Thursday, December 20, 2012

Don't get taken for a virtual ride - part 2

In the first part of this three-part series, we looked at why you should consider a virtual blog tour to promote your book. We’re now going to investigate the three different types of stop which make up a typical tour.

These are:


You will be sent a list of standardized questions which you will then need to turn to suit your book without appearing over-pushy or spammy. Once you know which blog you'll be appearing on, notice how many of the answers are actually used in the finished interview of other writers. Remember, these interviews aren't like articles where you can happily include a short bio at the end that ensures you get a plug. Try, wherever you can and without appearing too commercial, to refer back to your novel because that might end up being your main selling point.

Book review

You send or gift a copy of your book to the reviewer who will then write an independent review. Given that these people usually work on the margins, you would do well to send it along with a 1 to 3 page synopsis so that they can (theoretically) ‘get away with’ reading a chapter or two and the synopsis. Before anyone flames me, I'd say to please note I'm not condoning this type of reviewing, I'm just being realistic about what can happen.

Guest posting

You'll be (typically) asked to write a 400 to 600 word piece on a different and specified subject for every guest posting. This post will then conclude with a bio (your only selling point so make it interesting and include backlinks to your book, Facebook page, Twitter account etc).

Now you need to work out how long the tour should last.

Remember that only the middle one of these three options will require little input from yourself therefore you need to consider very carefully how much time you have to commit to the blog tour. It can easily take 3 to 4 hours of preparation and administration per stop - how much time can you set aside?

Once you've done this, you'll be in a position to decide which type of tour you want. As a rough rule of thumb, allow between $5 and $20 per stop to cover the organizer's costs. Thus a tour with 3 interviews, 1 to 3 book reviews and 3 guest posts will probably set you back between $50 and $150.

But, is cheapest the best?

In part 3 we’ll look at how you establish which blog tour operator is for you and how to make sure that you get that much-needed exposure for your book.

Clive West is co-owner of indie publisher Any Subject Books and you can see more about them on their website or on Facebook. He has also written a full-length novel called The Road and a collection of short stories with twists in their tails called Hobson's Choice. Both are available on Amazon with Hobson's Choice being produced in paperback format as well as Kindle.

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