What does it take a run a successful book tour?

Back in the summer, when I was planning the marketing campaign for Conditional Love, I did some research into book reviewers. I found that many of them did not take unsolicited reviews and even more did not review self-published books. I quickly realised that if I wanted to get my book reviewed on ten sites it was going to take an awful lot of emailing to organise. Then I came across Sharon Goodwin who runs Fiction Addiction Books tours. I emailed her my enquiry, she came straight back with several different packages. I chatted through which would be the best route for me and then… I went on holiday, skipped across the beach, lazed around the pool, drank a few jugs of Sangria and when I came back, Shaz had organised a fifteen-stop blog tour!

You can see the details of my book tour here
And if you’re on Facebook, you join in the event page here
(worth doing if you’re planning your own tour!)
Tell me a bit about yourself

Cathy, thank you for asking me to participate in your series!  I’m very honoured. I’ve lived in Bournemouth all my life but don’t have past generations of roots here.  I have to say I was so happy when my husband wanted to move here rather than me move to his home town in Berkshire…  We’re so fortunate here with both countryside and sea on our doorstep and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.  It’s been the perfect place for our family life and our careers.  My eldest has now left for Uni but we still have our youngest son and his friend living with us.  Never a dull moment J

During term-time I’m an Inclusion Lead in a local junior school and derive great satisfaction from the work my team does to ensure the school’s needs are met.  You’ll also find me avidly reading each evening and coordinating and promoting book tours.  I love to go out on dog walks but have to be honest and say that I haven’t done much of that lately – I find nature soothing and calming so excellent for stress! I’m qualified in Indian Head Massage and Reiki and find giving treatments soothing too.

You run a Book Blog Tour Service, so I’m guessing you like reading?

My passion for reading began before I started school.  My mum taught me to read and write and being an avid reader herself, this carried through the years. It wasn’t just at birthday’s and Christmas time that new books came my way (although I still remember the excitement of knowing a book was under that glitzy wrapping paper but not what it was).  I’ve been a member of our local library since time immemorial and once a week you would have found me browsing those shelves.  Choosing a book was (and still is) full of excitement.  I love to read different genres which take me away and let me live vicariously through our MC’s into worlds I may never experience.

When did you start blogging about books?

During the school holidays from work in Dec 2010 while browsing the internet, I stumbled across book blogs.  Book blogs!  What a fabulous idea!  It would be an ideal way to record the books I read (yes, I have bought books I’ve already read as I think most of us have) and share my love of the written word.  By the February I had started Jera’s Jamboree .  My intention was to blog about the books I had read and that was all.  However, always looking for ways to improve, Jera’s Jamboree extended to author interviews, guest posts and my own features (such as Stationery Love).  I still buy books regularly (both paper and e-copies) but it’s not very often I get ahead in my reading schedule. I’ve received numerous invites to launches in London but unfortunately they’re always during term-time on a work day.

The book blogging network has been something I didn’t figure on when I started.  My network are fabulous – supportive not only with the blog but with life too.  I’ve even met a couple in ‘real time’ and become friends.  Book blogging has certainly enriched my life. 

How did you get the idea for Fiction Addiction Book Tours?

While book blogging I was asked to take part in blog tours from publishers.  It was during another half-term (October this time!) when I had the idea of extending promoting authors via Jera’s Jamboree to a dedicated coordinating/promoting service.  I had the experience of taking part myself and also had an amazing network of other bloggers.  I did some research, shared my idea with a couple of authors who were also friends, and Fiction Addiction Book Tourswas born.

Fiction Addiction Book Tours offers reasonably priced packages.  A 5 stop standard tour costs £35.  The author/publisher tailors the stops for their needs so for instance a 10 stop tour may consist of reviews, interviews (character plus author), guest posts, playlist, dreamcast, promotion.  There are no hidden charges.  The fee remains the same no matter the structure of the tour.  I also offer cover reveal tours and blitzes.  A blitz is where hosts post on the same day (although I do have hosts globally so time zones differ).

All tours have a tour badge and promotions are shared across social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+).  There is a dedicated tour page where once the post is live, the specific link to the post is added.  As part of the package, the author/publisher is offered a feature post on Jera’s Jamboree. 

Once the tour is over, I do ask for feedback.  Not only is it great to see what has worked well on tour but also if there is anything that needs changing.  As with my book blog, I am always looking for ways to improve!

Supporting authors/publishers has given me some great experiences since I’ve been blogging.  With Fiction Addiction I feel as if I get to know the author behind the book and actually feel quite sad once a tour has ended!

The literary world can be fickle and based on luck but for me, dipping my toes in this way, it’s been fabulous J

Thank you for reading today!

If any authors are thinking about a book blog for their own title, how should they contact you?

You can find me book blogging at Jera’s Jamboree http://jerasjamboree.com/ and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jeras-Jamboree/161363743930312and coordinating tours at Fiction Addiction Book Tours http://fictionaddictionbooktours.com/and also on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FictionAddictionBookTours.  Tweet with me @shazjera.  My LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/pub/shaz-goodwin/71/92/253and Google+ https://plus.google.com/113726212256173084651/posts

Cathy: Thank you Sharon, I don’t think I’ve met anyone with quite so many contact links before. In fact you’ve missed one out, you’re also on Pinterest!

In one of my tweets recently, I quoted Sharon as being one of the hardest working people in the book business. She has worked tirelessly on my behalf since I booked my book tour for Conditional Love, connecting with me on all the networks above and sending me email updates. She is professional, dedicated and extremely passionate about books and I adore her!

Other posts in the ‘What does it take …’ series
What does it take to be a best-selling author? by Joanne Phillips
What does it take to run a successful book tour? by Sharon Goodwin
What does it take to proofread your manuscript? with Jude White
What does it take to design an award winning book cover? interview with Design For Writers
What does it take to self-edit your manuscript? Interview with Debi Alper

By Cathy Bramley

Cathy is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, Appleby farm, The Lemon Tree Cafe and A Vintage Summer. She lives in a Nottinghamshire village with her family and Pearl, the Cockerpoo. Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has always been an avid reader, hiding her book under the duvet and reading by torchlight. Now she thinks she may have found her dream job.

Comments (11)