Seekerville: The Journey Continues | category: JustRead Tours


Seekerville: The Journey Continues

Avoiding Sticky Book Cover Situations

 Avoiding Sticky Book Cover Situations

As queen bees of the JustRead hive (aka owners of JustRead Publicity Tours) and avid readers, we’ve learned a thing or two about sweet reads and sticky situations. We want to help you avoid common book cover blunders and ensure your readers aren’t confused or even deterred by a sticky situation. 

Generally, authors will either have DIY, outsourced, or a publisher-directed cover design process. While this article is written primarily with independently publishing (or hybrid) authors in mind, the concepts are important for all authors to consider. Whether you are creating your own cover or conveying your vision to others, the goal is for the heart of your story (or nonfiction content) to shine through the cover.

 Avoiding Sticky Book Cover Situations
Visual Vibes

Research book covers that are selling or trending in your book’s genre and subgenre, making note of images, design styles, fonts, and colors. Once you’ve identified design elements that work well for your genre, focus on reflecting the heart of your story within your author branding and genre trends. 

Stock Images

Even the pros utilize stock illustrations and images but check to see if your selections are already being used on another book cover. Layering multiple images is one way to create a more unique cover but make sure proportions and blending are natural.


We love fonts but readability is key. Two different typefaces on a cover (sometimes three) are acceptable as long as the placement is mindful. Whimsical and script fonts are especially tricky but they pack a visual punch when used in moderation and/or paired with a simple clean font. 

 Avoiding Sticky Book Cover Situations
Good Sticky

Stick to your budget and timeline. Don’t wait too long to finalize your cover or make last-minute changes, delays could end up costing you more. Compromise is common during the cover design process but be willing to stick to it and keep the lines of communication open rather than settling for a cover that doesn’t fit.

Encouragement for DIYers

You can successfully create your own book cover with thorough research, more research, and the popper tools! Creating an appealing cover on Canva, Picmonkey, or other free or low-cost design platforms is possible. Many of these tools even provide book cover templates and it’s a great way to get the ball rolling for cover mock-ups and even final cover designs. Be sure to ask a few trusted and experienced confidantes for their opinion on your work but don’t stress over trying to please everyone.

Cover Design Pros

If your budget allows, we definitely recommend working with a cover designer. Choose a professional who has created covers you love. We love so many covers including those designed by Roseanna White, Teresa Tysinger, Hillary Lodge, Sarah Monzon, Emilie Hendryx, and more! Please feel free to give a shoutout to your favorite cover designers in the comments. Keep an eye out for a more in-depth post on working with a cover designer in the future.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” 

It’s a nice sentiment but the truth is that the cover is the first glimpse a reader has of the content within. Book covers set the stage just as words pull back the curtains on the wonderful experience we share through stories, devotionals, and nonfiction accounts. Readers are going to judge book covers so let’s embrace that and maximize their impact positively. 

Can you name some genre-specific design features? Does a certain cover style grab your attention? Carrie, Beth, and Rachel would love to chat about your favorite cover trends in the comments! 

 Avoiding Sticky Book Cover Situations
JustRead Publicity Tours, LLC is a full-service publicity tour company for published works in the Christian genre or books considered within the wholesome or clean reads genres. 

Check out their About page to meet the queen bees or jump right into the Authors & Publishers or Readers sections to learn more about JustRead campaigns.

Organization: What Works for Me

Organization: What Works for Me

written by Beth Erin

One of the many great things about community is learning from one another and we’re excited to bring you even more practical Seekerville posts to learn from. Carrie is spearheading a new addition to the monthly rotation featuring nuts and bolts type articles from various industry professionals sharing what works for them in hopes that y’all will find precious little nuggets that work for you too! While she officially starts those posts in March, I thought I would kick things off by sharing some organizational tips and tools that work for me.

Regardless of who you are or what you do, life is a multifaceted gig. We all allocate time for faith, finances, loved ones, home, health, and the list goes on and on and on. Some confidently refer to this balance as donning many hats, some say it feels like a juggling act, others may reference the more hazardous act of spinning plates, and then there’s one of my personal favorites, herding cats. Let’s face it, even if we manage to get our ducks in a row, those little quackers are going to waddle, swim, and fly away at times.

As I finally dive into writing this post less than 12 hours before it’s scheduled to go live, allow me to assure you that I do not have all the answers. What I do have is a commitment to flexibility, streamlining, and giving myself grace plus a few tools that help me manage life in a manner that is a little bit less stressful. So grab your hats, plates, cats, and ducks as we dive into the act of ordering our chaos!

Organization: What Works for Me
In addition to working from home (plus blogging, reading, etc.), I homeschool our four children (ages 8-15) while my husband works odd hours outside the home (in many ways creating a second family time zone). The kids and I especially tend to lose track of time while focused on a project or engrossed in a good book so daily reminders for snacks, meals, bedtime, etc. broadcast from our Google displays, speakers, and smartphone apps. We share and collaborate everything from chores and lessons to photos to shopping lists with our online calendar and cloud drive storage, keeping everyone in the loop with easy access to the same information.

Side note: While we primarily use Microsoft & Google products, Apple, Amazon, etc. have similar products with similar features. If you want to go old school, you might use a traditional kitchen timer or alarm clock, a wall calendar, and a message board to keep your daily routine rolling. Secondly, I try not to obsess over the whole “big brother is listening to/watching everything we do” factor. The way I figure, that factor came into play way before smartphones entered the picture so we might as well get all the help we can out of our nosey technology.

Professionally, we at JustRead Publicity Tours use a variety of tools to manage the four to six campaigns we organize 47 weeks out of the year. For those who aren't familiar with us, JustRead has three owners (Carrie in Georgia, Rachel in Washington, and I am in Illinois) and an entire hive of wonderful volunteer book bees! Google is again a large part of the organizational equation but for the three of us, managing multiple projects and business matters as a team calls for the addition of a task management program.

Organization: What Works for Me

While there are several options available (, Wrike, SmartSheet, etc.), we’re currently loving Asana for its versatility, functionality, and rainbows (because we all need more rainbows). Even though we chose to go with the upgraded features of a paid plan, the free version worked well for us during our transition from the last program we used. Other tools such as Trello are also good options for managing multiple projects and even collaborating with others.

Enough about me, let’s get back to you!

Most importantly, I want to encourage you to find an approach to organizing that makes sense for you. The most sophisticated program can’t compete with consistent old school methods if utilizing technology isn’t your thing. If sticky notes on the refrigerator work for you, do that! A bit of organization should make your life LESS stressful, never more stressful.

Organization: What Works for Me
Be flexible. Allow yourself a little extra time for random occurrences of Murphy’s Law when setting due dates. Be brave. Try something new or tweak what you’re already doing. Successful or not, trial periods are always learning experiences.

K.I.S.S. your chaos. “Keep It Simple, Silly!” The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If you’re like me and have a hard time switching gears between different roles, don’t try to do all the things at once. Focus on one project for an hour or even a day at a time.

Give yourself grace. Some of us may have superpowers but most of us don’t. Our chaos gets a little out of control and we roll with the punches. Don’t allow pride or shame to keep you from asking for an extension or assistance when you need to.

Share your favorite organizational tools or methods in the comments for a chance to win a book from my stash of Christian fiction.

Beth Erin is a happy wife, a busy homeschooling mama of four, an owner of JustRead Publicity Tours, and a Christian fiction enthusiast. You'll occasionally find her on Faithfully Bookish and on social media but mostly she's striving to balance all things work and home. Beth is passionate about promoting authors and their entertaining, encouraging, and redemptive stories. If none of the above was helpful in a practical way, she hopes that it at least made you smile.

Behind the Scenes of a Blog Tour

Behind the Scenes of a Blog Tour

Whether you’re a repeat customer or interested in partnering with JustRead Publicity Tours, LLC (lovingly referred to as JustRead or JR by those of us who refer to it daily) or simply a curious reader, I hope you’ll enjoy this behind the scenes peek at the planning and execution of one of our many campaigns. If you haven’t met us yet, JustRead provides a variety of publicity services including our example for today, tried and true blog tours. I’ll be referring to “you” as an author below and linking a few examples so if you’re a reader or publisher, it’s time to play pretend!

Hi, author friend! The first step to partnering with JustRead is filling out a Campaign Inquiry Form on our website. Once Carrie has a chance to review your information, she will send you date availability and pricing plus helpful suggestions to best meet the needs you indicate on the form. She’s such a sweetheart, she’ll even hold those dates for you for seven days while the two of you exchange any necessary emails to ensure we are all on the same page. We are big fans of open communication, it generally makes life less stressful.

Behind the Scenes of a Blog TourNote: Clearly specifying your book's genre (Christian fiction or wholesome “clean reads”), subgenre (historical, women’s fiction, romantic suspense, etc.), and ANY content warnings on the campaign inquiry form is critical for a successful campaign. 

(fair warning, I’ll be chasing rabbit trails and dropping little notes throughout this post)

Another note: If we do not have availability within your target timeframe or if we don’t think your book will be well received by our hosts or regular reader base (for whatever reason), we will refer you to another tour company that might better suit your specific needs.

Once you’re ready to go for it, Carrie will add your tour to our calendar, enter all the pertinent information in our task management software, send an invoice request to Annie and (voila!) the countdown to your blog tour begins! Annie will square away all the money math then shoot an email invoice to your inbox but be sure to read it or you’ll miss important things like payment methods and due dates as well as what we need from you and when we need it to make your blog tour a success!

Note: Send a high-resolution image of your cover to Carrie ASAP. This is task #00 for creating your tour and believe me, it feels good to check things off the ol’ to-do list.

When possible, we like to begin reader (or host) sign-ups for tours a couple of months before the start date and since 2020 has been plagued with every shipping delay imaginable, we have pushed that timeframe back even further, especially when print copies are involved (such as certain review or bookstagram tours). To kick-off sign-ups, I (Beth) will use that hi-res cover you already sent to Carrie (go, you!) and book information (from your campaign inquiry form mentioned above or email exchange with Carrie) to create your tour’s banner, host sign-up form (for reader contact information, date availability, post type preferences, etc.), host review link submission form (more about this one a bit later), and a “new tour” graphic. Either Rachel or Carrie will jump in at this point to proofread these forms before we send them out into the world.

Behind the Scenes of a Blog Tour Behind the Scenes of a Blog Tour Behind the Scenes of a Blog Tour 
Note: Creating banners is one of my favorite tasks. Sometimes I go through multiple drafts before I’m happy with the outcome (and I often drag Rachel and Carrie into the deliberations). 

Once the forms are double-checked, readers can sign up to be considered for a stop on your tour! My next task will be to spread the word by posting the new tour graphic to our Instagram (you can see them in our highlights) and Facebook stories, sending out a newsletter showcasing the banner of your tour (and other new tours for that two weeks), and featuring your tour banner (with other open tours) on the Current Sign-Ups page of our website during the sign-up period. Near the end of your sign-ups, Carrie (since we’re referring to a blog tour) will make sure we have plenty of qualified hosts for your tour.

Note: If we are short on time or would like to attract more hosts for a specific tour, we also share a “tour alert” graphic post on Instagram and Facebook, highlighting your cover, tour, and book blurb. This summer, our lovely intern Kayla has been tending to our new tour stories and tour alert posts among many other things and we so appreciate her!

Another note: Carrie also assigns our reviewer and “blind date with a book” tours and Rachel assigns our social media tours.

Behind the Scenes of a Blog Tour
When Carrie is ready to create your tour schedule, she will assign hosts to specific dates for author interview, guest post, review, and/or spotlight posts. She will check each blogger’s provided information including monthly views, preferences, and availability, plus past host performance to determine the best candidates for your tour. Carrie will then send each assigned reader a welcome email with the schedule specifying their assigned date and important reminders. Hosts assigned author interview or guest post spots on the tour have a few days to reply to the welcome email with their questions or topic suggestions and Carrie will email those to you along with any final details we need.

Note: If we have more readers than available spots, readers who are not assigned receive a “thank you for your interest” email. If you opt to include print copies for reviewers, Carrie will also send the mailing list at this time and a SHIP BY date.

Send Carrie your responses for author interview and author guest post spots and final details promptly because the last few weeks before your tour is when we will compile that information for hosts. I will build your blog landing post including giveaway graphic, Rafflecopter form, and linked tour schedule for the JustRead website plus assemble host assets such as post requirements and HTML for WordPress and Blogger. Rachel will proofread those before I send asset emails to the tour hosts and Carrie will email your author interview and guest posts to each assigned host one week before the first day of the tour.

Take a deep breath, it’s the morning of your long-awaited and highly anticipated blog tour organized by JustRead Publicity Tours! Are you excited?! We’re excited!

Note: As day breaks and the dew dries and my children and dog are pulling me in at least 5 different directions at once… I will (eventually) link your tour banner on our home page. However, if you’re an earlier riser and function-er than I am and you just can’t wait to see that post for yourself, simply click on Blog under Campaigns in the menu bar. (ta-dah!)

Your landing post on the JustRead website will go live at midnight EST (automatically be shared in JustRead’s Facebook and Twitter feeds) and that’s also when your giveaway begins! On the first morning, your book cover will be pinned to JustRead’s “Books to Read” Pinterest board and your giveaway graphic will be pinned to a “Book Giveaway” board. Hosts will have their posts published by noon EST (and shared on social media) and Rachel will visit each blog to make sure the post contains the correct information and leave a thank you (yet another task our intern Kayla has excelled in). By the conclusion of the giveaway, hosts will also submit the host review link submission form which Carrie will include along with the tour giveaway winner and link to an anonymous feedback survey in her wrap-up email to you.

Behind the Scenes of a Blog Tour
Ta-dah! That's how we do it, folks! Did you learn something new? Did I put you to sleep? 

As we draw the curtains on this exclusive sneak peek, we invite you to ask any general questions you may have in the comments below but please direct specific tour requests to the campaign inquiry form mentioned above or you may email me: beth @ (with no spaces).

Let us know in the comments if you'd like to be entered in a random draw for the winner's choice of two books from the JustRead stash!

JustRead Publicity Tours, LLC is a full-service publicity tour company for published works in the Christian genre or books that are considered a “clean read”. For more information, check out our “About” page to see who we are or jump right into “Authors & Publishers” to learn more about our campaigns.

Book World Changes

Book World Changes as observed by Beth and Carrie of Seekerville

Hello, friends! Beth and Carrie here! Since our identities have frequently been mistaken for one another, and we practically live on the same brainwave to the extent that we might actually be sharing a brain, we’ve decided to join forces today and y’all can just use your imagination to figure out who says what.

Book World Changes
We mustache you... who is who? (see hint)
Stories have our hearts (well, Jesus AND stories but since He told stories it’s another reason to love them)! A life with books is far richer than one without them. Perhaps storytellers feel the same way about penning their tales. We’ve even read that avid fiction readers possess more empathy than the poor souls who don’t read (we truly feel awful for them, bless their hearts).

Perhaps we're feeling a bit sentimental since celebrating our blog birthdays last month on Faithfully Bookish and Reading Is My SuperPower (4 and 5 years, respectively) but now, more than ever, we realize life is always changing. We’re learning, we’re growing (older, stronger, wiser, softer, you name it), and we’re constantly, even subconsciously, adapting to the dynamics of the world around us.

We want to encourage y’all despite or perhaps because of the uncertainty surrounding us, to embrace the story. Good times, bad times, different times, make time to read (or write), and may the Holy Spirit minister to your story-loving heart no matter what season you find yourself in.

That said, we’re sharing some ways our reading/reviewing/blogging/publicity-ing worlds have changed over the last few weeks, some helpful workarounds if you’re in the same floating-aimlessly boat, and a bit of insight for authors who are wondering why certain formerly dependable readers seem to have fallen off the book planet. :)


The world has shut down, we are staying home, we have endless reading time, right?! Unfortunately, no. Introverts have been social distancing since before it was celebrated as a life-saving act and those of us who work from home are literally professionals. Not only do we need to continue doing our work (more about that later) but we now have the added distraction of additional people or inevitable cabin fever to contend with. If you are reading more right now, we are delighted for you and if your reading time has taken a hit, know that you are not alone.

Life is Always ChangingWe recommend injecting stories into your day with audiobooks (these are also great for those “distracting other people” as well) or set aside time for a mental health break (yeah, that looks like reading for us). Need a family activity? Gather everyone around (on the couch or via video chat) and read aloud to each other!

There’s a binding of hearts and something healing about sharing stories during stressful times. Too tired for something new? Revisit a book on your “favorites shelf.” Give yourself permission to avoid certain titles due to emotional fatigue (or author pictures with poultry) or stinky binding adhesive.


Let’s be honest, writing reviews can be challenging under any circumstances. How do we find words to express the beauty of a reading experience? The swoofness is elusive, y’all! (btw, we’re talking about “Squeezing Words Out Of Feelings” if this is the first time y’all have heard of swoof) If a reader who shall not be named happened to be devouring books as a coping mechanism to diffuse stress caused by an inability to swoof, well… it’s a vicious cycle, friends. Heaven sakes, I’m stressing myself out just thinking about it! Talk me off the ledge, Carrie!

(Repeat after me, Beth. The swoof will return. Trust the swoof.)

Let’s all take a moment and just breathe deeply. We need to give ourselves permission to read a book and occasionally only leave a couple-sentence review on retail sites. Something like, “This book is so beautiful I can’t even put my feelings into words. Except to say, ‘Read it. You’ll thank me.’” Not every review has to be a full swoof, friends. If you’re reviewing on your blog and need to fill in more space than 2 sentences, talk about a couple of favorite quotes to flesh out a longer review. In other words, employ the Dory method - Just keep swoofing!


We love to introduce our fellow readers to books and authors but it’s not as easy as Carrie makes it look! (Note from Carrie - ha! Not easy at all!) There’s so much to learn and consider with search engine optimization and social media promotion and giveaways and updating old posts and site navigation and newsletters and sometimes this introvert gets stuck in overload. Have you ever heard of stress paralysis? (Where are my Moms’ Night Out fans?!) It’s a thing.

Give yourself grace and permission to have fun or step back
One of the first things my big sister blogger taught me was the “my blog, my rules” principle, and years later, it’s still a good reminder. If you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone and give yourself grace and permission to have fun or step back as needed. Throw together some spotlights or quick lists if you’re all out of creativity or time but still want to show love to some authors & books.

You may find, like our book sisters Rachel (@bookwormmama14) or Annie (@justcommonly), that bookstagramming will get your creative juices flowing. A little less writing, a little more space for artistic expression, and a whole lot of cover love, Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular platforms for spreading the book love! Whether you bookstagram as part of your book blogging or instead of (even for a season), we think you’ll continue to benefit and bless the bookish community with your enthusiasm.

JustRead Publicity-ing

Even the world of online book promotion is not immune to Covid19. At JustRead (and I’m sure other tour groups would say the same thing), we’ve had to cope with various shipping issues & delays in getting books to our instagram hosts. There have also been several delayed release dates which means long-ago-planned tour dates have to be shifted around and squeezed in on new weeks in an already-full calendar.

Communication snafus are inevitable in a world where everybody else is now adjusting to working from home too. All of these are necessary adjustments in this ‘new-for-now normal’ on top of all the ‘still normal’ to-do tasks involved with running a publicity company. And of course, we are willing to do whatever is needed right now to support the authors & books & publishers we love so much. But if we seem more frazzled than usual (because let’s face it, we’re always a bit frazzled), that’s why!

Here are a few tips which apply now more than ever! Schedule early and keep the lines of communication open. Please meet deadlines; publicity companies must juggle several tours in various stages of planning at once in a neverending cycle so the domino effect of not having what we need when we need it impacts your tour and other tours and our sanity in unattractive ways.

Play This or That with us! 

Let’s check your reader life pulse! Share your answers in the comments.

Book World Changes
Right now I want to read…
Nearly All the Time or At Least Regularly
Lighthearted with Laughing/Swooning or Deep Pondering/Suspense
Shorter Stories or Big Books
New Release or Old Favorite
Familiar Genre or Out of the Ordinary
Pandemic Reads or Anything But

What changes or challenges have y'all faced over the last several weeks? How have you made the best of these trying circumstances?

Book World Changes
Carrie and Beth
Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers' Retreat and JustRead Publicity Tours, Carrie lives in Kentucky with her husband Eric.
She can be found lurking at various blogs and websites (because she can't stop talking about books) but her main home is the blog she started in 2015 -

Beth Erin is a Christian fiction enthusiast, book reviewer, blogger, and JustRead Publicity Tours co-owner. She strives to edify and connect with readers and authors at Faithfully Bookish and on social media.
Beth also contributes to the Seekerville, Hoarding Books, and Diversity Between the Pages blogs. She is passionate about promoting authors and their entertaining, encouraging, and redemptive stories.

Tips for a Successful Blog Tour: What Authors Need to Know

Happy January, dear Seekerville-ians! 

Carrie here.

I wear many hats in the book world. I'm a blogger, book reviewer, author interviewer, influencer, and speaker. I've reviewed for professional magazines, and I've had the privilege of co-founding the first major author-reader event specifically for Christian fiction. But lately most of my time has been spent as the co-owner of JustRead Publicity Tours (the irony of that is that I rarely have time anymore to 'just read'). 

At JustRead (and several other tour companies that I also blog for, including Singing Librarian Book Tours, Prism Book Tours, and Celebrate Lit), we help promote Christian and 'clean read' books through a coordinated network of blogs and social media hosts. We do the footwork and the managing of each tour so that you, the author, can focus less on marketing and more on writing new, yummy books for us to read. 

But while we do most of the heavy lifting, there are some things that authors can do to aid in achieving a successful blog tour from start to finish. 

Let's start by clearing up some common misconceptions: 

** "Blog tours & social media tours should result in more sales." 

Tips for a Successful Blog Tour: What Authors Need to KnowWhile that would certainly be ideal, there are multiple factors that affect and influence book sales. A successful blog or social media tour should result in more attention directed specifically toward your book.

The idea behind these tours is to get your book in front of people over and over and over again, so when they see it online or in a store they'll feel a connection to it and be more likely to buy it. But it won't happen overnight. It's a cumulative process, which I'll address more in a minute. 

** "Blog tours are outdated. Podcasts are where it's at." 

I would almost agree with that statement if it were for anything other than books. But books are for readers, and readers... well... read. Which means, while we might embrace a few podcasts that are relevant to our interests, we won't quit reading blogs or social media. Because reading is at the core of what we do. Therefore, a blog tour or social media tour continues to meet readers where they're at and reach potentially new audiences for your books.

So, what can authors do to help their blog or social tour to be successful? 

I'm so glad you asked :-) 

Plan ahead. 

Most tour companies that I work with - including JustRead Tours - are booked solid at least 4 months out. Chances are, if you wait until January to plan a tour for your book that will release in February (or heaven forbid, in January), you will be out of luck. At least when it comes to the established, reputable tour companies. Ideally, if you have a book releasing anytime this year and you want to book a blog or social media tour, you need to do so now. There's not really any such thing as planning too early when it comes to publicity and marketing, but there is definitely such a thing as planning too late. 

Don't put all your eggs in one basket. 

Ideally, you'll want to do a blog tour and a social media tour of some sort to keep the book popping up everywhere and staying on people's minds. BUT covers are key here. Some covers just don't work well on social media. It might be a great cover but there are some elements that seem to get less engagement on social media. So ask your tour coordinators for their recommendations and respect their expertise. 

You can also do what I call 'stacking' - where you book tours with more than one company. With the companies I mentioned above, we all have an overlap in hosts but we also have hosts that only work with our company (or one of the other tour groups). PLEASE NOTE: If you decide to stack tours, it's best to schedule different tour types with each company (for instance, a blog tour with one group and a social tour with another group, etc.). It's also best to stagger the dates when stacking tours - so each tour is separate from the other. This avoids confusing hosts who blog for more than one company, and it allows for maximum participation and a more focused campaign. It also takes host availability into consideration - even the 'overlap hosts' will have certain dates that work better than others (so maybe they can't participate in one company's tour but their schedule allows them to participate in the other) or maybe they can participate in both tours, especially if the tours are different types (i.e. one is a blog tour & the other is a social tour).

Have all your ducks in a row.

Tips for a Successful Blog Tour: What Authors Need to KnowI cannot emphasize enough how important this is: Make sure your book is up on Goodreads. If your book isn't on Goodreads, you are missing a vital free-to-you marketing tool. To take this one step further, make sure your book is on Goodreads at least three weeks before your tour starts. There must be a place for us to send readers who are interested in the book we're promoting. Retail site links are, of course, also vitally important but the timing on those sometimes doesn't match up with a promotional tour (with cover reveals, for instance).

Also, a media kit is hugely helpful for authors to send bloggers in general and especially for tour company hosts who are putting together your tour. It should have your website, social media links, headshot(s) and at least two versions of your bio - a short bio and a regular bio. Related to this, please make sure your bio and website are updated. It's also highly advisable to have an author Facebook page, separate from your personal timeline. 


Share and support.

Share the tour posts! Or at least the giveaway info with a link to the tour company's landing page for your book's tour. An engaged author leads to a more engaged tour all around.


Just Read. 

Thoroughly read the invoice and all materials that the tour company sends you. Important details and deadlines are often included in the invoice, terms/conditions, and 'next step' emails. If you have questions, don't be afraid to ask! That's what we're here for. But please do make sure you're aware of the terms you're agreeing to and the materials (and deadlines) that have been requested.

Blog tours and social media tours can be overwhelming, but these guidelines should ease some of the stress - for both you and the tour company - and help your promotional campaign be as smooth and productive as possible. 

(You can hear some more tips - and a bit more details on the ones I've mentioned here - on the Writer's Chat episode I recorded in December. Watch it HERE.)  


Tips for a Successful Blog Tour: What Authors Need to KnowCarrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers' Retreat and JustRead Publicity Tours, Carrie lives in Kentucky with her husband Eric. 

She can be found lurking at various blogs and websites (because she can't stop talking about books) but her main home is the blog she started in 2015 -

I am giving away a FREE 1-Day Blog Blitz (a $65 value) with JustRead Tours to someone who leaves a comment on today's post!!  

(must be scheduled by Dec 31, 2020)

 What scares you the most about booking a blog tour or social media tour?
What questions do you have about the process? 

leave a comment below & be entered to win!

"Authors, Don't Confuse Us!" Basic Marketing Tips for Your Brand

by Annie @JustReadTours

Hello! Annie here. As an avid reader, I also love to check out author websites, social media and book sites like Goodreads and BookBub for the latest reads from my favorite authors or publishers.  Though at times, I come away more confused than satisfied. Ever felt that way?

"If you're not confused, you're not paying attention."  - Tom Peters

Well, in that case, I'm paying attention. 😁 With JustRead Tours, we come across more specific areas that I'd like to share with authors here, particularly with an author's online presence.

Authors themselves are their own brand. Therefore their website should reflect who they are, and what they want to present.

  • Websites should be easy to navigate. Navigational menu short, sweet and to the point.
  • Invest in getting your own domain. Preferably as your name such as or .org or whatever works.  Another option is a tagline that associates with your brand. 
  • Home page should be simple and to the point. If your home page directs to your blog, make sure it doesn't create more confusion with your content. 
  • Don't over crowd your sidebar (if you're using a blog format). Create distinct segments.
  • Make sure all your links work and direct to the correct web page you want to direct to.
  • Include all your social media links using icons, and make them easy to find (top, side or footer of your website). 
    • Be sure to only include the platforms you use for your brand (not personal accounts, especially if you have an author one).

Social Media
Social media platform is a crucial marketing tool for authors and publishers. However, done wrong, it can more often than not, confuse or turn readers off.

  • Depending on the platform, separate personal and author accounts. 
  • Create accounts on platforms you will be active in.  If possible, use the same username for each one. For example, @justreadtours is our username on all our social media platforms we have.
  • Be active! 
  • Make sure your author accounts are linked correctly on your website, newsletter, and even in the profile of other social media platform.
  • Even if you do not have an account on one particular social media platform, the use of hashtag such as #authorname is sufficient if you or your readers are sharing something.

Goodreads, BookBub and Amazon
These three sites are important and essential for authors and publishers alike for different reasons, but definitely relative.

  • Create an author profile if you don't already have one for each of these sites.
  • Make sure you only have one author profile for each of these sites.
  • Include your website link.
  • Add the same short author bio for all three sites. 
  • As to books, make sure there are no duplicate listings for the same book. (This concerns Goodreads particularly. One time, I found 4 listings for the same book!)
  • Consistency is key. If you update or change something, specifically in the book blurb, make sure to update on all relevant sites, including these three, plus others like the publisher's book listing on their website, and your own website. 

"That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well." - Abraham Lincoln

That's it for now. I might make this into a series if you're interested, since I actually could've added more! 🤣  Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and if you're interested in entering the giveaway. 

JustRead Publicity Tours will be launching our Author Services this Fall, and to start it off, we're giving away an Author Media Review to one interested author! An Author Media Review is to review your current social media and website platforms to relation to your current book, and provide a written assessment for you to consider working on. To enter, just leave a comment on this post. 

Annie is an avid reader and former book blogger at Just Commonly. She is the co-owner of JustRead Publicity Tours, a full-service publicity tour company for published works in the inspirational and clean genres. She is also the co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat. 

 Avoiding Sticky Book Cover SituationsOrganization: What Works for MeBehind the Scenes of a Blog TourBook World ChangesTips for a Successful Blog Tour: What Authors Need to Know"Authors, Don't Confuse Us!" Basic Marketing Tips for Your Brand

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