Thoughts on Thursday: Tour Organization

I made up my mind, thanks to Nicole‘s encouragement on last week’s post. I will call this Thursday discussion feature Thoughts on Thursday. 🙂 This feature was born after re-evaluating how I do everything about my blog, and starting with step one: organization. After using Parajunkee’s fabulous book blogger organizer, I noticed a hole in all of my Thursdays for August, and this feature came to life. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blog Tours

There are all kinds of names for the various types of tours that are now options for authors and bloggers alike: review tours (commonly referred to as blog tours, may include interviews with and guest posts from the author) and spotlight/promo/blitz/blast tours (I really have no idea what the difference is between the three as they seem the same). Usually these tours include a giveaway from the author or publisher to entice and promote the author and book.

The first blog tour I participated in was for Pieces of Tracy, which debuted last summer. When I got the invite from the author’s agent, I had no idea what she was talking about. She was so sweet and kindly explained it to me, and I gave her the green light. I was proud to have been asked to be a part of the tour. 

I was again contacted by an agent for John Owen’s blog tour of his Confessions of A Bad Teacher book. That experience is the one I refer to as my worst blog tour incident. It was horrible.

Then I found Candance at her book blog and CBB Book Promotions. She is fantastic at organizing the tours on her end and supplying her tour hosts with their materials in advance. After my almost no-blog-tours-ever-again mindset, Candace is the one who made me reconsider….and then I went on hiatus when I was consumed by 6:30 am – 8:00 pm days and entire Saturdays spent at my school working with my partner to build our curriculum. And I forgot all about The Colony East tour last October because I’d walked away from book blogging. I just didn’t have the time, let alone the energy. I emailed her the week the tour started, and I felt horrible. I was sure she’d never let me be a tour host again. 

But I was wrong. She understood, and when I came back full force and guns a’blazing at the end of December, she readily took me on for more tours, and I am forever grateful. I now sign up for multiple tours she organizes each month, and Candace’s tours are purple on my calendar. This year alone (through the end of August) I’ve partnered with her for over 15 blog tours. The bulk of those tours was in the summer months when I have more time, but when I first came back I only did one tour a month with Candace. {For the record, I still have both of the books from the Colony East tour sitting in the carousel in my Kindle. Only my review books stay in my carousel, so it is on my list!}

Around the same time, I also discovered another source of blog tours. This organizer also had a monthly book club type of thing, so I’d get 12 additional free books to review throughout the year. I went in with high hopes and sterling expectations, as this organizer came highly recommended by an author I’d reviewed multiple times over. I had more than just a thank-you from this author, a fledgling author-blogger relationship if you will, so I trusted her opinion and recommendation. I planned to make this organizer a secondary source of tours for my blog, and this organizer was a dark green on my calendar. Unfortunately, the entire thing was a living disaster and beyond a hot mess, and my relationship with that particular tour organizer ended only a few months after it got started.

Since then I have been selective in who I choose to host tours from. I check out tour organizers and visit tour hosts’ blog tour posts. When I broke into children’s literature, I found Renee at Mother Daughter Book Reviews and she is wonderful (and also light purple or light blue on my calendar). She is my primary source for children’s literature, and between her and Candace, I am well supplied with middle grade novels to read and feature. They are both numero uno on my list when signing up for tours. 

I have had some really phenomenal experiences with blog tours, and some really crappy ones, and some that are mediocre. I have a casual tour host spot with two other tour organizers, but I am picky about what I select to read from these two sources (one is red and one is dark blue on my calendar).

Despite some push-back against blog tours, I will still be a tour host, but in the coming months I will be honing my scheduling and organizing of tours as I try to weed out books on my Kindle.

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How do you organize and schedule blog tours? If you don’t participate in blog tours, tell me why! 

  • How do you select which blog tours (any type) to participate in?
    • By only select tour groups/organizers? By a pre-determined number each month? By interest? By any other criterion?
  • How many blog tours do you participate in each month? 
    • How do you determine this number?
  • How do you organize and schedule for blog tours? What is your policy?
    • Do you rearrange your reading to accommodate tours?
    • Do you use a specific organizer?
    • Do you have specific designations for items on your calendar? (i.e. color coding)

Leave a comment telling me how you run your blog and organize for blog tours!

5 thoughts on “Thoughts on Thursday: Tour Organization

  1. Well obviously this post made me happy! I’m really glad you were able to get back into blogging and were willing to try tours again. You’re fabulous to work with!
    I know all about the bad experiences and limit my own tours with others. It’s also hard because I get so many requests that I literally can’t look at them all. I’ll do tours with publishers but generally they don’t have much for materials and you have to dig it up yourself. So I only do it for books I really want to read or for a giveaway if I think my readers will be interested in it. It’s hard to find reliable and organized people. I think we’re all just so busy.
    Thanks so much for the high praise, you made my day!

  2. Great post! I work with Candance as well. I tried one other tour company/group and ended up abandoning them because they were no match for the level of service Candace provides!

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