1. Bloggers are asked to commit to a blog tour without having read the book.
This means that at the point I have to commit to posting something for a blog tour, I think and hope I will enjoy the book in question, but I have no guarantee I will. And if I don’t actually like the book, I’m left looking flaky and trying to back out of the tour, or I’m stuck providing promotional content for a book I might not actually recommend.
2. Some blog tours have really tight turnarounds.
Tight turnarounds for some blog tours contribute to the fact that I may not be able to pull out of the blog tour if I don’t like the book because the organizer will not have time to find another blogger. Tight deadlines also put pressure on me when I am doing a service entirely for free. I once agreed to a blog tour where the publisher sent a digital ARC on Friday afternoon and asked me to send author interview questions by the end of the weekend, essentially giving me only two days to read the book and come up with thoughtful questions.
3. Publisher and author provided content is hit-or-miss.
Some blog tours come with a whole package of information, while others kind of leave bloggers scrambling to get graphics, find an author bio, etc.
Also, if you are posting author-provided content like an interview or guest post, the fact is that some authors put more effort into this than others. I once had an author guest post topic that was to the effect of “ways to survive a desert island” (I’m making this up because I’m not actually trying to name or insult the author here) and got back a list of five items that had no explanation. The author-provided content was less than 40 words. It was not particularly interesting or useful to readers and was not the type of quality content Krysta and I usually try to post.
I have also been sent content I am supposed to post the day before it is supposed to go live. This is stressful to me because, again, this is a hobby and I have other things in life that take priority over formatting blog posts, and I may not be able to put the content up when the author or publisher wants if they do not get it to me in a timely manner.
4. I get practically nothing out of participating in blog tours.
Blog tours often come with a lot of stress and planning for me, but I don’t personally get any benefit out of it. A lot of blog tours are moving to e-ARCs, so I don’t even get a “free copy of the book;” I’m actually reading a PDF of the book on my laptop, which I do not really enjoy.
I also have to admit that blog tours tend to get less traffic and less interaction than other posts on the blog. Since Krysta and I together have managed to post practically every single day on the blog for the past two years that we’ve been blogging, I don’t need these types of posts to add content to the blog.
I know a lot of people see their purpose as bloggers as being “support authors,” and I do like to support authors, but I admit I blog primarily for myself and for other readers. Being given a strict two-day deadline to read a book and then post specific content that may or may not be engaging and that will not contribute to my blog stats is not really a super-fun deal for me.
What is your experience with blog tours? Do you like participating in them? Do you like reading them?