Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Interview with Jo Linsdell, Author of Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home
Jo Linsdell is a best selling author and internationally recognised book marketing expert. She is the founder and CEO of the Writers and Authors blog and the annual online event Promo Day. Learn more about Jo at www.JoLinsdell.com
For more information about Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion from the Comfort of our own Home, please visit www.JoLinsdell.com or contact webmaster@JoLinsdell.com.
When did you start your writing career?
I've been writing since I was little but it was only in 2006 that I finally switched from occasional hobby writer to writing career. I'd always loved anything and everything creative as I was growing up and then in my teens I started to write poetry as a way of venting my emotions. As an adult I ended up in jobs where writing was a big part of my work. I worked with a company that published books for the dental industry and then worked at the main hospital here in Rome writing up research articles for the Neurology department. Although the topics weren't much fun I did learn a lot about the publishing industry.
Whilst working at the hospital I saw an ad that an English language newspaper in Florence was open to submissions. I sent off an article and it was published in the very next issue. This was the moment my writing career started. It was the turning point that made me realize writing didn't have to be just a hobby.
Since then I've written for numerous publications around the world and published several books.
Does your family support you in your writing career? How?
My family are very supportive. My kids love that I write books (although they prefer it when I do my children's books as opposed to my non fiction ;)). My 5 year old is always asking questions about what I'm doing and loves to be involved in my projects. When we go to bookstores he often asks "mummy did you write that one?".
My husband is my number 1 fan and tells everyone whenever I have a new book out. Even after all these years I'm not sure he really understands all the stuff I do when I'm writing and marketing my books but he lets me talk about it all and cheers me on any way. He keeps some of my business cards with him when he goes out so he can hand them out to people.
What music did you listen to when writing this book?
I'm a huge fan of Bruno Mars and listened to a lot of his stuff. Safe and sound by Captial Cities, Blurred lines by Robin Thicke, and Wake me up by Avicii were also frequently on my playlist.
Where do you do most of your writing?
I have two young kids and so, despite having a nicely organised desk area, I tend to do most of my writing sitting at the kitchen table where I can keep a close eye on them. Another favorite spot is my bed. I get most of my writing done in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed, so often I get comfy and write on my laptop from there.
Why do authors need your book?
Marketing is part of being a writer. Regardless of how you're published (traditionally or self-published), you will, at some point, need to do some marketing. Virtual book tours are one of the most effective methods of creating a buzz about your book and have numerous benefits. In this book I cover everything you need to know to organise and carry out a virtual book tour. Even if you decide not to do a virtual book tour, you'll still find this book useful as it's packed full of marketing ideas and links to resources.
Why did you decide to write a book about virtual book tours?
I've done several successful virtual book tours for my own books and have worked with book tour companies and authors for years hosting them on my sites. Over the years I've therefore gained a lot of experience in doing virtual book tours both from the author and host point of view. As I often get asked for advice about doing them from other authors I decided to put all the information together and created Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home.
What is the first thing you recommend authors do when they decide to organise a virtual book tour?
Put together a media kit. In creating a media kit you have all the information regarding your book, you as an author, and your virtual book tour, all in the one place. This makes it a useful reference tool for you, but also a valuable tool you can use during preparations for your tour. It looks professional and creates a good impression. I also makes life easier for your hosts as they have all the information they might need for your post all in the one place.
You created the cover art for the book yourself. What was your inspiration for the design?
I wanted a cover that was thumbnail friendly as, more often than not, it gets seen online in that format. That meant the text needed to be easy to read and the whole look needed to be clutter free. Too many details or fancy fonts don't look good in thumbnails. I also wanted an image that quickly portrayed what the book was about. I choose the theme "sending your book around the world" and played around with some ideas based on this idea. I'm really pleased with how the cover came out.
Why did you choose to self publish using Amazon's KDP program?
I've always been very pro self publishing. For me, it's always been my plan A. I choose Amazon because it's the leader in its field. Everyone knows Amazon. Using the site is super easy and through KDP your book can be available to the public in just 12 hours from hitting the publish button.
I like that through KDP setting up a free day is easy. It's a great way to spread the word about your book and get readers to take notice. I like that you can update your book information as and when you please and have full control over pricing. They also have one of the best customer services I've come across. If that's not enough, they bought Goodreads earlier this year (one of the top sites for book lovers).
I'm currently working on another children picture story book The Bedtime Book, a series of non-fiction books for writers and authors about using social media, and some new collaborations as an illustrator. I like to keep myself busy ;)
Virtual Book Tours are a great way to create a buzz for a new release or to put life back into an older publication. In this book I'll take you through everything you need to know to be able to set up and carry out a successful virtual book tour.
The book is divided into 4 main sections for easy navigation:
1) What is a Virtual Book Tour?
2) How to organise your own tour
3) Promoting a tour
4) Useful resources
You'll find it packed with links, tips, and advice to help make your tour a hit.
File Size: 384 KB
Print Length: 83 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18340947-virtual-book-tours
Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/428511413928514