Indie Author Friends! It can be tough making your way through the trenches to become a successful author. In our last blog post (click here to read) we talked about different marketing strategies to use when launching your book. Here we are going to expound on one of those strategies: Virtual Book Tours
On Monday, February 22, 2021, I'll be starting my own virtual book tour for Behind the Blue Elevator. First let's talk about that.
This book is one of the most exciting projects I've released to date. (Don't worry, I'll be spilling a lot of secrets about it with you guys first in the upcoming weeks.) I knew I didn't want to just release this book, share it a few times on social media, and that be it. That's what I pretty much did with my other books.
Behind the Ble Elevator however, is a book I want to have lasting traction, and I want to get it out to as many people as possible. This means, I've put in a bit more work to market this book. My virtual tour starts with Look We Are Included, and actually includes way more stops than I could fit on this flyer. I'll be updating the blog with each post, interview, and feature: You guys even get an expounded version on some of the secrets I'll be sharing about the book (shhh).
A few of my ghostwriting clients have inquired about this process. So, I figured I'd share with you too. LEt's jump in:
What is a Virtual Book Tour?
Let's start with the basics. A virtual Book Tour is just that, a book tour done virtually. You may remember when First Lady Michelle Obama went on a book tour for Becoming. She stopped by different talk shows and platforms to share more about her journey, and of course, upcoming book. This is the exact same concept except rather than physical stages and interview rooms, it's done via virtual means.
Who Can Do A Virtual Book Tour?
ANYONE. If you are an author, you can do a book tour. It doesn't have to be a brand new release, though that definitely helps gain exposure for your new project. But you can do a virtual book tour to reintroduce your book to potential readers, and to just revamp the buzz about it. Whether your book hasn't released yet or has been out for years, you can still do a virtual tour.
What Types Of Platforms Should You Stop By?
This is really up to you. The Behind the Blue Elevator Virtual Book Tour includes written blog interviews, podcast interviews, YouTube channel and IG live interviews, as well as a few magazine features. You want to choose the types of things you are most comfortable with. Maybe you don't like your face out there for the public, so you may stick to written and voice only interviews. Maybe you don't want written features. It's YOUR book tour, you can set it up however you like.
Finding different platforms can seem daunting, but it's not that difficult once you know your way around the tracks. The easiest way to find different platforms to be featured on is to utilize your social media accounts. For instance, FB Groups are a great place to ask if there are any podcasters or bloggers who do online interviews. Mention to people what you are wanting to do, then watch some of them point you in the right direction.
Another way to find platforms is to look at where others are going. For instance, my flyer is above, it has names of different platforms I will be visiting. You can always look these platforms up yourself and see if any of them fit the audience for your work, which is what we will talk about next.
What Platforms are Best For You
Bet you thought the researching aspect of becoming an author was over, right? WRONG. Everything requires research. From knowing when most of your readers are online, to what platforms they can be found on. In the same way, you want to study the platforms you are potentially going to visit. You don't want to waste your time, and potentially money, visiting a platform if no one from your target audience listens to or reads there. Yes, you want as much exposure as possible, but you want that exposure to convert to customers and long time readers, especially if you are planning to write multiple books.
You also don't just want to visit a platform because it's a platform. Are people listening to that podcast? Are people reading that blog? You don't want the only people listening or reading to be the people you brought there. That is great for your interviewer, but not so great for you. It should be a mutual exchange for both of your platforms.
Does it Cost Money?
The short answer is yes. Most platforms are going to ask for a monetary donation or a price for the interviewers time. That's the world we live in, and marketing isn't free. While this is true, there are plenty of platforms with minimal costs, and you can even find a few that don't charge anything for interviews.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing platforms that require an investment.
Your Budget: Don't exceed your budget trying to get on all these platforms. Use the ones you can afford to gain exposure, and work your way up. Most of the platforms aren't going anywhere, so you can always use them later to regain interest in the work.
What You Get For The Value: If you are willing to pay $100 for a feature or interview, that's great! But just because a platform requires that much of an investment, doesn't mean it will be the best investment for your project. Again, ensure that the value, and potential readership related to that investment is going to benefit you.
Time: Consider how long interviews are, how long they will be fetured on a platform, and even how long they will be shared on social media. Not to mention, will you be able to schedule an interview during your original tour dates? Are they booked out? Will the interview be an hour or thirty minutes? These are all things to consider. If a platform is booked, there's no need to invest in them upfront when those funds could go to other platforms that can get you in during your tour dates. Keep those other platforms in mind, and revisit them after release day.
Whether you should do a book tour or not is completely up to you. There are a number of factors not discussed in this post today, but have everything to do what YOU. You make the decisions on what you're able and willing to do with your project. Stay tuned as I share my first experience with a virtual book tour and see how it works out for me.
Another thing to consider: You don't have to do all of this by yourself if you don't want to. You can always hire a strategist or marketing coach to help you. This is what they do!
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