More Tea and Advice with Pat and Holly

Pat: Thinking about our previous discussions, I wonder who gets the most from the host/guest connection. The touring author probably won’t get his fans to read every post on the tour, especially if the guest post is geared toward a completely different audience than he is accustomed to writing for. However, if the author’s post is appealing to the host's followers, they will read, perhaps hop over to become new followers for the author, and maybe even order his book. What more should the touring author expect from the host, and what does the host get for all her hard work?

Holly: I think the host should make all of the guests feel welcome, first and foremost. Odds are, the blog host will get a number of new visitors – some will be longtime friends or readers of the author’s and may be completely unfamiliar with the blog. That may be a new feeling for some bloggers – in general, it’s a great feeling, if you want to increase traffic to your own blog.

But as a guest, I’m not going to demand much. I will ask that the host post early in the day; make commenting as easy for guests as they’re willing to make it - perhaps foregoing registration requirements or comment moderation, if they can; and drop by as often as possible to greet visitors and help ensure a pleasant experience. I encourage hosts to promote the book and the tour stop, and I remind them to add “buy this book” links – using their own affiliate links, if they have them – to help promote book sales. That’s the purpose in doing a blog book tour, after all. That said, I wouldn’t come to your house for dinner and request a special menu or a particular wine. I wouldn’t insist on your serving it to me with the TV on, and if you asked me to remove my shoes at the door, I would – even if that weren’t my custom at home.

Pat: I do add a lot of links for my guests, and I also include a short introduction and a summary, sometimes even pointing to a specific blog post or bio of interest. Most of my guests have provided the links for me, but there have been a couple of times I had to do extra work searching out links, proofreading and editing copy, resizing photos, and picking up the slack when the guest did not make an appearance to respond to comments. Should the host assume a guest knows the protocol?

Holly: Professionalism would be nice. Presumably, an author knows the proper protocol for submitting a manuscript and dealing with editorial guidelines. It’s not that difficult. I would probably do a light edit and re-size the photos myself, if need be – but if a deadline’s missed or the writing doesn’t do the author credit (and will likely embarrass us both), I’d feel no particular obligation to host the author on the appointed day. Authors need to be respectful of their host’s time.

Fantastic advice, ladies, and thank you for stopping by. Be sure to visit Holly and Patricia at their blogs, too! If you have a question, please leave it in the comments and we'll try to respond.


Patricia Stoltey said...

My pleasure, Dani. Since I'm now hosting one or two guests a week, I've finally learned to lay out my minimal requirements and expectations ahead of time. This business of guest blogging and blog book tours is still new enough that we can't always assume an author, especially a debut author, knows what is expected.

Holly Jahangiri said...

Thanks, Dani! Patricia and I had fun with this; she's so easy to talk to, and I am so glad we've become friends.