11 Reasons to Pack Your Bag for a
Virtual Book Tour
A book blog tour (also known as a virtual book tour) is a popular book marketing tactic because it lets authors reach their
book's target audiences in ways that lead to online conversations, reviews, guest blog posts, and book excerpts.
All of these options come to life on the blogs that are popular with the people we want to buy and read our books. Some will write
a review, others will publish a Q&A with you, many will ask you to write a guest blog posting (as I'm doing here), and still others
will want you to share a short book excerpt with their fans and followers.
Why a Virtual Book Tour?
Here are 11 reasons you will want to consider planning and executing a blog or virtual book tour by contacting the blogs that are
read and enjoyed by your book's target audiences:
- You will reach the people who should read your book. There's a blog (or 20) for just about every niche imaginable, so no matter how small (or large) your market is, you'll find a way to connect with them online.
- Readers can enjoy instant gratification. Most bloggers will add a link to your book that takes the reader to an online purchasing site, whether it's a retailer like Amazon.com or a purchase page on your website. People will be able to purchase your book immediately, while they're interested and before they forget.
- Publicity begets publicity. Once you start doing blog interviews, other bloggers will notice you and invite you to participate on their blogs, as well. One opportunity leads to another - and yet another. The exposure can also lead to publicity in traditional media outlets as well as speaking invitations.
- Your interview, column, review, etc., remains online indefinitely. In-person book tour connections are fleeting - you talk to a group in a bookstore or another venue and then everyone moves on, with no record of the conversation left behind. But the content of online conversations is typically archived and accessible for months and years.
- You will reach far more people than you would in person. How many people attend the typical, non-celebrity book signing event? Most authors are underwhelmed - even discouraged - by the turnout. Moving your tour to the virtual world significantly increases the number of people you can reach with information about your book.
- It's less stressful. Most authors I know would rather be at their computer writing than talking about their book at a signing event. With a virtual book tour, there are no worries about stage fright or forgetting what you wanted to say.
- You save a lot of money. A virtual book tour completely eliminates all travel expenses associated with in-person book and media tours. And you don't have to deal with flight delays or other transportation snafus.
- You don't have to worry about what you're going to wear. In fact, you can do your interviews wearing pajamas and fuzzy slippers if you want to. Seriously - who wants to dress up for a public appearance when they can settle in for a relaxed e-chat anywhere they want, wearing anything they want?
- You'll make it easier for people to find you. People are using search engines today more than ever before to find information they need. Sharing information from and about your book on multiple sites makes it more likely that people who have never heard of you and your book will find it - and buy it - when you show up in a search engine.
- You'll enhance your topic knowledge by connecting with people who are interested in it. Blog readers often share anecdotes and ask questions that better prepare you for other interviews or that can contribute to your next book on the topic.
- It's easy. Identifying the blogs, learning what kind of information they use, and contacting them with a relevant and interesting offer is easy to do. It does take time, but it's not hard. It's so easy in fact, that you can outsource it to a smart college student or intern.
Use a virtual book tour to not only sell more books, but to expand your online network while showcasing your expertise or storytelling
skills. When you target the right blogs and contact them in an appropriate way, you'll be pleased with the outcome.
Sandra Beckwith is a former national award-winning publicist who now teaches authors how to be their own book publicists. Get her
free special report, Beyond the Press Release: 10 Exciting Book Buzz Ideas That Will Take You to the Top, when you subscribe to her free
Build Book Buzz e-newsletter at www.buildbookbuzz.com. Sandra is also the author of three books, including one about publicity for small
businesses and another on publicity for nonprofits.
Now that you know from Sandra why you should plan a virtual book tour, Learn how to plan your own virtual book tour here!
More Blogging Resources
1. Creating a Blog for Book Marketing
2. How to Blog
- 50 Topics to Blog About
3. The Best Blog Software?
Check Out Our Side-by-Side Comparison of 5 Companies and Decide for Yourself!
4. 50 Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic
- You'll Definitely Want to Print Off This List
5. Using Google Feedburner
- A Tutorial to Get You Started
6. The History of Blogs
- Blogging Explained
7. Plan Your Own Virtual Tour
- A Step-by-Step Guide to Guest Blogging
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