Q: I am getting ready to plan a blog tour and have a couple of bloggers I would
like to contact. What is the proper etiquette for contacting them, and what
should I offer them in return for their time and energy in hosting me?
A: Jessica –
Congratulations for on your entry into the virtual realm! You will find most bloggers don't stand on ceremony – but that doesn't mean you should send less-than-stellar email queries. At Pop Syndicate, I immediately delete all queries with rampant misspellings, poor punctuation and incoherent thoughts. I don't expect someone to be formal; just professional. If they don't care enough to send a well-written, but brief, MySpace message, chances are they won't follow through on their tours.
Keep your queries short and to the point. Use the host's name, if available. Tell them why your novel is a good fit for their blog and ask them to consider hosting you. Include your email, address, phone and Web site in the signature line. Do not send attachments of your book cover or excerpts until they are requested.
In return, tell the bloggers you will promote their site and your tour date to your fans on social networks, in newsletters, forums, listservs, groups and any other online venue you belong to. Some may ask you to do a permanent link share on their site – I'll post your site if you post mine. Consider these requests, but do not feel obligated. If you do several tours, your list will become too long and difficult to navigate, and will clutter your page.
Read more about planning virtual tours here.