I’ve been meaning to write up this post for a while, but as with everything else on the blog it sort of got shoved to the side. Last year I made the decision to take part only in CERTAIN blog tours: I decided I would only work with one company, and I would only accept books if they really interested me. I am aware that more of my fellow bloggers are giving up on blog tours, or only joining in with ones that really let them express themselves, so I wanted to share my reasons for cutting down.
When I see all these posts in my feed with titles like ‘Blog Tour’ or ‘Blitz’ or similar thing, my heart drops a little and I tend to ignore those with interviews or guest posts, etc. I’m happy to read reviews if the book particularly interests me, or posts where the blogger has done something super creative (like Debby’s amazing post where she made the characters of The Lunar Chronicles using The Sims), but if a blogger has just copy-pasted a generic post sent by the tour company, then I’m not interested. And if I’m not interested in these posts on other peoples’ blogs, why should I expect my visitors to be interested in them on mine?
I realised I was using those kinds of posts as filler content, half of the time for books I wasn’t even that interested in, and by doing that I was making my blog less personal, and my voice was less audible. I am proud of my blog and the time and effort I’ve put into it, and I don’t want to fill it with content I have no real interest in.
I am a mood reader. I read whatever I feel like reading, which makes reading books for a strict deadline very difficult. I also like to read two or three books at once, so I can flit between them depending on how I feel. Additionally, I now have even less time to read than last year and don’t want to feel pressured into reading certain books at certain times just for a blog tour.
I’ve also had issues with several tour companies. Many that I signed up for only let you post a review if you rated the book four or five stars. If it was lower, they’d send you some generic promotional content to post instead. Yes, I get that the blog tour is advertising for the book – but it feels so dishonest to hold off posting your review as part of the tour just because you didn’t enjoy it as much as the tour company wanted you to. Instead of posting your own valid opinion, you ended up posting unwanted filler content.
Another tour company actually REVIEWED my blog and told me how to run it. Yeah. There was an emphasis on the use of social media, cross-posting to Amazon, anything that could get them more traffic once I started posting for them. Needless to say I didn’t stay with them for long. MY blog, MY rules!
I still take part in blog tours, but I am very picky. I just use one tour company, who are very understanding – they choose books they know I will be interested in and do not expect me to accept every time. I’m sure I would be happy to accept a place in a blog tour from another company or publisher if the book is one I’m really excited for, but for now I’m more than happy for blog tours to be an infrequent thing on my blog.