Today, my guest is the fantastic Roxanne Rhoads. As many of you know, Roxanne helped me to organize blog tours for all of my Noon Onyx books, as well as cover reveals for my second and third books. She was wonderful to work with. Her book, SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL VIRTUAL BOOK TOURS is currently on sale at Amazon for $0.99. It’s a great overview — perfect for new writers considering their promo options.
After reading it, I asked Roxanne a handful of questions about virtual book tours, teasers, graphic designers, review copies, multi-author events, and how authors can support their local booksellers while promoting their books online. Her answers are below, along with an excerpt and TWO giveaway chances: one through Goodreads and one via Rafflecopter. Questions? Feel free to ask in the comments. Welcome, Roxanne!
Do you have any specific advice for authors who have already toured with you?
Stay visible, continue to network, and keep your social media up to date. I spoke with one author who has tried it all, ads, promotions, sales…she said the thing that worked best was to stay present. Remain visible online, keep interacting on social media whether you have a new book or not.
Author interviews, excerpts, and contests are a mainstay of virtual book tours. Your book points out that the most successful blog tours also include guest posts with engaging content and visuals. You mention “teasers” in particular. Can you share a few examples from past tours?
I am working on a Pinterest board featuring teasers, here’s the link:
Can you recommend a few graphic designers and/or programs or applications that authors can use to create these?
Eva Talia is a Bewitching partner who offers discount graphics services for Bewitching clients.
You advise authors to provide a review copy. Is piracy a legitimate concern for those authors who share digital copies of their book with potential reviewers?
It seems like many people don’t see the value in digital content. They don’t even think it is stealing to share eBooks, music, movies…if it is not a physical object it’s not “real” and they don’t want to pay for it.
For authors, I think piracy can be an issue no matter how safe they try to keep their eBooks. There is always a risk. The sad thing is that some pirating seems to stem from the bookstore sales sites. If someone buys your eBook and returns it, that’s when you need to start checking pirate sites. Pirates will find a way no matter what. I had a book end up on a pirate site and the only place I had posted it so far was Amazon. I hadn’t even sent any copies to reviewers yet. There’s no way it could have been leaked through an outside source.
Authors need the book reviewed, which means they need to get it into the hands of reviewers. Stick with trusted bloggers and reviewers to minimize risk. You can also add water marks and password protects to pdf review copies.
The sad fact is that digital content gets pirated and no matter how diligent we are it still happens.
I love that your book ended with a reminder that in-person events aren’t a thing of the past. What are some of the things authors might do to support local booksellers while they’re touring?
Always talk to local bookstores about live events. Many local stores are happy to support area authors. Authors can also work with local bookstores for author meetings and multi-author events. Some stores will even partner with authors to sell signed copies of books.
Kim Harrison is a great example of an author supporting a local book store. She partners with Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor, MI and signs a bunch of her books that the book store sells both in store and online. If readers and fans can’t attend one of her live signings she points them to Nicola’s to order a signed copy.
Speaking of in-person events, I think the ones that are the most fun are those where authors join forces with other authors. Is there a blog tour equivalent? What sort of events do you and/or other blog companies offer that bring authors and readers together online in one place at one time?
Multi-author Facebook events are a great way for authors to join together and do a live online event. Each author gets a block of time to chat, do giveaways, play games, etc. Multi-author blog tours that coincide with Facebook parties can offer the best of both worlds. Online convenience and real-time event interaction. Bewitching offers custom packages for groups of authors wishing to set up this type of event.
Can you tell us more about Fang-tastic Books?
Fang-tastic Books started out as my vampire book review blog, though it now focuses on all types of books including paranormal romance, urban fantasy, horror, and cozy mysteries with paranormal elements. It is where I really started focusing on book blogging, reviewing, and paranormal book promotions. I started the blog in 2008 and have been running it ever since. My review quotes (often listed as Fang-tastic Books) are on covers and in the front of many books including those by Juliet Blackwell, Chloe Neill, and Annette Blair.
BBT has been in business since 2010. Do you occasionally add new services? Is there anything new you’re considering adding to your menu of services for 2016?
Bewitching is always trying new things to see what works, what draws in readers. Twitter parties, Facebook events, live video chats, chatrooms, our magazine, book swag creations and the radio show… some things we keep, others don’t seem to work so we move on to something new.
For 2016 I have some ideas I am tossing around but nothing solid that I have firmly decided on yet. I will say one option I am considering, is adding is the creation of Thunderclap campaigns.
I am always open to discussing options for custom tour packages or ongoing PR services.
SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL
VIRTUAL BOOK TOURS
The world of publishing is continuously evolving thanks to technology and the Internet. It is now easier than ever to publish a book. But with the growing number of new books being released every day it is also harder than ever to get your book noticed in the crowd.
If your line of thinking includes “If I publish it, people will buy it,” think again.
Indie publishing requires a dedication to self-promotion. Gone are the days an author hermits them self away to write, then hands the book to the publisher who does all the leg work for promotion. Even NYT Bestselling authors and those with contracts through the big publishers still have to do a certain amount of self-promotion.
There are many ways to promote: social media, advertising on popular websites and blogs, print advertising in trade magazines, attending reader oriented conventions and events…but one of the best ways to get your book out there and build name recognition as an author is through a virtual book tour.
In this Quick Tips for Authors Guide, you will learn why a virtual book tour can be an author’s most effective marketing tool.
More about Roxanne
Roxanne Rhoads has been working in the world of online book promotion since 2005. She has worked as a freelance writer, author, book reviewer, book blogger, editor, self-publisher and book publicist. She has a unique advantage of knowing how multiple sides of book publishing and promotion operate.
Roxanne understands how book bloggers work and what they want to make their jobs easier while also understanding that authors need promotion to be streamlined, easy, and less time consuming.
Roxanne shares some of her knowledge in her latest release, Secrets of Successful Virtual Book Tours.
More about Secrets of Successful Virtual Book Tours
Are you considering a virtual book tour?
Not sure where to start or exactly what an online tour will entail?
Roxanne Rhoads, book publicist and owner of Bewitching Book Tours, shares her virtual tour expertise in this Quick Tips for Authors Guide.
Secrets of Successful Virtual Book Tours will guide you in utilizing the best marketing tool available a virtual book tour, which can create online exposure for your book, jumpstart your book sales, help build your author brand, and expand your network.
In this guide you’ll learn:
- what you should do before a tour
- the components of a great author website
- the best social media outlets for authors to utilize
- tips for building your author brand
- how to write great guest blogs
- what to expect from an online book tour
- the secrets of successful book tours
- how to schedule your own virtual book tour
And you’ll receive in-depth details about what to do during a virtual book tour to guarantee success.
Roxanne is giving away a Bewitching Book Tours Release Day Blitz or Cover Reveal (winner’s choice) and an ecopy of her book Secrets of Successful Virtual Book Tours at the end of her tour. For the Rafflecopter form, click here.
She’s also running a Goodreads giveaway. See the widget below to enter that giveaway. For my complete giveaway rules, click here.
Thanks for the interview, Roxanne! Wishing you and BBT the best!!