5 Mistakes Writers Make When It Comes to Virtual Book Tours (#3)

We’re talking about mistakes this week. Specifically, the mistakes writers make when doing a blog tour. Check out mistakes one and two if you haven’t yet, and let’s get on with the third point.

Mistake #3: Not Marketing Your Blog Tour Very Well

It should be a no-brainer that you’ll want to market your upcoming blog tour, but many authors get stumped for the most effective way to do it. Some mention it on Facebook or on a forum, but they don’t really highlight each individual post. Believe me, the more you can market your blog tour, the better the long-term results will be for you. For those of you who have complained to me about “how much work” blog tours are (and you know who you are), marketing your tour will help all that effort pay off.

Get the Word Out in Advance

Before the tour even begins, get readers prepped for it. Mention it on your blog, website, social media, and even in the offline places you frequent. Do you have a newsletter? A virtual tour is a great time to start one because you can put all the stops and dates in there and have people watch for it.

Another good idea is to blog about it in advance, and talk about your expectations. I did that the night before I was set to go on virtual tour for 21 Simple Things You Can Do To Help Someone With Diabetes.

Connect a Live Event to Your Tour

Just because you’re not going on a 20-city book tour doesn’t mean you can’t schedule a few stops locally to coincide with it. See if your library or local bookshop will host you, and mention your online tour when you go there. Give your readers a taste of what’s to come with your virtual tour.

Promote Each Individual Blog Post

Authors tend to promote their blog tour as one separate event, but a better way to look at it is as a series of events that are strung together. Promote each “event” or post with as much gusto as you can. This includes:

  • A thumbs up on Stumbleupon
  • A link on Digg
  • A link on Reddit
  • Tweeting a couple times a day per post for the length of the tour (schedule a few if you need to)
  • Mentioning on Facebook and providing updates when someone asks a question or leaves a comment

In addition to the usual social networking stuff, post each day on your blog about your tour. Talk about the individual post, the reaction from the blog readers, or anything else that pops up. Don’t just provide a link and say “I’m at Jane Doe’s blog tour, please come visit me.” Blah! You’re a writer! Get creative. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, but add some personality as to why you wrote the blog post or what you found of interest in the interview.

For example, in my recent virtual tour for 21 Ways to Promote Your Book on Twitter, I wrote about why I targeted one blog post specifically toward Christian fiction authors. Short and simple, yet adds something more than just “click this link!”

In another example, I highlighted a review for my New and Selected Poems book. I gave a little history about the reviewer and my thoughts on her review.

After the Blog Tour

Do a wrap up on your blog after the tour to thank your bloggers and give your thoughts. I did this for my diabetes virtual tour.

Even if bloggers space out and don’t post your reviews and links when they should, still acknowledge their effort. Bloggers will surprise you. I had one that couldn’t participate in the original blog tour for Internet Dating Is Not Like Ordering a Pizza, but then did a review later. The blogger did a unique take on the book that really made my day, so I wrote about it and got some more “buzz” from my book, long after the tour was over.

Tomorrow: Mistake #4

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