Everything is changing for authors these days when it comes to promoting books, especially for those using small presses or self publishing. We hear a lot of talk about the best ways to get the word out about your novel. Use social media, create newsletters, talk with your local bookstores and libraries--these are all good ways for readers to learn about your work.
That phrase makes me think about traveling from state to state and sitting inside bookstores waiting for someone to come and look at my book. Or in an ideal world, there is a long line of customers eager to breathe the same air that I do as they await my signature on the inside of the novel.
Of course, for many authors that kind of book tour isn't quite in our league yet. So how else can a little known author use a book tour to promote themselves?
Try an online or "virtual" book tour! There are many companies on the internet that promote this very thing. It basically works like the traditional tour, only you can do it all from the comfort of your bedroom, workroom, or wherever! This is an excellent way to get in touch with readers from all over the globe and expand the scope of your work.
How does it work?
Well, it depends on what you pay for and each promotion company offers several different packages to choose from. Let's say you pay for a month. You might get several interviews or blog opportunities on various websites per week, in addition to reviews of your book. In a month's time, this kind of exposure can really help you see a spike in sales. Typically, the book promoter makes sure these blogs, reviewers, and interviewers are on sites that have something to do with your book (like genre) or reach out to your target audience.
Is it affordable? I think so. They almost have to be in order to attract authors! I've seen various prices at different on line book tour sites. My advice would be to check them out before you pay your money. Ask yourself the basic questions: What has the feedback been like from other authors? Are you getting a lot of opportunities to talk about your book and yourself?
I used Pump Up Your Book promotions a few months ago for my novel, Nephilim. My publisher is a great person, but when it comes to promotions, she encourages authors to do that on their own. Enter Dorothy Thompson at Pump Up Your Book. I had 8 reviews of the book and was featured as a guest author every day of the week at various websites during the month that I used her company. Amazing! She secured everything for me which was really nice and I didn't have to do anything but write a few blogs or answer interview questions. I would use Pump Up Your Book again in a heart beat!
What about you? Have your tried an on line book tour? What were the results?