As national book tours are expensive with all these travel costs involved, consider a virtual book blog tour instead. With a blog tour, you arrange to have news of your book published in multiple blogs, with each story timed to appear on a separate day. It is an effective book marketing strategy many authors are not aware of.
In a well-run tour, all of the participating blogs cross promote each other (this gives the blog owner incentive to participate), and readers are encouraged to follow the author day by day as the tour progresses.
To keep the interest of readers, work with each of the blog owners to cover a different aspect of your book, or you as an author, for each day’s story. Maybe one blogger does a Q&A interview with you; another allows you to do write a guest post; another examines a specific aspect of your book etc.
Lisa Orrell gives some great tips for a virtual book tour:
- Establish a timeframe for your tour: Ten days to one month. Give yourself it 1-2 months ahead of time for effective planning.
- Find blogs that reach the audience you want to target for your book (at least 10), and contact the owners of those blogs, depending on how many blogs are the right fit for your book’s topic.
- Tell each blogger the tour’s time frame and what your expectations are when they participate in the tour. This may include: writing a review of your book that includes the book’s cover linked to your Amazon page or wherever your book is sold; and you’ll provide them with 1-3 articles that pertain to your book’s topic that they will run during the tour as “guest blog posts” (from you) on their blog. Provide them with your short bio, image of your book (and of you), and link to your website. Provide EACH of the blogs that participate the same articles and each of them can run the articles in any order they want during the tour.
- Mail each blogger a copy of your book at least 2 – 3 weeks before the virtual tour starts, so they can read it BEFORE the book tour launches. And, no, don’t ask them buy it! Mail them a free copy!
- Offer several copies of your book to each blogger who participates to use as a giveaway item for a contest they can create (or use it as a free gift for something the blogger wants to promote).
See, how important it is to have good contacts with other authors and bloggers! These relationships cannot be achieved in some days. It takes several months or longer. One more reason to start blogging and engaging in social media, such as Twitter, Google+ or FB, before you even start your book.