresses and names. In the most recent blog hop I did the first prize was a set of picture books from Tom of Finland that I had to mail to a reader. It took me days to find just the right box with which to ship the prize by snail mail.
But I’m not complaining at all. You see, doing a blog hop…or any brand of promotion…is something I’ve always enjoyed as an author. I don’t think of these events in terms of “reach” or how much I’m going to get in return. The blog hops I do are always focused on something important…something that deals with equality or issues I care about. And because I feel passionate about these issues, I want to see others become as passionate and the blog hop becomes fun for me in spite of how much work goes along with it.
So I think this is a good example of how differently authors deal with promotional events like blog hops, and how different authors view them. Don’t ever take just one author’s advice. For me a blog hop is spreading the word about something that’s important to me. It’s also about having fun and getting in touch with readers I normally wouldn’t get to meet. For others it’s all about getting more attention for a book and garnering more book sales. I probably should be more mercenary when it comes to these things. But when you’re a gay author and your entire life has been spent looking for equality, that’s the only thing that matters and whatever happens after that is just something extra.
In the end, it all comes down to the love. Just like with cooking, or anything else, you need to have the love or it’s not going to work…no matter how many PR firms you hire or blog hops you do. You either have the love or you don’t. And with blog hops the most important thing to me is spreading the word about something deeply significant in my life.
Isaiah Washington Gay Slur
I think I posted about this when it first happened, but I can’t seem to find the link anywhere with a simple search. In any event, it was reported a few years ago that Grey’s Anatomy TV star, Isaiah Washington, made a negative gay comment to another star on the show, T.R. Knight. As a result of this gay slur, Washington claims no one in Hollywood would “touch” him for a long time and it hindered his acting career.
Currently promoting his new film “Blue Caprice,” the 50-year-old actor told HuffPost Live, “After the incident at the Golden Globes, everything just fell apart. I lost everything. I couldn’t afford to have an agent…I couldn’t afford to have a publicist…I couldn’t afford to continue.”
After this news broke, T. R. Knight came out in public as a result. What Washington did evidently started a shitstorm that continued to affect everyone. Knight eventually asked to get out of his GA contract. In this aritcle it explains the reason why. The show’s creator is Rhimes.
However, Knight says complications arose between him and Rhimes immediately after the incident, when he decided to respond to the sticky situation by outing himself. The actor says Rhimes was among those who wanted him to remain in the closet — though in the EW article, the creator herself denies this.
When Knight was asked to appear on season six of the show — in flashbacks — he flatly refused, opting to move forward with other projects. In September, he’ll headline a stage production of “Parade” at L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum and in February will hit Broadway in the Stanley Tucci-directed revival of “Lend Me a Tenor.”
And there you have it. Hollywood at its best, once again.