A Celebration Tour
We all have our writing and publishing journey. Mine has taken place amid the growing pains of a new teaching adventure, family responsibilities, and online teaching. The Rabbi’s Touch is my first book, so it was also necessary to navigate the steps needed to create and launch a website to share my book and writing. As authors quickly learn, being an author is more than writing; it is “marketing.” Any assistance with this oft undesired but needed role is welcome. One such service available for Christian authors is the quickly moving two-week online book blog Celebration Tour offered by Celebrate Lit Publicity Group. This publicity tour for The Rabbi’s Touch took place this past June 2021.
What is a Celebration Tour?
A Celebration Tour, hosted by Celebrate Lit Publicity Group and its owner, a warm, friendly Sandra Barela, comes alongside Christian authors in the publicity stage of their book journey by “Celebrating Christian Literature One Book at a Time.” For a reasonable fee, often offset by scholarships, Sandra Barela supports the launching of Christian Literature through book blog tours on her website, Celebrate Lit. Her website hosts daily launches of a great variety of books and their authors through two-week publicity tours arranged by her team. Each book stop on tour showcases both the author and a review of their book posted by a blogger on their website. Pre-written author interviews may round out the tour.
Months in advance of the Celebration Tour, planning and preparation take place. Celebrate Lit and the author are critical to the tour’s success, from itinerary to social media posts. Following is a thorough list of what this planning looks like for both. This summary is based on my experience. The banner above will bring you to The Rabbi’s Touch tour itinerary designed by Celebrate Lit.
Celebrate Lit’s Tour Planning:
- Arranged a two-week itinerary of book reviews by various bloggers
- Communicated a specific timeline of author expectations via emails
- Developed a banner with Celebration tour information
- Created a specific book and author page on their website with blog stop links
- Posted the banner with tour links on the Celebrate Lit Facebook page, their Facebook groups and their website ahead of the tour
- Answered author questions and offered encouragement and tips for maximum effect
- Sent a requested version of The Rabbi’s Touch to each blogger – either an electronic or hard copy
- Completed any author reviews
- Communicated links to the author’s website and social media avenues with Celebrate Lit
- Sent author bio and photo for the tour page along with a bit “more” about the author for Celebrate Lit readers
- Prepared a prize for a post-tour giveaway (See note below)
- Created social media templates in readiness for daily postings during the tour
- Shared social media posts about the coming tour
During the Celebration Tour
This was a fast-paced book blog tour, and this other side of being an author is another skill set that I have far from figured out. Yet, I shared my book and book review quotes on social media and on my website during the tour. I saw interest in my book develop and positive feedback being posted. I was able to keep up with the daily posting mainly due to the support of a Web Designer leading up to the tour. Laura Loopstra of Wellington and Grey led me through my new website's design decisions and use and supplied me with guidance and support using a new Instagram account. Adding the details of a publicity tour was an added layer to launching a book and website.
At the same time, Celebrate Lit was busy sharing promotional banners on their website and all their Facebook social media. They regularly posted reviews and tweets on social media and reached over 270,000 people through the Celebrate Lit bloggers.
A Celebrate Lit Celebration Tour Summary was compiled and sent to me following the publicity tour and giveaway. It was encouraging to see the views of my book on social media and the number of readers who enjoyed the reviews of The Rabbi’s Touch on the bloggers’ websites. Reviews were added to my Amazon page.
In reflection, I realize that a more significant social media presence on my part would have increased the impact of the publicity tour. Experiencing the tour revealed that a greater understanding of the finer nuances of marketing a book using social media is essential.
It was heartening and motivating to have Celebrate Lit and Sandra Barela come alongside me for my first foray into the marketing world. Sandra Barela was professional, gracious and prayerful in her approach. She communicated throughout the weeks of preparation, promptly answering all sorts of questions. It was a blessing to know she was praying during this stage of my writing journey, coming alongside my prayers for readers of The Rabbi’s Touch. After the tour, the publicity benefits of engaging in Celebrate Lit’s blogger’s book tour were evident: additional comments on my Amazon page and a noteworthy increase in followers on Instagram. Even knowing that my learning curve may have hindered the outcome, the online book tour was worth the time and planning.
Note: The Giveaway was optional. It is an excellent incentive for readers to respond and participate in the tour and spread the word. However, the book bloggers’ tour was limited to bloggers in the United States, making the prize only available to those living there. As a Canadian author, it was tricky to know how to promote this piece of the Celebration tour when many, if not most of your social media contacts, are Canadian. However, I did see it as an opportunity for building other audiences.
About this Contributor:
Annetta Lammers is a wife, mother, homemaker and educator. She savours quiet walks in the woods, the texture and colour of pottery, and reading Biblical fiction with a cup of coffee. Her fascination and love of God’s Word have motivated her to study over the years and have resulted in her first book, The Rabbi’s Touch.