Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What I Learned on My Virtual Book Tour by Barry Eva (Storyheart)


So now what?


Twitter it, blog it, join groups, check Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc, get your name and that of your book OUT THERE!

Try checking your book on something like where you can put in your ISBN number and see all the locations online that are selling your book and the cost.

Another GREAT way to spread the word is a “VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR”.

Normal book tours where you might go to a book shop, sit there all day and have four people come up to you, two to take a free book mark and perhaps one to purchase a copy of your book (unless you're a big-name author who can bring in a big crowd and sell an impressive number of books). Virtual tours allow you to visit locations all over the world without leaving your desk. Normal tours, once your visit is over it’s over, virtual tours can go on promoting your book for months even years after your event. Unlike the few people in the book store, virtual tours allow you to reach thousand with each interview, each review and each stop along your tour.

I did a VBT back in February; it was a few days after coming out of hospital where I'd had major back surgery. Yet for the whole month I was on my virtual tour, I visited places all around the world while still in my sick bed.

Just think, you do a tour to a book store, you have to cart all your books and supplies along with you, perhaps even donate a few to the book shop itself. Unless you’re some huge star, if you're lucky during the whole day you might manage to get ten people to stop and chat. Three to ask questions, three to ask for directions and four to help themselves to the free bookmarks or whatever you might have to give away. Once your day is finished it’s over and you’re forgotten. On a virtual tour, you can reach sites, blogs and even newspapers that might have hundreds of thousands of visitors a month, and your interview/review does not disappear; it’s there afterwards for people to continue to read.

There are many offerings for virtual book tours. I have been quoted up to three thousand for some tours; others I have seen offering seven days tour for $149.

However the best one I have found and one I highly recommend is PUMP UP YOUR BOOK PROMOTION.

They offer three different packages starting at $249 and they will set you up with a full month's tour, blogs, interviews even radio show stops. As well as information about each stop along the way being shared at several major sites. These are a great group of people I completed my tour with and have stayed friends with ever since.


* These tours take a month or two to plan so book ahead of time.

* Be prepared to be part of the tour. Visit your guest stops, reply to comments, and be prepared to send out book copies for reviewers.

* Don’t just leave everything to your tour organizer look for some stops of your own.

* Link these stops/reviews/visits in your blog and on your web site. You MUST have a web site.

* Don’t supply the same dull answers to interviews or post the same guests posts. Be creative, you're meant to be a writer, try and add some humor.

* Like many other things with a virtual tour… What you put in you take out.
Put in nothing and you’ll get nothing.

* You never know where one of your interviews might turn up. During my month I appeared in the Chicago Sunday Times and even the Wall Street Journal.

One thing I will state again is…

Marketing and PR doesn’t sell books - it gets you exposure!

There are always those who expect every stop along the way to mean they will sell another hundred books. Don’t forget the formula -

Exposure=name recognition
Name recognition MAY equal book sales

Born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, Barry Eva, also known as “Storyheart”, left his beloved England in 2000, moving to the USA to be with the woman he'd met and fallen in love with on the Internet.

Better known for his short romance stories on the net and in his book Stories from the Heart, Barry is popular for narrating his stories on local TV or as a guest on other media stations,where his whit, oratory, and old-fashioned English charm make him a popular interviewee. His latest release is the teen romance novel Across the Pond.

At present, Barry is living in Connecticut, with his wife and two children.

You can find Barry online at or his blog at where he has been sharing a series of articles on book promotion on a budget. And don't miss his entertaining show on Blog Talk Radio.

1 comment:

J.W. Nicklaus said...

Okay, so I was a little more verbose than Barry . . . and I don't have the groupies he has. ;^)

Well done, sir. I like the bullet points!