Originally posted 27-Jul-2012

There’s a lot of lessons I learned in promotions and I’m still learning them, so there’s bound be quite a few of these posts!

I’ve had…four blog tours, and I’m working on my fifth. As a self-published author, budgeting is key to success. Having a bigger budget is often that key, but when you don’t have a lot of zeros after your dollar sign, you’re always looking for a deal.

What that means is that you’re going to be tempted to use people who are new to the game. This is a gamble that could really come back and bite you in the butt. People who are new to the game are still learning too, and the biggest thing for them to learn in the promotion arena is time management. Promotion is the hardest thing to do and sucks up the most time.

I tried putting my first blog tour together myself, but I just didn’t have the contacts. I mean, I have a lot of followers, but I don’t talk to all of them a lot. What that means is that I’m not making the kinds of connections I would need in order to make that happen.

I decided I had to do something different with my second blog tour.  I was informed that Demons Are Jackasses was going to publish in March. However, when it didn’t happen, I decided to launch my previously published, previously edited, ready to launch manuscript, As Night Falls.

I did a search, looking at other people’s blog tour buttons, and discovered someone who promised a fast turn-around (she said she could get me a blog tour in under two weeks) and her price was reasonable.

That tour ended up going well. I tried another blog tour company on my next book, The Dustman, which went better. But when Demons finally launched, I had no time to plan a proper tour. A successful tour needs at least (1) month to prepare. I had (1) week. So, I went back to the touring company that helped me with As Night Falls. She made big promises, took my money and then she closed her doors. She’s no longer in business and I lost $65.

Prices for blog tours range from $50 for (2) weeks, $99 for (4) weeks and all the way up to $1,500 for (3) months. $99 is a good price. It’s fair, and with that, it’s more probable that you’re dealing with someone who knows what they’re doing.

Check the other books they’ve promoted. How many reviews do each of them have? How’re the sales going? What genres are they promoting? If you pick someone who specializes in Nonfiction novels, they won’t have the kind of contacts for a vampire erotica.

I’m not saying that trying out new people is a bad thing. It’s a great thing. As as a self-published, indie published, or newbie author, you want people to try you out. So go in asking questions, and be smart about it.

There are more lessons for another day! Have fun and good luck.