So, you’ve published your book. Now what?
Sales won’t come automatically without some major marketing and if you don’t have the same level of name recognition as Stephen King, then your publishing house likely isn’t setting up a book tour; in fact, before accepting new authors many publishing houses will ask them how they intend to market the book and make sales.
It’s up to you and your team to plan out a virtual book tour, which is a massive marketing campaign where you, the author, are featured on other blogs, podcasts, and videos of people who have large followings and are considered to be social influencers. This is where all your years of networking and cultivating relationships will be useful in getting conversations started with potential tour hosts.
1. Research relevant blogs.
Long before you’re ready to start your promotion, start looking at blogs in your niche. Tons of book blogs exist to help you promote fiction. If you’re promoting nonfiction or your blog, e-course, newsletter, etc., a simple Google search will help you find other blogs in your niche.
Once you find some blogs you like, engage with them! Follow them, comment, and share their articles with your followers. Become part of the blog community, so that when you’re ready to pitch, you’re familiar with the content, audience, needs, and guidelines of the blogs. Compile a list of blogs that accept guest posts, including their contact info.
2. Know your goals.
Before you pitch any ideas or write your blog posts, make sure you know what you hope to get out of this blog tour. Every post should tie into your goal and include a clear action step for readers to take. For example:
Are you trying to sell a lot of books? You’ll want to include a buy link, so make sure your host blogs will allow it.
Or, are you trying to drive traffic to your blog? You’ll want to include relevant links to articles at your blog and a bio with a link to the home page, so make sure your host blogs allow links and a bio.
>> 4 Ways to Create a Reader Community
3. Don’t forget interviews and book reviews!
Your blog tour doesn’t have to be comprised entirely of your guest posts. Remember to include blogs that will interview you or review your book (if applicable). These add variety to your tour and offer a blog’s readers another way to get to know you. They also take a little bit of work off your plate, because they don’t require you to come up with and write another blog post!
4. Pitch your posts.
Send a personalized pitch email to each blogger. Be sure to include basic info about your blog tour, and explain why your post is relevant to the blog’s readers. When your post is accepted, make sure you know what the blogger wants and allows you to include in the post.
6. Build a calendar.
Plug your blog tour stops into a calendar to help you stay on top of the planning and deadlines. You can also build a public calendar through Google calendar, a WordPress plugin, or a landing page on your blog that lets your readers know where you’re stopping on the tour. This Virtual Book Tour Planner will help with that!
7. Acknowledge the blogs who host you.
Make a point to share your guest posts with your network, so your readers and friends are exposed to the blogs who host you — share the link on Facebook and LinkedIn, re-tweet, mention it on your blog, etc.
Sharing will not only help draw new readers to your host’s blog, but it will also help you show your readers that you’re getting published outside of your own blog, which increases your credibility.
8. Keep an eye on your post.
Be sure to stop back to your guest post frequently to read and reply to readers’ comments.
Engaging with readers is courteous to the host blog, and it will also make you more memorable to the blog’s readers.
9. Follow up.
After the post is published, send a quick follow-up email to the host to say thank you. Let them know you appreciated being a part of their blog community, and offer to reciprocate the hospitality when you can.
A book launch is far more than an opportunity to push book sales (though, it’s a great opportunity for that, too). It’s also a perfect time to get into the world – and the blogosphere – and let readers know what you’re all about. Planning your blog tour strategically and engaging courteously with host communities will help you boost your author brand far beyond this one book!
To make your virtual book tour a success, you need to be organized and to have many processes running at the same time in complete alignment. If you don’t have a miraculous memory, our Virtual Book Tour Planner is your saving grace.
Our planner includes the eight success steps you need to take along with lots of space for notes and exercises to get you focused and organized. Once you’re done with the brainstorming part, simply hand the info to your virtual assistant to send out your pitches and create your book tour schedule.