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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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I have to agree with Dorothy about the success of blog tour VBTs. An author must be an active participant in order to have a successful tour. Virtaul book tour companies can find blog hosts, coordinate tour stops, and promote the heck out of tours, but if the author doesn't take the time to build a relationship with the blog host and potential readers, through commenting at blog stops and social networking, then he might as well have saved himself some cash.

As a tour coordinator, I have been very lucky to have active authors promoting their books and their tours right alongside me. I have an author who is only 3 days into her December tour telling me it's working. She is already getting sales from it. But once again, this author has been on Book Marketing Network and Communati promoting her tour, commenting at her blog stops, and supporting the other authors on tour with her in the month of December.

An author who actively participates in his/her virtual book tour makes all the difference in the world.

Cheryl
"An author who actively participates in his/her virtual book tour makes all the difference in the world."

I'm glad you said this because we're finding that that's the hardest part of our job...getting the authors to realize that they just aren't sitting behind a computer watching their tours go by. If they are, then who is to say what sales they might be missing out on? We do the hard part - organizing the tour, promoting the tour and giving our authors individualized instructions on what they need to do on their part - and it's funny...we have seen authors who didn't know a thing about blogging, etc...now they're blogging fiends. You just have to show them what to do and that takes a little time, but once they get the hang of it, we've opened up a brand new world to them which makes them even more enthusiastic about selling their book. You can't sit on the sideline, that's for sure. It's just like a physical book tour only you can do it from you home, but like a physical book tour, there still is work involved. But it's not hard; in fact, it's downright fun. We're having a blast and that gives the authors the impression that if they want to have fun, get out there and participate. Our tours are very interactive and personal and that, I believe, is the secret to getting more out of your book tour. It's all about networking when you're focusing on the net.
Thanks, Dorothy and Cheryl, for your comments. Frankly, just by the nature of the Tour and the very word ‘tour’ itself, I figured from the beginning that I would have to be present on whatever blog was kind enough to host me. I am homebound much of the time – heart trouble – and have little to do all day but to show up at the tour sites. I would be very active and think that it is obvious that one would need to be.

I was wondering though if anyone here who has tried a VBT could comment on his or her personal experience. It may be hard, however, for anyone to be too negative about their tour here, with at least two wonderful ladies like you reading their posts. No one would wish to offend.

But, I must say that you do have me convinced. I am about one french-fry short of a Happy Meal when it comes to this computer thingy though (dumb as a rock - but learning). Nevertheless, when my next book comes out, I will most definitely look into this program. I am also on a very tight fixed income, so that will have to play a role as well, but I am quite interested in all types of book promotion and am eager to read how others have successfully promoted their books. That is what I like so much about this marketing network; I’m receiving quite an education.

Again, thank you ladies for your helpful comments. Please feel free to add more comments as your opinions are taken with high regard.

Paul
Paul, I hope our clients--or anyone else's--can feel free to be open about their experiences with virtual book tours. I don't take offense too easily, but I also think anyone has some room to improve. I will say, that I honestly love my job coordinating tours. I have met the most wonderful people who have written amazing books. And I don't take a tour unless I feel I can do it justice. It wouldn't be fair to an author if I couldn't be enthusiastic about his book.

Feel free to contact me anytime if you need more information. And I hope some others who have gone on virtual book tours will pop in and add their two cents.

Cheryl
Hi Paul,

Are VBT another proven successful way of marketing that has the potential for book sales? What are the low to high price ranges for budget planning? Lastly, where is the information about VBT for viewing?

Michael
You can view info on the Ask-type teleseminar Virtual Book Tours at http://www.virtualbooktourexpert.com. There's an FAQ there about it. We can talk price range if you're interested, but it's at least $1500, to give you an idea. The investment pays out best if you have a nonfiction book on a topic that explains easily. Not recommended for fiction. It's the kind of thing that is worth it if you're willing to really milk it (we give training on how to use the VBT to build your list, develop other--higher-priced--products to sell, etc.). It's probably NOT worth the investment if you're not willing to maximize it, or if you don't want to create other products.
I have hosted a VBT for Marta Stephens, the author of Silenced Cry. IT was a huge success, and a lot of fun! You can still read all the info for it on Marta's sites.
Oh, Kim, we are always on the lookout for blog hosts...I'll have to look you up, lol.

Paul and Michael, you can go to www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/virtualbooktours.html to see what we offer. We have three different kinds of tours, all suited to your individual needs and budgets. What's not on the webpage, though, is a new program we're getting ready to introduce in another week or two which will drive sales to Amazon. It's still in the beta stage, but we'll be ready the first of January. This will, hopefully, if all plans go according to schedule, focus on getting people to buy your books. In the past, we have implemented book giveaways and while it was fairly successful, this I believe will work even better. As for prices, we are offering three packages - The Gold Package ($349), The Silver Package ($249) and the Bronze Package ($149). Our tours include interviews, guest posts, podcasts, reviews and book spotlights. I have three other tour coordinators besides myself so the tours are split according to each tour coordinator's specialty and experience. But, we don't just place you on blogs and leave it at that...we promote for you (although we encourage our authors to promote along with us for even greater exposure). And, even after your tour is over, we continually send you promoting tips when we find them. I emailed a bunch of authors tonight about another place to advertise their book for free. Even though some might say we are "cheap," we are experienced and we know what it takes to get your books sold.
I am the author of a six-book epic fantasy called The Death Wizard Chronicles and am currently on a virtual book tour arranged by Pump Up Your Book that will last through most of December and hit at least 20 stops -- stops being blogs, websites, writers groups, etc. It's been a fascinating experience, and a ton of fun ... but it's too early in the process for me to determine whether or not it has/will significantly increase book sales. Without a doubt, it has significantly increased my exposure, which already was relatively large. I'm very pleased. And in my case, it was quite affordable. I'm seeing figures of $1,500 thrown out there. I think you can do it a whole lot cheaper than that -- and still have a very effective tour.
I was on a VBT for my book Judgment Fire arranged by Pump Up Your Book and it did a great job for me. My numbers on Amazon.com went way down--the lowest they've ever done for any of my books. I'll be doing another in February for Smell of Death. Besides being helpful, I had a great time.
Marilyn Meredith
Hi, Paul:

I'm involved in a Virtual Book Tour this month through Pump Up Your Book Promotion. (Dorothy and Cheryl). So far, the experience has been great and a lot of fun. My sales are up, too, and my ranking at Amazon is going down, which is great! All this has happened in the past 10 days, since my tour began, so I have to attribute it to that. I would say go for it. It's a great marketing tool. If nothing else, it's bound to get your name out there.

Good luck!

Jean Hackensmith
I am taking a virtual book tour this month. I've only had a few stops and it is too early to tell you the complete story. It is a lot of fun and yes, a lot of work too, but what isn't? I will not know how my tour effected sales until my next royalty check.

Something wonderful happened on my stop today. I made a new raving fan who cannot wait for the sequel. That is a treasure beyond measure for certain!

I am touring with Pump Up Your Book Promotions. You are most welcome to follow my tour. I post each stop on my primary blog at http://blog.myspace.com/catmuldoon

Warmly,
Cat Muldoon

Tour info --
I'm on tour, and you could win a copy of my book http://virtualbooktoursforauthors.blogspot.com/2007/11/rue-day-virt...  

Fabulous review on Sadie's Storylines blog
http://sadiecass.blogspot.com/2007/12/rue-day-cat-muldoon.html

"From start to finish I couldn't put this book down, and fell asleep reading it. Cat has managed to create a colorful and magical world, complex characters and strung together a rich story that leaves you wanting more - in other words the next book in the series! I'll be one that is waiting (im)patiently for it!"
--Sadie
******************
Faerie – more sordid than surreal:

Poison, treachery, deceit, secret identities, hidden agendas, love, betrayal, and attempted murder abound in the suspenseful fantasy romance Rue the Day: The Undercover Heir, Book 1. by Cat Muldoon

Enjoy excerpts and order your copy in ebook or print
==> http://www.

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