Plan a Book Tour: Be a Gracious Guest and Effective Promoter
By Karen Cioffi
You researched and planned a unique and engaging book tour. Your hosts are booked, the schedules are prepared, and you chose on-the-mark prizes to give to random winners who will take the time to comment on the tour stops.
But, whether you created and are managing your own book tour, or you’ve hired a publicist or book touring service, there are a few additional touring tips you should consider in order to be a gracious guest and effective promoter:
• Have all your promotional material readily available, including pictures of you and your book cover, reviews, a synopsis, and excerpts. The same goes for any articles you’re providing. Make your guest spot as easy for the host as possible; this means emailing your host any content agreed upon in a timely manner. Give your host plenty of time to prepare his/her post for you. Many bloggers like to pre-post their posts; having the content early will be helpful.
• Be sure to make note of each site you will be on and the date you’ll be featured. I have a daily calendar book that I enter all important information into. I also got a monthly desk calendar that I leaned against the wall next to my computer – the bigger the better. But, you can use any form of calendar or schedule, as long as it will work for you.
• Prepare and publish a press release that lists all the information for your tour. You will need to post your tour schedule on your sites, and ask your hosts if they would post it on their sites also. I took advantage of Donna McDine’s Author PR Services (http://authorprservices.com). Donna did a great job; the release was professional and effective. I highly recommend her services.
• Promote each tour stop on your social networks.
• It’d also be a good idea to send a reminder to each host a couple of days before his/her day. It may happen that one or two hosts will forget and that reminder will be very helpful in keeping your tour on track.
• The day of each guest spot, be sure to visit the site throughout the day to answer any questions from visitors who take the time to comment, and thank them for stopping by. It’s important to also thank each of your hosts in the comments area. You should also send each host a thank you email, after the spot.
• In addition to thanking each host (during and after the tour), let them know that you would be happy to reciprocate.
• Finally, go back to each tour stop daily to see if there are any additional comments. If there are, respond to them and add the visitors’ names to the list you should be using for the contest.
Note: Anticipate things coming up and the tour possibly going off track here and there. While each of your hosts has every intention of following through, sometimes things happen. Just go with the flow, shrug or laugh it off.
Winding it Up
After your tour, send an email to the prize winners to let them know they won and include which prize they won. You should also create a post naming the winners. Finally, be sure to follow through and send the winners their prizes.
For a week-by-week, step-by-step, comprehensive article about a book tour, you can check out Mayra Calvani’s article: “Demystifying Virtual Book Tours” (http://mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com/2008/04/demystifying-virtual-book-tours-by.html).
Learn about writing and marketing with Karen Cioffi at http://karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com. Sign up for her free newsletter, A Writer’s World, and get TWO free site-related e-books for subscribing, and ONE more just for stopping by.