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*Dislaimer* I have compiled the information below from an actual tour coordinator's website, but it is a sample size of One (the tour coordinator who contacted me). To gather evidence from many would mean I wouldn't have time to write. But what I've found has made my skin crawl ...
The tour coordinator in question boasts about getting writers exposure for their books, and a tour package of 20 blog sites costs $749.
So I did a bit of digging. I chose one of the books this coordinator is promoting this month to look at in more detail.
The book has had 11 reviews posted so far in June. Eleven reviews, that's great stuff!
Except that virtually no one is reading these reviews. I've looked at each site on www.alexa.com (which measures worldwide website rankings according to daily traffic). A ranking of 20 million or more (or no data) means the site gets less than 10 hits a day. TEN HITS A DAY.
Guess what? Of the 11 blogs that hosted reviews for this book, for which the writer paid $749:
- 4 of his reviews were seen by too few people to measure, i.e. virtually no one except the writer himself.
- 5 blogs have rankings above 25,000,000. These are virtually unread.
- The remaining 2 blogs aren't dedicated book blogs but more general 'review' blogs, both of which tout their PR friendly attitude and strongly advertise their sponsorship opportunities. Yes, their website rankings are lower, which means they are getting lots of people looking at the site, but these people might be interested in recipes or tinkerbell costumes or canvas prints (all of which figured in the recent posts on the site).
And for the privilege of being hosted on 11 blogs that virtually no one reads (and another 12 of similar traffic rankings)? $749.
Writers, there may be good tour coordinators out there, but do your homework very carefully. If this one is any indication of the market, they are not worth the ether they exist in.
By the way, this is in no way a negative judgment on the blogs that host tours - there are lots of wonderful, highly trafficked blogs that do. Just be careful that you aren't paying a coordinator for empty promises.