A virtual media tour is like a traditional media tour, except you don’t generally have to get out of your pajamas. Virtual media tours include bloggers, radio stations, podcasters, and webcasters. Tours begin with research. You must find all the blogs, radio shows, podcasts and webcasts that connect with your content. These media outlets include the obvious ones, such as book reviewers and book bloggers. But don’t overlook the less obvious ones. What’s the topic or setting of your book? Who are the characters? Who’s the audience? What’s the message? What’s your genre? Now… which bloggers cover those things? Find the bloggers unique to these elements.
Once data has been collected, you will need to reach out to the virtual media web. Inform media contacts of the time frame for the virtual tour, and book spots just like in a traditional tour. Once spots are booked, prepare for interviews in traditional ways. Some spots will be very short (30 seconds). Others might range up to an hour. Preparation should be extensive. (NOTE: review some other great articles here on the Author Learning Center. We have several about preparing for interviews)
Once you have booked a tour, and while you are preparing for it, it’s time to create a personalized tour page on your personal blog. Here is where you will post the tour schedule, book cover, and a way to order your book. Advertise on your tour page by creating a banner that will be posted on your website and Facebook. Fire up your network and get a folks out on the social networks to share the news of your tour.
You can drum up participation in your tours in other ways. You might host a game on your blog and reveal clues at each interview. Or you might give an obvious prize, such as a free book. You could also sweeten the pot by offering a Kindle with a book copy on it. Another idea is to have a treasure hunt that involves geocaching and tour participation. A piece of advice: don’t give away big prizes unless you know the tool will do the job that you want it to. If you are only going to stir up your mom and her book club, just give the book.
Finally, you must ride the wave of the whirlwind tour. It’s possible to book many spots on a virtual tour. An organized author could land 50 spots in a week. Finally, when the tour is completed, thank-you notes must go to all participants signed by you. Remember: leaving a good vibe in everyone’s mind is all about laying a foundation for the next tour.
That’s a virtual media tour in a nutshell. Perhaps you should give it a try.
NOTE: If you want other great information on tours (the non-virtual type), review other great articles here on the Author Learning Center, including “Media Tours: An Overview for Newbies”, “How do you organize a traditional media blitz in your hometown?”, and “Media Tour: What is a traditional media tour exactly?”.
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