Conflict over Blog Tours?

blog tours

If you at all follow the book blogging community, I’m sure you are probably aware of the #BloggerConfessions post that caused a big uproar in the last few days. I’m not here to comment on that, because we all know that enough people did. But if you’re really looking to hear my thoughts, or my own confessions, I tweeted about it a bit, so look to Twitter. But I am here to talk about one confession that I read. I can’t even remember who said it, where I saw it, or anything other than what it said, so I’m not trying to call anyone out here, but it basically said this: “I don’t read blog tour reviews anymore because they’re always positive.”

Now, I’d been pondering writing a post about blog tours for a while. There seems to be this widespread idea that blog tour posts are merely promotional posts, aren’t to be trusted, and are “cheats” at blogging, because often times posts are pre-written. For this reason, I’ve seen many people say that they don’t even click on blog tour posts anymore.

I can only speak for myself when I say this, but: All of my blog tour reviews are 100% honest. If I feel that I can’t give a book a high enough rating for a tour, I’ll contact the hosts and get out. I only participate in blog tours for books that I genuinely liked, same thing goes for when I promote a book in any kind of post. As for tackling the idea that some blog tour posts are “cheats,” I only sign up for review slots on the tours that I DO choose to be a part of. Sure, sometimes I’ll have something else along with it, too, but I try to always post original content for a tour.

I don’t really know what to believe when it comes to reading blog tour reviews. But if you find a blogger than you know and trust, don’t second-guess their thoughts on a book, unless they give you a good reason to. And of course blog tour reviews will generally be positive. Ask yourself: If you wrote a book and had the publisher or book tour group put together a promotional tour, would you want the reviews to be negative ones? Probably not. The comment sounded like it was a person looking to read negative reviews of a book. Maybe just read the review, and give the blogger a chance to tell you why they liked it enough to be on the blog tour.

One last thing on the subject: In my almost 2 years at this blog, and 2 years at various others (I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this, but I’ve blogged at 3 other places before I finally landed here. Don’t go looking for those horrors, they’ve long since been taken down.), I know that blog readers are skeptical of just regular blog tours, let alone book blitzes and blasts. I steer clear of any pre-written promo posts. They often have no value to blog readers other than possibly introducing them to a new title, which a meme like Waiting on Wednesday does much better with, in my humble opinion. And also: frequency. It’s okay to participate in blog tours every now and again — I do! I find them an awesome way to get to interact with authors to ask interview questions and share the love for a book you enjoyed. But don’t pack your blog up with too many blog tours! You know what they say about too much of a good thing…

What is your take on blog tours? Love ’em or hate ’em? Do you trust blog tour reviews?


22 thoughts on “Conflict over Blog Tours?

  1. I don’t really pay attention to whether a review is for a blog tour or not. I’m interested in what they have to say about the book. I know in my own reviews, even for a blog tour, I almost always point out things I don’t like as well as I do the things I do like. (Those are easier too!) And I won’t sign up for a tour that requires 4 stars (3, okay, but not 4). If I can’t give a book 3 stars for a tour — and this hasn’t happened yet — I won’t post a promotional post in its place either. I just won’t participate. That might not be fair to the author/tour company, but it’s not fair to me to “make” me post something I don’t want to post either. If that means they want nothing more to do with me, fine. I have a room full of books I haven’t read, a library, and access to Amazon/B&N. I think I’ll be okay.

    1. I completely agree. As bloggers we have no obligation to promote or pretend to like a book that we didn’t. And like you, I always try to highlight all the positives and the negatives I found with the book. I won’t butter up my feelings simply because it’s a blog tour.

  2. Paige and I are still fairly new to blogging and I’m still semi-confused on the whole ‘blog tour’ concept. But based off my knowledge that I’ve gained so far, I trust that the people I follow won’t be giving false ratings.

      1. Hey Paige! So basically a blog tour is put together or hosted by either a publisher or blog tour service to promote a book for a period of time. Whoever runs the tour selects bloggers to participate in a tour for a certain title. Blogger can sign up for different types of posts (commonly review slots, guest posts, author q&a, or promo posts) and have a choice of post date. As for blog tour reviews, they don’t really differ from a normal review. The only thing that’s different is that the blogger will have received a copy of the book from either the publisher, author, or tour service. Sometimes blog tour services require that the reviewer give the title they are on tour for a minimum rating (say 3.5 stars) as to not promote the book negatively. That’s one of the controversial things about blog tours, and a reason some feel those reviews can’t be trusted. But most tours allow you to drop out or post something different if you don’t feel confident giving the book a higher rating. I hope this helps and wasn’t too confusing! πŸ˜‰

  3. I definitely agree with you! I’ve only ever participated in one blog tour, and I ended up liking the book but not completely loving it. In my review I talked about both its strengths and weaknesses to give a well-rounded idea of my thoughts on the book. I think you hit the nail on the head: if you trust that blogger to begin with, then chances are that you’ll be able to trust their blog tour posts as well.

    1. I try to do the same with my blog tour reviews, and even regular reviews too. I think it’s important to let readers know even the minor problems I have with titles, or else I feel like I’m not being completely honest. It’s almost like lying by omission.

  4. Great post! You make a good point; of course the reviews for blog tours are going to be generally positive, seeing how the purpose is to spread word of the book! Blog tours, in my opinion, are fine to participate in and read—although moderation is the key for sure!

  5. I hardly ever notice if a review is linked to a blog tour or not. Personally, I don’t enjoy participating in blog tours because if I don’t enjoy the book, the tour manager typically asks me to post some sort of promotional post that’s not a review. I’m not okay with promoting a book I didn’t like. That doesn’t mean the book is worthy of being read, but I don’t feel comfortable letting readers assume my post represents my opinion or being hypocritical otherwise.

  6. I’ll have to say that I assume that they have to participate in one if they’re genuinely excited about the book. I don’t have much knowledge about blog tours and I haven’t even participated in one before and I never sought to be enlightened (but if you would care to explain, I’d be thankful hahaha) I never really enjoyed them because I knew they were promotional. Sometimes they’re for a book that I truly am anticipating so I see what they thought of it, I never gave the idea you’re mentioning a thought because I don’t feel like it’s okay for bloggers to lie about them liking or hating a book because it is maybe a push for others to go out and purchase the book so personally speaking, I’d be making people distrust me and my reviews. I unsubbed to a lot of booktubers because I felt like they were just insincere and all they do was promo books. I couldn’t take it anymore.

    Anyways, great post! loved itβ™₯
    I’m a new follower of yours πŸ™‚
    Jumana @ Books by Jay

    1. I’ve done the same with the BookTubers. I hate that some of the big ones almost always have sponsored videos. I don’t know what to believe when it comes to them. But as for bloggers, I’m more likely to trust some that I’ve been following a while, or have gotten friendly with.

      Thanks for following!! ❀

  7. I ignore the fact that a review could be for a blog tour when looking on blogs. After all the publishers want to promote the book as much as possible, so by doing a blog tour containing reviews they are ensuring that the book has some publicity behind it.

    I’ve never participated in a tour that says that you must give a positive review or four stars. But I do find it uncomfortable if I don’t particular enjoy the book. Hopefully I’ve read the book far enough in advance that I can be quietly dropped of the tour.

    But I have seen some blog tour reviews that have given a negative review of the book. And that make me trust the particular blog more as they were not afraid to post their honest opinion. This is the issue you touched on above and I agree with you that it is the main issue when it comes to reviews for blog tours.

    1. That’s awesome that a blogger wrote a negative review for a blog tour (well not that they didn’t like it, but that they didn’t feel pressured to lie about their true feelings). It would definitely make me trust that blogger.

  8. I’m new to book blogging, so this topic is fascinating to me. Right now, I’m just writing about books I like! But it looks like things certainly can get complicated. Thanks for the enlightening post!

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