Creative minds are rarely neat...

The Virtual Book Tour Trend

You may or may have heard of “Virtual Book Tours” but they are growing in popularity and can be the solution for authors with neither the time nor the money to go touring in person around the country/world.

Any advertiser will tell you that the kind of marketing you can’t buy – word of mouth – is probably the most valuable type of marketing out there. Get a group of people recommending a product to all their friends and you have the beginning of a viral marketing campaign. It’s with that in mind that virtual blog tours have been springing up across the net.

Virtual book tours work like this:

  1. You decide to run your own tour OR you find a virtual tour company to handle your tour.
  2. You receive guest post, interview, spotlight and review requests. You complete those requests.
  3. For a month (or longer, depending on how you handle things), bloggers around the internet post about you and your book.

Voila. Easy, right?

Well, maybe not so much. The big bad internet can be scary even with the most cut and dry things, and going on a virtual tour isn’t exactly simple. Despite that, you can decide to take on the management of the tour by yourself. Then again, you could just choose to sit back and let someone else handle the smaller details. There are benefits to both.

The benefits of a self-run blog tour:

  1. No cost except your time.
  2. You can start and end whenever you want.
  3. You have complete control over everything (except the blog hosts).

The benefits of a tour coordinator-run blog tour:

  1. Less time spent on your part. You don’t have to find the blog hosts.
  2. You only have to worry about sending out review copies (if you choose to have reviewers) and completing interviews/guest posts.
  3. Your tour coordinator will take care of any blogger host issues (including – if possible – replacing ‘lost’ stops).

There is no wrong choice in this; it’s all about how much time you have to promoting your book online. The more time you have, the more likely it is you will be just fine running your own tour. The bottom line end result will be the same in both scenarios: Your name and your book on multiple sites/blogs.

This can all be a bit intimidating to say the least, so if you would like an easy “just tell me where to start” approach, here are two things you should do now:

  1. Start a website or blog if you haven’t already. There are plenty of articles and books out there
  2. Start Googling (or your preferred search engine) virtual blog tours. Look at the companies, look at the prices, talk to people who have run their own tours and talk to people who have gone with the company approach.

I’ve given you a lot of information here, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Just keep focusing on the idea of being able to go on a month long tour in your pyjamas. Or naked, if you prefer.

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