Here today is author of The Kings series, Tawdra Kandle.
Tawdra also runs Promotional Book Tours, a public relations firm that creates buzz for your book with Virtual Book tours.
Once upon a time, writers who published their work went on multi-city tours to promote their books. They traveled on planes and trains, visited book stores in major cities and sat for hours signing books and posing for pictures with their fans.
Those tours are, by and large, a thing of the past. Nowadays only the most famous best-selling authors are treated to real-life tours.
Self-published and small press writers have discovered that in this brave new world, it is more efficient and effective to do cyber tours. The advantages are numerous: the promotion can reach thousands of readers without the author leaving home.
A typical tour includes stops on a variety of blogs over the course of several weeks. A stop can be a review, an interview, an excerpt of the book or a guest post from the author. All these options give the book and its author tremendous exposure.A smaller investment is a book blast, which is a one day promotion, often on release day, carried on a number of blogs. There are no reviews, excerpts or interviews, just your book info and links, cover pics and author follow information. It’s a short-term publicity play that can help boost your book’s visibility.
Any author can book a tour or blast through a book promo company, but the impact this publicity has on sales and branding is largely dependent on the author. How can you maximize your time in the cyber sun?
First, always be clear about expectations. Find out how many blogs will carry your book and a general idea of their followings. Make sure the promotion company running your tour or blast has a plan to cover non-posting blogs. Be clear about the time posts will be up and what kind of complementary promotion will accompany each stop. (For instance, most bloggers promote their posts on Facebook and Twitter; find out if the promotion company itself also posts and tweets.)
Before the tour or blast, provide the touring company with all the material requested, including all of your social media links, your website, buying links for your book and the cover image. Also provide any excerpts of your book, guest posts and answers to interview questions that are requested by the bloggers.
Frequently, these tours and blasts are accompanied by giveaways, which both draw an audience and give the bloggers an incentive to complete their posts. Find out what kind of prize the company prefers you to offer; the prize is almost always the responsibility of the author. Send a picture or accurate description of your giveaway goodies!
Once the tour is underway, you can provide the best support by following along and commenting on the stops. Thanking the blogger for posting is always appreciated!
Being responsive and accessible is the best way to make the most of your tour or blast. It’s a fabulous way to build your name visibility and boost book sales. . .all without getting out of your pajamas.
Have you done a virtual book tour of any kind?