Saturday, May 16, 2009

Virtual Promo . . . where's the data?

Initially I thought I'd blog about the new Star Trek movie (summary: I saw it Friday, and it was GREAT!), but my attention was snagged by a comment on an e-list regarding blog book tours and their effectiveness. Personally, I'm planning to do one myself, but as a "data geek," I have to say I'd love to see some numbers on whether they "work" or not (numbers showing effectiveness of any marketing efforts on behalf of authors being hard to come by).

Eureka!

Head on over to Southern Review and check out item #17. It seems that Jack Kilborn (aka J.A. Konrath) planned a 100 blog tour for his new horror book, Afraid. He managed 96. (Quite an impressive feat, IMHO. And I begin to wonder: Does this man sleep? Eat? Prepare dinner or do the laundry? When does he write??) The article contains a little table showing selected dates on his virtual tour and his amazon.com numbers for that day (or maybe the next day, not sure which). In general, the numbers trend upwards, meaning his book rises in rankings. Of course, I start to wonder things such as: Which blogs on what days? Does day of the week make a difference, or the topic covered, or . . .

Okay. I could drive myself crazy thinking about this.

Still, it's very interesting.

Along this line, fellow mystery author Beth Groundwater is more than halfway through her 16-stop blog tour (she's doing 23 posts, but some of her stops are two-parters), and I know she's collecting data as she goes. I'll be very interested to find out what she has discovered!

13 comments:

Julie Lomoe said...

Thanks for the useful references. I'm wondering the same thing - where are the numbers, and when do we find time to write? I'm not great at multi-tasking, so for me, the Blog Book Tour is it for now.

Enid Wilson said...

Wow very impressive data. But my main concern is will so many blogs want to host my tour? Do we go to really small and inactive ones too just to boost the number? So little time and so much to do.

Sexy romance by Enid Wilson

Karen Walker said...

Yes, I'm curious about the numbers as well. I'm actually dreading the part where we have to find blog sites to host our book. Eek.

Karen Walker
http://www.karenfollowingthewhispers.blogspot.com

Ann Parker said...

I have to say my blog book tour probably will barely go into the double digits (think: 10). Like so many other writers, I have to balance this with other promotional efforts and "life" (i.e., family and job). And Karen, I know what you mean. Finding/asking bloggers if they would host a stop is rather like a cold call... only it can be through email, so the person at the other end can think about it before responding. :-)

N A Sharpe said...

I have followed a couple friends on their blog tours and they have been interesting and I discovered a bunch of blogs I like :D

I am curious as well for the numbers associated with it. It is hard to determine where it is best to spend our time and efforts.

Alexis Grant said...

I'm always interested to find out how much blog book tours really help books sell. Of course, it depends how well the tour is done, too. Thanks for this!

Elle Parker said...

Konrath is certainly an interesting case when it comes to marketing. He is seriously hardcore - and I agree with you, when does he find the time to write?

Elle Parker
http://elleparkerbooks.blogspot.com/

Patricia Stoltey said...

I also am looking forward to Beth's numbers and observations. She's working very hard on her tour, so her results could be very revealing.

Patricia
http://patriciastoltey.blogspot.com

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I'm anxious to see Beth's numbers as well. I followed and enjoyed her tour. I still haven't worked up to planning my own, but I know when I do, I will plan for a lot fewer than 100 stops!

Jane Kennedy Sutton
http://janekennedysutton.blogspot.com/

Camille Minichino said...

For math people like Ann and me, it's a bit frustrating -- we can ask the same questions about book store and library appearances, about Facebook and other social networking tools. If only there were a simple algorithm or linear equation linking the variables!

©DGreer said...

It's like having a shop and wondering if your weekly ads result in sales - one way to find out is to have a coupon that customers must redeem. With a blog book tour, you must do something similar like have a sales portal at each blog stop that is your sales point, and perhaps offer free shipping or a discount. That said, it doesn't take a genius to figure out, hard numbers or not, that keeping your name "out there" is what eventually results in sales. A blog book tour, at least in the virtual world, is "sticky" enough to raise your profile, so for that small window of opportunity, you'll be noticed, more than you might be otherwise.

Ann, we need to talk soon about your guinea pig status with the group. Very soon. ;) My schedule is getting too full as it is.

Just for the record, 100 stops isn't necessarily a good idea. I wouldn't do this unless I really wanted to bore the public. Just sayin'... there was a novelty factor at work here.

Dani

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Kerrie said...

I too am fascinated by the idea of blog tours. I love to hear about new marketing ideas--especially ones that work. I will be curious to see what you discover.