Four Things I Learned From My First Virtual Book Tour

travel

I’ve been so busy writing that I haven’t paid much as much attention to Internet marketing as I should. Therefore I was surprised when I received a query from a virtual book tour company, asking if I would be interested in an Internet tour. After reading the information carefully, I signed up for the cheapest tour. If it didn’t go well I was only out $50.

The tour was like a college course in book marketing. What did I learn? How can you learn from my experience?

1. Allow enough lead time. It can take a week or more for the tour company to arrange your tour. Last minute changes aren’t welcome because the staff person has to repeat work he or she has already done. The company I used asks its clients to submit information one week before the tour starts. In order to do this, you need to work on the information you submit a week and a half prior — maybe longer — prior to your tour.

2. There is lots of writing to do. I spent five or six hours writing different pieces for different websites. For one website I wrote an article about my philosophy of writing. For other websites I answered 20 questions or more. My detailed answers became author interviews. If you’re signed up for a virtual book tour, understand that you will have to do lots of writing and writing takes thought.

3. Be available for tweets. You may be shocked at this revelation, but I don’t have a smart phone. It’s difficult for me to talk on a cell phone because I wear high-tech hearing aids in both ears. So I only have a simple phone to use in case of emergency. If I want to tweet I do it on the computer and answer tweets on the computer as well. When I say you need to be available to answer tweets, I don’t mean you have to sit around for hours waiting. You just need to check your cell phone or computer regularly.

4. The effects of a virtual tour continue. I’m in the midst of my second book tour now. Interestingly, I’m seeing Internet posts that refer to my first tour about a walking book I wrote, the focus of my first tour. Sales are picking up though this tour is over. I think this effect will continue for several weeks. Some Internet experts thinks indie and print-on-demand authors should spend money on marketing every month. This is good advice and whether you follow it or not depends on your marketing budget.

All in all, I’m pleased with my virtual book tours. After my second tour is over I plan to sign up for a third to market a book that is currently in production. If you’re a freelancer like I am, you need to get your name and titles “out there.” Virtual book tours are a way to do that. See you on the Internet!

Copyright 2013 by Harriet Hodgson