Don’t you love it when authors actually take their own advice? In a blog that was published some time ago, Author U had a special guest featured within our blog. Dana Lynn Smith put together a Virtual Blog Tour for her book, Virtual Book Tour Magic. Let’s revisit the key elements. Virtual Blog Tours are quite common now … don’t bypass it in your book marketing plans.
Here’s why this book makes marketing sense for today’s author:
- The author has a clear vision of her goal.
- She responded immediately to any questions that I have before our big day.
- She sent me her guest post Questions a week before it was due to run.
- She also sent me copy to use in social media promotion-so helpful.
- She is going to be available to respond to questions that Blog readers have about virtual blog tours.
- She also sent me a reminder the day before, just in case–always smart–we are all busy and a little goose is helpful!
Here’s the key take-away … be organized … no exceptions, no excuses.
Dana includes her “Daily Tour Routine” checklist with 11 specific tasks to execute each day of your tour. Following her advice will give you the heads-up you need to create, manage and implement a successful book blog tour–your payoff? Book sales and decent Amazon rankings.
You Should Read the Book!
Virtual Book Tour Magic is a PDF edition Dana sells from her website. It’s a complete, easy to follow, practical guide to running your own virtual book tour. It’s all explained, step-by-step, in Virtual Book Tour Magic. Yes there’s work, but there’s a big pay-off potential. But the book is very comprehensive. The author covers topics like:
- How to plan your virtual book tour
- How to research and recruit the best tour hosts
- Communicating with tour hosts
- Creating killer content for your book tour
- Using contests, giveaways and offers on your tour
- Pitfalls and how to avoid them
- Hiring virtual book tour organizers
Author U Recommends It
It will educate you in plain English; gives you excellent “how-to” examples; delivers step-by-step To-Dos; and is an ideal tool to add to your book promo. Now, here’s Dana responded to questions (and used it as a prototype for setting up a tour for yourself … already done FAQs that the blog owner can just pop in ahead of time) …
Dana Lynn Smith
Virtual Book Tour FAQ for Authors
Today I am interviewing Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer, as part of the virtual book tour for her newest book marketing guide, Virtual Book Tour Magic. Welcome, Dana. First, can you explain what a virtual book tour is and how it works? While a traditional author tour involves traveling to different cities to make personal appearances, a virtual tour lets authors appear on a number of virtual venues during a specific time. Many virtual book tours are made up of articles or book reviews posted on blogs, but tours can also include other components such as interviews on online or broadcast radio, social media chats, book giveaways, and more. The main goal of a virtual book tour is to sell books, but are there other benefits for authors? Absolutely! Authors have the opportunity to develop relationships with their tour hosts; get new book reviews; interact with potential customers; get people talking about their book and sharing it with others; increase their opt-in mailing list; get quality backlinks to their website for SEO purposes; and more. I have found that being on tour seems to increase sales of my other books, not just the book that I’m promoting on the tour. Can authors organize their own tour, or do they need to hire someone? Organizing a virtual book tour is not difficult, but it does require an investment of time. Authors who are pressed for time or want to leave the details to someone else can hire a virtual book tour manager (there are several companies that specialize in this service), or get assistance from their publicist or a virtual assistant. But authors will still need to create content for the tour and promote it. How long should a virtual book tour last? The typical virtual book tour consists of weekday tour stops for one to three weeks. But there are other options for designing a tour, ranging from a one day blast to many venues at once, to weekly tour stops over a period of several months. Remember, you can always do another tour later, and you may find that you want to do some things differently next time. How can authors find the best hosts for their tour? The keys are to find venues that are a great match for your target audience, try to develop some rapport or relationship with the potential hosts in advance, and write a compelling letter of invitation. Sometimes you may have to choose between a blog that has more traffic or one with less traffic but a more highly targeted audience. In general, it’s best to go with the more targeted audience, because they are more likely to be interested in your book. But it may make sense to include one or two large sites with a more general audience, depending on the type of book you have. What’s your most important advice for authors who want to organize their own tour? Start early, be very organized, find great hosts, and communicate really well with your hosts. Many authors get started too late in planning their tour or underestimate the time needed to create content. I recommend beginning the planning process at least two months in advance. And be sure to have a written plan for organizing and promoting the tour. Why did you write the Virtual Book Tour Magic book? My goal in writing the book was to take the guesswork out of the process by giving authors very specific step-by-step instructions, along with planning tools such as checklists and spreadsheets. When you’re well prepared, a virtual book tour is a fun and rewarding experience! About the Author Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer, helps authors and indie publishers learn how to sell more books through her how-to guides, blog, newsletter, and private coaching. For more book promotion tips, get her free Top Book Marketing Tips ebooks at www.TheSavvyBookMarketer.com Here are the links in this article … Tour Page: http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/virtual_book_tour_magic/tour-for-virtual-book-tour-magic.html Book Sales Page: http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/virtual_book_tour_magic/ My website: http://www.TheSavvyBookMarketer.com
Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd a book publishing expert and coach. She is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord Indie/Fab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at http://tinyurl.com/AuthorURadio . Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.
If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen.
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