The REAL Story Behind Virtual Book Tours

As CEO and founder of Pump Up Your acim Promotion Virtual Book Tours, I know how much work goes into setting up a tour and monitoring it the entire month one of my clients are on one. It’s so much work that I’m sure you – the innocent reader or even the seasoned pro – have no idea just how much work it involves putting a virtual book tour together for many authors at one time. Even if you have set one up for yourself, multiply that by about seven more and you’ll see just how much work it really is.

As tour coordinator, I spend 81 hours a week on these tours. I am fielding incoming inquiries and sending out applications on top of answering whatever questions they may have. I’m taking each client and evaluating which blogs they should appear on and querying the blog hosts and setting up dates for them. I’m keeping a spreadsheet on each one and keeping their tour schedule updated as well as keeping everyone on a calendar so that I can see at an easy glance just who is going where on what day.

Not to mention helping my clients set up blogs, learn about tags and how to promote their blogs as well as updating my own blogs where they have their own tour pages and doing weekly updates so that they can see at a glance where they are going to be that upcoming week.

And the list goes on.

But, even though I am the one to lay out the groundwork, the work is still not done. For every stop, the authors must either answer interviews or write guest posts for these approximately twenty blog stops. Then, they must advertise their stops and keep their blogs updated as their tour goes along. It’s not as easy as it appears as you’ll find out.

I asked my present and past clients if they realized it would be so much work even when someone else sets their tour up for them. Their answers will surprise you, and hopefully, help you to understand the real world of virtual book touring so that you’ll go into it with your eyes open.

“To be honest, the answer to the question is no,” says Elena Bowman, who toured in July ’07 for her book GATEKEEPER’S REALM. “I didn’t think it would entail that much work. Frankly, I didn’t know what ot expect myself, Pump Up Your Books, or of the tour. I wasn’t even sure when I received all those questions if I could answer them sufficiently and when I did, were they interesting enough? I don’t know why I thought the questions would be the same for each and every blog, but I found out quick enough that it wasn’t. I also didn’t realize that because of the tour, I would be setting up my own blog. My only problem is what to put up on it. But I am learning and I must admit it is kind of a fun thing to do.”

Vicky M. Taylor was one of the authors in the second month of Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours. I was still green, learning the ropes myself, and we ran into a problem or two, but none that couldn’t be corrected. When I asked her if they were what she expected, she said, “Dorothy, when I first considered a virtual book tour, I thought it would be each blog host putting together a page of my information or interview questions/answers and I’d “show up” to each page on the right day. It is that. And a whole lot more. Keeping the schedule up to date is a big issue, as well as keeping everyone’s interview questions separated and answered appropriately and on time. I know that for everything I did on my end, you did double or triple the work. And, I only had my schedule to worry about. You had many more to handle. The hard work continued with making sure I blasted my blog schedule all over the Internet every day to let everyone know where I would be so that they could join in the discussion if they wanted. It was difficult to keep thinking of new ways to promote so I didn’t get tired of it and everyone else didn’t get tired of it either. And, finally, adding information to my blog about each stop on the tour every day. Luckily, I had tried to clear my schedule as much as possible before my VBT. I recommend that to anyone who is considering one. You’ll be busy. Clear your schedule. You’ll be happy you did. Would I do it again? Sure, I would.”

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