Most of you know I did a 50 day/50 blog tour at the beginning of the year. It was great fun and I made a number of new cyber-friends. As a result, I get lots of queries from other authors about how to do a blog tour and what to expect. I thought it might be helpful to hear from the other side of the fence, from someone who runs a blog site dedicated to authors and books. One of my many lovely hosts was Angela Wilson (pictured above) of Pop Syndicate(which was recommended to me by Erin Galloway, Dorchester's marketing guru.) Angela is here today to share what she does and how sometimes, authors make her job much harder than it needs to be. As always when I have a guest, my words are in bold, my guest's in italics type. It's all yours, Angela!
I love virtual book tours.
They are a fantastic way for authors to promote themselves online in posts that will appear for as long as the Internet exists. It is a ton of fun for readers and writers like myself to network with other authors, learn from them, grow from their experiences and share them with other readers and writers.
We don't charge authors a dime for appearing at Pop Syndicate. It is our privilege to host authors at Book Addict.
In turn, myself and our contributors don't get paid a dime for all the hours we put in to booking authors, doing biography research (not always easy), asking questions, tracking down and resizing photos, coding and posting the final product - and praying the servers sync on time for the tour dates.
I don't think a lot of people realize this is a hard truth for most review and interview sites. These are not major money-making schemes, but labors of love.
However, some authors and publicists have decided to treat our site - and many, many other free sites - like they are paying a million bucks for a day-only slot. The work they expect is sometimes outrageous. Some demands would rival the diva-like behavior of Oprah.
And the egos - my goodness, the egos! I've discovered through experience that the author with the fewest sales, who self-published their work, have the biggest egos of all. They tend to be the worst people to deal with - and the peskiest. I can guarantee that each one of these authors I've dealt with was never satisfied with what we did for them - FOR FREE - even if everything was correct in the post. They send a slew of e-mails with ridiculous questions that never had to be asked if they'd just READ the information I sent to them.
I'm to the point now where I can spot trouble within the second email. There is a difference in the approach of the Bad Author than an author who truly has questions because they forgot what they read, or, for some reason, did not receive the information I sent to them.
Bad Authors are condescending, downright rude at times, act like YOU should be selling your site to THEM (even if they pursued you hard in the first place), book a slot and then act like your site won't be worth their time, they start making demands like we are their virtual book tour publicist....
The list goes on and on.
One author actually sent me a questionaire with about 25 questions asking how I planned to promote the one day stop and a bunch of other nonsense. I had to fill out the questionaire BEFORE the author would consider the site for the tour, the email said. And I had a deadline to meet for the answers.
That email ended up in my virtual File 13.
Another author's post didn't show up and the author immediately started talking badly about our site. This author didn't bother emailing right away about what happened. They took it upon themselves to be our nemesis without getting the facts.
Luckily, Pop Syndicate has a good reputation and many folks knew right away something else was amiss. However, what if our site was new and fresh? That would have ruined our credibility. Imagine if an author were to do this to an individual who just wants to help them out? As a former journalist, I have thicker skin than most individuals. Keep that in mind before you send out scathing messages about virtual book tour hosts.
Luckily, most of the authors I host for virtual book tour stops are incredible. They promote their stops, they thank me for hosting them, they refer other incredible authors to the site. These authors are so cool, I can never do enough for them. They make my full-time, no-pay job a joy. They remind me why I do what I do on the days I get a Bad Author. They are the reason I do what I do.
When you set out to promote your books online, don't expect someone else to do all the work for you. Be kind and respectful to your virtual book tour hosts. Most of these folks are doing you a favor - for free.
When you can, return the favor. Be sure to tell others about your best experiences and refer them to the host site. Hosts will love you for it.
Emily here again: Words to live by! Do unto others, karma, whatever you want to call it, sounds like just being decent to each other makes the cyber-world run much more smoothly. Thanks for being here with us, Angela.
If you have questions for Angela, please leave them here and I'll track her down! And pop by Pop Syndicate when you get a minute and check it out!