by Connie Dunn
Not too long ago, when you wrote a book and got a publisher, you would take a tour of bookstores and other venues that the publisher set up for you. Sounds nice, right?
Well, number one those publishers are traditional publishers and they are harder to come by these days. The other thing is that the publishers actually look to you, the author, to see if you have the skills to market your own book, because the days of setting up book tours have almost disappeared! Traditional publishers offer little to no help in marketing your book, which is why they don’t publish many new authors. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to get traditionally published, but a lot of things have changed in the book publishing industry.
Among the biggest change is the ability to easily publish your own book with little to no money up-front! The other HUGE change is how book marketing is done.
You no longer have to leave your family and travel across the country promoting your book. The majority of book readers are online. So, you should be online, as well. That’s what a Virtual Book Tour is about.
There are certain obstacles that authors face when setting up that VBT (Virtual Book Tour), some of the common ones are:
- Not understanding WHO your BOOK READERS are.
- Unfamiliar with Podcasting, Teleseminars, Audio Blogs, or Guest Blogs.
- Being shy about promoting themselves.
Before you even write one word of your book, you should know who the Target Audience/Readers are. You should know what those readers like and dislike, and where they HANG OUT!
Learning about Podcasting, Teleseminars, Telesummits, Audio Blogging, and Guest Blogging is as easy as listening to Podcasts or no more complicated than taking a course from a seasoned Book Marketer. The same is true of Teleseminars, Telesummits, and Audio Blogging. Audio and Video Blogging is not that different from writing a blog post, you just do it as an audio or video. Guest Blogging in written, audio, or video format is simply where you provide that blog to a blog owner, who has the audience for which you are trying to reach, the guest post. In your signature for that blog post, you will give a short line about yourself and a link back to your book’s site. You will, of course, provide the host blogger any other information they might want, such as a 100-word bio with one link back to your book or your main site; a headshot of you; a graphic of your book cover, and any other information the host blog owner requires.
Setting up a VBT takes a bit of organizing, but it isn’t as difficult as you might think. For example, each of us have friends and colleagues for whom we can ask to interview us for an audio/video blog, a teleseminar, telesummit, or podcast. We also can ask to be a guest post on their blog. That’s a good spot to begin. However, branching out requires a bit more work. We have to do the following:
- Locate blogs, teleseminars, telesummits, or podcasts by researching by category on iTunes® or other podcast directories.
- Become familiar with the podcast, teleseminar, blog, etc. by visiting it, making comments and becoming familiar to that audience.
- Ask the host to sponsor you for a post in written/audio/video, teleseminar, telesummit, etc.
- Schedule these appearances.
- Provide the needed information.
- Invite your own audience to follow you.
- If appropriate, create a FREE Product, such as a checklist, worksheet, or report that would be attractive to your audience. Set this up in an autoresponder, such as aweber.com; and provide the link to your opt-in form as your link for your bio or signature for a guest blog post.
- Establish a media page with your photo, bio, and book cover graphic.
- Have fun promoting your book.
The VBT is an effective tool to put into your book marketing plan. Don’t forget the local, in-person appearances, as well!
Happy Book Marketing
Connie Dunn is a nationally-known book author, speaker, and coach. She writes both fiction and non-fiction, plus coaches other writers through the confusing labyrinth of book writing and publishing. Get her Free Course on “Writing a Compelling Opening” at http://publishwithconnie.com.