So now you've got or are creating a kickin' website about your book and you have a good idea who your book tour audience is. Now we can get into the meat of the tour itself: finding the Blogs!
Blogs are essentially on-line "journals" (usually by a person) about whatever interests them. As such, they cover the gamut of exposure, expertise and opinion. Some, like LiveJournal, are more like on-line diaries, while others may be specifically targeted toward news. Some are by people who simply want to express themselves (regardless of their knowledge or experience on a topic) while others are serious commentary by experts in their field. Some of these may only have a few faithful viewers, while others may get thousands of views a day. Thus, as you search, you'll also need to evaluate each blog to see if this blog is one on which you'd like to promote your book.
Here's where I went to find my blog stops:
1. Friends. Not only might they have a blog they can host you one, they may know of a blog that would be interested in you. I found several Catholic blogs through friends, some of which have large audience.
2. On-line groups. If you're on a Yahoo group or other forum, post a request asking if anyone blogs in your target area, or can recommend any blogs.
3. Google. Type in "blog" and your target area. Do more than one search. For example, for "Infinite Space, Infinite God," I searched under "Catholic science fiction blog," and "Catholic fiction blog." If your book has been out for awhile, Google the title name and see if anyone's already mentioned it. I found a blog that didn't show up on a general search when I typed in "Infinite Space, Infinite God."
4. Search host sites. Most host sites like Blogger or MySpace allow you to search just their websites. Sometimes you can find blogs that have a loyal following but don't show up on Google.
5. Check links on websites and blogs you visit.
Once you've found a site, look it over. Do the entries tie in with your book or your interests? Does the person seem sympathetic or potentially interested? Is there a counter--and if so, how many people have visited the site?
If you like the blog and would like to "visit" it on your tour, you now try to contact the blogger. A good way to start is to find one of his posts you like and leave a comment. If it applies to your book, so much the better, but at very least, leave your name and your book name and website. For example:
What an interesting post! I didn't realize Dr. Thinxalot has postulated
a "human percentage" for determining how much genetic tinkering our DNA
can take. Incidentally, that's a topic we've explored in our SF anthology
"Infinite Space, Infinite God." I'll have to look for more of Dr. T's
--Karina Fabian, editor, Infinite Space, Infinite God
If there's a contact site for the blogger, write her a note complimenting her on her blog and asking her if she'd be willing to host you on your virtual book tour. You may have to explain what that is and how it's done. (I'll post a sample e-mail Saturday.) If you cannot find contact information on the site, ask her via a comment.
On Saturday--inviting yourself to a blog, being interviewed, generating "buzz."