Beginning on December 2 and running through December 16, 2013, I will be participating in a virtual book tour for my new book, In the Light of the Eclipse, hosted by Fire and Ice Book Tours. For those who don’t know what a virtual book tour is, it is basically a series of blog posts on several different sites that promote the book in some way. In my case, this will consist of interviews, guest posts, reviews and spotlights. And it looks to be an interesting and fun way to get the word out on the publication of my new book.
In the Light of the Eclipse is a young adult novel, so I knew right away I was going to need to find a way to reach a readership who (for the most part) rely heavily on new technologies and the internet for their entertainment needs. So I began researching how I could raise awareness within these mediums to enhance the promotional possibilities of my book. I created a Facebook page, built this blog, became an author on GoodReads and linked them all together as best I could. (I’m still looking into the possibility of a Twitter account, though that I’m still not sure about… but we’ll see.)
After joining a couple of groups on GoodReads, and reading the posts and interacting in a few discussions, I learned about the virtual book tour. At first, I wasn’t sure about it, mainly because I really didn’t know what it was, or what I would have to do (as in, how much work I would actually have to put into it, and what would be expected of me). I’m not rich, I don’t have a traditional publisher to back me up and attract bookstores and the like to participate, so I was a little wary.
But after I started looking into it (and seeing that there were places I could go to have a tour set up for me), my fears and reservations diminished quite quickly; the thought of participating in one became more and more acceptable. And the more I thought about it, being able to get the word out over the course of several different blogs, with different readerships and interests, was very enticing. It eliminates the costs and hassles of a live book tour and it gives me a chance to reach not only readers in the U.S., but across the globe—and I can do it all from the comfort of my living room, if I so choose (which, let’s be honest, is a clear bonus).
I’m not expecting big audiences—or sales for that matter—but even if the very few find and enjoy the book because of a spotlight on a blog that I wouldn’t have otherwise had exposure on, I’ll take it, because in the end, word of mouth is stronger than any tool I can use to promote with.
So, with the publication date closing in (November 26, 2013), I reviewed a few different sites that would help me run a cost-efficient tour, and found Fire and Ice Book Tours to be a good fit for what I was looking for. Within two days of signing up to tour, I had almost every day booked, which is good, because it shows there is interest among, at the very least, the participating hosts. (I had looked at some of the other tours before signing up, and some only had a couple of hosts a few days before the start of the tour, so to have my schedule almost booked three full weeks before the start of the tour is all I can really ask for.)
Each “stop” on the tour consists of a blog post of the host sites preference, which as of right now includes three interviews, four guest posts, two reviews and several spotlights of the book (meaning, they will post all of the pertinent information for its readers to find and buy the book, but not much else). The reviews will be nice to have and the interviews are easy enough; it’s the guest posts that I’m sweating a bit. I could take the easy route and write one post that would then be given to all the stops on the tour, but how boring would that be for those actually following the tour?
If I want to entice the readers to follow my tour, I need to be as fresh as possible. I understand most readers will probably only look at the post on the blog that they themselves follow and have no interest in the rest of it, but if I make sure there’s something new at each stop, it might help bring a few of them along for the ride—which might benefit me in the long run.
So, as of right now, I have four guest posts to write and only two definite topics that I will be fleshing out over the next week or so. I know I’ll be able to come up with two more that relate in some way to the book, the process behind it, and be pertinent to the readership of the particular blog it will be posted on, but it is a little daunting to say the least. It’s going to be challenge (especially if additional hosts sign up with a request for a post), but I’m certainly not complaining. I’d much rather have too many than none at all. If it means I see even the slightest bump in sales, it’ll all be worth it.
No matter what happens, though, regardless of whether or not it helps me sell any books whatsoever, it know it will be a lot of fun and be a good learning experience. In the very least, it will help me when I go to release my next novel next summer. And that’s all that really matters.