One new concept which has become available to all authors looking for new trendy means for promoting their work is something called the Virtual Book Tour—or VBT for short. Like the more traditional brick & mortar book signing event, VBTs allow authors an opportunity to connect with readers of their particular genre, but without regional limitations.
Unlike a more traditional book signing, where you are limited as to who can attend the event because of busy schedules, location (the cost of fuel doesn’t help) or even time constraints, with Virtual Book Tours the capacity to meet new people and even interact with them on a one-to-one basis is endless.
And besides that, with the more traditional book signing, you have the difficulty of persuading an audience to invest their time and money on the work of an “unknown.” But the VBT has advantages to help you persuade an audience and captivate their intrigue.
With Virtual Book Tours you have the benefit of essentially enticing an audience over several days—as opposed to the short span of a few hours in a crowded bookstore—where (your audience) can be easily distracted by the rows and rows of their (other) favorite authors.
With VBTs fans can take their time getting to know you as a person before ever once delving into your creative mind by partaking on your books journey. Here is a quick breakdown of how they work.
VBTs are a great way to promote your work over an extended period of time, to a specific audience looking for something new to read. The best part is, the reader can do this within the comfort of their home and their schedule—NOT yours!
As an example, let’s say you hire a particular PR/book promotion firm to help launch your VBT. What they will do next is try to locate as many blog hosts as possible, all geared towards targeting an audience specifically looking for your genre.
So, if they locate 20 blog hosts with a monthly return audience of 5,000 views per month, then you have the potential of reaching 100,000 readers within a one-month span! Now where can you get that in a traditional book signing???
Not only does the VBT run for one month, but the content is updated simultaneously on each site, every day of the tour. So as a further example, let’s say you get 1 comment from half the sites by the end of several days. You will be required to respond to each of them immediately, thereby generating an online conversation with potential fans that (again) are posted on each blog site simultaneously.
What this does is (first) encourages reader participation and (secondly) it allows the audience to get to know you as a person—which in the end can be more important than what you ever write! This cannot be done with a traditional book signing.
In the meantime, when you are not answering or responding to reader comments, there are Q&A sessions, podcast interviews and even videos being posted on each of the sites, to further stimulate the curiosity of the audience.
If you are pro-active (as you better be if you plan on being successful as a self-released/independent author) you can establish relationships with fans for months and months to come, by simply taking a few moments to respond to readers and focus on giving answers that are meaningful and insightful.
There are several reputable companies available on the WWW to help you find success with your Virtual Book Tour(s). I am going to run a tour with a company called: Pump Up Your Book Promotion quite possibly this May. I will have to follow-up with each of you and let you know how it turns out in early summer.
Their best package—the Gold Package—seems to offer a great array of virtual amenities, the best ones being their Press Release (creation and…) distribution, their book trailer creation and of course, the cost. For just about $400 dollars your tour will run on 15~20 blogs helping you connect with more and more potential fans and let’s not forget the high potential for more sales!
I will follow-up on the status of their service and see how much the VBT really helps to boost the sales of my novel: PROUD SOULS.
If you have other book promotional companies you wish to share, post them here on this site via the comments section below. Send the good as well as the bad. That is the best way for all of us to learn and grow as successful authors.
Best of luck to you…and remember…I believe…because you believe!