Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Virtual Book Tour

A few months ago, I decided to try marketing my book using a virtual book tour. While my book isn't new, it's still available. When it was first published, I didn't know much about marketing, and I certainly didn't know about online book tours. I did the usual local book store signing and press release in the local paper, but not much else other than email to close friends.

Now with more marketing information available to me, I thought it would be a good idea to try the online tour. After two months of being a guest, answering interview questions, and receiving glowing reviews from a number of blog sites, I'm disappointed that sales of my book have not increased. In fact, the most recent royalty report showed no activity whatsoever. This was especially disappointing in view of the fact that several people commented that they were looking forward to reading the book. I also had a few people contact me directly to say they were purchasing the book. Does this mean my publisher didn't report the royalties correctly? Or, more likely, does it mean that folks who indicated they were buying my book didn't?

I'm curious how other writers have handled their book tours and what type of success rates they experienced. Did I do something wrong? My book is a middle grade paranormal novel. I tried to target book reviewers who either specialized in children's books or were themselves children's authors. I announced the dates and web sites where I would appear both on my Facebook page (where I have almost 900 "friends"), my Twitter account (over 200 followers), and a writers' forum.

I am now working on a sequel to my book, and I wonder if I will be any more successful at promoting it than I was with the first. I thought I had come onto something worthwhile with the virtual book tour, but my experiment clearly was unsuccessful.

If you've had the experience of doing a virtual book tour, please share your thoughts with me. I'd love to have some other ideas about what to do differently.

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