VIRTUAL BOOK TOURS: A CHECKLIST TO PREPARE YOU FOR THE JOURNEY

by JennaNash on April 17, 2012

Are you an author who is interested in expanding your target audience and selling more books? If so, you should consider setting up a virtual book tour.

Prior to the tour, you prepare guest posts for blogs that you have previously researched and identified as appropriate for your message. In the meantime, you contact the blog owners, assess their interest, and schedule the posts. On the days that your blog posts are published, you visit the blog to comment, maybe ask questions to encourage discussion, and otherwise converse with the readers.

Just like when you get ready for a trip, you have some tasks to do before you start on your tour. Below is a basic checklist to help you to prepare.

  • Research your audience. Hopefully, before you started writing your book, you identified and researched your target audience. You got to know who they are, their likes and dislikes, where they hang out on the internet, etc. You will need that information now as well.
  • Research which blogs to target and contact the blog owners. You will want to do some homework on this, too. Make sure that the blogs you select are current, have a good reputation and a good following, and are appropriate venues for your message. (Tip: This task may take some time, but one shortcut might be to think about who you already know who has a blog.)
  • Prepare your content. You want to give this step careful consideration. Many blog owners will only accept content that has not been previously published on another blog. Be sure that you understand the rules before you submit.
  • Create a short bio to include with your post. Make sure that your byline bio includes your picture as well as your website and Facebook URLs in order to drive traffic to your own website or Facebook page.
  • Plan how you will promote your book tour. Will you post the dates and URLs of the blogs on your own website? Will you prepare a blog post for your own blog announcing your next stop on each day of the tour? Will you post on Facebook and Twitter about your book tour? How will you encourage the blog owners to promote your book tour?
  • Clear your schedule and be prepared for discussion. It is very important that on the day that each post goes live, you spend some time responding to comments, answering questions or even posing questions to your audience to encourage discussion. You might want to prepare some questions in advance.
  • Engage them even more. There are many more ideas that you could consider while planning for your blog tour. Maybe you hold a contest, put your book on sale for a limited period of time, or prepare a giveaway.
  • Thank the blog owners. Send thank-you notes to the blog owners who have hosted your posts. Consider giving them a free copy of your book as a thank-you gift.
  • Follow up with your new subscribers. Now that you have new subscribers to your mailing list, what are you going to do to follow up with them to keep them interested in your products and/or message?

Keep in mind that planning is most important to a successful blog tour. You must set up a schedule of when and where your guest posts will appear, submit your blog posts in advance, and be ready to comment each day that a blog post is published.

If you follow the proper steps, you will share your message with a wider audience, gain more followers, and perhaps even sell some of your books. Now that would be a very successful virtual book tour!!


Charla Mahon is the owner of Concord Virtual Office Services. She provides internet marketing, WordPress, and project management services to small businesses. Charla also helps authors to launch their virtual book tours. If you are interested in contacting Charla to see if she might be the one to help you with your next project, you can visit her website at concordva.com or drop her a line at charla@concordva.com.

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