Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Virtual Book Tour

I just love the Internet. When we think of eBook promotion, the Internet is the bestest friend we could ever have.

One of the most fun, and totally innovative, ways of promoting your eBooks I have found is a virtual book tour.

What is a virtual book tour?

A virtual book tour is simply having bloggers host you on their blogs on a given day as their guest. You give interviews, talk about your book, post chapters, send articles, whatever you and your host decide which works best for the two of you.

A virtual book tour is much like a real book tour, only cheaper. And, you can wear your jammies and bed hair, and no one will know otherwise.

But, you must be organized. Not only are you the guest, but you are also the one who is going to set up these visits, and make sure everyone knows what is going on. You must keep track of every blog you are going to visit, and choreograph what you are going to say and do. It's not that hard to do, but it takes a lot of planning, as would any book tour.

Next month, I will be having my first virtual book tour, and I invite all of you to come. I will be visiting blogs all over the country for the entire month of November to promote my eBook "A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published eBook."

I just feel that this is a wonderful way to promote your books, whether they are in print or electronic format. Who knows...maybe it'll give you the incentive to do a virtual book tour of your own!

How does a virtual book tour work?

Follow along with me on my tour, and you'll see. I'll be recapping the events as they unfold.

To help explain the virtual book tour better, here are a few questions and answers that better explains.

How does a virtual book tour work?

Once you have released your book (or eBook), the first thing you need to do is find individuals who would be open to having you appear on their blog to either talk about your eBook, post articles, or give interviews. While I knew that there were services on the web who could do a marvelous job of setting up virtual book tours for you, I found that most of them mainly dealt with print books, so that was not an option for me since this was an eBook. Besides, I wanted to see if I could successfully pull this off on my own, and save the expense. I'm such a meiser!

I started with my writing groups, then headed over to my blogroll I have on my blog. I told them all what I was doing, and asked them if they would be interested in hosting me. Within one week, I had found enough people interested to start my itinerary.

The thing you need to keep in mind is to try to enlist those blogs whose themes are the same theme as your book (or eBook). For example, my eBook is about promoting your own eBooks, so I would look for those blogmeisters who have either promotion blogs or have eBooks of their own to sell.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is to find those blogs that get a bit of traffic. If unsure, put their link in www.alexa.com and that should tell you. If I found a blog that didn't have any traffic, or rarely got updated, I'd move on.

Your goal is to get to as many people who would be interested in your product as you can. The more traffic the blogs get, the better for you.

Once you get your virtual book tour established, start announcing it on all your blogs and websites. You need to get people interested, and create a buzz before the big day.

How long should my tour be?

I’ve seen tours last for an entire month, but that’s entirely up to you. It depends on how much time you want to devote to it. I chose a month-long tour, as I wanted to give this a chance to see if there will be positive results from it.

Why should anyone want to do this? Should I offer incentives?

Sure, incentives really work. I offered a copy of my eBook in exchange for a review, but you have to be very careful with this. If the blog or website has low traffic, it may not be economical to do. When this happens, offer them a sampler of the eBook so at least they know what it’s about.

How are sales after something like this?

The thing is, a virtual book tour is just like any other book tour. Yes, the goal is to make sales, but that will happen eventually. What you will want to do with this is get your selling page on as many blogs and websites as possible so the search engines will link up to you. Long after your tour is over, you’ll find people visiting your site, and buying your books (or eBooks). That's the great thing about a virtual blog tour...it still goes on and on even after the tour has ended.

Why can’t I just comment in people’s blogs about my books instead of going through all that?

Because you’ll come off as spam. No one wants to go to their comment section and see someone else promoting their books. The virtual book tour may require more effort, but people will see how much effort you are putting into this. Leaving your book information in the comment sections of blogs is a big no-no, and open you up to being condemned from ever posting there again. Not only that, but a virtual book tour is so much more personable, and gives you a chance to answer questions that others might have questions about.

The "A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published eBook" Virtual Book Tour Stops include (more will be added as they are signed up):

#1 - Place: Women's Fiction With Attitude
Host: Kathy Holmes
Date: November 1, 2006
Read the actual tour post here!
"Wow - you've got so much information in that e-book and it's fantastic. My brain is running on overload trying to take it all in. I'll say it again - Wow!"

#2 - Place: KaleidoSouls
Host: Joyce Anthony
Date: November 2, 2006
"This book is chock-full of practical, doable advice and will be a much-used addition to anyone's promotion library. Dorothy talks in simple, easy-to-understand language about how anyone can promote their ebook by following some proven methods--of which she is all to happy to share."

#3 - Place: SmallPress Blog
Host: Tom Nixon
Date: November 3, 2006

#4 - Place: Nutter's Gang
Host: Michelle E. Ellis
Date: November 6, 2006
"After reading Dorothy's ebook, I myself am going to be following her excellent advice step by step. It takes time and dedication--but will be worth it!"

#5 - Place: Blue Jeans & Tennis Shoes
Host: Jen Nipps
Date: November 7, 2006

#6 - Place: The Surreal Writer
Host: Ron Berry
Date: November 10, 2006
"This is the bible of reference."

#7 - Place: I AM THE HUNTER
Host: Jamieson Wolf
Date: November 11, 2006

#8 - Place: Miss Cellania
Host: Miss Cellania
Date: November 14, 2006

#9 - Place: Sormag (Shades of Romance Magazine Blog)
Host: LaShaunda C. Hoffman
Date: November 15, 2006

#10 - Place: A Story Teller's World
Host: Marilyn Celeste Morris
Date: November 16, 2006
"An essential tool for those of us who are unsure how to go about writing and selling an ebook. Dorothy's step-by-step instructions makes the process easy, and profitable, too!"

#11 - Place: For Your Entertainment
Host: Linda L. Rucker
Date: November 17, 2006

#12 - Place: In the Middle
Host: Martie
Date: November 20, 2006

#13 - Place: On the Writers' Road Less Traveled - Weblog of Alyssa Goodnight
Host: Alyssa Goodnight
Date: November 21, 2006

#14 - Place: Write Kudzu
Host: Keetha DePriest Reed
Date: November 22, 2006

#15 - Place: Greetings from the Pole Barn
Host: Laura Crawford
Date: November 25, 2006

#16 - Place: Cyber Connections Cafe
Host: Don Lafferty
Date: November 26, 2006

#17 - Place: Sky's Official Fan Club
Host: Schuyler Thorpe
Date: November 27, 2006

#18 - Place: Mary Emma's Potpourri of Writing
Host: Mary Emma Allen
Date: November 28, 2006

#19 - Place: Virtual Cocktails
Host: Mindy Klasky
Date: November 29, 2006

#20 - Place: Author Marketing Experts
Host: Penny Sansevieri
Date: November 30, 2006

So, join me in the month of November as I wind my way all over the blogosphere to dozens of blogs and websites, and show you how you can write and promote your own eBooks!
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Blogger Miss Cellania said...

Hi, Dorothy! The eighth, huh? I will in New York November 1-5 so we'll have to prepare before or after that. It will be fun!

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, yet another book about self-promotion. let me add it to the self-promotion book mountain in my back yard. i'm planning a bonfire event on Sunday. i hope everyone can join.

3:16 PM  

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