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Point of View: Writing for the Blog Tour

Scott's Eureka Moment
Scott’s Eureka Moment

One of the many ways we try to get the word out about our new books is the dreaded blog tour. Don’t get me wrong – it’s wonderful how other writers and blogegrs open up their online homes to us when we have something new to share.

But then comes the downside – you gotta actually write all those posts. And if you’re a prolific blog traveler like me, those posts can easily number in the twenties or thirties.

Sure, you could cookie-cutter it – just take the same post and send it out to each place, making a few minor changes. But that seems a little unfair to those bloggers who have said “yes” to your tour. I like to provide something unique to each one.

So how do you keep it fresh? Here are some ideas for creative blog tour posts:

1) The Interview: Many bloggers have a standard list of questions that they will send you upon request. These can be fun, and you don’t have to think as much as when you write a post from scratch. But you can also do your own interview! Come up with five to ten questions, and then answer them yourself. I usually try to include a few writing process questions, a couple zingers that let you post fun and insightful answers (“tell me one thing hardly anyone knows about you” is one of my favorites), and a “what are you working on now” question. Have fun with it, and the audience will have fun too.

2) Behind the Scenes – Writing: Take your audience on a little tour of how you came up with the story, or how it evolved – this can include an example of your first draft vs. your final draft of a particular paragraph; some insight that changed the story; or how a character evolved from draft to draft. Again, have a little fun with it.

3) Behind the Scenes – Cover: This is a really cool one to do. Share the evolution of your cover from start to finish, with photos (a slideshow is really great for this, if you have the capability). I did this one for my current tour for “The Autumn Lands”, and I really enjoyed showing how it went from a sketch to a finished cover. If you used a cover designer, though, make sure you get their permission first.

4) The Exclusive Excerpt: Another thing you can do to build interest is to offer a few of your best blog contacts a unique excerpt that people can’t find anywhere else. Look for a scene early on that won’t give away any spoilers, but that has a bit of action and/or a cliffhanger, the better to whet your fans’ appetites.

5) Who Would Play My Characters in a Movie?: Let your imagination run wild. Choose your top two or three characters and find a movie star to fill the role. Fantasize a little about it. And who knows? Maybe one of your stars will read your post and want to do the move, and you’ll be plucked from relative obscurity to achieve the JK Rowling status you so richly deserve. One can dream!

Not every blog tour post you write is going to be a magical work of art. Just do your best with the time you have, and try to enjoy it. After all – this is your moment!

To my writing friends out there, what do you do to keep your blog tour posts fresh?