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I have been reading a lot lately about Virtual Book Tours. Has anyone of you used this marketing tool? How has it worked out for you? Have you noticed an increase in book sales? Was the cost worth it?

I’d like to know – and that is my question.

Thank you,

Paul

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SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN

I've done two virtual book tours now in addition to a number of other Internet-based and traditional publicity campaigns for my various novels. I find that the virtual book tours reach a wide audience and in general, one that is specifically looking for the product I have to offer. During my autographing session at the Harlequin booth at BEA, a number of people mentioned to me that they had dropped by because they had seen my name in the blogosphere. I think that speaks volumes for the efficacy of this kind of promotion.

While the virtual book tours were running for SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN, a September 2007 release from Simon & Schuster's Downtown press, the numbers at Amazon and B&N made positive moves.

I would also add that having an easy to navigate and current website is also of key importance for promotional purposes. Improving my website in the course of the past year or so and adding new content and features have really increased visitors to my site.
I did my virtual book tour with Dorothy Thompson of Pump up your online Book Promotion. I saw my Amazon.com ranking soar from the last 25% of all books listed to the upper 15% of all books on their site. I thought it was well worth it.

Yvonne Perry
Everyone is concerned with WIIFM - what's in it for me. As an author considering a tour, naturally that is the question we face - but what about the reader? What's in it for the reader?

I decided to post articles about virtual book tours from the reader's perspective and the author's perspective. My reader view is on BookPlace: http://morganmandelbooks.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=700682%3ABl...

Cat
That is a very interesting take of the subject, Cat. Ultimately, that is what it comes down to, isn’t it. Your article was also very interesting and at the end, the recommendation to look at the tours from Pump Up Your Book’s site was compelling.

Thanks to all who have contributed to this discussion.

Paul
Paul - I'm glad it was helpful. It's easy to think it's all about "my exposure" when really it's about making happy readers. Glad you felt compelled to check out the Pump tours. I guess I my time spent learning about marketing and writing sales letters and so forth has gone in deeply, because I wasn't specifically thinking of being promotional. LOL

Cat
HI, Paul ~
I did a VBT with Dorothy Thompson, Pump Up Your Book Promotion.com. She worked so hard- I was really impressed. She got me about 20 blogs in one month and I had a tremendous response. I heartily recommend her and her service. Robin
Yes, you and quite a few others evidently.
...with regard to putting the readers first - if they don't know about a book, how can they enjoy it? As authors, we have to be committed enough to promote our works so that the public (the readers) can discover them! Otherwise, the entire world will only read those books that the critics drove to the top of any given list.

Are you writing books to sell them, for your own joy, or to share them? I think a VBT is a great way to get the word out - like "coming attractions" for a film. Also, many of the blogs on my tour were designed to benefit avid readers and/or writers. I think they serve everyone.
:) Robin
yes. I worked with Dorothy, who is also a member of this group. I was interview for a diverse number of blogs. The success was positively reflected in my sales.

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