Going on a virtual book tour? Here are some things you should know.

Your book has just been published.  Or maybe it’s going to be published in the next month or two.  Regardless, authors are signing up for virtual book tours the moment they hear about the exciting ways they can promote their books with them.  There is no better vehicle to sell your books online so I don’t blame them.

I would like to provide a checklist of things to consider before booking your tour.  After all, you want you and your book to be in the most tip top shape, so here goes:

Book Marketing Buzz’s 28-point Checklist BEFORE Packing Your Cyber-Bags:

  • Do you know which audiences you want to target?
  • Are you aware the broader the scope of readers you want to target, the better the tour?
  • Have you narrowed your key search words down to the most important and have figured out ways to use them in your interviews and guest posts?
  • Have you compiled a list of potential blog stops for your tour along with email addresses if you are putting your tour together on your own?
  • Are you making sure these particular blogs are updated frequently and have a full set of archives to make them search engine friendly?
  • Can you provide author copies (unless the publisher takes care of it) to reviewers in time for them to receive the book, read the book and post the review by the given date both of you have agreed on?
  • Do you have a professional author photo and can you provide your blog hosts with a jpg copy?
  • Do you have a landing page (website or blog) where people can go to learn more about you and your book?
  • Does your website or blog have clear enough directions on how to buy your book on the first page and are you providing a cover to entice them?
  • Does your website/blog have contact information in case people want to get in touch with you?
  • Are you keeping your blog updated with fresh content to keep it search engine friendly?
  • Do you know how to craft a bio written in third person that includes your book’s title and website/blog url?
  • Does your bio ramble or can you say most of what you have to say in one to three paragraphs?
  • Are you prepared to learn more about you and your book than you did before the tour took place?
  • Are you prepared for the workload that is involved when planning your tour – e.g. having to write several guest posts and fill out an umpteen amount of interviews keeping each interview fresh, different and non-boring?
  • Do you have a few guest posts already written for when blog hosts ask for them?
  • If not, can you come up with a few ideas beforehand so that when asked for a guest post at the last minute, you’re not pulling your hair out?
  • Do you know what kind of guest posts bring in more reaction from the readers?
  • Do you know what kind of guest posts bring in more sales?
  • Do you know how to use the social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your tour stops on a daily basis?
  • Are you set up in google alerts to alert you on how well your publicity efforts are taking you?
  • Do you know how to set up press releases to announce your tour or know of someone who can do it for you?
  • Have you built up on your communication and organizational skills so you don’t become unglued?
  • Have you built up your contact list (your followers)?
  • Have you prepared yourself for negative reviews in case they happen and are you willing to accept them for what they’re worth?
  • Are you willing to participate in your virtual book tour by leaving a comment at your “stops”?
  • Are you willing to thank your tour host after they so kindly posted your interview, guest post, review, etc.?
  • Are you prepared to SELL BOOKS?

If you have answered no to any of these, reconsider fixing those problems before you embark on an international virtual book tour.  It’s way better to be prepared and ready than winging it.

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