An author is always looking for the best way to reach the most readers with using the least amount of resources. Book Blasts, as they are most often called, have become THE tool to reach the masses on a tight budget. GWR Publicity has recently begun offering Blog Blitzes and Book Blasts (I'll explain the difference as I see it in a bit). Even after just a few events, I've already seen what is working better than others. I've also ran across a few bloggers who are confused what exactly a book blast is and what their role is in it.
Let's start with what is a Book Blast, Blog Blitz, and Sponsored Giveaway?
At the most basic level, a book blast is an advertisement. It is much like the Book of the Day you see at the big book sites. However, Book of the Day listings are often pricey and have a back log months long. To get the same impact (and arguably more) authors have turned to book blasts. They enlist a group of bloggers (typically 50 - 100, but could be more) to run an advertisement as a blog post. It may be in the form of a cover reveal or other promotional content. For bloggers, the posts are usually formatted in html for easy posting.
A Book Blast can range from your standard cover or summary reveal to Sponsored Giveaways (usually gift cards and book swag) to a full blown Blog Blitz (a mini one day tour where at least a few bloggers receive extra content in the form of an interview, guest post, etc.).
A number of factors determine how successful each of these advertisements will be.
Let's turn now to what makes a Book Blast successful? (both for bloggers and authors)
Tip #1 - Determine your goal
Authors may be saying the goal is to get people to buy the book. While that is the ultimate goal, there may be intermediate goals you also wish to achieve. Driving visitors to your website, making people aware of a special promotion offer, or brand awareness in general are examples of intermediate goals. These goals are stepping stones that lead to achieving your ultimate goal.
For bloggers, goals include providing content of interest to their readers, increasing traffic to their blog, sales through affiliate links.
Tip #2 - Determine which blogs to target
Authors: depending on your goals, you may want only bloggers in your specific genre or you may want to reach readers who don't necessarily visit book blogs.
Bloggers should ask themselves is this content relevant to my readers and how can I promote it will be relevant to my readers.
Tip #3 - Determine blogger incentives
If you are doing a sponsored giveaway, it is customary to include social media links from bloggers as entries into the raffle. Some authors also do a separate giveaway just for participating bloggers.
Book Blasts with a sponsored giveaway are a great way to increase the number of followers you have on Facebook or Twitter. Depending on how closely relevant the product is to your readers, you typically see a 1 - 10% unfollow after the conclusion of the giveaway.
Tip #4 - Determine type of event
Book Blast (with or without a giveaway) - all participating blogs post the exact same information. Your target is book blogs and may be more focused on your genre. Make the post visually appealing and textually concise.
Blog Blitz (with or without a giveaway) - at least some blogs will receive extra content. Many blogs share readers in common so being able to offer an "extra goodie" can increase traffic to your blog.
Sponsored Giveaway - Prize is valued at $50 or more and typically includes a gift card or paypal cash. Giveaway, sweepstakes, deal focused blogs will also participate providing a wider audience to see your advertisement. Require participating bloggers to advertise 4 times a week through the giveaway period (this is a standard request among the big giveaway/sweepstake blogs).
*Remember Google penalizes for duplicate content. For Book Blasts, send extra info and/or graphics to allow blogger to customize their post or if it is part of a larger tour, encourage bloggers to mention their stop in the post. Blog Blitz provides for more original content while still focusing on the main message of your advertisement. Bloggers participating in sponsored giveaways should add a couple of lines of original content.
Bonus Tip: Advertising the post as a $50 giveaway will get more traffic than titling it Book Title Book Blast.
Tip #5 Best way to recruit bloggers
Post a sign up form on your website/blog and send out through social media. Ask participating bloggers to post about the sign up for an additional social media link in giveaway or other incentive. Giveaway and sweepstakes bloggers are use to this requirement and will often yield bloggers outside of your normal circle. When doing a sponsored giveaway check out the bloggers listing giveaways at PicketFenceBlogs.com and contact them. For Book Blasts and Blog Blitzes make announcements in Goodreads, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc groups that are relevant to your genre.
I found these tips to work for me and I hope you have great success, too. I leave you with 2 questions.
Authors: Do you have other tips to share?
Bloggers & Readers: Do you like Book Blast type posts?
If you are looking for more information on blog related media, check out my ebook Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.
From the publicist who introduced the world to Fifty Shades of Grey, Donna Huber is now revealing her secrets to successful blog tours. She shares tips and tricks learned through organizing over 30 tours, blasts, and promotional events for nearly 50 independently and traditionally published titles. Secrets revealed in this quick read include,Amazon * Smashwords * Kobo
Planning stage decisions, Different types of tours, Recruiting bloggers and keeping requests organized, Best practice communication tips, Tricks to making a great guest appearance, How to organize a fun (and legal) giveaway, Actions to take during the tour, Next steps once the tour is complete, Virtual tour and other promotional opportunities, When to hire a professional
In this easy to follow manual, Donna does not stop there. She spills even more of her blog tour secrets to help authors get the most out of their events by providing,
Tour checklist, Tour invite tips, Step-by-step guide to creating tour graphics, 10 broad guest post topics, 25 sample interview questions