Organising a virtual book tour can be daunting. With good planning, however, it can be fairly stress-free. At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I’m probably the most organised person I know – I have a list or folder on my PC for almost everything, from work- to personal- to book-related things and everything in between, and so many reminders on my cell phone that my dad is amazed I don’t have one to remind me to breathe. Like certain of my friends and family, some of you may laugh at this, but I don’t mind at all, because it’s the reason that organising a month-long tour for my recently released fantasy series, Wizard of Ends, was relatively free of panic and stress, despite the fact that I am working full time and have a teething baby in the house most of the day. Due to my planning, I could enjoy the tour and answering comments rather than panicking about the extra time it cut from my schedule.
You, too, can organise your virtual book tour in a way that enables you to have fun with it.
Here’s how, in 4 simple steps:
- First finish your book. This might sound obvious, but it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the idea of a book tour for a new release, and sometimes excitement makes it difficult to resist planning the tour before the book is complete. Once you have completed your self-edits and self-proofread, send the book to your editor and then start preparing for the book’s tour.
- Start preparing well ahead of time. ‘Life happens’ and sometimes there is nothing we can do about it. Perhaps the internet goes down, there’s a power cut, or you or a loved one falls seriously ill, for example. If something prevents you from fulfilling your book tour obligations – providing blogger participants with guest posts, review copies, interview answers and so on in time for them to share it as agreed – it could irreparably damage your reputation as an author. Preparing guest posts, tour banners, the itinerary and so on is best started well before your tour is due to begin, when you might usually be twiddling your thumbs waiting for your editor’s feedback. It’s also important that you do not set the tour date in the too-near future. This gives you more time to go through your editor’s comments, and to write guest posts, create tour banners, and find and invite bloggers to participate, etc.
- Create lots of lists. Knowing exactly where to find all the information for your tour will save you a tremendous amount of time. If you need to contact a blogger, for example, you don’t want to be sifting through a lot of unrelated information – it eats time like nobody’s business. Have a list for the bloggers you’ve invited, and another for the ones who have accepted your invitation. For the Wizard of Ends tour, I created lists for:
* Blog posts to write (as each post is completed, I highlighted it in grey)
* Invitation list (a list of the bloggers I wanted to invite)
* A list of bloggers who have accepted the invitation, including the blog address and blogger’s email address, the date each is booked for, and what each blogger has agreed to (a guest post, interview or general showcase, etc.)
* Tour to-do list
* Any giveaway or competition dates
- Set up templates for/write: official email invitation; itinerary (add item and links to blogs as the dates are booked); tour reminder email; information sheet (this tells bloggers what the tour is for, what’s in it for them and the tour dates, etc.); press releases.
Get everything ready before you contact any bloggers. It takes time to invite bloggers and to send every blogger what he or she needs in order to participate in your book tour, especially if your tour is a month long, like mine was. You will also have to spend time answering interview questions for the bloggers who choose to interview you, so it may start to feel a tad overwhelming if you’re still busy writing guest posts and creating banners and so on.
I hope this helps you to plan your tour – good luck, and please feel free to invite me to participate, but don’t forget to read my submission guidelines first 😉