I hate to admit this, but I’d never heard of a book blog tour before July 2011.  I was at the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association annual conference and decided–almost on a whim–to attend a talk on blog tours.  I had started blogging (both here and under my ‘real nam’) a while ago, but considered blogging primarily an exercise in procrastination.  If I didn’t feel like editing or writing, I’d go make a blog post.  I try hard to keep things topical on this site–either related to sex, issues about sex or writing sex.  On my other blog I am all across the board writing about cooking, reading, knitting and parenting.  It’s not focused, and I don’t really care so much.  

I walked into the workshop thinking it would be about how author’s need to create their platforms, to blog about ‘their work’ and to create a connection between them and their readers.  I was surprised to learn about this marketing thing that’s been happening under my nose for years.  I’ve read dozens of book blog tour posts without even realizing that is what I was reading.  It was more than a little obvious, within a few minutes from the start of the class, I had seen dozens of blog tours without actually recongizing them for what they were.  And, as a previous marketing professional, I felt a little silly for not having some sort of intuitive notion about the power of the blog tour.

I think everyone is familiar with old style “book tours.”  The author travels around the country visiting books stores, does readings, signings, radio and television spots.  Very well known and higher profile authors get spots on nationally syndicated shows, but most authors don’t get that kind of publicity.  The Holy Grail of television used to be Oprah Winfrey’s book club.  This kind of tour is difficult to organize, hard to fund and exhausting.  I don’t know exactly how blog tours evolved over time, but they have become a standard way of promoting a new book either in lieue of a traditional tour or in addition to it.   And, they are the perfect venue for marketing anthologies.

And of course, I’m going to plug the anthology you’ve already seen mentioned on this blog,   Voyeur Eyes Only. The blog tour started on February 14th and here’s a link for  the entire blog tour schedule . 

I’m the guest blogger over at this blog today.