10 Things You Need to Know About Virtual Book Tours
By Dorothy Thompson, CEO & Founder of Pump Up Your Book
By now, most authors know what virtual book tours are or at least
have heard of them. They’re that wonderful marketing tool that should
be a must have in every new book’s campaign. With each new book I
write, I’m making a game plan before the book is even published and a
virtual book tour is the first promotional venue on that list.
While most of us know what they are, there are still a few new
authors who might have heard of them but have no idea what they
involve. I give you my top 10 things you need to know about virtual
book tours so that you will know what to expect.
- Virtual book tours are the BEST way to get the MOST online exposure for your book.
Not only are you presenting your book and yourself to thousands of
people, all of your interviews, guest posts and reviews are
archived which means months down the road, you’re still selling
your book because of that one tour.
- Virtual book tours ARE a lot of work. Not only are
you searching for the perfect blogs to host you, you are acting as
the middle man between you and the blogger unless you are using a
paid service such as Pump Up Your Book who will do all the work for
you. Even if you do sign up with Pump Up Your Book, there is
still lots of work to do completing assignments – filling out
interviews and writing guest posts unless you choose an all review
tour. Even though it requires a little bit of your time to fill
out interviews and write guest posts, it’s well worth it.
- You will learn more about your book than you ever did.
I had an author tell me that through the interviews and guest
posts she had to complete, she never learned so much about her book
which caught her off guard. Now when she is interviewed on
radio shows and makes television appearances, she is better prepared.
- Virtual book tours will build up your author platform.
No matter if you’re a fiction author or a nonfiction author,
virtual book tours will build up your author platform using your
key search words.
- Your reviews are guaranteed. Offline publicists
while they mean well do it all wrong. They query a book
blogger, make arrangements to send the book, then that’s where it
stops. The review is not a guaranteed thing. The reviewer can
post the review anytime they see fit. With virtual book
tours, your review is guaranteed on a certain date unless the
reviewer jumps ship which rarely happens. I had an author tell me
she signed up with an offline publicist who sent out many books and
only one or two reviewers actually came through for them. That
was money loss for the author. Books don’t come cheap these
days so coming up with a date you and the reviewer can agree upon
guarantees that review will be a given thing.
- Many reviewers now take ebooks which save you money.
Thank goodness someone was smart enough to invent a device that
automatically loads a book in a few seconds (no waiting to go to
the book store anymore my friend) and makes it fun to read.
When Amazon lowered their price of the Kindle, sales soared and
book lovers started talking about getting one. What that means is that
it opened up a wonderful way to get these books to the book
reviewers quickly and less expensively. Have you noticed how
much books are and how much it takes to ship them? Not saying all
reviewers will take ebooks, but as time goes on, most will have an
e-reader and, as a matter of fact, will prefer an ebook.
- More website hits, more blog hits, more Twitter hits and more Facebook Fan Page hits. All authors should have a website or blog and accounts at Twitter and Facebook. No matter if you think they’re all a waste of time. A virtual book tour will definitely give you more hits at all places as long as your links are in your bio.
- Going on a virtual book tour raises your Alexa rankings.
What is Alexa? Alexa measures how well you are doing in the
search engines. By going on a virtual book tour, and including
interviews and guest posts during that tour, your website and blog
links are included in every bio (or should be!). Those are
incoming links which Alexa uses to measure your ranking. The more
your website or blog link shows up on other sites, the more
valuable your site is to them and thus, your rankings soar.
- You will learn how to sell your book through media exposure.
Not all authors take advantage of their interviews and guest posts
by gearing them toward their audience, thus luring them to their
book and/or website/blog. I’ve had many authors on tour and
the ones who really take the time to make their interviews and
guest posts effective selling tools are the ones who profit the most.
The key thing here is to make your audience curious. One liners in
the case of interviews may not cut it. Of course there are
only so many ways you can answer “What’s your book about?” but take
your time and get your audience’s curiosity peaked so that they do
make your way over to your website or your book’s buying link.
- Virtual book tours teach you how to connect well with others.
There is no better way to learn how to network. All these
wonderful book bloggers who agree to host you are your new friends
in your extended network and they will be there for you the next
time you have a book to promote (unless they completely hated it of
course). You’ll also learn how to use the social networks
effectively as you study how to get people over to your stops by
persuasive wording. Remember to talk to your audience, not at
There you have it. 10 reasons I feel you need to know about virtual
book tours in a nutshell. If you have a tour coordinator as opposed to
setting one up yourself, she will walk you through it so that it will be
a fun experience for all. Your book will thank you for it.
Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an award-winning public relations company specializing in online book
publicity. You can visit her website at www.PumpUpYourBook.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pumpupyourbook and Facebook at www.facebook.com/pumpupyourbook.