While virtual book tours are fairly new, they have some resemblance to their traditional ancestors. Before the Internet, a popular way to get the word out about a book and make some sales was to tour the city, state, or country with a acim bookstore and do signings at every book store that would have you. The upside to this was you would get the chance to meet your readers, and they would get to meet you and get the book signed. The down side was that it could cost a lot of money in travel expenses, shy authors would be overwhelmed, and sales weren’t guaranteed for the time, money, and effort involved. Virtual tours eliminate some of those problems.
What is a Virtual Book Tour?
So, what is a virtual book tour? It simply means that the tour takes place “virtually,” or on the Internet, instead of in real life. It usually involves “appearances” on different book blogs and websites via reviews of the book, interviews with the author, and sometimes guest blog posts. This takes the place of sitting at a table in a lonely corner of a bookstore, smiling at people who avoid eye contact, or doing a reading of your book in front of an audience of three. It is an alternative to more old-fashioned ways of promoting a book.
Of course, results are not guaranteed with a virtual tour any more than they are for the more traditional version, but the cost is much less, and there is way less time involved. The author might put in an hour or two answering interview questions and other prep work for the tour, but then their part is done and the tour provider takes over, coordinating the tour stops and promoting them.
Advantages of Virtual Book Tours
A big advantage to virtual tours versus traditional ones is longevity. Once the author leaves a bookstore after their signing, there is little trace they were ever there. When a book review or author interview is posted on a website, it stays there for as long as the site is active. In many cases, that will be forever, or at least long after the author is gone. Potential readers crawling the web can stumble upon the book’s tour stops for years to come and decide to buy the book.