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Have you done a virtual blog tour?  As I am ironing out the marketing plan for my book (while doing the second draft), I ran across this service.  Has anyone here had any experience with this. If so, is it worth the investment?  What was the experience like?
 

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Hey, I signed up with Goddess Fish Promotions and so far am liking their service. I heard about them from other writer friends. My blog will run June 20-July 1. They also helped me get a review request from a reputable review site which usually only accepts books from publishing houses. PJ
 

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Carmellitas_pen_has_power said:
Have you done a virtual blog tour? As I am ironing out the marketing plan for my book (while doing the second draft), I ran across this service. Has anyone here had any experience with this. If so, is it worth the investment? What was the experience like?
Blog tours are very much worth it. A few things to consider:

(1) Do you need to pay for the service? Or are you willing/able to put in the legwork yourself? Having done the legwork a couple times myself, I can say with confidence that it can be done. But having done so, I'm also tempted to hire a service next time. Coordination can be a real headache.

(2) Get your own online presence firmly established. Blog tours need a focal point and the best focal point is your own site/blog. In addition, blog tours are a great opportunity to expand your online connections -- but for that to happen you need your blog, Facebook fan page, Twitter account, and stuff all set up and ready to go.

(3) When you prep content, make sure you're not repeating the same stuff at every site. While part of a blog tour is reaching out to people on the sites you visit, the other half of the tour is getting people engaged with your and following the tour each day (engagement = sales). People won't get engaged if they're just reading the same material over and over again. In addition, blog tours are an exchange -- your hosts drive traffic to you and you should be driving traffic to them. The hosts later in your tour will appreciate it if they're not getting worn out material.

But I'd definitely recommend making a blog tour happen. We're currently running the Winter Heart Blog Tour celebrating Margaret's newest Dame Frevisse story (and her first digital debut). It's generated site hits, fans, blog subscribers, and seems to be having a positive impact on sales.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, Justin, this has been very helpful.  I surely appreciate it.  This helps me put my marketing plan in perspective.  I will certainly pay for the service as well as do a tour with sites of folks I have established a connection with.  Currently I have a facebook friend page of about 4600 friends, the fan page will be established a few weeks before I am ready to release my book.  I have a company blog of my own as well.

I discovered something about myself as an indie author, I have to have my marketing plan in place during my second draft so that I am not obsessing over it and can focus on proofreading and editing.  With the information you have provided here, I am most certain that Virtual Blog Tours will be one of my marketing strategies.  Thank you so much, Justin.

LyLyF (Love you like you're family),
Carmellita
 

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Carmellitas_pen_has_power said:
Have you done a virtual blog tour? As I am ironing out the marketing plan for my book (while doing the second draft), I ran across this service. Has anyone here had any experience with this. If so, is it worth the investment? What was the experience like?
I organised a blog tour for the anthology, Forever Friends in December 2008. You can read the first blog post here:

http://shelaghwatkins.wordpress.com/2008/12/01/day-one-of-the-blog-tour/

List of blog visits here:

http://shelaghwatkins.wordpress.com/2008/11/29/forever-friends-blog-tour/

I wrote twenty-one blog posts for the tour between December 1st-December 21st. It was a hard grind!
 

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I'm in the middle of a four-week blog tour and it's flippin' exhausting! I've blogged for 6-ish years, but this is seriously tiring, because it's all intro posts. Not that I'm using every post to introduce myself, or my book, or my characters, but that every post is potentially an introduction, so I'm way more "best foot forward" than I am on my blog, where I've been writing for years and am writing to a largely receptive audience already. That's been a big adjustment for me, as well as coming up with original and coherent things to guest post about.

I think it's been beneficial, but next time I'll go with a shorter tour! But I definitely plan to do one again for future releases.
 

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I did one I organized myself and one my publisher sent me on. Both were quite fun. I saw sales from the one I did myself, but not for the one my publisher sent me on. I think it's because I targeted blogs whose reviewers had read my book and liked it, whereas with my new book, it was more of an author spotlight on each blog and the blog owners had not read the book. I suggest you make sure the blogs you go with read your type of material, as their readers do, too.
 

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I'm in the middle of my first blog tour... it's called the In the Corner Tour 2011...

Here's what I did/am doing:

I teamed up with a person who designed my banner for free AND offered to have a grand prize giveaway at the end of the tour.

I set only 7 dates for this tour just to get the hang of it all.  All guest posts and interviews.

To make it different from a regular interview, I'm bringing music... with each tour stop, I record (live) myself playing some of my songs... those who know me know that for me, writing and music are my life.  And in my book there is a band in which I wrote music for.  So it's a book tour plus music too.  I post videos and audio with each tour stop, etc.

I'm doing all the leg work... and if you plan it and enjoy it, it's worth it.

(But I will say that after checking out that Goddess Fish site, wow, they have some good deals there... I'd love to hear feedback from people that have used them - especially their book reviewing part.)

-jb 8)



AND... just to toss it out there... if you don't know me, I'm a horror/thriller writer and my site is always up for grabs for ANYONE on a tour.  Feel free to email me to set up a date on my site!
 

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This is a great discussion. I just became a member so I could add my two cents. In the interest of full disclosure, I work in the business. I coordinate virtual book tours for a living. I'm not going to try to sell you anything and I won't talk about our services, but I would like to share the experience of touring my own book.

My first book came out last fall. Because it is a Christmas book, and therefore, has a very focused selling period, I decided to tour for two and a half months (October through mid-December). I coordinated the tour myself because after 4 years in the business I have a lot of contacts. John mentioned that touring is exhausting. I think he's right. In order to be effective, you have to be promoting every day. I blogged every day that I was on tour, in addition to using social media. When my book first came out, I started a new blog with my book's title in the URL, and I began blogging; but once the tour started, it was a daily thing. Now, realize, I did this while promoting several other clients at the same time, so it was probably more tiring than most tours, but lengthy tours can wipe you out. It did, however, have a great impact on sales. The book hit the Amazon bestsellers list in the Large Print Children's Books category multiple times during my tour. I also received a lot of great reviews that I can use to promote the book this year to local churches and religious organizations.

We're leaving on vacation tomorrow and I'll be out of touch for a week, but if anyone wants to talk more about this, I can offer some helpful hints when I return.

Cheryl
 

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Can't wait for the days I start doing blog tours! :D

I have no idea what I'd talk about though. 0___o. My posts would probably end up being way too short. And I wasn't even aware that companies offered services to help organize blog tours!

I can imagine it'd be exhausting though. =/
 

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PMartelly said:
Can't wait for the days I start doing blog tours! :D

I have no idea what I'd talk about though. 0___o. My posts would probably end up being way too short. And I wasn't even aware that companies offered services to help organize blog tours!

I can imagine it'd be exhausting though. =/
I often didn't know what to talk about, so I blogged about my cats!
 

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I just started. Second stop is going live today I think. I am having a lot of fun reading LIVE. It's also on YouTubes. Interesting links on the side. I'm helping to promote all the BLOGS as well by having them on a special tour page. Visitors who come to me go to the blogs. I also put it on TWITTER. It's all lots of work. But it's fun. I planned a whole lot of stops and now need to find an extra blog or two who will have me. So if anyone has suggestions on good host blogs, I'd love to know.
 
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I'm in the middle of my first blog tour right now, one that I organized myself.  Personally, I wouldn't pay for any kind of service.  Sure, it's a bit of work to set it up yourself, but it gives you some great networking opportunities and honestly it's not that hard.  And if you're paying to get exposure on a site, isn't that a conflict of interest--like paying for a review?  In any case, there are so many other blogs that would love to have you on for free that it doesn't make sense to me.
 

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bjm said:
I just started. Second stop is going live today I think. I am having a lot of fun reading LIVE. It's also on YouTubes. Interesting links on the side. I'm helping to promote all the BLOGS as well by having them on a special tour page. Visitors who come to me go to the blogs. I also put it on TWITTER. It's all lots of work. But it's fun. I planned a whole lot of stops and now need to find an extra blog or two who will have me. So if anyone has suggestions on good host blogs, I'd love to know.
I can host you at The Book Connection if you're interested. You can find me at http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/ There is contact information on my site.

Good luck!

Cheryl
 

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Joe Vasicek said:
I'm in the middle of my first blog tour right now, one that I organized myself. Personally, I wouldn't pay for any kind of service. Sure, it's a bit of work to set it up yourself, but it gives you some great networking opportunities and honestly it's not that hard. And if you're paying to get exposure on a site, isn't that a conflict of interest--like paying for a review? In any case, there are so many other blogs that would love to have you on for free that it doesn't make sense to me.
There's definitely an advantage to setting up a tour yourself. You, not a publicist, gets in touch with bloggers. When your next book comes out, you already have a list of contacts to work with.

You're not paying to get exposure on a site when you use a VBT company. You're paying the company to coordinate the tour for you. The bloggers are genuine book lovers who enjoy reading. Some bloggers do operate sites that have sponsored ads, but that would have nothing to do with the company coordinating your tour.

I agree with you, free is better. It takes a lot of time, but it's worth it if you can do it.
 
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