As the publication date of my most recent book Exit Strategy became imminent, I began to look for one of those promotion sites, book blogs, and/or blog tour companies to sponsor a tour for my book. Having never done a blog tour before, admittedly I was naive to the workings of this new method of getting exposure for one’s book. I quickly found out that one has to book such things, especially if it is a very popular venue, months ahead of time. When I figured that out after multiple rejections for this reason, I decided to pull together my own hastily crafted tour, of sorts. My author friends and readers responded, and I had a successful release.
Since the debut of Exit Strategy it has slipped in the rankings and while I’ve learned a lot about the publishing process in general since becoming a published writer, I haven’t quite learned how one keeps a book in its genre rankings. So, I began to inquire again of blog tour sites regarding the earliest date I could get a review tour in 2014, in order to boost the book again after its release on October 27th.
It was then I became aware that no matter what type of flexibility I offered to the Blog Tour sites, they all kept saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.” First it was the time frame, so I asked for any available dates in early 2014, then it was “We have not been successful promoting your type of book,” or “It’s adult fiction. Oh, we thought you were NA.” Then some didn’t sugarcoat, they just said “No.”
I began to wonder, “Why don’t they want my money? Is my subject matter the issue? The fact that I write interracial romance? Is it that it’s a loosely based parody?” I couldn’t figure out why I was being blackballed by these sites, since I have a reasonably successful first book with more than 200 reviews on Amazon and it’s still selling relatively well. I was stymied (and let me be honest here, my feelings were a little hurt).
Since becoming an indie published author, I was used to the FREE promo sites giving authors of erotic romance a hard time. However, I was not of the impression that the Book Blogs and/or Tour Sites were also selective. However, I’m seeing that most of the bigger ones are, and even if they have tours that you can pay for, they have the right to refuse whoever they want.
As a little-known African American writer, I don’t know how to feel about this in the twenty-first century. I understand if you have moral issues with what I write. I even understand if you’re a blog that features only Christian/ Inspirational, YA, and other genres that cater to the younger set, you don’t want to feature my book. However, most of the Contemporary Romances out there today have heat levels just as incendiary as mine, so I just didn’t get why I was being singled out.
Finally, I took my concern to some author friends and they were supportive to the point of being outraged on my behalf. One of them even went so far as to secure a spot for me with the blog I’m going to have a tour with in December. I was buoyed by their support of me, despite having doors slammed shut in my face by some of the very groups they had recommended me to previously.
I’m writing this because I want others to be aware that there is inequity in the way many blog tour sites conduct their business, and it saddened me to the point of making me depressed about it for a few days. However, the rallying of other indie authors around me, gives me hope that their support will effect the change that needs to happen for those who are still unable to secure these types of services.
PLEASE SIGN UP FOR MY BLOG TOUR WITH THE BOOK ENTHUSIAST
If any bloggers, authors, or readers are interested, the following is my blog tour sign-up form (please click if you’d like to participate): Exit Strategy Blog Tour Sign-Up Form.
MY GIVEAWAY IS STILL RUNNING UNTIL END OF NOVEMBER!
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