As technology advances rapidly, traditional media outlets are being supplemented and sometimes even replaced by virtual opportunities as quickly as you can say “Twitter!” For every newspaper that folds, for every book review section that closes its doors, a new book blog or website appears in the virtual horizon. No, make that many book blogs and websites. The virtual landscape is vast and offers many opportunities for writers, especially novelists, that did not exist ten or even five years ago.
An Internet campaign can get you exposure to thousands of bloggers and their readers. I myself was surprised the first time I visited a book blog to follow the trail of bloggers. It took me an entire morning to read one book blog after another—and I had barely scratched the surface. Bloggers respond to other bloggers and before you know it, ten people, then twenty people, then thirt people are blogging about your book. Before you know it, you have a growing following of readers. That’s what’s meant by going viral. It’s mind boggling. And everyday new bloggers pop up on the virtual horizon.
Of course, the skeptical may ask, “Is getting mentioned on a book blog as good as a New York Times book review or getting a review in your local newspaper?”
Yes. Every type of media coverage helps. And a virtual tour may increase your visibility as much as a newspaper review. Perhaps more. There have been virtual tours that have propelled authors to the bestseller lists.
There are a variety of Internet campaigns, including:
• Website tours: getting review coverage on websites that feature book reviews
• Blog Tours: These tours are designed to get the word out about your book and website on relevant high-traffic blogs with links back to your website
• Social Networking: These tours can drive tons of traffic to your website
• Virtual Author Tour: these tours generate on-line buzz about your book through blogs, book reviews, article syndication and genre-specific ezines.
• Twitter tours: yes, these are now becoming popular and generate a lot of buzz
One of my clients, whose book was reviewed in many newspapers and had a very successful media tour, handled her own virtual tour. She has established a presence on the Internet and has created a fan base which grows incrementally with each new book that she writes.
In my last post, I wrote about the advantages of authors doing a media tour. If your budget permits, I strongly recommend combining a virtual tour with a traditional media tour. If you are on a very limited budget, a virtual tour is the way to go. It’s all about generating a buzz about your book. Going viral is one way to reach many readers and build a fan base of bloggers who will return to your blog and website to see what you’re up to—and, more importantly—when you’re next book is coming out.
Image by tipsyfairy.