Friday, April 13, 2012

Virtual Book Tours

If you can't tell, I'm on a promo kick this week, exploring things authors can do to get news of their books out there.

Today, my research leads me to book tours, the virtual kind. Since all my stories are primarily ebooks, e-promoting seems like the smart path to take.

So, WHAT IS a virtual book tour (VBT)?

Yeah, I'm sure most of you already know the answer, and even more of you have already signed up for a few VBTs (hey, what can I say, I'm a little behind on the times!).  But I'll just start from the basics here.  My favorite answer for this question comes from Tristi Pinkston:

"A virtual book tour is a tour that takes place on the Internet. Instead of the author driving from town to town or flying from state to state, their book is featured on blogs which reach readers all across the country. This creates name recognition for the author, title recognition for the book, and it all happens from the comfort of home or office, without the need to catch a red-eye flight to Chicago."

And WHY choose the VBT path?

Seriously, I could probably just quote Tristi all day on this answer too, but I'll try to paraphrase this time!

-Cuts down on the cost of trying to do a physical blog tour (hotels, gas, plane tickets, meals). 

-You can reach more people. From only the dozens who may attend your physical book signing, here hundreds, even thousands, can attend a blog...from their own home, in their underpants if they like!

-More time effective. At a physical tour, people have to plan to be at one spot and one time. Then it's over and the opportunity to visit with you...gone!  On a blog, your blog stop can be up for months, maybe even years, after the first day it posts. Visitors can stop by whenever they like.

-And most importantly, not only can visitors stop by while wearing their underpants, but you can too.  No need to worry about doing your hair, getting that expensive french manicure and trying to figure out which unflattering outfit you should wear this time. No one will see you, woo hoo!

-Plus you get to meet people from ALL over the world, from places you never even imaged you could visit.

So...HOW do VBT coordinators come into the picture?

-When you don't have the time to approach all the bloggers yourself, a good coordinator will come in to help with that to set up and schedule days and events on each blog.

-When you don't know which bloggers to approach--honestly, how do you know which of them will give you the best exposure possible unless you research it...a lot--a good coordinator will come in to help with that and contact them all for you.

-When you want it done a little more professionally than you can possibly do it yourself--yeah, HOW do you make those cool blog tour buttons??--a good coordinator will come in to help with that.

The only thing is, VBT cost money (yeah, that green stuff I never seem to have). It'll cost anywhere from ten to five hundred dollars to set up a tour with a coordinator. But if you're still intrigued by this idea (like I was) and would like to go to someone for help with a virtual blog tour then...

WHERE do you find a VBT coordinator?

Okay, now this is actually the part I've spent all week researching, trying to find a good places I might want to approach with my next story coming up in September (I'm still not sure if I want to try doing a VBT on my own...sigh). These are all the legitimate-looking VBT coordinators I could find.

And is it just me, or would an internet yellow pages be really useful for these kind of searches?  (Now if someone tells me there IS an internet yellow pages for these kind of searches, I'm going to be steamed because it took me a long freaking time to find all these sites!).

Anyway... THE LIST (in alphabetical order):

Bewitching Book Tour
Pricing : $25 to $100
Specializing in :  paranormal, urban fantasy, and paranormal erotica

Book and Trailer Showcase
Pricing : $35 to $175
Specializing in : Multi-Fiction Genre (all sub-genres welcome) including romance, sci fi, fantasy, mystery, thriller, horror, paranormal, young adult.  Inspirational and Christian coming soon.


Coffee Beans and Love Scenes
Pricing : $14.95 to $49.95
Specializing in :  authors of ALL fiction genres and will no longer be limited to the romance fiction genre only.


Goddess Fish Promotions
Pricing : $40 to $160
Specializing in : romance fiction (in all its sub-genres: fantasy, suspense, paranormal, historical, etc), other genre fiction and Young Adult / Middle Grade fiction


Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Pricing : not listed
Specializing in :  Historical Fiction


Honey Bee Promotions
Pricing : $10 to $70
Specializing in :  Romance; from Erotic to Sweet, from Historical to Science Fiction. 2012 update: We are now accepting Young Adult authors


Mystical Book Blog Tours
Pricing : $25 to $200
Specializing in :  Doesn't specify but I'll go out on a limb and say paranormal, sci fi, mystical fiction stories


Nia Virtual Book Tours
Pricing : not listed
Specializing in :  African American Books

Premier Virtual Authors Book Tours
Pricing : not listed
Specializing in :  Not mentioned

Promotional Book Tours
Pricing : $99 to $299
Specializing in :  Fiction and non-fiction

Pump Up Your Book!
Pricing : $299 to $599
Specializing in :  Fiction or Non-fiction. Some of these blogs on the tour are syndicated into USA Today, Chicago Times, Wall Street Journal and other high trafficked

Sizzling PR
Pricing : $10 to $50
Specializing in :  fiction romance genres, paranormal, urban fantasy, erotica and more

Supa Gurl Tours
Pricing : $100
Specializing in :  Paranormal, paranormal romance, dystopian, urban fantasy, thrillers, and I think young adult

The Virtual Book Tour Cafe
Pricing : $30 to $360
Specializing in :  Fiction and non fiction

TLC Book Tours
Pricing : $25 to $100
Specializing in :  Fiction and non-fiction. No self-published authors accepted

Tywebbin Creations
Pricing :  $100 and up
Specializing in :  Christian / inspirational fiction & non fiction

Virtual Book Tours by Tristi Pinkston
Pricing : $100 to $300
Specializing in :  (not accepting new clients right now --as of April 2012)

Walker Author Tours
Pricing : $100 and up
Specializing in :  Not mentioned


YA Bound
Pricing : $50 to $200
Specializing in :Young Adult fiction


So, yeah, obviously some coordinators are a little more professional than others and offer a few more features like more blog stops, graphics, and such. I haven't used any of these services (yet!) so I cannot personally endorse or vouch for any one of them but I've visited a couple stops hosted by a few of them (and those seemed fine!).

Do you know of any more coordinators I could add to the list?  Have you worked with any of them?  Any input would be much appreciated.

Oh, and it seems like most of these coordinator sites I've visited welcome more bloggers to help host some of their tours so if you have a pretty heavy-traffic blog, this might be the thing to help you come up with some new posts!!

Have a happy weekend!

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for this helpful information! Happy Friday.

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  2. Great info. I'm trying to set up my own now for July and August.

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  3. Thanks for the info! It's always a good thing to get your name and books out there to the readers.

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  4. I had a great experience with GoddessFish. Best of all, I was away in Puerto Rico all last week and the tour was on autopilot which was great!

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