Marketing my Own Book
“Where are you going on your book tour?”
Friends and strangers often ask me where I am going on my book tour. I’ve now finished writing and publishing my historical fiction. But, they don’t know how the publishing business and books sales have changed. Authors today must market their own books, even those traditionally published. Independently published authors like me have to become our own marketing “firms.”
Book Tour or Book Tour Virtually?
Arranging a book tour to physical book stores is daunting and requires ingenuity, persistence and a lot of work. In the pre-Internet days, an author might work with a publicity agent. The agent would then arrange for broadcast interviews, personal appearances at bookstores, and also pump the local press for feature articles or mentions. Book signing events at a bookstore would generate good marketing and sales opportunities. Travel to locations was part of the grind.
As we know, the world has changed and brick and mortar retail is no longer king. Sales and distribution have largely shifted to e-commerce and online platforms. Thus, to be present to an audience increasingly means, being visible and find-able on the Internet. I am still a fan of the local bookstore as are many other readers and authors; yet marketing only in that space is unrealistic and limiting. Fortunately, there is an easier and simpler option on the Internet – Virtual Book Tours which can provide a platform to get your book in front of hundreds of readers without traveling.
How It Works; How I Did It
Of course, you can arrange your own virtual tour by contacting blogs who focus on your genre or topic. But I took the easier option and hired an expert, Amy Bruno who is a long-time member of the blogging community. She has established relationships with fellow bloggers and writers and knew which ones would be a good match with my book. Through her business Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, she could tailor the tour to my needs. She arranged book reviews, interviews, excerpts, articles and a give-away contest for my book, Sarah’s Secret with fifteen blog sites whose followers have an interest in historical fiction.
Planning the Tour
We began the planning over two months before the tour was scheduled. Once the blog sites were identified and the type of posting requested, I provided complimentary copies of Sarah’s Secret for the bloggers and the give-away contest as well as the requested excerpts, articles or interviews. The actual tour took place over a three-week period with one or two postings each week day. In addition to the visibility which Amy gives each tour from her website and Facebook page, announcements went out from my own Facebook and LinkedIn pages as well.
Upsides and Downsides
Of course, the downside of touring virtually is that I didn’t have an opportunity for face-to-face interaction as is possible in a physical book reading but I was happy with the experience. My positive outcomes include some great reviews, an opportunity to submit my book for review in the UK and an increase in sales! And it was a lot easier than arranging it myself or physically traveling.
If you have done a virtual book tour, I’d love to hear about your experience.