The days of book tours are dead and gone. It’s a rare author who spends time and money going from city to city to do signings or to encourage shoppers in the few physical books stores that still exist to purchase a new release. It’s even more rare to find a publisher who will put funds into this type of promotion. Today, book tours, like everything else, have gone virtual.
What is a virtual book tour?
When you go on a virtual book tour, you stay in the comfort of your home but hop virtually from blog to blog, podcast to podcast and social media event to social media event to meet your target audience in cyberspace. This means you can make 30 stops or more in a month and expose yourself and your book to people from all over the world.
A virtual book tour can include:
- Writing guest blog posts
- Getting your book reviewed by a blogger
- Having an excerpt of your book featured on a blog
- Being interviewed by a blogger (by email initially)
- A Google Hangout interview
- A podcast interview
- An internet radio interview
- An actual radio interview
- A webinar event
- A twitterchat event
- A Facebook party or event
The Difference Between a Blog Tour and a Virtual Book Tour
A difference exists between a “virtual book tour” and what has been called “blog tour.” A blog tour includes just blogs. It’s that simple really. You don’t visit any social media sites or get involved in podcasts or radio or anything else.
What you do on this type of tour is quite similar, though. You might:
- Write guest blog posts
- Get your book reviewed
- Have an excerpt of your book featured
- Be interviewed
Virtual Book Tour Basics
When Writer’s Digest Books released my book, How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish, and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time, in 2012, I went on a virtual book tour. I did another one in late October. When my second book, The Author Training Manual: Develop Marketable Ideas, Craft Books That Sell, Become the Author Publishers Want, and Self-Publish Effectively, was released by the same publisher this spring, I planned two back-to-back virtual book tours. I’ve learned some things in the process.
- You need to set aside time to write the many additional blog posts requested and to answer the questions for the numerous interviews.
- You have to stay really organized to keep track of what is due when.
- You want to have a system in place to help promote the posts on social media sites.
- You might need help to organize the tour or to promote it.
- You might have to prepare yourself—have the right mindset—so you can power through.
A virtual book tour, or a blog tour, means repeating the same or similar information about yourself and your book over and over again. You have to get really creative and think of many new post ideas to write for these other sites. Always keep in mind the purpose behind this activity: to sell books! And know that those posts will help promote your book forever; the links will remain active unless the blogger removes the post for some reasons. Plus, at some point you can repurpose many of those posts on your own blog or on someone else’s.
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