5 Tips for Coordinating Your Virtual Book Tour by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

We have a special guest today!  Cheryl Malandrinos, author of the Christian children’s picture book,  Little Shepherd (Guardian Angel Publishing) and one of the masterminds behind Pump Up Your Book, is here with us today to give authors tips on how to coordinate their own virtual book tours.  Welcome, Cheryl!

5 Tips for Coordinating Your Virtual Book
by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Coordinating a virtual book tour can be a scary thing for an author, especially if it’s your first book. Even though I am a debut author, promoting Little Shepherd, didn’t seem as intimidating to me because I had been promoting books online for nearly 3 years when it released in August.

Here are 5 Tips to help you get the most out of your virtual book tour:

Be Organized

Having managed nearly 100 authors spanning more than 125 books, I’ve learned the only way to stay sane is to be well organized. This is one of the few times I feel using a paper calendar or a notebook helps. When emails come in from willing blog hosts, I jot the blog’s title down in my notebook. Then I set a specific time of day or day of the week to respond to all those emails.

It is easy to forgot how a blogger would like to host you, so be sure to write interview, guest post, or review next to the blog’s title in your notebook. Also be sure to indicate if you are sending a reviewer a paper or an electronic copy.

Send a Note with Your Book

I glanced over at the table in the corner of my office that holds the almighty TBR pile. There are probably close to 80 books sitting there right now and that doesn’t include eBooks I will review on my Kindle.

Do yourself and the reviewer a favor by including a note, a sell sheet, or a business card when mailing a book out. This will avoid confusion for the blogger as to where this book comes from and if the review is time sensitive.

When I mailed out copies of Little Shepherd I included a note thanking the blogger for hosting me during my virtual book tour and made mention of the date he/she had agreed to host me. I also asked the blogger to email me if he/she couldn’t keep the date we agreed upon and provided a link to more information about the book and tour.

Complete to-do Items Promptly

As a blogger and virtual book tour coordinator, one thing I find frustrating is tracking down outstanding to-do items. Don’t make a blogger wait until the last minute for your interview or guest post. Plan your schedule out so you can complete and return to-do items by any deadline that has been given or a minimum of two weeks prior to your blog stop. This will give the blogger time to review your submission to be sure its complete and to ask for clarification when necessary.

Leave Comments at Your Blog Stops

We all lead busy lives, so this can be a tough one to manage; but if you want to show your blog hosts how much you appreciate what they do, take a few moments to leave a comment on the day your interview, guest post or review appears at their blogs.

Comments don’t buy books. Readers do. So I tell my clients not to stress too much when there aren’t many comments by readers. My own blogging experience has shown that you can have hundreds of visitors during a week but only a tiny handful of comments.

But this is your chance to show your appreciation to bloggers for taking time to promote your book. In addition, it’s an excellent chance to converse with a potential reader if she leaves a comment.

Promote Your VBT

Maybe this sounds like a statement that should be followed by, “Duh!”

Why go through all the effort to coordinate a virtual book tour if you’re not going to promote it?

Even those authors who pay a company to coordinate a VBT should have a hand in promoting their blog stops. Why? Because people need to know you’re on a virtual book tour if you want them to stop by and check out your book.

Think about it this way. I coordinate a tour for Author X. I have accounts at Facebook and Twitter with people friending or following me. Author X has accounts at Facebook and Twitter with people friending or following him. There might be some overlaps, but more likely we’re both reaching a unique audience.

You do the math. When Author X and I work together to promote his tour stops, more potential readers learn about his book.

Virtual book tours are fun, but they are a lot of work. Using these tips will make coordinating your VBT easier.

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.

Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.

You can visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com or the Little Shepherd blog at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com/.

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