I've got another interview coming up on my virtual book tour, and it's looking like the tour is going to run into January, with an e-zine interview and more blog guest appearances. That's the joy of a virtual book tour--you can extend it without compromising finances or worrying about leaving the kids. It just takes some of your writing time.
Today, we're going to talk about some preliminaries before launching a book tour. I've found these to be very helpful not just in the tour but translating that tour into real interest for my book:
#1 Preliminary materials. If you're developing a media kit, these should be in your bag of tricks. These are things you can offer your host to make his page stand out or his interview even better:
--A print-quality graphic (.jpg is good) of your book cover. Ask your publisher.
--A print-quality photo of yourself. (Get a friend to take a good digital photo.)
--50-, 150-, and 250-word blurbs about your book. Hosts can use these to advertise your upcoming tour, weave them into their introduction, or post them elsewhere on their site.
--A fact sheet. This is more for you than them. Just list some of the more vital pieces of info about your book--from website to the chapter names and pages in your manuscript, interesting topics, factoids (Infinite Space, Infinite God took 2 years to find a publisher, for example), and interesting stories. This is one thing I did not do and I'm constantly racking my brain or searching my manuscript in order to answer an interviewer's question. Learn from my mistake.
--Your own set of questions. (Optional) Some bloggers will ask you to write up your own interview. If you know what you want to talk about ahead of time, it's easier. Be sure to tailor the questions and answers to the blog's audience, however.
#2 Create your own website for your book! This has been the single most useful thing I've done. I created a website on tripod for Infinite Space, Infinite God before the tour and I constantly refer to it in the interviews and correspondence. It's only been up a month and has had over 400 hits. The website holds all the information you'd like to tell folks: summaries, your bio, a calendar of your book tour and other events, a media room, and most importantly, Purchasing Information!
There are a couple of places to create websites for free. I have sites on www.tripod.com and www.freewebs.com. Both have ready-made templates and easy to use editors that let you add text, photos, special effects, contact sites--all the basic website stuff. No programming experience is needed and they come out great! Check out http://isigsf.tripod.com for an example of a book promotion site. It took about 3 hours to build because of all the text to type in, and I add to it twice a week it seems. The editor is so easy, it only takes minutes.
#3 List who your target audience is for your book and who might be interested in you. You wrote the book--if people would find you interesting, chances are they or someone they know will find your book interesting as well.
For ISIG, I'm targeting science fiction fans, Catholics, Christians, people interested in technology and morals, and educators.
However, I am a homeschooler, military wife, writer, Mensan, former AF officer, current military wife, Colorado State University alumni… If I can find a magazine or paper that might be interested in me or my book, I can probably find a blog or e-zine that would be interested.
OK. You have your homework. Contact me if you have questions. Tuesday, I'll post how to find stops on your tour.