Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Planning a Great Virtual Book Tour

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN ASPIRING WRITER... just for your entertainment!

So as many of you know, I've been busy planning and executing a virtual ebook tour for my spiritual memoir Saving Mary: The Possession. For those who may not be hip to what a virtual tour is, it's like a book tour but instead of visiting bookstores in and around your city you instead visit blogs! Why would we do this? Exposure of course. I've signed up with four blog tours.
Tourz De Codex -3 week tour

Which means I will be featured on over 60 blogs over the next 2 months. Each of these tour hosts offer to link my book up with a range of bloggers who will feature my ebook on their blog through: an interview, a feature, a personal author post, a review, or an excerpt. The tours I signed up with cost anywhere from 25.00 for a two week tour to 150.00 for a month-long tour. The tour host is responsible for hooking my ebook up with appropriate bloggers, contacting those bloggers to ask what they would like to offer on their site (book feature or interview etc.) and then making sure they post on the right day and with all my right information. A good blog host will also send out a list of interview questions, along with a list of blog post topics for you to answer. They should also keep you up to date on any changes and keep you from falling behind on developing and delivering your posts. A great tour host does all this without causing you any stress. At the end of my tours, I will let you know which tours I recommend.

* This is a great way to find reviewers, and all reviews are strictly personal opinions (you do not pay for a positive review).

Having launched my ebook tour, I have learned a few things. (And if you're thinking about embarking on your own tour, I'm hoping this will help you). I've learned ebook tours are not simple. And the more work you do beforehand, the smoother your tour will go. If you plan on doing a 1 month - 3 month book tour, I would suggest that you first develop your own material.

An author tour package prepared beforehand can save you a lot of headache. What is a tour package? It's a file that bloggers can use to get to know you and your book. It contains material and links they can post on their blog site:

Author Tour Package
-book cover image
-author pic
-author bio
-links to your author website, Amazon author page, Goodreads page, blog, Facebook fanpage
-links to your purchase pages (including B&N, Smashwords, Amazon, and your UK Amazon page--since some bloggers are in the UK)
-YouTube link to your book trailer
-average review rating on Amazon
-best way to contact the author
-a list of interview questions (if you are doing a 1 month or more tour then you will need about 20 answered questions)
-a list of quick answers (What's your favorite book? Favorite quote?)
-a list of blog posts (5- 20 posts depending on the length of your tour).

Also, before you leave for your tour remember to:
-get a professional author pic
-write an author bio
-set up your author page on Amazon (bloggers often pull material from here)
-set up your Goodreads page (many bloggers post to Goodreads)
-set up your Amazon UK page (don't forget that this is a completely different page and your author bio must be re-added here along with reviews...ask people to re-post reviews here.)

Writing the blog posts takes the most time. They need to be about 500 words and should include material that other writers or readers would want to read. Adding YouTube videos to a post can help.

Sample Ideas for Blog Posts:
-Writing to me is...
-What is your favorite genre and why?
-What are the mistakes you see in beginning writers?
-How would you change the publishing world?
-How did you come up with the title of your book?
-What are your thoughts on ebook marketing?
-What is your favorite scene in your book and why?

Samples from my tour:
The Masquerade Crew-review
Beauty and Books-ebook feature
Inky Pages-blog post

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