Monday, September 02, 2013

Jo Linsdell and the Toughest Marketing Lesson Ever

Today, I'm welcoming my friend and fellow author (and marketer extraoirdinaire) Jo Linsdell to Fabianspace.

Jo Linsdell is a best selling author and illustrator, award winning blogger, and freelance writer. She is also the founder and organiser of the annual online event Promo Day ( Her latest release Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home is now available from Amazon. Find out more about her at her website

I've learnt a lot of marketing lessons since I first started out in my writing career. The first one that springs to mind is how much time is involved. When you think of being a writer you don't take into account the amount of time you'll be putting into your marketing efforts. And let me tell you, the time you'll be investing is considerable. Between creating media kits, writing and submitting press releases, commenting on blogs, working various social media sites, etc.... you'll sometimes wonder if you'll ever have time to write another book.

The second is the importance of a marketing plan. You're marketing plan is the most important tool you'll create. It gives you focus and shows you what you need to do in order to reach your goals. It can also help you deal with the previously mentioned time issues.

The toughest lesson I've learnt though is asking for help. I'm a D.I.Y. kind of gal by nature and a complete control freak. Whilst growing up I always felt I could only really count on myself if I wanted to make things happen. As the saying goes "if it's meant to be, it's up to me". This is true... to a certain point. You can't always count on others to help you succeed. People can let you down. They might not fully understand your view or just be hell to work with. That said, you need other people. Sometimes you just have to accept the risks and concentrate on the benefits.

As a writer having a support network can make a real difference to your marketing efforts. Just think about it, You post a promo that your book is going to be released soon to your Facebook page. You could just put it out there and cross your fingers that someone happens to see it in their newsfeed and like, comment on, or share it (changes of these actions actually happening are slim to none). Alternatively you can ask your followers to share the post. Yep by simply adding a call to action to "like", "comment", or "share" has been proved to make a big difference in levels of engagement.

The same thing applies to marketing campaigns like virtual book tours. During a tour you need people to host you on their sites. One way or another you're going to have to ask people to support you. Whether you do a general appeal via your social media sites or send out individual queries, you're going to need to ask. The good thing is you'll be surprised by how many people will help solve your problems if you just let them.

Buy Virtual Book Tours at

Excerpt from Chapter 1: What are Virtual Book Tours?


Book promotion has changed a lot over the years and the introduction of the internet, and with it blogs, started a revolution in how authors can reach their target audience and connect with their readers. In the past authors would do book signings, readings, radio and television interviews, and aim at book reviews from noted publications in a hope of spreading the word about their books.

Whilst these methods are still valid in today's market they are limited. For a start, organising such promotions is difficult especially for new authors and even more so for those self publishing. It's true the reputation of self publishing has changed immensely in recent years and it no longer has the same stigma attached to it... that said some of the larger bookstore chains and publications still prefer to work with agents and well known traditional Publishers.

This is just one of the many reasons why virtual book tours are such a great idea. Everyone can do one. No exceptions. With a little knowledge of social media and blogging you can easily set up a virtual book tour to promote your latest release or put new life into an older project.

So what is a virtual book tour? A virtual book tour is when you tour the web over a set period of time promoting your book. (I'll go into the different types of stops you can include in your tour later in chapter 3).

There are various ways you can set up your tour. Some authors choose to do a tour lasting anywhere from a week to a couple of months where they are hosted on different sites each day. Others prefer to do a tour that lasts for several months but only has one or two hosts per week.

Then there's the question of content. Some are review only tours where the only type of stops on the tour are for reviews of your book. Others include a large variety of stop types and use all kinds of media and technology during their tours.

All these elements come down to your goals for the tour, the type of content you feel most comfortable doing and the amount of time you have to work on your tour.



Dennis p. McGeehan said...

Good information. You've given me some ideas for a book I previously wrote. Thank You!

Jo Linsdell said...

Thank you for hosting me today Karina (and for the fab intro ;)).

Jo Linsdell said...

Thank you Dennis. One of the great things about virtual book tours is that anyone can do one and when ever they want. Although they are most often used to launch a new book, they can be a very effective way to put new life into an older publication.