Lately, I have been receiving inquiries as to how to arrange Virtual Book Tours (VBTs) and what is involved. I decided to write a blog post about it in order to share the information with other interested authors.
A virtual book tour (VBT) uses similar concepts as a book tour except it is done virtually on the Internet. Blogs are the brick and mortar book stores where book tours are held. Instead of physically going on a tour visiting book stores, you visit blogs.
The Process of Selecting Blogs
When you are arranging a VBT to promote your book online, research different blogs to determine if their readers are the target market you are promoting your book to, as well as how much traffic that particular blog gets. Are there a lot of site visitors/readers?
After you select the blogs, which meet your criteria, contact the owners to arrange a date for you to virtually stop by to visit with their readers. Then you will need to supply the blog owners with a copy of your interview, graphic image of your book cover, and your picture. The media standards are you provide the interviewer with the questions and answers for your interview. Although, the blog owners will get a lot of traffic, due to your book tour, you should offer them something for being a host. Maybe a discount or a free copy of your book.
Your Tour Visits
On the day of your tour visit, the blog owner will post your interview, book cover image, and your picture on their blog. You and the owner will want to encourage audience participation, as well as create an incentive for readers to visit the blog site on the day of your tour stop. You want as many site visitors as possible in order to promote your book or e-book.
The best incentive is to give away a copy of your book to a randomly selected visitor. There is a website called random.org where you enter the e-mail addresses of the site visitors, and it randomly chooses one. The contest can be something along the lines of all who post a question or comment on the day of your visit will be entered into a drawing for a free copy of your e-book or book.
You will check in throughout the day to see if there are any questions or comments that need addressing. This can create a dialogue or conversation, which in turn, will generate more audience participation. To make it more exciting, the owner of the blog can post the winner’s name after they have been notified that they are the lucky winner.
Following is an example of an interview I did when promoting my e-book to give you an idea of what type of questions and answers you can use to construct your interview:
TH: Why did you write this book?
RC: My goal was to create a handbook, which entrepreneurs and small business owners can refer to when they are searching for online marketing tools and/or new marketing ideas. I wrote it for new entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as for those who have been in business a while.
TH: Tell me about yourself
RC: I’m originally from Arizona and now reside in California. I earned my bachelor’s degree (with Magna Cum Laude honors) from Arizona State University when I was 44 years old. After graduation, I couldn’t find a job; therefore, I decided to start my own business offering online word processing services, which was 7 years ago. At that time, I was not aware of the virtual assistant industry, which I am now a member of. So, I guess you can say I was ahead of the curve.
TH: What qualifies you to write this book?
RC: Approximately 2 years ago, I started maintaining a blog and writing articles in order to implement the article marketing strategy. (I talk about using this strategy as a marketing tool in my e-book.) Also, while attending college, I learned how to write. I had to write. I remember my English professor saying I should be a writer, because he thought I had the skills. I didn’t take him serious. I was just trying to get through college.
In regards to the subject matter, my background and education in marketing and my experience from operating an online business provide me with the necessary qualifications to write this e-book on the topic of online marketing tools.
TH: How long have you been an entrepreneur?
RC: I have been an entrepreneur since October 2002. Although I started out as a small business owner, I have become an entrepreneur. There are differences between entrepreneurs and small business owners. In fact, I wrote an article on the differences. It is titled, “Are There Any Differences Between an Entrepreneur and a Small Business Owner?” Ezine Articles is one of the article banks where you can find it.
TH: What is the e-book about?
RC: This e-book contains information on various online marketing tools, along with some examples and in-depth descriptions of the tools. There is also a resource section that lists websites where you can find the online marketing tools, including “live” links to the websites. The resource section will save your readers a lot of time in Internet research when they are searching for information on online marketing tools.
TH: What do you want the readers to get out of this e-book?
RC: I wanted to provide those readers, who have a shoestring marketing budget, with information they can use in their online marketing plan or, at least, generate new marketing ideas. Most entrepreneurs and small business owners do not have a large marketing budget. The marketing tools I discuss costs little to no money.
TH: Can we look for more books from you in the future?
RC: Yes. One of my clients, who is a coach of Christian leaders, and I are currently working together on an e-book. It will be geared towards Christian leaders and Christian virtual assistants. So be on the lookout for that in the near future.
TH: How can the readers contact you if they have any questions?
RC: Your readers can reach me at 602-454-9408 or toll free at 866-651-3073 or send me an e-mail at Rita[at]rjsinternetmarketing.com.
TH: Where can the readers purchase your e-book and how much does it cost?
RC: They can click here to purchase it, and it only costs $3.98.
TH: Rita, thank you for stopping by my blog on your tour.
RC: You are very welcome. Thank you, Tina, for having me.
Overall, virtual book tours are more cost-effective than physical book tours. Plus, you reach a much broader, larger audience, including an international audience. If you don’t have time to arrange a virtual book tour, outsource it to your dependable virtual assistant.