What Exactly are Blog Tours, Virtual Book Tours, Online Book Tours, Etc.?

blog guys A blog tour, sometimes called a virtual book tour or an online book tour, is an intensive lesson in online marketing that allows others to find out about you and your book through interviews, guest posts, podcasts, or reviews.  Instead of the author leaving her home to tour with her book, she can do it from the comfort of her home which makes it easier for most and economically-wise, you can’t beat it.

By now, most of you already know what a blog tour is.  Sometimes I take it for granted that everyone knows and you’d be surprised to this day I still get questions asking what they are.

I’m starting a series of posts in the upcoming weeks to try to touch on all aspects of virtual book tours and why all authors need one to be included in their book campaigns.  Today, we’re going simple and explaining just what a blog tour is and why a new author needs one.

I can’t imagine starting a book campaign without lining up interviews, podcasts, reviews, etc., online.  Can you do this without a blog tour?  Sure you can.  What a blog tour does is basically blast your information over the Internet in a short period of time, thus raising the bar on SEO.  You set up an interview on one blog and that’s it, that’s not going to do much for you SEO-wise but if you have a structured plan and do this over a period of days and months, then you’ve got it made in the SEO department as long as the blogs you appear on concentrate on SEO themselves.

I mention SEO frequently because a blog tour isn’t simply there for you to get fans and book buyers now, SEO helps you get fans and book buyers indefinitely as long as all your ducks are in a row concerning just what your main and minor key search words are.  We at Pump Up Your Book determine those for you with your help so that we not only get to your readers through blogs, but also through the search engines.

Book publicists and promoters who are concentrating on virtual book tours to help their clients sell their books know how much the online world is changing so it is imperative they keep up with the latest trends.  The old standbys – Twitter and Facebook – are still great and timeless and should always be used, but when they step outside of the box and find other ways to promote their authors online, then you’ve got a great promotional team behind you.

Another thing you need to think about is how much you are willing to participate in your blog tour.  As anyone who has put together their own tour will agree, there is a lot of work behind setting one up, but the author can’t forget to use every single “stop” to their advantage and promote as they go.

One more point I’d like to discuss is that when authors are looking for that “magic key” to book sales, they have to remember that word of mouth is the #1 way to sell a book.  Get someone to talk about your book and have it spread virally, it’s worth the book’s weight in gold.  When filling out your interviews and writing your guest posts, provide unique content that will give someone else a reason to talk about it, tweet it, or mention it on Facebook to their own fans.  Give to the reader, don’t just promote your book.  When you read one interview, you’ve read them all?  Provide that unique content in all of them.  Make each one count.

There is no magic key, but there are ways to sell your book that when combined could amount to a significant number of books sold.  Don’t cut corners.

If you have questions concerning what I have discussed, leave your questions below and I’ll answer them.  If you have questions not mentioned above, leave your questions below and I’ll answer it in a future blog post.

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Dorothy2 Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion.  You can visit us at www.pumpupyourbook.com to find out how we can take your book to the virtual level! Sign up for our feed here so you don’t miss updates!