A few words of questionable wisdom from author Al W Moe - you can leave questions on each blog or go to my profile for direct email.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Virtual Book Tour - Get Bang for Your Buck!

A virtual book tour can help get the good word out about your latest novel and it can be cheap, quick, and effective. But it’s rare to have all those qualities. Most virtual book tours are centered on book blogs that have little to no readership, little interaction with the blogger, and will require plenty of extra work from you. Don’t expect to pay the fee and be done working!
Sure, you wrote the book, but the tour bloggers probably won’t. Ideally, every blogger would read your book, do a quality review of it for their readers, and some of those readers would click the links, check out your site, and buy a copy. That doesn’t always happen. Make sure you ask the who, what, where, when, and why questions.
Who’s Doing My Tour?
So, who’s going to do your tour, and where are the tour stops? You really need to know which sites are going to be hosting your book. Do they have any readership? Are they going to actually review your book? Are they going to post a question and answer session? Do their blogs ever get picked-up by other blogs or newspapers?
What’s Getting Discussed on Each Tour Stop?
Find out whether you are getting a simple blog notice that your book is available, or something meatier that a reader might find really interesting. If you are providing guest blogs, ask how you need to tailor them to fit the blogs. No sense doing a piece on romance novels when the blog features nonfiction.
When’s the Tour Starting and Ending?
Obviously you need to do your own advertising to coincide with the tour dates. To take advantage of a virtual tour you should schedule some additional advertising by using Twitter exposure, doing a book giveaway, and making sure your book is available when the tour is in full swing. A small tour of six to ten sites isn’t nearly as strong as a month-long tour with 25 blogs which will only cost a little more. Weigh your options carefully.
Where Are the Readers Coming From?
And where are they going? You need blogs that attract readers, but they need to fit your genre’. In addition, you need to make sure that every reader has a chance to follow a link to your own website or sales center. For most authors that center will be Amazon, but if that’s the case, make sure your book description is awesome, because that’s what the reader sees next and you need to make the sale!
Why Am I Paying For This?
Could you manage to get a dozen book blogs to cover your book without using a tour service? If so, why are you paying for the service? Find out what else is included in the tour package. Extras that will help make it successful include a personalized tour page, a reviewer’s page, a banner for links to your pages, press release (even if they are group releases), book trailer (even if a group trailer), and social network advertising.
If you are getting most of the above items, you are getting a high quality service. Expect to pay at least a couple hundred dollars – and expect at least 15 to 25 blogs to be carrying a story about your book.
How To Get the Most Impact
Make sure you do daily tweets about each new day’s blog listing with a link, and so some advertising on  Author’s Den, Good Reads, Google Ads, or somewhere, and have notices on your own website about your tour with links to each book-blog site. Also, a press release should be included by you to some type of web-related service so you get more publicity.
If possible, have a trailer made for your book. You can make your own with power point and place it on You Tube, or you can pay $50 to $150 to have a 30-second spot made. It helps!

Where are you Selling?

Just wondering where you might be selling your books!  Are your books at Barnes & Noble? How about Apple, Sony, Kobo? If you use Smashwords to publish an ebook you'll get those and more. There's no fee, but you'll have to fight a bit with their automated processor to fit your book to so many platforms. The results are good if you advertise a bit - take a look at one of my books at Smashwords.

Thanks for reading - Al W Moe