Today’s post continues our series on author marketing and our ongoing look at virtual book tours.
In addition to setting up tours yourself (or through your publicist, if you have one), you may want to consider hiring a company to arrange a virtual book tour for you.
Booking with a virtual tour company does cost money, but it also gives you access to high-traffic blogs and readers with an interest in your genre. More importantly, a tour company can increase your visibility by exposing your work to people who don’t already know you.
Here are some tips for arranging a successful virtual book tour with a professional tour company:
1. Investigate companies thoroughly before making a decision, and pay attention to referrals from other authors. I’m currently working with both Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and TLC Book Tours, preparing for the upcoming release of my second Shinobi Mystery, Blade of the Samurai–and I recommend both companies highly.
You want to find a company that has a solid professional reputation and works with high traffic book blogs. Look at the company website: is it professional, easy to navigate, and clear about what the company offers? Also, look for a tour company that works with authors who write the same kind of books that you do.
2. Be prepared to pay for the services you receive. Virtual book tours can cost several hundred dollars, but on balance that’s often an excellent value for the number of readers who get exposed to your work. Other types of advertising also cost hundreds of dollars, and often can’t guarantee exposure to your target audience. By contrast, virtual book tours put your work in front of readers who come to blogs looking for books and authors to love.
3. Provide your information (including guest posts and interview answers) promptly and professionally. Your professionalism and quick response times will help the virtual tour company give you the best experience possible.
4. Add tour dates to your author website, promote them on social media, & stop by the blogs on your tour stop dates. Your active participation makes a huge difference in the success of your virtual tour. Interact with readers, blog hosts and commenters!
5. After the tour, put links to the reviews, guest posts, and interviews to an “articles & interviews” page on your author website. This creates a library of content which makes a valuable resource for your readers and future website visitors.
6. Remember your manners. Thank the tour company, and the website hosts, for helping you with your virtual tour. The easier you are to work with, the more people will want to help you (and to read your books).
Have you had experience working with a virtual tour company? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section!