Posts Tagged ‘retrospective’

I Promised you the Book Tour

April 23, 2008

Well, actually, I promised to write a retrospective of the Virtual Book Tour as a service to other writers, but it seems to me that the tour’s aimed to attract the notice of readers. Does it do this, and how can one tell?

I already posted a short commentary on the topic at the beginning of April as part of the post “And the Winner Is”. That was about the dearth of comments to the posted articles, interviews,  and reviews. It seems to me that this can be taken as an indication of the attention the tour has gained from browsers who don’t necessarily have their own blogs – maybe readers rather than writers with their own promotions. I did check in to other writers’ visits who were also touring that month, but only I and a writer of a historical novel exchanged comments.

I posted announcements about the tour on several writing sites I belong to, but as far as I know the announcements garnered little response. I would have thought some other writers would have dropped by to add support but the only ones who did knew me from other online activities. Not the book tour, I know, but if I’m going to give a thumbs down to promotion on anything here it would have to be online writing groups.

The plus was definitely coming into contact with up to twenty other breathing humans who toil away on the Internet producing copy and commentary. I would never have crossed paths with any of these people if it hadn’t been for the Blog Tour. Now – I think it’s essential that I don’t just leave things at that point. I haven’t gone back to many of them, but that’s just a function of my bear-like denning personality – I must make it a point to visit them and leave a comment or two when I’m not using their blogs for my promotion. (Good point, Chris. Make sure you do it.)

I did two blog talk radio interviews and enjoyed talking with the hosts. I felt really dubious about doing these beforehand. If there is one thing I really detest its “personalities” pontificating to some host on the radio. Why should I care about someone meeting with Salvador Dali while researching a book in Tuscany? I don’t give two hoots about someone’s novel that grew out of ten years as a rag picker in Togo. (I’m making these up, by the way.) But I think my own recorded droning is less a trumpeting of supposed superiority than a sharing of the bunk and junk of getting some novels published. The recordings are still clickable on the sites, and the links are listed on this blog under book tour.

I’d like to thank Cheryl and Dorothy at “Pump Up Your Book Promotion” for their organizing, hosting and guiding. Cheryl was there just about every day checking if the blogs were up or finding out why if they were not. (With a number of participants who also had lives to intrude sometimes posts were delayed.) Dorothy was a great help getting this blog site up and running. I did think she intended to do a couple more things (eg. no banner ever arrived here) but she was involved in moving that month and so was unable to spend more time with me. This blog is a lot more useful than my two other (now neglected) ones.

The interviews were varied in focus and specifics in many places. They were sent and completed the month before the tour started, but were good at making me focus on some things in my writing life I had been doing, as well as some I’d be better off not. These were among the blog posts that were often least commented on (like none). I think one has to be dreaming if one expects a guest blog or an interview is going to send a new reader scuttling to the bottom of the post to send fan mail. The fact is – book tour or no – nobody is going to hang out on a blog to look for a new author to read. The tour is part of a process that must include satisfying the needs of others. So I have to say that the virtual book tour is not the beginning and the end of promotion, it’s a step along the way.

Now I’ve appeared on the sites, I must go back to visit every so often. If I want to be noticed on blog sites when I’m promoting a novel again, I’d better make sure that I’m better known there. If you think you might want to do a virtual tour – better start planning early enough to ensure you don’t arrive as a stranger. As for the tour paying off in sales – I will probably never know, but if my royalties next cheque are more than last I’ll probably attribute some of the return to the Book Tour.

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