Sunday, May 15, 2011

Analysis of a Guest Blogging Specimen

       What a ride! 
                    What a thrill! 
                                     What a Blog Tour!

Welcome to The Writing Bomb where our special guest, Dr. Diik Von Carelittle, will discuss the findings from his research regarding indie author guest blogging and the affects that blog tours can have on the human psyche and announce the winners of the Reunion Kindle Giveaway!

Jeff: Welcome, Doctor Diik. All of us at The Writing Bomb are very pleased to have you as our guest. Tell us what you've discovered in your studies.

Dr. Diik: Thank you. I'd be glad to. I'll begin by drawing your attention to exhibit A - Before and After photographs of our subject.

Do you see the pictures to the right?  This is what happens when you go on a 45-day blog tour to promote your new book.  Your head spins until green fluid comes out of your ears, your eyes ooze like melting cheese and you start loosing your hair as fast as Donald Trump loses credibility in the presidential race. Notice the wrinkled forehead. Do you see the confusion in the subjects demeanor? Do you see the bags under his eyes and the facial deformations? These are all telltale signs that a writer has completed a 45-day blog tour.

This was a fine specimen for my research because he was in perfect condition beforehand. And now? Blaaaach!  He gives me the heebie geebies! Apparently, a blog tour that lasts more than 30 days can transform a normal author into someone quite problematic. This specimen is now edgy, deformed, indignant, paranoid and is showing signs of dementia.

Of course, he will heal in time. He's in our 10-step blogger recovery program! With a little time and TLC, he'll be back to his writerly self; you'll see.

Now about our specimen's blog tour...his 45-day, writing more than ever, meeting countless reviewers, exposing himself ( a good way), ginormous undertaking blog tour. Now that's a run on sentence if I've ever seen one. But who cares? If you can blog for 45-days straight you can have the keys to the city if you ask me.

Will he recover from the trauma? Well, that's up to him. You get what you put into the ten-step program, so we'll see how dedicated he is to healing.

Anyway, while studying this author who has asked to remain anonymous, we have found that there were several positive outcomes from his endeavor. There were also a few negatives. But overall, the subject managed to stay alive and as far as our research team is concerned that's all that really matters. Quality of life post blog tour is not our objective. We simply want to see results and log those findings into our data base. Subject need not be conscious for proper analysis of this information.

Here are a few of the benefits that we were able to extrapolate from our research:

  • Exposure: Blog Tours are a great way for new/indie authors to get exposure and build a platform from the ground up. Several months ago, our subject didn't even have a twitter account. He had zero platform. He now has dozens of book bloggers waiting for his next book (Act of Vengeance, coming in late 2011). Furthermore, the authors book was exposed to tens of thousands of blog followers.
  • Connections: The process of contacting book bloggers is a great way to make connections in the world of books. Book bloggers will refer you and your book to bloggers that they follow. To find similar bloggers in your genre simply investigate the blogs they follow.
  • Personalize: A blog tour is a great way for you to share the message and story behind your book. Readers enjoy learning about the authors that they read through guest posts and interviews. It enhances the reading experience.
  • Grow: Guest blogging is also a great way to show blog readers that you are creative and friendly. As a result, you might find that your blog will grow as your new audience looks into your blog or website. Our patient shown above gained about 50 blog followers over the course of 45 days.
  • New Fans: Blog tours sell books and continue the selling momentum after you've exhausted your personal fan base (family and friends). This can propel you into a whole new readership. Many of our subject's most dedicated blog-tour followers were new fans that found him on the tour. When a fan likes your book, he or she will talk about it and recommend it to their reader friends.
  • Reviews: Book bloggers write book reviews and good reviews sell books. A good review wins the trust of someone considering a new author. We can not emphasize the importance of getting reviews...NOT after your book goes on sale...but before!!!! This way when you launch your book, your family, friends and new fans can be confident that your book is a good one. Our specimen began his blog tour 15 days before the book launch. He began querying reviewers over 30 days before the tour began. The reviewers at the beginning of the tour were the first to post reviews, the others followed. Note: He had zero contacts when he began approaching book bloggers. 
  • SEO: Many book bloggers have a lot of followers. These followers will take note of your book, add it to their "to-read list" and then refer back to the blog when they want to find you. Which brings up the concept of SEO (search engine optimization). Leaving your book links and buy links and blog address at all of these sights will take your searchability to new levels. After reading this article, do a Google search of Jeff Bennington for example (although he had nothing to do with this experiment) and keep in mind that he, like many of the writing bomb followers, is new to publishing and has only begun to build a platform for his work in the last year or so. You will notice that the Google search brings up countless guest posts, reviews and other mentions about his work. That's how SEO works!

Over all, the Carelittle Research Group found the 45-day Blog Tour to be a very effective method for an author to launch a new book. However, there is also a dark side. Like most things, there's good and bad.

Here are a few of the negatives:

  • Time: The number one negative is the amount of TIME it takes for an author to cold call, schedule, and then follow through with guest posts, writing, interviews and responding to comments. Our patient spent between 40-50 hours in the initial contact and scheduling stage. He then used at least 90 hours writing posts, contacting the bloggers and responding to comments over the duration of the tour. That's right, you can't just write a guest post and walk away. You should respond to any comments on the day that the article is posted at the very least. You can save time by paying someone to schedule a tour for you, but those can cost you around $300 and if you sell your ebook for .99¢, you'll have to sell 857 books to pay for it.
  • Material: The second negative is that if you write guest posts, you'll have to come up with A LOT of original material. I know, you're a writer, that's no problem. Well it is if you're blogging about your book or the book's subject. Wasn't it hard enough to write the back blurb? Try communicating the essence of your book 45 different ways! You could use a blanket article and post it at every blog stop, but who wants to follow the same post day after day? No one, that's who. 
  • Energy: Our subject found that the amount of energy he had to dedicate to the blog tour drained him of the will to continue working on his next project. His usual  4-5 hours dedicated to writing dwindled to less than one hour on average. When life happens, and it will, the time you set aside to write the next guest post or interview can easily be stolen by more demanding issues such as family, work or car accidents! Besides, have you seen our victim...I mean specimen? He looks like crap. Good thing he's going on a vacation with his family very soon. He deserves it. 

Jeff: Thank you, Doctor Carelittle. We so appreciate your insight into the benefits and repercussions of blog touring. We thank you for your time and dedication to the cause and to the betterment of writers everywhere.

Now I'd like to open the floor to our audience for questions? Also...I'll post a short video later today and announce the winners of The Reunion Kindle Giveaway!!!!! I'll post it later in the afternoon because I need to catch a few zzzz's (I work nights). I hope you understand. Look for it after 5:00 p.m. EST.

I'll close this post with a BIG thank you to all of the book bloggers and book reviewers who took a chance on Reunion. You should know that I didn't know what I was getting into before I contacted you. And I didn't have any idea what you would think of my book. You took it on and enjoyed it and that is extremely gratifying to me. Thank you for the nice reviews and for all of your support throughout the Reunion book launch. I can't wait to find out which one of you will win a Kindle.

To those of you who faithfully followed the blog tour, I send you gobs of gratitude. Your comments and encouragement and kind words along the way kept me going, giving me energy to continue. One of you will win a Kindle today! BOOM!

Jeff Bennington
Author of Reunion and other thrillers

If you haven't read Reunion yet, you can get it in print, kindle, nook, iPad, and at smashwords.

And now...let's pick the winners of the Kindle giveaway!

Links to the participating Book Blogs can be found here!


  1. hi Jeff! congrats on the REUNION tour! you certainly worked so hard for this and i'd like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it. get some winks now and enjoy your vacation! you deserve it! c",)

  2. Hey Jeff, just keep working that 10-step - sending some TLC your way. Always remember this will end up being a little bit like childbirth, after awhile the exhaustion will be over and overshadowed with the joy of watching your child grow. Before you know it, all is just a memory, and you are ready to go for it again! hee hee hee

  3. I hope you feel as if all your hard work has been worth the insanity. I’m sure your family is thankful to have you back…for as long as it takes to recover, before you do it again. LOL
    I've said it a few times already; I've loved the blog tour. Glad you did it!


  4. I am so ready for a vacation, but I will miss the chaos!

  5. I never miss the chaos - because it never leaves me. What I miss is my sanity. LOL I know you and your family will enjoy your vacation immensely. You most definitely deserve one!


  6. Just watched the video - congratulations to Chaz and 100 Stars or Less!!! WOO HOO!! (and thanks for the entertainment Bennington family!)


  7. New follower here.

    Nice ta meet ya, Jeff!

  8. Congrats, Jeff! You did a great job with the Blog Tour, and ya got a few new followers in all that chaos, me, inc.
    Congrats to the Kindle winners~ we're all winners here for having sucha great guy to follow!

    Jeff, I managed to get through chapter 16 of R. last night before crashing at 1:20am. I nearly dropped my tablet on Igor who was asleep on the floor by my bedside. (my dog, not my husband)~ Good indication I should not stay up so late, but it's a great read for Night Owls like myself~ Thanks again!

  9. Thanks for following, Matthew. Contests to Chazz and 100 Stars or less!

  10. This was such an exciting blog tour. You really were so creative...I loved all of the posts (that I've managed to read so far). I am offically posting your "how to do blog tours" posts on my website so there can be more awesomessness from more great authors (well...when I find the time to...soon). My only question that you didn't quite answer is how many books were you able to sell so far? Or if you don't want to answer that, have you met your goal yet?

    Also, your kids are awesome! And I won a Kindle! I couldn't believe it. I never expected to win. Thank you so much :D do I "claim" it?

  11. Congrats to the winners, as well to Jeff. Best of luck with the book. Looking forward to reading it this summer.

    Interesting breakdown of the blog tour. Good stuff to note.

  12. Congrats Erika. I'll contact you when I return from vacation.

    Sandra, sorry I'm keeping you awake...well, not really. that's a good thing i think.

    And thanks for the continued support Rabid!

  13. I just found this page Jeff ... hilarious ... and scary ... and REAL! I just launched my blog tour, thanks to your guidance and advice!

    Great video and way to pick the winners - wtg Bennington's!

    Thanks again for connecting with me - I'm only on Day 5 but like you said, I'm meeting a bunch of great people and I'm selling books.



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