Virtual Book Tours: What are they and why should you do one for your book?
Today I’m going to start a new article series on the blog. This time around, the topic is: how to set up book tour for your book. There will be multiple articles in this series, but in this first one we’re going to discuss what a book tour is and why your book would benefit from going on a book tour.
Please note that I mean ‘virtual book tour’ here, so no real-live traveling from town to town tours, but instead you’ll be traveling from blog to blog with your book!
In this article series, we’ll talk about the following:
- Virtual Book Tours: What are they and why should you do one for your book?
- Working with Book Tour Companies: What company to choose?
- Working with Book Tour Companies: The First Steps
- Working with Book Tour Companies: During The Tour
- Working With Book Tour Companies: What if someone doesn’t post?
- Working with Book Tour Companies: The Aftermath
- Setting up a Book Tour Yourself: Planning Beforehand
- Setting up a Book Tour Yourself: Contacting Bloggers
- Setting up a Book Tour Yourself: Keeping Things Organized
- Setting up a Book Tour Yourself: Guest Posts
- Setting up a Book Tour Yourself: Setting up a schedule
- Setting up a Book Tour Yourself: What if someone doesn’t post?
- Setting up a Book Tour Yourself: Giveaways during tours
- Setting up a Book Tour Yourself: Tour Promotion
- Setting up a Book Tour Yourself: The Aftermath
- What did your first book tour teach you?
What is a virtual book tour?
During a virtual book tour, the author visits a number of blogs to promote their books. These books are known as ‘book blogs’, and they focus primarily on books – hosting giveaways, reviewing books, hosting author interviews, cover reveals, book release day parties and basically, everything book-related.
There are two ways to go about this. You can hire a book tour company, who will set up a book tour for you. As a virtual book tour organizer, they work as the “middle man” between the author and the bloggers. They set up the tour, get in touch with our tour hosts, set up a schedule, send out review copies and guest posts, send interview questions to the author and make sure the answers are sent to the right tour host. They coordinate giveaways and collect winners information at the end of the tour. You don’t have to do anything excerpt answers interview questions, provide a giveaway item and write guest posts.
We will talk about book tour companies and setting up book tours through these companies in our sub-series “Working with Book Tour Companies”.
Then there’s the other way, which means you do it all yourself. The upside is that you won’t have to pay any moneys. Book tour companies can offer low prices from about $29 for a week tour to $1000 for a full, month long (or maybe even longer) tour. The prices vary a lot. If you do it all yourself, then it’s free. The downside however is that you’ll have to look for tour hosts yourself, and that’s not an easy task. Lots of people I talk with tried to set up a book tour themselves but failed. They targeted the correct bloggers all right (namely, book bloggers interested in their genre) but because they had no previously established relationship with the bloggers, most of them ended up not responding, or not posting on the agreed date. Those experiences can be very dissapointing. I will give you some tips later on in the series about how to get bloggers to respond to you.
We will talk about setting up a book tour all by yourself in our sub-series “Setting up a Book Tour Yourself”.
Why should you do a book tour?
It’s a fairly inexpensive way to get the word out there for your book. If you do it right, you can gather a lot of reviews on blogs, Amazon, Goodreads, etc. You can also gather some more fans, blog followers, and Facebook likes by setting up a giveaway and asking people to follow you to participate. You can make people interested in your writing by guest posts, or interested to know more about you by answering author interview questions.
But most importantly – the buzz is consistent. You visit another blog every day or every other day during the tour. You will have constant promotion somewhere, and that’s the key here. People don’t purchase a book they see once. But third time they come across a book, they may say “hey, I’ve read about that somewhere, and the review said it was pretty good”. That’s the kind of response you’re looking for, and what you might get through book tours.