Saturday, November 18, 2006

What is a Virtual Book Tour?

I was checking out the stats in Google of an article I wrote entitled "What is a Virtual Book Tour," and I came upon this really good blog post at Whatever, titled "Virtual Book Tours." I really liked the way this blogmeister handled it, and I so agreed with him or her...I couldn't find their profile so I'm not sure who the owner is.

This person goes on to say how while there are reputable agencies that will host a blog tour for you (Kevin Smokler, for example), you can still do this yourself, and for free. Kevin charges quite a hunk of change, but as I'm nearing the end of mine, I have to say there's a lot of work involved.

But, I'm the kind of person who loves to be in charge, and I wanted to see if I could do this successfully. And, I think I have.

I'm nearing the end of the tour, and have I sold any eBooks? Okay, first of all, I have appeared on ten blogs, most of them don't receive many hits as they are new, or not popular yet. Had I appeared on blogs that Kevin Smokler, for example, could have put me on, I might have had more sales. Considering that, I will say that so far, I have sold enough eBooks to buy my daughter a really nice digital camera for Christmas. Do the math.

So, to me, it has been a success. But, even if I hadn't sold any, the links to the various blogs that hosted my tour will continue to give me free advertisement as long as the blog post exists.

I was over at Paperback Writer the other day and she had an interesting viewpoint on virtual book tours. She...oh man, I'm not sure if Paperback Writer is a man or a woman, but for the sake of making my point, I'll call it a she.

Well, she says, "The questions a writer should always ask when considering this kind of promo:
1) Can I afford it,
2) where are the hard sales numbers,
3) are the resulting sales established and consistent, and
4) what name authors are doing it? If the answer to any of these questions is no, none, or even it's difficult to say, then buyer, beware.

This is an interesting point, too. Are you going to make the sales to recoup your cost if you go with someone's service to set this up for you?

So, what you're basically up against is trying to get the same kind of sales that you might have gotten if you had paid for someone to set this up for you. The key would be, of course, to find those blogs that are high trafficked. Goes without saying. Mine was an experiment, and as I know now what to do next go around, I will again do this myself.

They say that you need to be prepared to put some money into the promotion of your book. I say that if you can do what they do, do it and save the money for things cameras. ;o)

If you want to read my article, "What is a Virtual Book Tour," click here.

Happy promoting to you!

Dorothy Thompson is the editor of The Writer's Life, and the author of the eBook, A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published eBook.
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