Today I am so happy to be interviewing Shelli (S.R.) Johannes, author of the Nature of Grace series and marketing maven. Shelli has been on tour for the last six weeks and has come to share her great advice.
Hello Shelli! Thank you so much for joining us today on the BiblioCrunch Blog. Can you tell us more about yourself and your books?
I worked for 15 years in marketing and started writing when my daughter was born. After years of being with an agent and coming close many times, my agent and I parted and I decided to do my own thing.
The Nature of Grace series is about a girl who has lived in the Smoky Mountains investigates crimes to the environment. In Untraceable, she stops at nothing to find her father and uncovers a conspiracy that impacts the wilderness she loves so much. In Uncontrollable, she joins a conservation effort to track wolves and investigates when they start showing up dead.
I am so excited to be part of your Uncontrollable blog tour, but lots of new authors do not know what a blog tour is, can you explain it for us?
A blog tour is when an author visits different blogs to help cross promote these blogs and talk about the author’s books. You visit blogs and talk about different topics.
A lot of authors do blog tours these days, but many only repeat canned posts. I try not to turn any blogger down (hence my blog tour of 75 ) because they are so nice to sign up and host me. Since they are so supportive of me, I feel I owe them a unique post on a unique subject.
Why a blog tour? Why do you use it to market your books and should other authors use it too?
I love bloggers. I think bloggers have more influence than people give them credit for. They have been very supportive of me so I feel I owe them. I love visiting bloggers. I have a small book and believe in the reader’s word of mouth. The best way to reach reader is through blogs.
What one piece of advice would you give authors wanting to do their own tour?
1) Don’t handpick bloggers solely based on followers. I see authors only target bloggers with over X number of followers. I love the small blogs that are growing just as much. And the ones with fewer followers have just as much influence b/c they more likely know their followers. Someone with 10,000 followers doesn’t know as many.
2) Make your tour unique and don’t use canned posts. Give the bloggers unique information to post.
3) Think outside the box – find something different. I’ve done cover contests, Pinterest board contests, and chats.
Any blogs, websites, or books we should check out when thinking of planning a blog tour?
A good place to start is http://yabookblogdirectory.blogspot.com/
But you can simply Google YA blogs and find tons. Reach out to new bloggers too. They have time and the passion to help just as much as larger blogs. Keep in mind, all bloggers read books and review for free – just because they love books.
There are many sites today that offer to put together a blog tour for the author. Are their any of these sites you would recommend?
I personally believe in building relationships with bloggers. I don’t like to send people out to sign me up. If they can give me time for my book, I can give them my time. I have an intern that helps me keep organized but I feel I have a relationship with the bloggers that signed up for my tour.
As a business owner and an author, what is the biggest tip you have for making the time to set up a blog tour while still keeping up with your other responsibilities?
I have had three blog tours. It takes time. Make the time. Maybe get help keeping you organized but take the time to reach out to bloggers.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my blog tour questions! Congratulations on the release of Uncontrollable!
About S.R. Johannes:
S.R. Johannes lives in Atlanta Georgia with her dog, British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world. After earning an MBA and working in corporate america, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing.
You can purchase Uncontrollable here
Kate Tilton is the marketing associate for BiblioCrunch, an author assistant, and a book blogger.