Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Angela Wilson, Book Blog Editor, About Virtual Tours, Intro by Morgan Mandel - Pt. 1
Can't afford to travel? Consider a virtual book blog tour. Here's the first of three installments where Angela Wilson, Book Blog Editor for Pop Syndicate, tells you what you need. Angela Wilson is a freelance author publicist, an author, freelance Web content director and Book Blog Editor for Pop Syndicate, a pop culture site with more than 8,000 hits per day. Each week, Pop Syndicate hosts authors on virtual tour. And now, here's Angela...
Authors have found an innovative way to use the Web to promote themselves and their work. Virtual author tours, or book blog tours, are fast becoming an inexpensive way to meet new readers and further develop your fan base.
Blog tours allow authors to post content on a variety of sites during their heaviest marketing season. It's a great way to get your name up in Google searches, and introduce yourself to new readers. It's not difficult, but it is time-consuming, and any author who goes this route should be prepared to give up a little writing and a family time to fulfill blogging obligations. Don't let that time element scare you. With proper planning – and short-term tours – any author can manage to do it.
Standard items you need for your tour:
One-page bio. You can use the one you have in your media kit, but make certain it is written in Web-friendly language.
Q&A. Make a list of the most common questions you get from both readers and interviews. Intertwine a few questions unique to yourself, or allow you to offer up unique tidbits about yourself and your writing. Answer them and you're good to go.
Columns. Have five to 10 columns about anything – writing, life, balancing career with family, your latest FAB review. Use one column per blog submission. Use the ones that are best suited for a particular blog. For instance, you will want to send a column about writing to a blog about writing. You want a good variety of columns because you don't want to be too repetitious. Readers want fresh content, and you don't want them to get bored by reading the same copy on different sites. There will be times when you need to write a new column, but at least you will have a stash to get your started.
Audio interviews. If you have them, use them, giving credit to the group or business that conducted the segment.
Book trailers. Be sure these are up and ready on YouTube, and forward the EMBED code to your tour hosts.
High- and low-resolution JPEGS of yourself and your cover art. Try to include a few different poses of yourself, maybe one relaxed at home and a studio shot. Adjust the size so they can easily email, or post them in the media section of your Web site for downloading.
A list of blog tour stops. Post this on your Web site, blog, MySpace, Tagged, Ning, Facebook, and give copies to your blog tour hosts. Also send out to your listserve or everyone in your address book.
Leave yourself open for unique items requested by various Web sites. If a site receives thousands of hits per day, you will want to work a little harder for them than a site with 12 hits. Be sure to save all documents with your name and the content. For example: AngelaWilson.Q&A.doc, AngelaWilson.mug.JPEG, etc.
Don't sweat it if you don't have everything now. Just get the basics together and add to your tour folder when you can. Remember that Web 2.0 will demand audio and video elements – the two most lacking – for future audiences. Start off with at least three unique columns and add to those when you can.
Want details on Pop Syndicate virtual tours? E-mail Angela at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Pop Syndicate.com Group on Linkedin - http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/130844
Some content originally posted at Mike's Writing Workshop & Newsletter at