Talking Virtual Book Tours with Hiking Enthusiast & Author Paul V. Stutzman

I have a very special guest today.  Paul V. Stutzman, author of the memoir, Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Power on the Appalachian Trail, has been on a virtual book tour since March 1 and will continue appearing on blogs throughout the world until the end of April.

So far, he has become Virginia Beach Publishing Examiner’s Pick of the Week, been interviewed at Beyond the Books, guest blogged at The Story Behind the Book about why he decided to hike over 2,000 miles by foot across the Appalachian Trail, and was interviewed by April Pohren at Blogcritics.

Simply Stacie, while admitting she rarely reads books about hiking, said the book made her laugh at times and cry at other times.

Paul talked about living at Red Raven Circling, talked about God being relevant in our lives at Thoughts in Progress, was interviewed about his writing life at The Writer’s Life and today appears at Island Chick Travels with some beautiful pictures of his journey.

And he has 29 more stops to go before Paul ends his virtual journey.

Before Paul embarked on his virtual tour, I asked him some questions.  Being a newbie at the game, I was curious how well he was already doing as for promoting online and if he knew what he was getting himself into.  For a guy who trekked 2,176 miles by foot, surely he would be ready for a 30 stop blog tour no problem.

So far, he’s doing great, his Amazon rankings are climbing and I’m very pleased.

Are you curious what he felt about virtual book tours before the whole virtual journey began?  I interviewed him before his tour and his answers are below.  I’ll do a follow up at the end of his tour to see if his tour was up to his expectations and if he felt it was all worthwhile.

Thank you for this interview, Paul.  Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?

Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail by Paul V. Stutzman (click on cover to purchase at Amazon)

The book “Hiking Through” is about two pathways. The first is the pathway of life, and its continuation after encountering a condition we know as death. The second pathway is the Appalachian Trail and the thru-hike I undertook in the summer of 2008 while on a healing hike after losing my wife to breast cancer.

More and more authors are realizing the potential for sales that derives from virtual book tours.  Can you tell us your personal reasons why you chose a virtual book tour to help get the word out about your new book?

Whether you are self-published or published in a more traditional way, the success of the book still falls on the author’s participation in the promotion of his book. The internet is the quickest and most efficient way to get a product in front of people.

Is this the first time you have heard of them?

Yes it is. I discovered this book tour while searching the internet for resources to promote my book.

What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?

Obviously I hope folks will be interested in buying my book, but I also hope that I can reach folks with my message not to take their spouses and families for granted.

Do you promote online through other means?  Website?  Blog?

I have a website where the book can be purchased at I also have a blog accessible from that same site.

Do you promote through Twitter and Facebook?  What are your links there?

I am on Facebook under my personal name.

What are your experiences with offline booksignings?  Which do you prefer – online or offline and can you give us the reasons why?

This is my first attempt at an online book tour. I have done numerous book signings and have really enjoyed meeting people. I do look forward to sitting in my easy chair while this tour is ongoing.

Here’s a fun question.  If money were no object, how would you promote your book?

I would give a copy to everyone I met.

Thank you for this interview, Paul.  Do you have any final words?

Wow! That sounds so final. Do I get a final meal? I will say this. Enjoy the folks around you. Appreciate your family and friends. Do not take them for granted. It really is true that you don’t know what you have till it’s gone.

You can visit Paul’s official tour page here!

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