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Could someone explain virtual book tours?

I've heard this expression quite a bit, and yes I've seen many articles on the web talking about them. I've read things like guest blogging, interviews, podcasts, ect are all ways to be in a VBT. But out of all the articles I've seen, I still don't know how to set these things up.

It also seems that if you talk about your book in writing groups, they say you're spamming. So how does one get attention online then? Anyone have any pointers?

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Dorothy Thompson and Nikki Leigh are both involved in VBT. I believe they are both members of this group. You might want to email them and see if they would hold a discussion on the subject.
I answered a lot of questions about VBTs on a teleseminar I did a couple of months ago. You're welcome to listen to the replay: http://www.wordstoprofit.com/teleseminarreplays.html. It's the July 24 QA teleseminar.

I also answered other questions submitted to me in the Ask campaign. (You can see how that works, and ask your own question, at http://www.askyourbookpublishingcoach1.com/.)
Hi! I visited your page and like the skyline. I love the Chicago skyline. Istanbul is developing an interesting one too. Your book cover is peaceful. I used a yellow rose on the cover of my book Women: Identity and Relationships. I have found it just draws women to the the book. I wish you much success.

About VBTs I would like to learn more too. I have been reading up on VBT and I found this website really helpful. Hope it is for you!

http://vbt.typepad.com/virtual_book_tour/about/index.html

If you have time click on my column. Today I wrote about things not going well... Do you ever have a day like that? http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/yazarDetay.do?haberno=122663
One of the authors who is published by the little house for which I edit did this. It did cost something, but she said she felt it was really worth it, not necessarily in book sales but in attention she started getting from the media. It seemed like the service she used (I can double check which one if you like) did a discrete period of at least several weeks, and every day her book was featured on someone's blog or website. I've benefitted a lot from being on the Yahoo group the publisher set up for contributors because several of the authors are very aggressive about marketing and usually share what is working for them. I also connected with a place called Author Island (I think they're more genre fiction-oriented than anything) that also has a paid service (but you can do it month by month so you get a sense if it's working for you before you spring for a whole year). I'm still not sure I'll spring for it but am thinking about trying for a month. And, of course, if you don't have a website, get one ASAP!
Hi Karen,
Thanks for the ideas. If you have a chance would you provide more details about the service you referred to that arranged to feature your friend's book on someone's blog or website?

If you have a chance, take a minute and enjoy my column today. It's about who rules the world--I think, Babies!
http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/yazarDetay.do?haberno=122782
Enjoy!
You make a good point about VBTs Karen. Authors might not see an immediate increase in sales, but the attention they get for their book is priceless, and since these interviews, reviews, and posts stay up as long as the blog is online, there is always a good chance that a reader will find them doing a search many months after a VBT is over.

Cheryl
People throw around the word "Virtual Book Tour" and it can mean different things. Most of the time it seems to refer to blog VBTs, where authors are interviewed on a number of different blog sites.

My favorite kind of VBT is the Ask-type interview VBT, in which the author invites questions prior to the live interview, then does the interview, then uses the replay and Ask page to continually promote the book I did this with my book, Abundant Gifts, and sold 124 books in 6 days. (You can access it at www.askdianenow.com.)

I like this kind of VBT for a number of reasons.

1. It's something you can do once and promote forever.

2. It connects you with readers in a more direct way and builds your email list (they give it when they ask their question), so you can start a relationship with them. On a blog tour, you're still anonymous and don't necessarily connect with readers, unless they leave a comment. To me, marketing is about developing relationships.

3. There is an intimacy to the human voice. This Ask/interview type VBT is the next best thing to attending a live book tour for readers, because they get to actually hear the author explain the book.

4. The Ask VBT provides great market research, allowing the author to find out just what their market wants to know. This is invaluable for many reasons: It helps you write copy, gives you content for more products, blog posts, articles. My Ask campaigns have been a rich source of ideas for new products--which I know will sell, because the market is telling me what it wants!

If someone is interested in knowing more about how these work, I have an FAQ page with a flow chart reference at http://www.vbtexpert.com. There are also articles on the site about these kinds of VBTs.
Very pleased to receive this helpful information about VBT, Diane.

I visited your askdianenow.com page and agree that it has such potential. Inviting questions and then learning the heartbeat of readers --great! I am a columnist and my column is like a Dear Abby but based in Istanbul Turkey. I would love to have a page like yours so my readers could go to a page like that and reply to my column.

I must learn how to set up such a page. VBT provides wonderful market research and allows readers to communicate in a more personal way. Keep up the great work on you Ask campaigns.

I visited wordstoprofit and found it very informative and instructive. I would like to know how to set up a page up like your Askdianenow.com page.

Thank you,
Charlotte
Hi CP, if you want to sell your books online, writing groups can be kind of so so. If you want to dramatically increase the sale of your book, go on a virtual book tour. This is the reason why I chose to use this prmotional outlet to sell my clients' books. But even if you don't go on a book tour, aim for online interviews and blogs who will let you guest post, and of course, reviewers. While you're at it, go on podcasts and anywhere online who will give you an exposure. The difference between this and an online book tour? If you get someone to set up your tour for you, you eliminate the work on your part. It takes us about a month to six weeks to put together a tour. Another difference is the use of SEO, which we specialize in. I can get you at the top of the search engines for your key search words before your tour is halfway over. Why is that important? That's where your readers lie. Being as more and more people are making purchases online than ever before, your goal will be to find them, but you don't even have to do that because they find you first. Another thing we do that you might not know how to do or have the resources for is to promote each stop as they happen. It's an everyday thing with us because we want your virtual book tour to not only be special, but become a vehicle to sell those books. I do have an article at http://thewritersbuzz.com/2007/07/19/what-can-virtual-book-tours-do... that might explain more fully. I'm thinking about starting a new thread on here to explain more of why virtual book tours are the next best thing to offline book tours. Anyone interested?
I'm interested! Thanks for this suggestion, Dorothy.

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