by D’vorah Lansky
A virtual book tour is much like an in-person book tour except you “travel” from blog to blog or site to site, across the Internet, versus venue to venue geographically. In this month’s book marketing round up you have access to a collection of virtual book tour articles and success tips! Enjoy and feel free to share your thoughts and post your questions.
Guest blogging is where you “travel” to a blog and share an article as a guest blogger (guest author.) They key is to focus on being featured on blogs that attract your target audience and that you write articles which would be of interest to your target audience.
Enjoy this Book Marketing Round Up of Virtual Book Tour Articles and Success Tips
Sara Hathaway shares tips for marketing our book tour in her article: 5 Must Know Tips to Marketing Your Virtual Book Tour
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.
Marketing your tour begins as soon as you start setting it up. Here are a few 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.
Janine Moore shares 12 reasons to host a Virtual Book Blog Tour
You have written a book that will entertain or inspire others. What’s next? How do you spread the word about it without breaking the bank? The Internet has made it possible to take your book on tour around the world without leaving home. On a Virtual Book Tour, you visit Blogs written by other authors and ask if they would like you to write a Guest Post for them. As Blogs constantly require new content, the owner is often happy to host you. The key is that you need to share the same target audience so readers will be interested in what you have to say. Here are a few of the 12 reasons to host a Virtual Book Blog Tour:
- It’s more cost-effective and less time-consuming.
- Saves your Host from writing fresh content.
- You’ll be able to interact with readers via the Comments section.
- You can make friends with the Blog owners who may become future
- Book sales can continue after the Tour is over as your Guest post remains.
- Your Tour is always available.
Ali Luke shares the Four Key Benefits of Guest Posting in her article: How to Land Guest Posts on Huge Blogs
Before we dig into the details of how to get your guest posts onto huge blogs, here’s a quick summary of why guest posting is so useful. It allows you to:
- Build a relationship with a big-name blogger who writes about your topic. It’s often tough to get on these influencers’ radars, but a guest post is a great way to leap ahead of the crowd. (You could leave comments on their blog week after week and barely be noticed.)
- Draw in an interested audience – you’ll get a ‘bio’ at the end of your guest post where you can include a link to your book’s sales page — or if you prefer, to a post on your blog, your email newsletter sign-up page, or anything else you want.
- Try out different writing styles and tones. You’ll usually find that different blogs have quite different tones; one might be snarky, another inspiring and encouraging. Learning to vary your voice to suit different blogs helps you become an even more skilled writer and, creatively speaking, it can be very refreshing.
- Create backlinks to your book’s landing page, or to your blog. These help you rank more highly in Google and other search engines. This definitely shouldn’t be your only motivation, or even your main motivation, for guest posting: writing a really good post for the host blog’s audience is what matters most.
Nina Amir shares 3 Ways to Build Your Email List While on a Virtual Book Tour in her article: How to Use a Virtual Book Tour to Help Grow Your Email List
While the first goal is fairly self-explanatory, since the whole point of the virtual book tour revolves around selling books, let me provide you with five ways to accomplish the second goal – getting people to sign up for your mailing list.
- Make a simple request for people to visit your website: If you feel uncomfortable with promotion in general, you don’t have product to give away, or you’ve already asked readers or listeners to purchase the book, simply request that they visit your website. You’ll almost always have an opportunity to say how you “can be found.” However, be sure your website features an email sign-up form prominently and that the form does, indeed, offer something for free. This the easiest way to capture addresses because most people won’t just sign up for a newsletter without an incentive of some sort. During the interview, or in the bio provided at the end of your guest post, say, for example: “Visit my website, www.writenonfictionnow.com, to receive a free five-day ‘Become a Published Author’ series.” Don’t forget to provide the URL of your website!
- Provide readers and listeners with a gift: Make those who read your post or listen to your interview feel special by providing them with a free, downloadable gift. Give them a link or coupon code unique to the show or blog post that is only redeemable by visiting your website and filling out an email list form. Again, provide a shortened URL, for instance from bitly.com.
- Use social media: Think outside the box! Your virtual book tour could include a Twitterchat event during which you continually tweet about a free gift, which tweeple can only access if they sign up for your email list. You can do the same on Facebook: give away an excerpt of your book or free report with a special offer you promote on your page. Or do a Google Hangout and provide a shortened link to your email list for participants to access a free gift.
Marianne Soucy shares how to use images during your virtual book tour, in her article: Using Images to Market Your Virtual Book Tour
On Pinterest you can have several boards, for instance one for your book tour and one or more for the topics your book covers. Since people don’t need to follow all your Pinterest boards but can follow individual boards, you will reach more people by pinning images on several boards. Quote images are popular on Pinterest, so having a beautiful image with a quote can get people’s attention. In the description under the pin you can share a little about the book tour or post. And you can also put a link directly in the description (not bit.ly or similar, or Pinterest might mark your pin as spam).
When you pin you can choose to tweet it out. And after your pin is up, you can share the link to that pin on other social media. In this case you may use bit.ly or similar to shorten the link. People getting to your pin from for example Twitter or Facebook will also have the chance to see your other book tour pins and click through to your website (or the host’s if you wish to send people there).
On LinkedIn you can, of course, share on your ‘timeline’ and in groups, but since we all now have the possibility to publish posts on LinkedIn, this can be a good opportunity to share some valuable information as well as market your book tour (in a non-salesy way). Use a good image, perhaps with a quote, and write some valuable content that your audience will like. You can either use an excerpt from your post (or your book) or write some new material.
And in the bio at the bottom of the post, you can put a link to your book tour page. (There is no separate place for a bio on LinkedIn posts, so you need to add it at the end of the post.) Be sure to create a title that includes words your audience will search for; so that your posts will come up in search results on LinkedIn. And remember to share your post on other social media.
Liesel Teversham shares a few “ah ha” moments in her article: How to Have Fun with a Virtual Book Tour
When you reach out to a blog owner, don’t be afraid to ask whether they would be able to make mention of your guest blog in their weekly or monthly newsletter. If they don’t have one, you’ll find this out at this early stage and be able to decide whether you’d still like to be hosted here. If they do have one, don’t be afraid to ask whether they could please let you know the date it will go out. This can help both you and your host to plan the campaign and avoid the disappointment of low results.
I did have a tremendously wonderful time connecting with new friends, and creating relationships that can be nurtured and drawn upon in future. However – keep in mind the ultimate purpose is to gain exposure for your book and if your blog post is hosted without anyone knowing about it, you may not see the results you were hoping for. I love learning from my experiences and sharing the learning with others, and here’s to learning together!
Are You Using Virtual Book Tours to Promote Your Book and/or Do You Have Any Questions About Virtual Book Tours?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions on this exciting topic! Scroll down to the comments section below to post your comments and questions. We’d love to hear how you are using virtual book tours to promote your book. Or… if you are not yet participating in virtual book tours, please feel free to share your questions. Who knows, if we get enough questions we may even have a special community conference call where I can answer these questions verbally.
In our recent Virtual Book Tour Boot Camp we celebrated dozens of authors who earned their place in our Hall of Fame. Click here to see what authors in our community are doing with Virtual Book Tours.
Here’s to your virtual book tour success!
D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed. and bestselling author of Book Marketing Made Easy, has been mentoring authors in online book marketing practices since 2007. To learn more about conduction your own virtual book tour, check out Virtual Book Tours Made Easy.