A Virtual Book Tour Adventure
It’s definitely a new era out there, folks, and the high-tech world we live in cannot be ignored…even by relative dinosaurs like me. I’m here to report, however, that it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.
Phew. Problem solved. Or not.
The Internet is (as my daughters used to say) gi-normous. It’s colossal. Gargantuan. And intimidating as hell when your computer skills are limited to the above-noted emails, wordprocessing, and being able to Google stuff. Looking around, I could see many, many authors guest-blogging, being interviewed, holding online release parties, and participating in “virtual book tours.” It seemed like a great idea to me, but how did I get started? The thought of contacting blog owners and asking to be featured gave me heart palpitations. I did mention I’m a debut author, right? Well, who would want unknown me taking up space and time on their blog? Uh uh. Wasn’t going to happen.
Besides, what would I write? I had enough trouble coming up with (very) sporadic ideas for my own blog. And I was in the middle of home renovations and family stuff and writing and I didn’t have time to organize something like that and…
Well, suffice it to say that eventually I ran out of excuses – and across the most exciting concept I’d found yet: a tour organizer. Seems I’m not the only one who feels organizationally challenged out there in Cyberworld, and there are companies lining up to do at least a portion of the work for you. After due diligence (Google really is my best friend), I hired Goddessfish Productions to take over the planning for me. They would do a book trailer and banners, send out a press release, and organize a month-long blog tour with five stops per week (Monday to Friday).
Now, before you think this is an advertising plug for Goddessfish, let me assure you otherwise. First of all, I’m not affiliated with them in any way, and second of all, I’m going to be very honest with you about my experience with them – what I liked, what I think could be improved, and my thoughts on whether or not I would do it again.
What I liked
Judy and Marianne, Goddessfish proprietresses, were helpful, professional, and delivered everything in a timely manner. I loved my book trailer (see it here) and banners, and couldn’t believe the speed with which my schedule filled up. Judy provided a list of suggested blog topics to get me started, liased with blog owners who wanted interviews, and answered my questions promptly. When scheduling glitches arose later in the tour, they were handled as quickly as possible and compensation was offered without hesitation. Like I said: professional.
What I think could be improved
One of Goddessfish’s pitches to potential partners is the chance to increase traffic to their blogs. Tour stops are then given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Unfortunately, this resulted in some stops that had little or no following…which didn’t exactly mesh well with my goal of gaining as much exposure as possible for my book. Because I was the one who was actually paying the bill, I thought more attention should have been paid to my exposure rather than that of blog owners. That said, however, I must say that I enjoyed my visit to each and every blog along my tour, and found all the owners to be very supportive and friendly…which brings me to
Would I do it again?
Without Goddessfish to guide me through this process, I would never have had the confidence to launch my own tour – heck, I wouldn’t have known where to start. I don’t know how many new readers I gained from the tour, but having someone take care of the logistics and make that initial contact with the blogging world for me was, in my opinion, worth every cent. In assessing the overall value, I also look upon the intangibles: the blogging experience and the confidence I gained, and the warmth and support I’ve experienced from writers and readers alike. Following the tour, I’ve reached out to other blog owners, some of them commenters on my tour stops, and have arranged additional guest spots for the coming weeks…me, the technological dinosaur, all by myself. If that’s not an indication of value for money, I don’t know what is.
So, in a nutshell, a virtual book-tour service may not be for everyone, but if you’re just starting out and don’t know where to begin, or if you’re technologically or time-challenged (in other words, just plain overwhelmed), it can be a godsend.
Bio: Linda Poitevin lives with her husband, three daughters, and a varied collection of animals. In her spare time, she gardens (organically), cans and freezes the family’s winter fruit and vegetable supply, knits (basically), crochets (better), and starts way more projects than she ever finishes. (Fortunately that doesn’t hold true of her books!) She loves spending time with her family, having coffee with friends, walking by the river and watching thunderstorms…in about that order. For more information about her debut novel, A Fairy Tale for Gwyn, visit her at http://www.lindapoitevin.com/