Virtual Book Tours

Working With Book Tour Companies: During The Tour

In our previous posts, we talked about what a virtual book tour is, how to choose a book tour company to set up your tour, and how to get started. Now we’re going to talk about what happens during a tour, and how to handle it.

 1)      Be prepared

Make sure there’s plenty of time before the tour starts to prep things like author interviews and guest blog posts. Tours work best if the hosts have enough time to set up posts. If the tour organizer is quick to send you the interviews and guest blog post topics, then that’s a good sign. If they’re late, or you have to keep asking to send them to you, that’s not so good. However, it could be that one or two tour hosts didn’t send the tour organizer their questions and/or topics yet, because of whatever reason. Either way, send a kind reminder email and ask the tour organizer to look into it again.

Send the interview questions back, preferably at least a week before the post is due. Same for guest posts. That leaves the tour host plenty of time to put these up.

Write the guest posts whenever you feel inspired. Ideally a guest post is around 500-1000 words. Some tour hosts prefer longer guest posts, others prefer shorter ones, so aim for the middle. Make sure the topic is relevant to your book, and spell-check your posts.

2)      A bad review

What if a tour host who signed up for a review didn’t like your book? Some tour companies have a policy that they don’t let reviews lower than 3-star rating go up during the tour. Others will notify you and ask you what you’d like to do about it. That is, of course, if the tour host in question will let them know beforehand about the bad review. In that case, it’s up to you what to decide. Will you allow the review to go live during your tour or not? That’s ultimately a personal choice.

But what if the tour organizer doesn’t know someone will post a bad review? Don’t go harassing them or get mad at them. The bloggers, the tour hosts, are entitled to their own opinions and reviews. It’s a courtesy if they notify you beforehand that the review will be bad, but it’s not necessary. My advice would be to move on, and let it go. Don’t even comment on the review, or if you do, be courteous and friendly. Don’t make a big deal out of it – because that will haunt you forever, as an author. There have been plenty of scandals this year and last year about authors giving angry replies to reviews. You don’t want to go there, trust me.

Let it go, and move on. Not everyone will like your book, and they have the right to voice their opinion, even if it’s not favorable.

3)      Promote the tour

It’s crucial that an author helps to promote a tour as well. You want people to visit the blogs you’re touring on, right? You want them to read that great review or that in-depth interview? Well, then you’l have to help promote!

The key of success to a blog tour is the promotion. The tour organizer promotes the tour. The blogger who hosts promotes the tour as well. You as the author can join in the fun. Visit each tour stop during the tour, and leave a comment. Mention the tour stop on your Twitter and Facebook page. Get your followers and friends to visit the blog as well. Ask them to retweet about the tour stop. Ask them to send out a tweet about that awesome giveaway you’ve set up for during the tour.

The more people you recruit to help promote your tour, the more successful it will be. Readers love author interaction, so if you drop by to leave a note on all the tour stops, that will help you reach your readers as well.

4)      Encourage Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, etc. reviews

If someone writes a favorable review of your book, that’s great. What’s even better is if they post it on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, Kobo, etc. On their blogs is a great first step, but if the blog isn’t insanely popular, the review won’t help you very much.

Look for the blogger’s contact form or email, and send them a nice email thanking them for the review, and asking them if they could post it on Amazon, Goodreads or B&N as well. Don’t leave an insanely long list of places where you’d like them to post the review, or get mad if they don’t post it. Be nice and friendly, and just ask. Chances are high they’ll come through for you.

In the next post, we’re going to talk about what to do if a blogger ends up not posting on the designated date. Stay tuned!

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