A virtual book tour (aka “blog tour”) involves setting up a series of reviews/interviews with influential reviewers and bloggers. Ideally, it should take place over the course of several weeks or months. The aim of this is to extend the amount of time your book remains in the virtual spotlight. Done right, it can be a very powerful part of your marketing strategy. Here are a few tips on putting together a successful virtual book tour.
Virtual book tour strategies and tips
- Have print and ebook versions of your book ready to send to reviewers (some of them only accept print copies).
- You can find reviewers on sites such as The Indie View. A quick Google search will yield more directories like this one.
- Identify reviewers who review books in your genre and study their acceptance criteria very carefully. Make sure you are a good fit for them.
- Always be polite, and also be prepared to be turned down by a few, so contact as many as possible.
- Let the ones who accept your book for review know you want them to be part of your blog tour. Be prepared to be flexible here! Many reviewers are oversubscribed, and so you will need to wait your turn. Keep in touch with them so you know when the review is ready.
- Put together a comprehensive review schedule with dates and links to the reviewers’ websites on your own website. Promote each event via social media beforehand, as well as on the day each tour “stop” is happening. Don’t forget to use the direct link to your article (the “permalink”).
When you should put together a virtual book tour
Our advice is to wait until your book is ready and available for purchase, or at least for pre-order, before embarking on a virtual blog tour. That way, you will not only have something ready to send to a reviewer in the form of your finished book, but you can also capitalize on the attention generated by the reviews and boost your sales. Readers whose interest is piqued by your review or interview can then go straight to an online store and purchase your book while it is still fresh in their memory.
The beauty of virtual book tours is that they can be done at any time – not just when your book is newly-launched. So if you see that your sales are flagging, then you can start putting together another tour with new reviewers.
One thing we do want to stress is that you will need to have patience and give yourself a lot of time to put your tour together. Reviewers can be quite slow to respond (if they respond at all), so keep track of those you have contacted in a spreadsheet and follow up when necessary. If you want to go on a virtual book tour as soon as your book launches, then you should definitely start contacting reviewers to gauge their potential interest while your book is still being edited – don’t wait until it is completely finished and ready to be released.
Have you been done a virtual book tour? What was it like? Leave a comment below and tell us.