Virtual Book Tours are another marketing tool for authors to employ. Virtual book tours allow an author to appear in many online places at once or over a short period of time. For example, an author may want to appear on a different blog every day for two weeks, or to appear on ten blogs all in one day. The idea is that an author is generating “buzz” and excitement for her or his work.
Authors may choose to 1. release excerpts of the book they are promoting, 2. answer questions from readers, 3. provide pre-written, interview-style materials, 4. conduct giveaways, 5. host chat sessions with fans, 6. have bloggers post reviews, and more.
Experience has taught us that virtual book tours can be a lot of work so keep these tips in mind:
1. Plan to spend a lot of time prepping – for example, contacting bloggers to set up tour dates, providing requested materials, following up with bloggers and fans, etc.
2. Parcel out material. Instead of answering five long questions for each blogger, for example, answer one or two for each one.
3. Keep things fresh. Do your best to provide different materials to each blogger, while balancing your time needs.
4. Encourage a hop-along process, where one blogger refers to the next, who refers to the next. This helps both you and the bloggers, who are hoping to gain new readers through this process, also.
5. Readership size of blogger is important; overall exposure in terms of numbers makes a lot of difference. However, an excited blogger with a smaller readership can be more valuable than one who has a larger readership but will give you lackluster promotion.
6. Keep in mind a virtual book tour may or may not help with actual sales. But – it does lend an author credibility, and that can be important long-term in terms of a successful career.
7. Always include your links – where to buy your book (website, Amazon, B&N.com.) your social media pages, your youtube channel, etc. Embed these in an easy-to-use format so that bloggers are inclined to copy and paste them into their posts.
Here are some examples of what we’ve done for “Dead End Date,” the first book in the Adventures of a Lightworker series, on a Virtual Book Tour.
** December 2, 2010
A Life Bound by Books
PARANORMAL IN THE “REAL WORLD”
** December 5, 2010
“ADVENTURES OF A LIGHTWORKER: DEAD END DATE” AUTHOR Q&A AND GIVEAWAY
** December 7, 2010
REVIEW OF “ADVENTURES OF A LIGHTWORKER: DEAD END DATE”
WHAT IS A LIGHTWORKER?
** December 8, 2010
The Bookish Type
DO YOU BELIEVE IN ANGELS?
** Pat Bertram
** December 9, 2010
Omni Mystery News
** December 13, 2010
Blog Entre Libros
Every Little Thing
** December 14, 2010
Confessions of a Bookaholic
LIGHT VERSUS DARK
** December 31, 2010
The Presence of Magic
Online Q&A with Author Caroline A. Shearer at Just Jennifer Reading