We can always use hosts to help out by giving our authors time on their blogs. If you're considering becoming a host, please read the Guidelines below carefully and fill out the form as directed at the bottom.
Signing on to be a tour host with Pay the Piper Tours is a responsibility. Don’t worry, it’s not a 25 year contract like the Roman legionaries had to sign, and you have free will to choose any tour you want to host for or stop hosting at any time. The rules are simple, but important, and put here so that the authors who come to us don’t have to worry about their tours being problematic. We do this for authors to help promote their books for them so they can have more time to write!
I’m not going to turn away an eager host by any means, and it’s a great opportunity to gain new followers for your blog, however, in order to help the authors get their name out to potential fans, I prefer to have bloggers with at least 20 followers at the lowest and moderately active commenters. A tour stop is no fun unless people get involved and talk about it. I also want hosts to broadcast the link for the stop to as many places as they can. Put it on your Facebook and Twitter, and if you’re in Goodreads groups for writers or bloggers, put the links there too. Anywhere where people will see them and become interested.
First and foremost, I have to address how important it is to GET A STOP UP ON TIME. If you have offered to host on a certain date, then there should be no reason why you should not be able to do so. If it turns out that you cannot possibly host on that day, then please notify me at least two days before the scheduled stop so I can make other arrangements.
I understand sometimes things happen, and life is life, so the first time a host fails to get up a stop, then it will be a warning. The second time, you will receive further warning, but the third time, I will have to relieve you of your services. Authors work so hard to get their books out to potential readers and when we fail to help get the word out, the author might miss a lot of potential fans.
Ideally, I would like to see posts up by 6 am (Eastern Time) at the latest on your blog. Remember, if you’re not going to be there, most blog sites have an automatic timer that you can set. I will personally be stopping by every stop on the day it’s supposed to be there, and if it’s not there, I will inform the host. If you do not reply back to me by 12 that night, then there will be a mark on your record. If you don’t get it up exactly at 6 am, that is still okay, but if it’s not up by noon, then I will be contacting the host.
Also, it’s your responsibility to make sure commenters on your blog aren’t trashing the post, or trolling. If you find a nasty comment, please remove it. Also, if you have comment moderation, I would suggest undoing it for the day of your stops, unless you’re going to be available to okay comments all day.
Most of the stops are likely going to consist of either interviews with the author or a choice character from the novel or guest posts. I want to get interview questions to the author as soon as possible. After I confirm your sign up to a tour, I would like you to write up the questions and get them sent to me. All interview questions and other things will be emailed to me, and I will act as mediator between host and author to make sure things are getting where they are supposed to be. If you still haven’t gotten an interview to me a week before your stop, I will make sure to contact you. If you do send something directly to the author, please CC me into the email. You may suggest topics for guest posts, but unless you specify anything particular, the author will deliver to you whatever they have written. I would suggest that if you are doing a character interview, you should accompany that with a review of the book, because it is very hard to do a character interview (except a very generic one) if you have not first read the book.
If it turns out that you still have not received an interview or guest post from the author by the time your stop comes up, please just put up a book feature (Book cover, author bio, synopsis) and/or except.
If you have a specific set of guidelines or preferences you like people to follow when they write for your blog, please make sure to send those along with interview questions or get them to me before an author writes a guest post.
I love to be able to offer review opportunities for authors. Some tours are just review tours, and others have reviews mixed in. Like hosting, reviewing is voluntary. I will not make anyone review any book they don’t want to. For every tour that has reviews there is a minimal number of reviews that can be had (such as 2 on smaller tours and 5 on larger ones). I want to endeavor to at least reach the minimum of reviews, but if more people end up wanting to read it, of course they can review the book as well!
I don’t want to see any reviews lower than a 3 star rating on a tour. Now, that doesn't mean I want you to rate a book high just because of that reason. If you don't like the book and wouldn't honestly rate it at least 3 stars, then just tell me you don't want to review it for the tour. Simple as! After the tour is over, you can review to your heart's content if you so wish =) As an honest reviewer of books myself, I understand that not every book is going to work for a reader and that's okay! Just keep in mind that at PPBT authors are paying for positive promotion and they are not going to pay $50 or more for a nasty review. I know that not everyone likes the same kind of book, so if you’re not enjoying the book you’re reading, please let me know as soon as possible so I can find another reviewer. Any criticism given in a review must be given constructively as you would give a friend. Authors like constructive criticism, but trashing someone's book just because you personally didn't like it is unprofessional. If it's a matter of writing style (grammar, flat characters etc.) then say that, but say it in a constructive way that will help the author fix problems in the future! In short, act like an adult. I just want to see honest reviews. If you are honestly reviewing the book as 2 or 1 stars that's fine, and if you so wish, you can post the review on Amazon, Goodreads or your blog afterwards, just as long as it's not hand in hand with the tour itself.
I would also like to preview reviews before they go up for content. Your opinion is your own, don't worry, I'm not going to change that! But I try to run a clean, professional business here, which means that foul language or obscenity won't be tolerated in reviews, even if it is featured in the book you are reviewing. That doesn't mean that if you review for content that you shouldn't mention what content the book might contain (i.e. foul language). If you use a plethora of foul language in a review, that might turn people away, and it is also a mark against PPBT itself, and I don't want to be black marked for condoning foul language.
You are not obligated to post a review on Amazon or Goodreads, but it would be nice to do so, and just an extra help to the author if you did. It would also be a good idea to make note on your reviews that you received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, whether you end up posting the review for the actual tour or not (refer to earlier part about 1 or 2 star ratings).
How to Sign Up
Signing up to be a host is easy. Just copy the little form I have below and answer the questions once you have pasted it into an email which you will then send to me (Hazel) at: firstname.lastname@example.org Then it’s just a wee check I do to make sure your blog is legitimate, and after that, I will hopefully be welcoming you on as a new recruit!
Once you are already an established host, I will be sending out emails to all hosts about new tours and signups until there are no more spaces available, you can also check the Upcoming Tours section to see ones you might have missed. If I don’t get enough people to sign up for a tour, I will ask you all again nicely to consider hosting, and if you don’t want to do an interview or guest post, at least a book feature would help.
You are more than welcome to host twice, especially for tours that I’m having trouble filling, and can even do two different features on the same date; like if you offer to review the book, it might be fun to do a character interview.
Also, it’s a good idea for all the hosts to follow our blog, so you can see all the new tours as I get them up. All hosts will be featured with links to their blogs on our Host page.
Host Sign Up Form:
Number of followers:
Does your blog have a specific theme?:
What genres do you prefer to host/review?:
Any genres you won’t host for?: