by Sara Hathaway
Virtual Book Tours are an essential way for new authors to gain traction in the marketplace. So, what is a Virtual Book Tour? Just a decade ago, when an author wanted to show off their latest piece of work to an interested audience they would have to pack up their bags and boxes of books and travel around the country from book store to book store to try to find them. Nowadays with the explosion of technology and information sharing, there are thousands of people on the Internet discussing (or blogging) about every topic you can imagine.
A virtual book tour utilizes access to these specific audiences by highlighting the author and their book for a day on their “blog”. The blog owner can choose to post a guest blog written by the book’s author, write their own review and do an author interview or collaborate with the author on a joint project. The author receives the attention from the blog’s followers and the blog author receives new attention from the author’s fans that are following them, virtually, on their tour. Both participants receive a lot of positives from the experience.
Marketing your tour begins as soon as you start setting it up. Here are 5 important tips you must remember:
- Don’t be afraid to ask: Try to find some common ground with the owner of the blog you want to be featured on. Carefully write your introduction so that the blog owner sees the benefit for them but don’t ever hesitate to ask. All they can say is no. In sales there is a saying some will, some won’t, some wait, so what. Move on to the next site.
- Try to include a wide variety of blogs so content varies: No one will want to read an interview from you with a review of the book for multiple days. Create creative content to keep your audience engaged and then find all kinds of different blogs to post that information on.
- Stay organized: You don’t want to annoy anyone by sounding needy so keep careful records of which blog owners you asked to participate and when. If they do not respond send one reminder and if they still don’t respond move on. For the blogs that do want to feature you record your contact person’s name and their email. Record the name of the blog and it’s URL. Ask for their address and send them a personal thank-you with a copy of your book. No one has to help you and the ones that do should know they are appreciated.
- Use excellent communication skills: Keep communicating. Make sure you clearly inform the blog owner of the day you need the post to be posted on their site. Make sure your website and blog are prepared for people to visit. They need to be able to clearly see where the information is and then how to travel with you. Nothing should need explaining, make it easy for them. Communicate each day with your followers on your social networks to let them know where you are each day and provide them with a link to get there. Communication is key here!
- Have fun! Virtual book tours are a lot of work to set up and keeping all that communication constant can be overwhelming so remember this is a celebration of your work. Enjoy it!
About Sara: Sara F. Hathaway is the international author of the book, Day After Disaster. She grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating from The California State University of Sacramento she returned to her passion. She has extensively researched and practiced survival techniques in the natural environment and utilized forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first novel. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials”, featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster, visit: www.AuthorSaraFHathaway.com