Virtual book tours, or virtual blog tours, as some call it are becoming increasingly popular because of the internet and the proliferation of blogs on every topic. Long ago when I read about an author visiting different cities to promote his/her book, I would think, one day when I become a famous author I would be doing the same thing. However, in this shrinking global village in which we now live, authors do not have to leave home to promote their books. With the help of the internet and a few willing bloggers, an author can ‘visit’ anywhere in a matter of one or two weeks, promote his book and gain followers. This is done either through an interview or a guest post.

So, this month being Women’s History Month, I decided to promote my book Women For All Seasons via a virtual book tour. I was fortunate to have the tour arranged through the Working Writer’s Club of which I’m a member, so that made it a lot easier. The club notified the bloggers ahead of time and all I had to do was send them my information along with jpeg pictures of myself and my book cover. Since I’m a club member, everyone cooperated and did their best to help. However, there were some drawbacks, which I know could have been avoided had I followed a few basic principles.

1. Get the word out.

The success of your virtual book tour, like any other tour, depends on how well you promote it. You should use as many avenues as are available to you – friends, family, social media, your website – can all help to get the word out. Also, readers always appreciate freebies. Have a contest during which you give away a copy of your book or a downloadable excerpt.

2. Connect with your readers

You may do this by sharing insights on your book – how it can benefit your readers, why you decided to write it and your future goals. You should also inform readers of any in-person visits you have lined up for the coming months. It will also help if you can be interviewed on the blog. In this case, you should be prepared to answer questions from readers in a clear and articulate manner.

3. Find your niche

This is probably the most important of all. You should only target blogs that cater to your audience. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If a blog gets its traffic from stay-at-home moms and your book is targeted to small business owners, then very little interest will be generated.

There you have it. With some thought and careful preparation, your virtual book tour can be a success and you can sell more books. I plan on doing another tour for Women For All Seasons and I’ll be sure to implement these and other pointers I picked up during this tour. Have you done a virtual book tour? Why not leave a comment below about your experience or share some tips with us? They’ll be greatly appreciated.

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