You can do just about anything online, including a book tour, and do it more successfully than offline. Knowing how to do it is another story. I’ve had a lot of success with virtual book tours, so I asked Dana Lynn Smith, the Savvy Book Marketer and author of Virtual Book Tour Magic: The Secrets to Planning a Successful Book Promotion Tour, to provide you with a basic “course” in how to conduct a virtual book tour. NA
Virtual book tours, sometimes called book blog tours or virtual author tours, are a terrific way to showcase authors and their books, get links back to the author website, and generate book sales.
On a virtual tour, authors visit a different venue each day during a particular time frame (usually one to three weeks) and the entire tour is promoted by the author and each of the tour hosts.
A variation is to do a concentrated tour for just a few days and visit several venues each day. This type of tour is designed to push the Amazon sales ranking of a book up by generating as many sales as possible in a short time frame.
Tour stops can include book reviews, guest posts or written interviews on blogs, audio interviews on podcasts or radio shows, social network events, contests, book giveaways, and more.
Virtual book tours are often done as part of the launch of a new book, but they can be successful any time after the book is published. They are just as effective for fiction and nonfiction books—only the venues and the type of content will vary.
No matter what type of virtual book tour you plan, it’s important to be well organized and to get started with the planning at least two months in advance. Here are some of the steps involved in planning a virtual book tour:
- Before you start, have basic promotional tools in place including a blog and social networking accounts.
- Determine your goals for the tour and the type of tour you want to do.
- Determine the length of the tour and tour dates.
- Set up a recordkeeping system to keep track of the details for planning the tour.
- Decide what kind of content, giveaways or contests to offer on the tour.
- Make a list of prospective hosts and research them to find the best fit.
- Write a compelling invitation and send it to the top prospective hosts.
- Set up a schedule of tour stops, assigning hosts to specific dates.
- Correspond with hosts, sending confirmations and details.
- Develop a promotional plan and materials for the tour and begin pre-tour promotions.
- Write articles and interview questions and send to hosts.
- Monitor and promote daily during the tour.
- Coordinate giveaways and contests.
- Evaluate the success of the tour and take care of follow up tasks.
Excerpted from Virtual Book Tour Magic: The Secrets to Planning a Successful Book Promotion Tour, a step-by-step guidebook from book marketing consultant Dana Lynn Smith.
About the Author
Dana Lynn Smith, the Savvy Book Marketer, teaches authors how to sell more books through her blog, newsletter, guidebooks, training programs and private coaching. Get book marketing tips at www.TheSavvyBookMarketer.com and download her free report, Create a Book Marketing Plan That Sells Books, at www.CreateYourBookMarketingPlan.com.
Note: This post is part of the 2012 Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) challenge, which takes place during National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo). You can find out more at www.writenonfictioninnovember.com. To participate in the challenge, simply “sign in” by commenting and leaving a description of the nonfiction project you'll be completing during November. Come back and report in if on the status updates page, and comment on the various blog posts or on the WNFIN Facebook page.
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