Monday, December 7, 2009

The Virtual Book Tour


I’ve got a novella coming out January 20, 2010. I’m excited and proud of the imminent launch of “Burning Love” and I want to tell the world. To that end, I am in the midst of a virtual blog/interview tour.

I wrote about virtual tours back in the summer, giving some of the ins and outs of setting up a blog tour. So I tried to follow my own advice. I got together a list of blogs I regularly visit that feature other romance writers. In his book “Plug Your Book!: Online Book Marketing for Authors” Steve Weber talks about targeting host blogs. If you want to search the web looking for blogs here are a few places to start:

- http://www.technorati.com/ is a blog tracking site. To find niche marketing blogs, use the advanced search tool, www.technorati.com/search where you can search for specific subjects.
- http://www.blogsearch.google.com/ Type in key words related to your book, such as romance writing.
- www.forbes.com/bow/b2c/main.jhtml Reviews blogs with high-quality content.

You can measure the traffic a blog receives by checking it out at http://www.alexa.com/ which provides estimated traffic reports on many web sites. You can also check out the quality of a website on a scale of 1 to 10 by using http://toolbar.google.com/ Quality websites and blogs will have a ranking of at least 5, meaning they get good traffic and have high quality content.

I also picked several sites that do author interviews, just to mix it up a bit. Many review sites such as Long and Short Reviews, Coffee Time Romance, Night Owl Romance and Romance Junkies do author interviews and also feature blogs where authors can talk about their work.

My aim when writing blogs for this tour is to provide variety. So as I mentioned, I’m including some interviews along with the blog posts. And I’m endeavouring to make the blog posts different at every stop. I’ve included some that cover the craft of writing, and some that feature excerpts and blurbs about my new release. I’m doing one blog about a reference book that influenced me and another about confidence or the lack thereof. My hope is that anyone following my tour will be interested in the fresh material at each stop.

It’s important to give readers an incentive to go to your website and follow your tour. To that end I’ve invented a contest. By making the entry requirements for the contest questions about all my books (easily found in the excerpts of my books on my website) I’m hoping to create interest in my other works as well. I also set up a second contest to celebrate the release of “What I learned from the Cat”. My story “The Great Hunters” is included in this new Chicken Soup for the Soul book, and I plan to give away a copy of the book to one lucky entrant. For more details on both contests, check out my website at
http://www.janarichards.net/Contests.html

I want to let readers and other writers know that I’m on tour and have two new books on the market. One way is to send a short newsletter to readers. I try to keep in touch with these people 3 to 4 times a year with a short newsletter. So I will be sending something out shortly to talk about all the things going on in my writing life. If you’re interested in receiving a newsletter from me, drop me a line at jana.richards@hotmail.com

Have you ever considered doing a virtual tour? If so, how did you chose the blogs you appeared at? If you are a reader, would you follow a writer on her tour?

15 comments:

Janet said...

Morning, Jana! I know how busy you've been with this blog tour - and I commend you for choosing to write original blogs for each of your visits. That's a lot of work, but one that will pay off as people start to follow you around.

I'm going to come back to this blogpost for the information you gave on tracking blogs. I never knew there were so many places to go to find information on blogs. Trying very hard to resist spending hours doing that today - the paying job needs to take precedent :)

Just a note - the link to your contest page is not working. It takes you to your website, but with an error message. It then gives the option to go to your home page and then I linked through to your contest page that way.

Off to read your blog over on The Word Place.

Jana Richards said...

Hi Janet,
This seems to be my day for technical difficulties. Thanks for the heads up about my contest page. I'll go in there and see if I can fix it.

Also having some difficulties with my guest blog at The Word Place. Hopefully we'll get that sorted out soon.

Thanks,
Jana

Jana Richards said...

Whew! I think I corrected the problem with my contest page. The link should now take you directly to the page.

And my guest blog is now up and running at The Word Place I hope you can join me there.

Jana

Karyn Good said...

Very information post, Jana. I had no idea a person could track blogs or the other things you mentioned so thanks for the heads up :)

I can't wait until it's my turn to 'tour'.

Jana Richards said...

Hi Karyn,
When you do a blog tour, I am going to be so there!

Thanks a bunch,
Jana

Hayley E. Lavik said...

You've been impressively thorough about setting up a tour, Jana. I'll be sure to take a look through all the links you've offered, I should start scoping out some new and unknown blogs for when I set up my tour.

A great bit of advice I got from Therese Walsh when she did her book tour for The Last Will of Moira Leahy (which is a great book, by the way) is to target non-writing niches that your book can relate to. In Walsh's case, her book focused on the bond between twin sisters, so she did promo on communities relating to twins, as well as a blog blitz about families. A good prospect for branching out to catch a wider audience.

Gail Pallotta said...

That sounds like a great idea. Thanks for the tips.

Jana Richards said...

Hi Hayley,
What an excellent idea to branch out to non-writing communities. After all, the goal of a blog tour is to get yourself known to readers. I'm not sure what kind of group would relate to "Burning Love" as it is something of a fantasy. Are there any groups of angels out there dedicated to connecting mortals to their soul mates? :)

Jana

Jana Richards said...

Hi Gail,
Thanks for dropping by. I hope you can use some of the information.

Jana

Jana Richards said...

I forgot to mention that I put up some new pictures on my website, including some Christmas trees from the Assiniboine Conservatory Festival of Trees, and a new picture of my dog Lou. Click here to take a look.

Thanks,
Jana

Janet said...

Great pictures, Jana. Funny - I'm talking about Christmas Trees over on Janet's Journal today.

Love the pic of Lou :)

Prairie Chicks Write Romance said...

Hi Jana,
Winnipeg has sure changed since I was there last. Love the bridge. I lived on the banks of the mighty Assiniboine in Brandon for many years. Love the dog. Mine just wandered by and planted a kiss. If only one didn't know what they kissed last...
Oh yes. Blog:
I wasn't aware of any of the sites, all of which I have written down. The technorati sites plan to take a great deal of my time reading. Good. But, like Janet, I can spend sooo many hours reading and so few writing.
Appreciate the tips. (So many blogs. So little time).
Merry Christmas by the way. Take that to heart as we are sending some very nasty cold your way.
Very best of success with your blog tour.
connie

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Jana, I've heard of blog tours and visited authors on tour but never thought about following someone on a blog tour.

I do know of at least one author who was giving away a fantastic prize at the end of her blogtour but to have a chance, you would've had to follow her to every site. I just don't have time for that. I figured if I went to one of the sites on her tour and left a comment, I was supporting her and I still feel that way.

Good luck with your tour, Jana.

Jana Richards said...

Hi Connie,
Glad you liked the pictures. I hope to take more pictures next summer, sort of a "Bridges of Winnipeg" thing. We've got a few of them here.

Yes, so many blogs, so little time. And so many books, so little time. Have fun checking them out.

Jana

Jana Richards said...

Hi Anita,
I've heard of contests like that too, where you have to comment on each blog post to be eligible to win a prize. I agree that it makes it really hard for people to enter. I decided to just ask people to email me and answer a couple of questions that can be found in my excerpts. I wanted people to read my excerpts, but not make it too onerous to enter.

I want to remind everyone to enter my other contest, the one to win a copy of the Chicken soup for the Soul book, "What I Learned from the Cat". Tell me about a cat you have known and loved to be eligible.

Jana