Now that you have decided to do your own Virtual Book Tour you have to let people know about it. The reason for doing the tour in the first place is to benefit both you and the blog you are a guest on. You want to generate attention for your book that will hopefully increase sales. The host of the blog is hoping that having an author as a guest will bring more readers to their site. So you don't want to rely on the host to do all of the advertising, just as the host should not rely solely on the author to bring more fans. If both parties do their own promoting the odds that the blog and your book get more attention will improve. But how do you generate attention?
There are so many ways to reach people online. You can announce the tour to any online community that you belong to, write articles, and post it in every public site that allows announcements. Just like the planning and writing for the tour, this will take some effort. But, also like the tour, all of the effort and time is worth it if you can help your book succeed. The following are some of the resources I used to announce my virtual book tour. They are all free and fairly easy to use.
As a writer, you probably are already a member of one or more groups. If you are not start joining some. Not only are they are great places to announce your successes and events, but they are also great for exchanging ideas and supporting each other. These are some of the groups that I am a member of. There are many more great group out there. If you know of some tell me about them and I will post them for others to check out.
http://bookmarket.ning.com A network set up by marketing expert John Kremer
http://www.mywriterscircle.com Writing advice and support
http://bookblogs.ning.com A place for writers, readers, reviewers to talk about books
When I first started researching marketing and promoting I had no idea where to begin when it came to articles. Websites and other authors said to write and publish articles about my book and any events I was planning. I remembering thinking, 'How much more can I write in a day and how much is this going to cost?' Be careful of where you look for publishing an article; some sites charge you for distribution. I found some that did not charge anything as long as you kept your membership at the basic level. Don't feel cheap about looking for free options. There are many things you will have and want to pay for in advertising, and others that you can and should use for free. Here are some of the sites I found that allow you to submit articles and some offer much more. Again if you know of more, let me know so we can share the information.
http://www.biblioscribe.com Offers many services to authors like; distributes articles and press releases, and includes your book in their book store w/a link to purchase.
http://pr.com Allows you to write and distribute articles. All submissions are professionally edited before they are are accepted for distribution. (Basic level is free. Any other level, adding links, or advanced distribution will cost more)
http://published.com Offers authors their own book directory, articles, and advice on marketing
Posting your announcement on public spaces online is the easiest form of advertisement. It is pretty much like word of mouth. You don't have to prepare a professional looking article or promo, just a quick note to let everyone know when and where your tour will take place, and if they allow it put a link to your own website or main page that shows your tour schedule.
The most obvious public space is your own website. There are many free and low cost website sponsors to choose from. If you are like me, and lost when it came to starting my own, you're going to want to start with a free one. You may even like it and choose to stay with it. I found that google offers free websites and even walks you through setting it up.
Other great public places to announce your book and events include CraigsList, FaceBook, AuthorsDen, joining your favorite television or radio show networks, and of course Twitter. I love Twitter! It is a great professional and fun social network. It is easy to start an account and many different interesting people to follow. The best thing about Twitter is you can announce each stop of your tour and connect with people in the publishing field in real time.
My twitter account is: http://www.twitter.com/KCBOOKS
I hope that you have found something here to help you in the marketing and promoting of your book. Leave me a comment if you have something that has worked for you and would like to share with other authors.
As always, I wish everyone all of the luck and success in your book tours, sales, and future projects.
Keep in Touch,
Kristin Callender :)