In July I came across a blog tour that stood out from all the rest. At the time I was so impressed by it that I tweeted it out as a mark to measure yourself against when judging just how serious you are when promoting a published novel. The blog tour was the Deadly Intent Blog Tour and Camy Tang was the power house behind it. Covering forty five days it had over sixty venues, offered different content and used some innovative additions to the standard blog tour repertoire. All of this marked her tour as one that you can study and learn from.
Recently I was able to interview Camy about her tour and about the interesting extras she included. So here for your benefit are her answers.
Camy, your blog tour for Deadly Intent was very impressive, I counted sixty four venues and in total it covered six weeks. Was it your intention from the start to organise such a big tour or did it grow of its own accord?
Actually, originally I intended for it to cover only four weeks, but I got a rush of people who wanted to join in the tour and so I extended it. I was just incredibly honoured and thrilled at the people who wanted to join the tour!
It seems to me that just getting a list of venues that are willing to help host a tour is lot of effort, not all sites will help, some don’t even reply to a query.
I wonder if you will share a little of how you complied such a large list of willing sites. Was it the free books, the pre-prepared content, friendship or a Camy secret?
Pretty much all the blogs who hosted my blog tour are by people who I have "met" online or in person, so I never had a complete stranger taking part in the blog tour. Basically, I emailed a bunch of friends who were regular bloggers and asked if they’d want to participate in the tour. For blog tours, I gave each person an option of either an interview, a guest blog post written by me, or a book review that the blogger wrote. That way each blog would have original content and not a canned interview or the same guest blog post. I wanted each stop on the tour to be unique and worthwhile for the people reading the blogs, not just the same stuff on several different blog sites. Otherwise, the blog tour would just be an online advertisement posted on several sites–and I didn’t want that.
Apart from Devon’s and Naomi’s contributions, which I loved and will come back to, there were 16 Interviews, 27 Book reviews, 5 days as a forum guest, 18 Guest posts and 22 excerpt postings on the tour.
With you putting in so much effort to produce the content for the tour, did you use any method to rate how much effort you would commit to each site?
No, I treated each blog site the same. Some people opted for an interview, some opted for a guest blog post, some opted for a review.
I left it entirely up to the blogger, because each blogger knows his/her readership and what they’d like to read about.
Of course you did have some help from Devon and Naomi. Apart from Relz Reviews putting them under the spotlight, which I loved, they also each did an interview and Devon guest posted on Domino’s blog. I was left wishing that they had done more, much more, since I was sure that some juicy details would have been divulged if it was left purely up to them.
What gave you the idea to take them along on the tour and do you regret not using them more?
Some bloggers aren’t entirely comfortable with a guest blog post or an interview of a character, so I left it up to each blogger. I do try to have at least one or two character blog posts or interviews on the blog tour because it’s interesting and provides some variety. Also, I like to let each blogger determine what kind of content they’re posting since after all it’s THEIR blog, so some bloggers opted for an author interview or a writing-craft guest blog post, since that’s what their readership would want to read more than a fictional character interview.
Throughout the tour you were constantly pulling different aspects from Deadly Intent and featuring them. The Won-Ton recipe is a very noticeable use of this, but there were other recipes, location shots, spa resort information and even a section about architecture. I was left wondering about the richness your book had in these aspects and if they and the eventual blog tour were in your mind as you wrote?
I didn’t keep the blog tour in mind as I wrote the story, but after the story was done, I went back and pulled out aspects of the book to deliberately use for the blog tour, since it makes for a more interesting tour, I think. It’s an easy and unique way of creating interesting blog tour content that’s relevant to the book being toured. Also, every book has lots of different aspects of the story that are only briefly touched on, and authors love to expound on the background behind every little thing in their stories.
Camy, one tool that many authors are now using to promote their work are podcasts, you have not used a podcast in the Deadly Intent tour. Is this something you have rejected or are you considering using them in later blog tours?
I actually am considering using them for a future tour, and in fact for my blog in future, but haven’t yet taken the time to try it out.
Laziness on my part.
There is just so much about your tour that rings of super organisation and super preparation; the tour schedule, your bio, Deadly Intent synopsis, author .jpg, book cover .jpg, excerpt availability, excerpt HTML code…
For you to have got to the point where you can put it all together so exceptionally well, you must now know what the main points to get right are. Would you mind sharing with us what you believe are the three most important tasks to get right?
1. Schedule as much in advance as possible–emailing your bloggers 2 months ahead of schedule, finding out what dates and what content each blogger has chosen, writing them down in a calendar so you know who is posting what when, writing the interviews and guest blog posts ahead of time and emailing the bloggers as early as you can. I wasn’t as ahead of schedule for this tour as I wanted to be, but because everything had been prescheduled, it wasn’t hard to catch up. Also, since I emailed the bloggers so early, I was able to mail their book copies to them early.
2. Keep a calender or schedule of the tour so it’s easy to change dates if needed or remind people a couple days before they’re scheduled to post. My calender also listed if I had written the content yet or not, so I could email the blogger the content in good time for them to post. The calender also reminded me to visit the blog on their day of the tour so I could leave a comment and/or answer questions. I lived by my calender, and it helped the tour run smoothly.
3. Remember that the blog tour is meant to entertain the bloggers’ readers. It’s not all about me or my book–it’s about them. When you start sounding more like a commercial than a real person, it’s time to get out of the blog tour circuit.
And finally, from your experience; what isn’t worth fretting about?
If people want to change dates, it really isn’t anything to worry about. Just change the date and move on. Or if they change what content they want, or if they end up not having time to write a review and instead want you to write some quick guest blog post. Just write the post and move on, it’s not worth your time and energy to worry if things don’t go as planned.
Thank you Camy for taking the time to talk with us.
Thanks for interviewing me, Andy!
If you want to know more about Camy’s tour, the full schedule with links to participating sites is available at the Deadly Intent blog tour full schedule.
About Camy Tang
Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every week, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own…), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind. Visit her website at http://www.camytang.com/ for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away ten boxes of books and 30 copies of her latest release, DEADLY INTENT.