This post follows up with the first and second posts of the multi-services review series. I'm going to be talking about several facets of my promotional efforts, including reviews of each group I'm working with–and some I'm not.
The focal point of this facet of the multi-services review is communication.
There has been one thing that I've learned about working with so many individual bloggers and blog tour groups: Communication is critical. Your tour will only be as successful as your ability to work with the tour group. That means working with people who communicate with you. You have to work well with others, and they need to work well with you.
When I dived into the selection of my tour groups, I found people who recommended tour groups, and went with those first. I particularly focused on groups who were recommended for being communicative.
I went in with certain expectations. If these expectations weren't met, the group likely wasn't for me. The time it takes for them to communicate with me is really important.
There was one group I ultimately did not decide to work with because their auto response system informed me it could be up to two weeks before I could get a reply.
If I wanted that, I'd be trolling for an agent right now–not looking for a promotion firm.
Now, that said, there are two elements to communication that I think are important to cover before I start talking about the specific tour groups.
There is how you communicate with them, and how they communicate with you. It's a two way street. If you do not communicate in an open, prompt fashion, you cannot expect the promotion firm to be open and prompt with you.
Treat others as you want to be treated. If you want fast response times, you yourself need to have fast response times.
If you say you're going to do something, do it. If you can't, for whatever reason, tell the person or group you're working with immediately.
These are the basics of good business. There are a lot of etiquette things to remember and deal with. Common sense will do you a great deal of good though. Communication is a two-way street, and if you aren't doing your part, the promotion firm can't do theirs.
I'm going to get this out of the way first. Working with individuals is difficult. It's a lot of work. There are a lot of things to remember. You need to make sure you have a promotional kit, and make sure that you're ready to answer questions. Most of all, make sure you send everything they need, including buy links.
When you're working with individuals, the primary burden falls on you to communicate with them.
Blog tour operators are paid to do all of this work for you–and believe me, it is a great deal of work keeping something like this organized. I'm working with around twenty individuals, and it's a lot to keep track of.
A few of my tour operators are working with fourty for my promotional campaign–or more.
What you're about to read is a reflection of wise choices, recommendations, and making sure I'm communicating with the operators of my tour groups. If you want the too long; didn't read version, here it is: All of the groups I'm about to talk about have been stellar in terms of communication.
I didn't work with anyone who showed a single classic sign of non-communication. As a result, every operator has responded to me within a time frame I'm comfortable with. Some are astonishingly communicative, while others are closer to average, but not a single group has failed me in terms of being open with communications and quick to reply to questions and concerns.
A few side notes:
Note 1: Unlike the first few posts, this one has the complete list of the groups I'm working with.
Note 2: I've invested over $500 for this release day extravaganza. This is an extremely expensive experiment for me, and I hope it pays off… but it is a risk I was willing to take.
Note 3: Communicating with this many people, between tour groups and individual bloggers, is extremely stressful.
I'm going to rehash what I said above: There is not a single group I've worked with that has given less than an A effort in terms of communications. A few, however, have earned an A+, and that's where the differences lie. I am extremely pleased with all of the groups I'm working with right now.
I can only hope that the actual promotion comes even close to all of the preparation work that has been invested.
This is not the first time I've worked with My Addiction is Reading. My original experience with them was for a single-day blast for Storm Without End, as well as a short book tour. The single-day blast worked better for me, with really good results. The shorter book tour still performed well, including some really great reviews, though I preferred the performance of the single-day blast.
My contact at My Addition is Reading is really great to work with. She's super fast, and she has an excellent minion who helps with other facets of the tour business–who is also fantastic and super fast to reply to emails!
This is one of the A+ groups, because I never feel like I'm at a loss while working with these ladies. We have a really good working relationship. I feel like I can ask them questions at any times, and the same applies to them.
We respect each other, and we make sure everyone is responded to as quickly as possible.
And when I flaked out and was a day later than I wanted getting guest posts to one of the ladies, I emailed her when it was due and begged forgiveness.
All was well in the world. (And I had the posts to her the following morning.)
My Reading is Addiction uses a master sign up form for tours and single-day blasts so authors and publishers can watch activity without needing to communicate directly with the operators. This is a great feature. The page includes a list of participating bloggers for tracking purposes, making administration a snap.
Of all of the tours I've worked with, this one has been the most interesting in terms of communication–or the expected business-like lack thereof.
Kathy is great. She's one of those people who says she is going to do something and does it. She's not one to chatter, and I'm okay with that. Communication wasn't really a factor with her because I knew if I needed anything, I could go to her. I knew she was quiet and would remain quiet during the promotion, but I knew she would work on my stuff as promised. When she said something would happen, it did.
If you are a person who needs to be given confidence through constant lines of communication, you'll find working with Kathy a little terrifying. She's quiet, she does her job, and she doesn't waste time with idle chit-chat. She won't email unless she really needs something. If she needs something, she's sending me an email, and I know it's ultra important for me to reply quickly with everything she requires.
Personally, I found this a breath of fresh air. With so many tour groups going around, no news is good news with Kathy. I'll probably email with her once–in a week or so to check in, though it isn't really necessary to. I've watched the promotion site, know she's been doing her work, and that's exactly what I need and want.
This is another A+ tour group. When I first contacted Fire & Ice, I wasn't expecting such a quick reply. Of all of the groups I've worked with, Fire & Ice has been the only one where technical difficulties were an issue. My ipad hated their email address. She was really patient, and we sorted it out–so a shout out for that. When you're working with so many people and things go wrong, it's stressful, and she's so laid back and easy to work with that even when our emails were exploding with technical glitches (who would have thought a .docx file could cause so much trouble…) everything was cool.
That calm approach, and super-friendly personality, makes working with Fire & Ice really pleasant.
Like My Reading is Addiction, Fire & Ice uses a signup page that shows all of the participating blogs, making it super easy to watch as the campaign proceeds.
I'm convinced that Tia over at Worldwind is a ninja. When I first reached out to her, I was not expecting a response nearly as fast as I got it. Within hours of my initial communication, we were talking about the project. Her responses are quick as a general rule. She's really easy to work with, and has a no-nonsense approach to the business, which I really like.
Each group has a different style of communication, and Tia is the type of lady who quietly does her work. We communicate as often as necessary, and we do our own things. She expects me to do what I need to do, and I know she's working on her end in the background.
One thing I like about Tia is that when she has information–like the master reviewer list–she sends it over. I didn't have to ask for it. When she had the information, it was sent to me.
I like efficiency, and that's what I got with this group.
Like Kathy with Worldwind, Roxanne is pretty quiet. She talks when she needs to, but as a general rule, you can expect her to be quietly doing her work in the background. When she needs something, she sends an email. I answer it right away. When I had information she needed, I sent it to her as soon as I got it.
When she said something would happen, it did. That's the point of communication, especially with a tour group–getting things done.
So, when working with Roxanne, expect her to do her job quietly. It's not for everyone, but even from the start, I got the feeling if I needed to talk to her about things, she'd respond–and fast.
But we haven't needed the chit chat because I had everything she needed, and she went to work. That's business.
Good communication does not mean your hand will be held every step of the way. (And as I mentioned before, I'm okay with that.)
Majanka with Enchanted Book Tours is another A+ lady. We don't do a lot of communication (once again, like Worldwind and Bewitched, it isn't really needed) but Majanka is among the quickest to reply to things when it's needed. I've had response times of within minutes, which is a real comfort for someone like me who wants action instead of waiting.
And I appreciate a quick reply when an answer is needed. When one isn't? I don't even care if I don't get a reply back–wasting time for unnecessary reasons doesn't really help anyone, in my opinion.
Since I've already worked with Orangeberry in the past, I'm going to leave the links to the original reviews. In terms of communication, I've never been displeased with them! When Pandora and co aren't in the office, they use an auto response system. I've never had a very long delay in communications after they've gotten back to work.
Phew. There will be more to come…
… after Inquisitor's official launch.