Take Your Book on a Virtual Tour
A traditional book tour is an excellent way to connect with readers on an individual level, but often, the costs and time required to take a physical tour are prohibitive to self-published authors. Don't dismay! A virtual book tour can be completed at little to no cost, from the comfort of your couch.
On a virtual book tour, an author gives an interview or guest-writes for a blog with the assistance of the blog's owner. Such a tour can give current and new readers an insider's look at how your book came to life, while simultaneously creating sales opportunities. If you're ready to take your book on a tour of the information superhighway, here are a few tips for getting started.
Find Your Niche
When evaluating potential stops for your tour, there are several things to consider that will have an effect on the sales opportunities for your book. Perhaps most important is that you only target blogs that are appropriate to your work. The subject and overall feel of a blog will have the biggest influence on how well your book's visit is received. Consider how your book will fit by reading through any existing posts. In addition, you'll want to consider how much traffic a particular blog gets daily or weekly. How did you find this blog? Will others find it quickly and easily?
Approach blog hosts with a personal e-mail that details your intentions and explains why you believe you and your book are a good fit for their site. Make sure to include an excerpt from the book you plan to promote. Many bloggers are happy to share the burden of writing and to help introduce readers to new works that relate their interests, but it is up to you to establish and follow through with the connection.
Get the Word Out
After you've established dates and locations to appear with your book, it's time to promote your tour. Use all of your networks to get the word out: your website, personal blog, friends, fans, and family. Consider giving away promotional items like autographs, bookmarks, or downloadable book excerpts to participating readers who comment on your interviews or provide personal information for your contact list.
Think Before You Blog
Remember that the purpose of doing the tour is to provide readers with a deeper understanding of your book or creative process, so share insights that will be memorable to the blog's following. If you will appear on a blog as an interviewee, make sure to be open to any questions you may be asked and to be articulate in the answers you give. If you guest-write a blog post for your host, balance your creative efforts between promoting your book and discussing issues relevant to the subject of either the book or the blog.