Here is my partial conclusion. I can't say fully yet how it's resulted with regards to book sales, but these are my findings:
Pro's of Own Blog Tour
- It's fun.
- You get to see how awesome your writer friends are in helping you out.
- You can control the when's and where's i.e. what dates to set your tour for and where you will be featured.
- You get to control how much you spend on your blog tour.
Pro's of Bought Blog Tour
- You reach a much higher audience.
- You mostly reach people who don't know about you and your books yet.
- You get to feature on official review and tour blogs as opposed to just friends' blogs which sometimes have more traffic. Or rather they have the traffic of people who are specifically following the blog because they want to look for good books to read.
- It's much less work. The only work is to send your blurb details, etc. to the tour host and to pay them, then reply to comments along the way.
- The tour organiser made a banner specifically for my tour which I could advertise with.
- She promoted my tour on her website.
- I had an exponential amount more entries for the rafflecopter competition. 1230 as opposed to about 90. The bought tour was only five days long whereas my own one was about seven days long.
- The tour organisers organised about three stops a day as opposed to my only one stop per day - she had all the contacts.
- I obtained dozens of Twitter follows and Author Page likes.
Cons of Own Blog Tour
- Surprisingly, I can't say it was cheaper. I had to still buy the Amazon gift card and the swag bags, and postage came to about the same as paying the tour host. Of course, I may not always offer swag bags. That was just my choice. In the end, I think it ended up being more expensive.
- It was hard work organising people to post on their blogs and work out the right dates to suit everyone's schedule. I had to make sure the blog posts went up every day and their rafflecopter links were working.
Cons of Bought Tour
- Some of the people didn't post my blog on their allotted day because of internet problems but that could have happened on my own blog tour. The organiser informed me all along the way when there were problems. But they were strangers to me and not as invested in getting the blog post up in time as your friends. One host posted quite late without a valid reason as far as I know.
- Honestly, it is a little expensive for those of us who live in SA and have to pay a lot for dollars. I wouldn't be able to do one often but maybe one per book.
I had a sneak peak at my sales on Amazon for both books. Cosmetic Heart was significantly higher than Dragonfly Moments on rating. This is by no means conclusive and I have to wait for my royalty reports.
So in conclusion, I think to save tons of work on promo and to have more time to do what we really want to do - write, it's worth it to pay a blog tour organiser - a good one of course. I would definitely recommend Tasty Book Tours. But, I'm not totally put off organising my own tour and may do it again some time.
Tasty Book Tours