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?