Friday, February 3, 2012

What is a Blog Hop?

What is a blog hop? 
A book blog hop is an event that usually takes place over a few days and the purpose is to get readers to a) see your name b) see your books and c) have the option to follow your blog to get to know you as an author and to be kept up to date about your future work. 

Tip! The more often you take part in events like blog hops, the quicker the readers will learn your names.

What do I need to take part?
A blog :) We also suggest you have a tool on your blog, either the "follow" button on Blogger or some other similar thing (like Google Network). If you don't want such feature you could always leave a link to your author facebook page, twitter, a newsletter or some other way for the interested readers to follow you. It's up to you if you make following mandatory to take part, but it is our experience that people don't like jumping through hoops, especially after a long day of hopping. 
You will also need a prize! Not all blog hops insist upon a prize, but a prize a great incentive for people to visit your blog and a great way for you to get your work seen.

Tip! It's a good idea to blog about the hop a few days before it takes place. It'll generate interest and get people excited. We also hope that people will spread the word through facebook and other channels.

How does it work?
Every author taking part in the hop sets up a hop-post on the hop day as early as possible. Over the hop-days, people will drop by and leave comments. Just before midnight on the last the contests close and you may draw a winner (or you can leave it until the next day). Every blog owner chooses their own winners. We recommend making a separate post to announce the winner, because people don't like searching through the blog to find out who won.

Tip! Readers don't like it when the blog owners haven't set up their hop-post when they start blog-hopping (as in jumping between blogs). It's a good idea to have written the post the night before the hop day - if you're not an early riser - and set it to auto post early on the hop day. There's a feature in most blog programs that allows this.

What do the readers get out of it?
A prize! But not only that - they might be finding their next favorite author and a whole bunch of interesting books to add to their piles of to-be-read.

 Make sure your books/book links are either easily visible on your blog. It puts people off to have to search through the entire blog/website to find your books. Some won't only be looking at your giveaway-book/prize - they'll want to see what else you have out there.

What do I put in my hop-post?
Some hops have themes or events that they'll want their participants to discuss, but sometimes there are no themes (or an obligation to discuss the theme/event).*
State the rules of your giveaway. Some ask people to follow their blog, facebook page, twitter, newsletter   etc. (it's what we call "jumping through hoops", though we're in no way condemning it). Some have quizzes, or have the partakers answer a question, like "what are you reading?" or "how do you show your support to homosexuality". Some prefer a simple "leave a comment with your email address" - it's up to you :)
Say what you're offering as a prize and how the winner will be chosen. 
Finally, it's a good idea to mention the follow options in the blog hop post (whether or not you make follow mandatory).

Tip! Random drawings are best to choose a winner - but there are many ways to do them. There's a nifty tool at where you enter the numbers of contestants and it'll generate a random number for you (you'll have given everyone a number first or just count down the entries until you find the winner). Erica knows this one person who writes the names on pieces of paper, folds them and tosses them to her three cats. The first three her cats snag are the winners (Erica won a book that way once - thanks kitty!).

Who may sign up for the prizes?
Everyone (...over 18, if your prize is a steamy erotic novel). Other hop blog owners are normally also free to enter the contests of the other blogs.

There may be additional conditions to various hops, like some make it mandatory to stick the hop image to the hop entry, but these are the basic techniques. 

Have questions? Feel free to comment :)

* If you're taking part in the Hop Against Homophobia, the focus will be on the International Day Against Homophobia. It would be nice if everyone wrote a message on that. Something to show your support. 


  1. Looks totally awesome and such great advice.

  2. Erica, only author blogs? Or can other blogs (like mine) participate if they review m/m books?

  3. Jay :) Authors/publishers/sellers/reviewers may take part as long as they're offering m/m prizes. I should probably change the text a little, hehe. The sign-up will be up tomorrow.

  4. Thanks for the tips. I've never done one (I'm a late bloomer LOL)

    1. You're welcome, Diana :) You're not the first established author who hasn't done a blog hop - I know several ^.^ These things are loads of fun though and so easy after the first time you've done it.

  5. Very interesting information about Iceland. Thanks!