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Taking Your Book to the World


Taking Your Book to the World, guest post by Lauren Carr


Back when my first novel was published in 2004, my then publisher hooked me up with a publicist to teach me the ins and outs of book promotion. In our initial conversation, she asked, “Are you willing to do book events?”

After over twenty years of dreaming of the day I would become a published author, this question was a no-brainer. To my surprise, the publicist said how many authors won’t do book events.

Taking Your Book to the World, guest post by Lauren Carr
http://amzn.to/2dVOZ40
Over the next decade, I found out why. Book events are hard. They cost the author in time and money—with no guarantee that they’ll sell any books. So you would think that when virtual book tours came to being, that authors would snatch up the opportunity to promote their books without having the leave home—or even get out of bed and get dressed.

For these authors, online promotion doesn’t cut it. Some authors feel like they aren’t really promoting their books unless they have a table set up someplace. They don’t actually see the reader buying the book. One author told me in a desperate tone, “I need to get out there and promote my book.”

As for me, I’d rather sit in my scruffy bathrobe, or even less if no one is home, while selling books across the world wide web on a virtual book tour.

Virtual book tours have been the rage for writers for years. In spite of the advantages (like saving on gas money driving to and from the event), many authors are gun-shy to try it out. A few years ago, I was on an author panel in which one of the author declared that virtual book tours aren’t worth the investment. While I strongly disagree I can understand why she would have said that. 

There are a ton of virtual book tour coordinators out there and I have used more than one. Some are better than others. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad ones out there. So, it would be easy for an author who has had one, two, or more bad experiences to conclude that virtual book tours are a waste of money. I know more than one author who was burned by a bad tour coordinator, or one who was a bad match for their book.

When dealing with virtual book tour coordinators, it is definitely a case of author beware. Many book lovers have the mistaken impression that being a book tour coordinator is an easy endeavor that they can do at home, only to discover that it is a demanding job that requires massive organizational skills. Tour coordinators are dealing with authors (some who are quite needy), bloggers, and reviewers. It doesn’t take long for a new and inexperience tour coordinator to find herself in over her head. One author I know booked a tour with a new coordinator who offered tours for a rate that was much lower than anyone else out there. The writer went to all of the trouble writing her blog posts and doing the interviews. She sent them in to the tour coordinator, who in the meantime had decided that coordinating a book tour was too hard and got a job at Starbucks, leaving the author high and dry.
One author told me recently that she paid a tour coordinator for a month long review book tour and it never happened. The tour coordinator took her money and ran. Never answered her emails, etc.

When looking for a tour coordinator, check out the authors who have toured with them. Are they all newbies? Check out the rankings of their books on Amazon. Are they getting book sales? How long has this tour coordinator been in business? If they are brand new, maybe you’ll want to wait to see how long they stay in business.

Also, select a tour coordinator whose bloggers and reviewers fall in your book’s genre. I once had a tour coordinator place my clean-reads mystery on erotica blogs that you had to be eighteen years old to enter. She claimed she was expanding my audience. My thought, anyone visiting an erotic site is not looking for a clean mystery that doesn’t have even one sex scene.

I use iRead Book Tours and have been very happy. They have never let me down.

Another reason that many authors don’t see any success on their books tour is because they think that all you have to do with a virtual book tour is pay the tour coordinator and then sit back and wait for the sales to come in. Nope! If you want a successful book tour, you need to work at it!

So, should you take the plunge and do a tour or not? And if you do, how do you make sure you get your money’s worth?  Read on.

What Is Your Goal? Do you want to create buzz before your book is released with a spotlight tour?  Maybe you want to get reviews and generate publicity for your book that has been out for a while. Or do you want to get reviews coming in as soon as it is released? For most of these goals, you’ll need to launch your blog tour before the release date, which leads to the next point.

Schedule Your Tour:  Good tour coordinators who know what they are doing require time to set up the book tour. That means pitching your book to their bloggers and reviewers who in turn decide if they are interested in having you on their blog.

Keep in mind that most bloggers and reviewers don’t get paid for their blogs and reviews. They do this out of a love for books. They have jobs and families. Book reviewers get tons of review requests and will usually have a pretty tall TBR list. So it is an honor when a blogger or reviewer wants to feature or review your book on their blog. For this reason, you need to allow them plenty of time (my tour coordinator requires six weeks) to read your book for a review. If a blogger doesn’t have time in their schedule to review your book, many can offer you a book spotlight. In other words, don’t expect to email a tour coordinator on Monday and have a tour running the next week.

Get to Work on Your Tour Postings.  If you want your tour to be a success, and you don’t want to write guest posts or do interviews, let your coordinator know that up front. To make appearances at blogs with inadequate, poorly written guest blog posts or lack luster interviews will not be doing you or the bloggers any good. I knew one writer who wrote one guest blog post and sent it in to be repeated throughout the whole tour. None of those bloggers ever invited him back.

Publicize your blog tour.  Here’s a news flash: No one is going to come to your party if you don’t tell them that there’s a party going on! Make a big deal out of your tour.  This is your tour! This is your book that is being featured across the WORLD WIDE WEB! People all over the world are seeing your book! I’m not kidding. On my last two tours, one giveaway winner lived in Croatia. The next one lived in the Netherlands! 

Post details on your website and social media sites like a rock star launching a worldwide tour. And during the tour, post anywhere and everywhere until your fingers bleed! This is your time to shine!

Followup.  The day your entry is posted, be sure to respond to every comment, even if only to thank the commenter. Be sure to stop by days later as well.

Scheduling a blog tour is all about coordination and hard work. But I have found it to be a labor of love—not unlike writing a book. Good luck.

Taking Your Book to the World, guest post by Lauren Carr
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

Connect with LaurenWebsite  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook



1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Writers and Authors for inviting me to stop by today to discuss the ins and outs of virtual book tours! See you next time!

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