Article by Laura Fabiani
The explosion of book blogs on the Web has led to the formation of virtual book tour companies, a business that was non-existent ten years ago. When publishers got on the bandwagon by getting their titles on tour with these companies, the reputation of book bloggers transformed from the simple diary of a book lover to a book marketing platform for authors and publishers.
So how do authors get their books on these savvy book blogs? It’s not as easy as it used to be as more and more book bloggers get inundated (and I do not use that word lightly) with book review requests. To bypass having your pitch ignored or even deleted, you can buy the services of a virtual book tour company who has access to these experienced bloggers. Which one is the right tour company for your book? Here are some pointers to steer you in the right direction:
What type of services are offered?
Tour companies today offer a variety of services, at a variety of prices, from virtual book tour packages to social media marketing assistance. A virtual book tour package usually consists of a certain number of scheduled tour stops on blogs that will feature a review of your book, a spotlight of your book, a guest post from you, an author interview or a combination of these.
Choose a package that offers the maximum exposure for the best price you can afford. Check their current tours and see if most of the stops are reviews. This is what you want to look for. Make sure that the tour coordinator will work one-on-one with you and be available to promptly guide you through the process and answer all your questions.
What types of books are featured?
Scroll through the books currently on tour. Are they quality books? Are they of the same genre as your book? Some tour companies specialize in book tours for a specific genre, such as YA or paranormal. Other companies service all genres. A lot of book bloggers no longer review self-published books, therefore if the company accepts self-published titles, they have access to bloggers who read and promote them.
What kind of experience does the company have?
Even if the tour company is fairly new, they should have at least three years experience working with book bloggers. This is key because book bloggers are the ones who will be hosting you and your book on their blogs. Read the About Us page.
Who are their tour hosts?
A good tour company should have a list of all the tour hosts (book bloggers) who they work with. You can scroll through this list and check out some of these blogs. Are they well-established blogs? You can also scroll through the tour schedule of their most current tours and check out the blogs participating. Beware of companies who use blogs by the same owner to fill up a tour schedule. If you want maximum exposure you need book blogs from all over North America and even international.
Does the company have a policy?
Every tour company should have a policy and you should read it carefully. Before paying for any services, you should know exactly what is expected of you as an author and you should be clear on what their procedure is, especially should problems occur. Also look for a FAQ page and take the time to read it.
Still unsure about using the services of a virtual book tour company? You can always direct any specific questions you have by contacting me. I would be more than happy to assist you.
With over forty years of writing and publishing experience, international best-selling author Lauren Carr has played an active role in the revolution of independent authors. The international best-selling author of over twenty-five murder mysteries, Lauren has gone on dozens of virtual blog tours (most with iRead Book Tours!) and has seen first-hand that how an author publishes is irrelevant to success. The key is exposure to potential readers. Virtual blog tours are an excellent avenue for book promotion. Book spotlights, reviews, author guest posts and interviews are forever, unlike in-person book events, which become a memory as soon as they have finished.
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