You published a book and set up a book tour at local booksellers. You are ready for a successful launch, right? Maybe.
Another great marketing strategy to consider for authors is the virtual book tour. The average established blogger gets 50-300 readers per blog post. Professional bloggers can get anywhere from 3,000-8,000 readers per post and higher! How’s that for exposure? Compared to the 50 people who might pass your table during your bookstore event? Now I have your attention don’t I? Well, here we go, I will tell you from start to finish how to set up your very own virtual book tour.
Know Your Audience
What is your book about? Do you have a target audience? Try to narrow it down so that your virtual book tour is a success and you reach out to the correct group of people.
Start Reading Blogs that Target Your Audience
Now that you’ve narrowed down your target audience, start following blogs that are written for that group. Be a participant in the blog. Look to see if they have a Google Counter which tells how many people follow the blog and check to see if blog posts get comments. Does this blogger post often? Does this blogger offer giveaways and if so, how many people enter? These questions are all important to consider and will help you decide if this is a blog that you might ask to be a part of your tour.
Create an Invitation
The average blog tour lasts two weeks. That means that every single day for two weeks, a different blog will post something about your book! That’s 14 bloggers that you need to be a part of your tour (multiply that by 100 readers for each post, excellent exposure!) If this sounds like too much work to you, Google it.
Design an invitation that includes a synopsis of your work, an image of your book, the dates of the tour, your contact information and an explanation of what a virtual book tour is. Be clear that you would like them to participate. List a few ideas of posts that they can participate in and ask them to respond with their preference. Here are a few examples of posts: a review of your book, highlighting your book trailer, posting an excerpt from your book, an interview Q&A style between you and the blogger, a spotlight on the author, offer to be a guest writer on their blog that day and sponsoring a giveaway. Offer up a giveaway for anyone participating.
Send out your invitation to over 20 bloggers. If you get more than 14 that will be on your tour, double up two blogs on one day or extend your tour for a few extra days.
Schedule bloggers on specific dates. Email them their date and the information they will need for the post including an author biography, a synopsis of your book and a jpeg image of your book and yourself (a professional headshot.) Provide any of your links to social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, your blog, your website, Amazon to purchase your book, etc. so that they can include these in their blog post. Double check that you are following everyone (on social media sites) participating in your blog tour.
You can also create a logo for the tour that can be posted and used as a button on blogs. This means it may appear on the blog’s sidebar and anytime a reader clicks on it, it will take them directly to your blog! It is at this time that I mail a hard copy of my book to all the bloggers participating in the tour.
If your blog tour participants are hosting a giveaway of your book. Don’t be afraid to ask that in order for readers to sign up for the giveaway, they have to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, or any other area you want to gain more followers. Rafflecopter is an amazing contest generator that allows you to have giveaways where several entries can be made by one participant.
Email reminders the week before your virtual blog tour. Be sure to include the date of the post as a reminder too.
For each day of the tour, post a link to the bloggers website on your blog and they post about you from their blog. Advertise their blog post on your social media sites. Most importantly, comment on their blog post in the comment section. Show your appreciation by participating. If there is a giveaway taking place, tell the blogger to contact you with the winner of the book so that you can ship it out.
Good luck and remember, you have the power to make a difference with the message of your book. Getting that message out there can be the hard part. Join the blogging community to help you get exposure!