Recently, I have heard that some people go on virtual book tours and do not help promote their stops. This really shocks me. Would they go out on a booksigning tour to different bookstores and not show up? It amounts to the same thing. VBTs can be just as lucrative and beneficial to a writer’s career as face-to-face meetings with readers. In some cases, MORE important.
What can VBTs do for your book?
1. It gives the online booksellers a lot of increased traffic because at the very least, blog followers are going out to read about the book on a bookselling site, even a publisher’s. This means increased sales!
2. It can gain new fans, because the blog host has fans too, and they have never heard of your book before your tour.
3. It enables you to give books to people who really want them and will read them because they “meet” you online and feel like they know you.
What are some ways to make your blog tour effective? J.A. Konrath said it best.
See below – my comments in ( )
1. Have copies of your book to give away, to reviewers and to contest winners. (If your book is an ebook this is easy breezy)
2. Momentum is important. Hitting as many blogs as you can in a short amount of time helps build buzz. Too long between posts and people will forget you’re on a blog tour. (And don’t forget to SHOW UP at the host site and answer the comments! Readers want interaction!)
3. Make sure you’ve networked with enough people to be able to find enough blogs to host you. If possible, try to appear on a variety of blogs that have different demographics. (Or find a great VBT company, I recommend Pump UP Your Book Promotions who did my blog tour of Avenging Angel in February)
4. Don’t repeat yourself. And don’t try to sell books. Blogging is about information and entertainment, not infomercials. (this is sort of what my twist on radio shows is too. Listeners want to be entertained)
5. Be willing to spend a lot of time on this. I spent well over a hundred hours in March, writing blogs, answering email, figuring out what I was doing and when. (I did too on mine in Feb. but if you use a good promo co. like PUYB you will have a lot of help!)
6. Use your social networks to amplify the tour. I used Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace to point people toward my blog, and many of the hits I got came from these online billboards. (Social networking is great for getting the word out about your VBT stops each day. You will be amazed at how many times the same people will show up!)
7. Partner with your publisher. (“Nuff said)