Your Book Tour: Seize the Opportunity to be Memorable
Somewhere in between the fun-yet-exhaustive work of writing your book and the dreams of it being on the bestsellers list lays the land of marketing. In our dreams we tend to gloss over that part…unless it’s a fantasy of signing a stack of books at Barnes and Noble. That is definitely a fantasy that will never come true…without some marketing. This being a broad subject, today I’d like to focus on just one aspect--the blog tour, and how to make the most of it.
Your blog tour is a big opportunity to connect with a willing audience and make such an impression that they are compelled to share your book with all of their friends. Create a buzz—that is the purpose of a blog tour. Yes, you ultimately want sales to increase but for that to happen there needs to be buzz. With so many book tours out there how do you stand out? Simply saying, “here I am, please read my book” won’t spread very far. You need to engage with your audience. You are meeting a few hundred new friends and you want to develop a relationship with them so they will introduce you to all of their friends…and remember you when your next book comes out!
Write engaging posts and give warm, chatty interviews to draw in the reader:
Consider each stop on your tour as a first date—if you want there to be a second date you need to open up. Your readers want to learn about you and gain a feel for your personality. They want to read about your view points and experiences and will be looking for a common ground. Invite comments and respond back.
Have an enticing website with additional information about yourself and your book:
Create a space that invites readers to stay awhile and makes them want to return. A pleasing template, a personal blog page, behind-the-scenes information on your characters and sneak-peaks of your upcoming work will keep your audience interested.
Use your social media:
Whichever social media accounts you enjoy using, make them part of your tour. Announce your tour dates, thank your hosts, and congratulate the people who win your giveaways. Connect with the new friends you meet on your tour while you are touring to get the relationships rolling.
Offer creative and memorable giveaways:
When Kristina McMorris toured with her book Letters from Home she created a special “prize box” for one of the giveaways during her tour. In keeping with the theme of her book she purchased a storage box that looked like a travel trunk. Inside were a signed copy of her book, some “victory garden” seeds, a chocolate bar wrapped in a vintage wrapper, and a CD of music from the WWII era. This might seem extravagant but it actually paid off.
The reader who won the prize was so impressed that she recreated the entire package as a gift for her mother. Then, she turned around and bought two additional copies of the book for her sisters. She also brought the entire box to work with her to show the other ladies in the office. Kristina may have spent twenty or thirty dollars on that prize but the winner purchased a total of three additional books and shared the experience with an office full of women who undoubtedly ran to their computers to check out Kristina’s website. Then the mother shared with her friends and the sisters’s with theirs. Talk about a ripple effect!
Do you have to be that extravagant? No. Even small touches will make you memorable:
- Include a bookmark (with your web address of course) when sending a signed copy of your book.
- If your story is prominently set in a city, include postcards or tourist maps of the area; you can usually purchase these from the local chamber of tourism.
- Even if you are touring with an eBook you can make a memorable impression by including a personal note to the winner. Invite them to let you know how they like the book. You might even include an additional electronic file of deleted scenes, questions for reading-groups or background info on your characters.
This is your red carpet walk so smile, shake hands, and put your best foot forward!
By Robyn Chausse