How to Get the Most Out of Book Tours

/ posted in: Book DiscussionReading

Do you use book tour companies?  Should you?

After my first few experiences with tour companies, I avoided them for years.  The books I was sent were horribly bad.  I wanted to change my name and move away so I wasn’t under any obligation to finish the books.  Now I work with a few companies and the experience is much better.  What changed?

Be super picky about the books you accept

This is especially true for us mood readers.  You are getting the book in exchange for promising to read it all the way through and review it.  For me that means that the synopsis has to make me think, “Yes, I absolutely want to read this book!!” and not “Um, maybe that would be good.”

Be organized

When I get approved for a book tour, I immediately go to my wordpress calendar and start a post on the correct day with the name of the book and the tour company it came from.  That way I can see what is coming up and get the post published on the correct day – except for the time I put the post on the correct day in the wrong month.  This also lets me see if I’m getting too many too close together.  If so, I need to stop accepting requests to have time for other reading and posting.  Nothing kills the fun like having to read for a deadline.

Choose the right tour companies

I found tour companies by seeing them mentioned on other blogger’s reviews of books that sounded interesting.  Going back to being picky, I signed up to host for companies that consistently had books that I would be interested in.  You can see what books they are currently touring on their webpage.

So how does this work?

When you sign up to be a host you aren’t obligated to read every book that the company is touring.  You will be sent emails with books on offer.  If you are interested in a book you respond to the email.  Most books are sent as ebooks but some companies send paper books.  The books may be ARCs before publication or may be part of the publicity package for a paperback release.

What companies do I use?

TLC Book Tours

This is the company I use the most.  They send out an email 3 or 4 times a year with a list of books that they will be having available.  I generally am interested in most of them.  I restrain myself and still end up with 1 or 2 most months.  I get a lot of nonfiction from here but they also have a lot of fiction.

My only complaint is that the books come directly from the publishers and sometimes they get delayed.  I’ve had books that I haven’t gotten until after I was scheduled to review or in the week before I was supposed to review.  Rushed reading to review a book in a few days isn’t fun.


Rachel’s Random Resources

This is a fairly new company to me.  They send out a separate email for each book on offer.  I’ve been choosing to get mostly fluffy, fun books from here.  I’m a sucker for books with pastel covers featuring British women reinventing their lives in a cafe or bookshop.  This company sends ebooks so they are available immediately and you generally have a few months before your review is scheduled.

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour

I don’t choose a lot of books from here.  That’s mostly because my mood reading really kicks in with historical fiction.  It is hard for me to plan ahead to read a book and then still want to read it when I get it.  The books I have gotten from here have been good.  I just got one recently that I’m planning on reading soon.  Deadlines are about 1-2 months out.

I have a few other companies that I am on the mailing lists for but I hardly ever choose their books.  It doesn’t hurt to look though!  The same rule applies as on sites like NetGalley.  Don’t overburden yourself with requests in your excitement for free books.  


What tour companies do you like?