The purpose of this post is to help other indie authors save time and money when choosing a book tour company to help promote their books. I will extensively cover every book tour group I’ve utilized, the packages I chose, the prices I paid, and whether or not I would recommend that company. I encourage others to share in the comments their experiences with any of these companies (or any others I haven’t used) in the hopes that this might become an evolving resource for our community. Please note that prices/package options for these companies may have changed since I used them, so please check their websites for the most up-to-date information.
Package I chose: Bookstagram tour w/ duplicate host add on (takes tour from 10 hosts to 20 hosts)
Number of hosts: 20 hosts, plus several posts from tour account
What I paid: $190 tour cost + $202.49 cost of sending paperback books
Would I recommend them? Absolutely, yes! This tour was gorgeous.
The most aesthetically beautiful tour.
My thoughts: I love, love, loved this tour! The organizers were professional, helpful, and provided a detailed tour recap boasting an audience reach of 285,960 followers. Each tour they oversee is given a unique aesthetic theme that runs through all their posts, resulting in some truly beautiful content. They shared daily quotes and reviewer highlights on their stories and reposted all the tour stops from their account. They also created unique graphics for the hosts to use, such as a gif jar and quote/reviews template. Every host posted high-quality images and reviews/spotlights that made this tour a joy to follow. This tour went above and beyond and was well, well worth the money spent.
Things to consider: This tour has an emphasis on international inclusion, so be prepared to send some international paperbacks. They are fully transparent within their package options as to how many international paperbacks are required upfront and also provide tips on the cheapest options for sending them.
R&R Book Tours
Package I chose: Package “C” (25+ stops across blogs and Instagram)
Number of hosts: 30+ stops (I don’t know the exact number because there were several bonus tour stops that didn’t require copies of the book)
What I paid: $190 tour cost + $177.54 cost of sending paperback books
Would I recommend them? Absolutely, yes! This tour was so much fun!
A super fun tour.
My thoughts: This was another favorite! The organizer of this company has a reputation for being engaged and excited about the tours she organizes, and mine was no exception. From my first interaction with her, I felt that she was invested in my tour, and I loved how quickly she pulled everything together, giving the paperbacks plenty of time to reach the hosts. And being able to send ebooks to international hosts was huge for my budget. This tour was the most diverse of all the tours I’ve done, with a mix of blogs, Instagram, and TikTok accounts, spotlights, reviews, and excerpt posts. My book was featured on multiple sites run by the tour, and there were several bonus tour stops from accounts that didn’t require a copy of the book. The energy behind this tour truly made it feel like an event. It was a great deal, and I had a blast seeing everything the hosts came up with.
Things to consider: I had two hosts who received books and didn’t post; however, the tour company did follow up with these accounts, and they were hardly missed with such a great turnout.
Package I chose: General YA/Adult tour (Instagram) + email spotlight add-on
Number of hosts: 7 hosts w/ 1 post on tour account
What I paid: $200 tour cost + $50 email spotlight cost + $62.09 cost of sending paperback books
Would I recommend them? I would not. There are other tours that provide better value for the cost.
The most basic tour.
My thoughts: There’s nothing inherently wrong with this tour company. They were professional, the hosts are large accounts that posted beautiful pictures, and the company sent a recap boasting an audience reach of 327,000 followers. They have several packages to choose from.
Things to consider: Paperbacks are required for the hosts, but reviews are not required. None of the tour stops included a review, and as a general observation, I have seen greater impact on sales from smaller accounts that review than larger accounts that do not. The posts with this package are basic, only requiring an original picture that clearly features the book. For double the price, there is an option for a ‘custom’ tour, which would include things like excerpts, giveaways, short interviews, etc., which many other companies include in their base package. Despite the wide reach, I feel that there are other tours that provide better value for a similar price point.
Literary Bound Tours
Package I chose: Creative Content (Instagram) tour w/ giveaway add-on (different from Creative Review tour)
Number of hosts: 10 hosts
What I paid: $87.35 tour (CAD converted to USD) + $47.93 cost of sending paperback books
Would I recommend them? I would not. Price is decent, but I didn’t get everything I paid for.
A hit or miss tour.
My thoughts: For an additional $51 (using current CAD to USD conversion rates), this tour can be upgraded to a Creative Review tour, making it a relatively competitive option. Although I chose the cheaper package where reviews are not required, I had a number of hosts include reviews, which was a nice surprise, and several hosts produced beautiful, engaging content. This company offers a number of tour packages to choose from, and I appreciated that I was given the option to send ebook copies to international hosts. I also liked that I was able to approve the list of hosts before the tour company committed to them.
Things to consider: While the Creative Content package states that hosts are required to display the book in a creative way, I did not find much of the content to be any more creative than a standard spotlight tour, and there were some who opted to use a stock image despite receiving a paperback copy of the book. I also had one host who posted weeks after the tour ended. This was following a prompt from the tour company, which I appreciated, but the tour organizer also never posted despite receiving an internationally-shipped paperback copy and stating they would. Additionally, I and another author at my publisher each paid for giveaway add-ons with our tours and were told that a banner with the giveaway would be posted to the tour’s Instagram account. These were never honored.
Book Tour Gals
Package I chose: Complete Reels Marketing Package (Instagram/TikTok)
Number of hosts: 8 hosts
What I paid: $1,280.00 tour + $74.84 cost of sending paperback books
Would I recommend them? I would not. Reach and content were disappointing for such a high price tag.
The most disappointing tour.
My thoughts: This book tour company consists of 8 bookstagram influencers boasting a combined audience of over 250,000 followers. They have several tour packages to choose from, and you can select any number of hosts to promote your book. I chose all 8 of them for the Complete Reels Marketing Package, which includes a video promotion posted to both Instagram and TikTok and an honest review. There were two hosts that did an excellent job. I was impressed by both the quality of the reel (including an adorable cosplay) and the depth of the review. There were two hosts that did an okay job but were not, in my opinion, worth the high price tag. There were four that were extremely disappointing.
Things to consider: While this group has a large following, the Instagram reach of my tour was underwhelming (a combined 41k views as of the time of this review). The package I purchased included TikTok posts, but not all the hosts posted to TikTok. It also included reading updates, and not all the hosts posted reading updates. It is worth noting that this group rated my book lower than every other tour group I utilized. Their reception of my book doesn’t influence my review of their services; however, I believe it may have influenced the quality of the content they produced for my tour, as I have seen them create great content for other paid collaborations they rated higher. Examples include featuring another author’s book (whom they were also promoting at the time) at eye-level and in frame for longer than my book, my book being shown briefly and dimly lit, or my book out of focus for the entirety of the video. While this was a miss for me, other authors have seen success with this tour, so if you’re thinking of using them, I would suggest researching the other books they have championed to see if you’re a better match.
Telepathy Book Tours
Package I chose: Bookstagram review
Number of hosts: 16 hosts
What I paid: $267.74 tour (euro converted to USD) + $209.28 cost of sending paperback books
Would I recommend them? Yes, but talk through options/expectations ahead of time.
A budding international tour.
My thoughts: This tour wasn’t without its hiccups, but I was very happy with the end results. The organizers were personable, committed to the success of the tour, and built a custom package that fit my needs and budget. Every host posted on time with high-quality images accompanied by a review, and I met some very sweet bookstagrammers through this tour.
Things to consider: As a newer group, this tour company works through Instagram and doesn’t have their policies and packages listed. The list of tour hosts I received from them had more international addresses than domestic, which came as a surprise to me, as the other tours I’ve worked with establish international shipping preferences when the tour is booked, and the timing was going to be tight for books to reach some of the locations before the scheduled tour date. When I realized that Amazon charges $50 per book shipping to some of the countries on the list, and that this company charged a per book fee for ebook copies, I was going to forfeit the tour; however, the company worked to salvage it, swapping out some of the hosts for domestic ones, pushing out the tour date to allow time for the international copies to arrive, and allowing me to ship one package with several host copies directly to them, which they hand-delivered to hosts in their country, drastically cutting my shipping costs. The organizers clearly care about the success of their tours, and I was very pleased with the overall quality and reach. This is a solid option, just be sure to mention any host preferences upfront.
Xpresso Book Tours
Package I chose: Cover reveal (unlimited tour stops across blogs and Instagram – boasts an average of 50-70 participants)
Number of hosts: 58 stops
What I paid: $40
Would I recommend them? Yes! I can’t speak for their other book tour services, but the cover reveal was a great deal.
A great value tour.
My thoughts: This was a super affordable cover reveal option with diverse reach across blogs, websites, and Instagram. The tour organizer was prompt and easy to work with. They have several other tour types and packages to choose from, including a $90 unlimited blog and bookstagrammer book blitz that boasts an average of 70-90 participants.
Things to consider: I have only used their cover reveal services, so I can’t speak on the quality of their other tours, but my experience with them was great!
Katie and Brey PA
Package I chose: I used them for both an ARC blast (80+ Instagram readers option) and a cover reveal (60-100 Instagram accounts option )
Number of hosts: Provided 85+ readers for review blast (though not all posted); nearly 100 of the accounts that posted for my cover reveal came from them
What I paid: $100 (blast); $68 (cover reveal) – note: I booked them during their introductory phase, and their prices have increased since
Would I recommend them? Yes! They connected me with a huge network of readers.
The best networking tour.
My thoughts: This is a unique PR company with a wide network of readers that offers various author services, including cover reveal blasts and reader/reviewer teams. For their reader/reviewer teams, they offer both a self-service option and a full-service option. With both options, they will build a team of readers to read and review an ARC or a previously published book, but with the full-service option, they will also help manage that team by following up on review deadlines, etc. Note that they do welcome ebooks. I used them for both a self-service reader/reviewer team and a cover reveal blast, and both had great results! Their reader/review service connected me with an amazing network of readers that were crucial to the successful launch of my book, while a subsequent cover reveal pulled nearly 100 accounts to share my cover on reveal day. With a huge network of engaged readers that are excited to help promote indies and small publishers, this is a great option for early reviews, release blasts, or to reinvigorate old titles.
Things to consider: I got in at introductory pricing, so expect to pay more than what you see here. Additionally, I went with a self-service package, and there were a number of hosts who received ebook copies of the book and did not leave a review; however, the majority of hosts did, and even with those who didn’t, this was still well worth the price.
NBB (Nerdy Book Box) Tours
Package I chose: FREE Instagram spotlight tour w/ giveaway; FREE Instagram review tour
Number of hosts: 11 spotlight stops; 5 review stops
What I paid: $0
Would I recommend them? Absolutely yes! What a great free service for indie authors!
A great free tour.
My thoughts: This is a totally free service exclusive to indie authors that offers spotlight tours, review tours, cover reveals, and more. I booked them for a spotlight tour and a review tour, and I was impressed with the quality of both! Though free, this is comparable to a paid tour. All hosts posted impressive graphics on time, the organizers were professional and engaged, and they even accept ebook copies for review. I highly recommend getting in on this one if you can!
Things to consider: As a free service, they fill up fast, so book early.
TBR and Beyond Tours
Package I chose: FREE blog and bookstagram tour
Number of hosts: 23 blog stops; 27 Instagram stops
What I paid: $0 tour + (NA) cost of sending paperback books – omitted because this tour was for a different book than all other tours on this list
Would I recommend them? Absolutely yes! This is a great free service if you fit the criteria.
An incredible free tour for the right book.
My thoughts: This is another free service that offers cover reveals and blog/bookstagam tours. Unlike all the other tours on this list, I used them for a different book a few years ago and was greatly impressed by the number of stops included. This is also a mixed-bag tour, featuring creative content like mood boards, interviews, excerpts, and reviews across both Instagram and a spread of international blogs. They also share within their highly engaged, private Facebook book club, which boasts over 8,000 members.
Things to consider: There are some genres they don’t accept, including erotica, and while they do work with indie and self-published authors, they are selective about the books and age brackets they’ll take on. They do accept ebooks, but physical are required for bookstagram tour stops, and I had one host receive a physical copy of the book and fail to post. However, this tour still has incredible reach and quality for being free, so I would definitely apply if you feel you fit their criteria. As a free service that also works directly with publishers, they fill up extremely fast, so apply early.
Package I chose: Bookstagram cover reveal and bookstagram release review tour
Number of hosts: 25+ for cover reveal; TBD for release review tour
What I paid: NA* I am part of a pilot for this company, and official prices will be announced in 2023
Would I recommend them? Definitely! Though I am admittedly biased on this one, this is a thoughtful new venture run by authors that promises to be competitively priced.
A promising new tour run by authors.
My thoughts: This is a brand new tour venture started by authors, for authors to help combat issues that can arise during book tours, such as hosts failing to post or hosts being paired with books outside their preferred genre/content/spice level. There are some cool incentives for hosts, such as monthly book swag giveaways, exclusive ARC opportunities, and automatic entry to win a free book with every Instagram tag using the company’s handle. For authors, hosts are heavily vetted to ensure they are a good match for your work and that they have a consistent track record. I used this company for a recent cover reveal and had a great turnout. I will also be using them for an exclusive release review tour in December.
Things to consider: This tour company is an affiliate of my publisher, meaning that unlike all the other tours on this list, I have a personal connection to it. 2022 tours are limited to books published through Midnight Tide Publishing, but this tour company will be opening wide in 2023 following the pilot phase. Despite my personal ties, I genuinely believe in the vision of this company, am impressed by the engaged, reputable group of hosts they have already amassed, and am excited to see how it pans out over the coming months.
Other tour companies to try
I haven’t personally used any of these companies and can’t speak on the quality, but here are some other options I know of. List items link directly to the tour sites, and I’ll update this list with any recommendations left in the comments.
2 responses to “Book Tour Company Review”
This is a fantastic! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this!