Coordinating a virtual book tour can intimidate an author. It takes organization and time management skills to get the most out of your tour. You’re also looking to build relationships with bloggers and readers so they support you throughout your career. Let’s look at five tips for coordinating a virtual book tour.
I managed nearly 100 authors spanning over 125 books when I coordinated virtual book tours. Those years taught me the importance of organization.
- Have your marketing materials together before you solicit tour hosts.
- Use an Excel Spreadsheet or Google Sheets to maintain a database of all review, interview, and guest post requests. Create a column to show whether you mailed the printed copy out, so you can follow up with the blogger in a week to make sure it arrived.
- Pre-order thank you cards or create an electronic thank you message prior to the tour so you can thank your hosts once the tour ends.
Include a Note with Printed Books
Bloggers can receive dozens of books to review each month. Losing track of a book happens. Do yourself, and the reviewer, a favor by including a note and printed marketing material in the envelope. This will avoid confusion for the tour host as to where the book comes from and if the review is time sensitive.
When I mail out my books, I include a personal note to the blogger, mentioning the book tour and the date they agreed to host me. I also ask for a prompt email if they cannot keep the scheduled date.
Complete to-do Items Early
Tracking down missing to-do items creates frustration for a virtual book tour host. Don’t be that last-minute author.
Plan your schedule so you can complete and return to-do items a minimum of two weeks prior to your tour stop. This will give the blogger time to review your submission to be sure its complete and to ask for clarification when necessary. Not only will this give your host the chance to schedule it ahead of time, once your next book comes out they will be more willing to host you again.
Leave Comments at Your Blog Stops
We all lead busy lives, but if you want to show your tour hosts how much you appreciate what they do, take a few moments to leave a comment on the day your interview, guest post, or review appears on their blog. Interact with readers who leave comments. They are often bloggers, too, so nurturing those relationships is important.
No comments? Try not to get discouraged. That doesn’t mean lack of interest. Sometimes people just have nothing to say. However, always thank your host.
Promote Your Virtual Book Tour
Why go through all the effort to coordinate a virtual book tour if you will not promote it? Even those authors who pay a company to coordinate a virtual book tour should have a hand in promoting their tour stops because it expands your reach.
Blogger Jodi hosts Author Sam on her blog. Blogger Jodi promotes the tour stop to her social media accounts of 3,000 friends/followers. Author Sam promotes the tour stops to his social media accounts of 5,000 friends/followers. Now, Author Sam has reached 8,000 people instead of just 3,000; plus when their people share the post Author Sam’s reach increases again.
Virtual book tours are fun, but they require time and work to be successful. Following these tips will make it easier.
Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of four children’s books including, A Christmas Kindness, released by 4RV Publishing. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married. Visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com and her children’s book blog at https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com