We’ve been busy at Salt developing an idea to make systematic use of virtual book tours, something that many authors and bloggers have been doing extremely well for some time. There are scores of blogs, YouTube videos, books and ebooks about running virtual book tours, but rather than create a guide ourselves, we’ve just gone ahead and created a system for authors and bloggers.
After running a secret project, Project Hermes, we’ve been looking at how we can get the message out about our books into the blogosphere. We wanted a solution which supported literary blogs and our great books.
You may well have been preparing to run a virtual book tour yourself, but this new system is about reaching out to other great literary bloggers, identifying those people you can collaborate with, and working with them on an interview and profile of your new title. In return we’ll drive traffic to the blogs and gradually build up a landscape of the best book blogs.
The result of our thinking is Cyclone. After looking at a range of Web options, we’ve gone for a blog, too – the best way to hook up with other bloggers and to make the best use of the Web’s global conversations about books and writers. We’ll build enhancements to the new blog over the coming months and will link author pages to tour posts here and beyond. You can take a look now at what’s on offer, expect lots of additional features over the coming months as well as lots of additional content about book blogs and tours.
We’ve made some simple notes below about how to run a virtual tour, have a read, and let us have your thoughts. Most importantly we are now inviting you to take part in the scheme, though it’s not compulsory! If you want to take part it does involve some leg work for you, but if we all can collaborate, we can build bigger readerships for everyone.
By all means talk to other Salt authors on this site, and come back to us with any thoughts. We want to share best practice and top tips. Think creatively about any guest post, we believe that an extended interview over 10 sites is the best way to begin, but you may also want to consider using video and audio to talk about your book, too. Certainly use comments.
The key message for bloggers is that we will be sending them new traffic from our site, we currently get 80,000 visits a month and generate over 14 million hits a year, and by profiling their blogs on our site we can build additional readerships for them. With virtual book tours, everyone wins. Remember that the most powerful tool for building sales of your book is the Web, and the best tool on the Web is word-of-mouth, and the best way to gain word-of-mouth is blogging and social networking.
Cyclone: A Guide to Creating a Virtual Book Tour with Salt
Salt virtual book tours are a way to harvest the power of the Web to build word-of-mouth for your book. By using the best literary blogs you can reach many more people than a physical book tour, and each virtual book tour has the virtue of persistence on the Web. Anyone wanting to trace the tour can use our directory at Cyclone to discover more about you and your work.
- The aim of a virtual book tour is to generate word-of-mouth in a coordinated and accessible way:
- Your aim is to find ten blogs who will host a brief interview with you, over a period of a month or two.
- Each blog will host three questions about the book (which you may suggest), that may also cover how you wrote the book, or about your life as a writer.
- As part of each blog post, you will feature a link to your title page on the Salt Web site e.g.: http://www.saltpublishing.com/books/smf/9781844714964.htm
- As part of the interview you will offer each blogger an image of yourself and of your book, these are freely available from our Web site, e.g.: http://www.saltpublishing.com/assets/covers/648/9781844714964.jpg
- Don’t forget that our site has sample material, free downloadable PDF sample pages, lists of contents, review quotes and endorsements, and descriptions as well as other bibliographic data.
- All of this is at your disposal, just take it from our site, or point people to the main features.
- Make sure you can pull the tour off. Make sure you can find the time to answer questions and any queries that a blogger may have, as well as find the best blogs for your book in the first place.
- You will probably have a wide range of friends who are blogging already, though you needn’t make use of just these potential collaborators, you can try your luck with other blogs.
- Make sure you know when this will all take place and line up your bloggers, your questions and the dates of each guest post.
- Make sure you use comments to feedback to each blogger and to thank them.
- Give the book tour a unique brand. It’s important to find a title for your book tour, as we will use Google alerts to track and trace the impact of the tour. Be creative.
- What do bloggers get out of this? We will list every blog destination on our Web site generating new traffic for them. We are also happy to list a 300 word description of each blog as well as an 80 word biographical note about the blogger plus links to their books on the site, these will be hosted as blog profiles on Cyclone, and will provide a catalogue of potential collaborators as the site grows.