Well, that was a busy few weeks touring my first novel She around the blogs and Twitter. I had interviews and guest posts on many blogs, a couple of #TwitterViews, three Twitter Blasts, and best of all, reviews. When I signed up with Orangeberry for their Phoenix 30-day tour, I wanted reviews most of all. And since She had been out awhile, I was able to give them the time they needed to send my ebook around and for bloggers to read them individually or in their book clubs: about six weeks.
This was my first virtual book tour, and it was a tad confusing for me at first. The Starter Kit seemed to lose its way to me in cyberspace. But once I got it, the details were clear insofar as what I needed to do to prepare: answer interview questions, write guest blog posts of about 500 words, and announce on social media that my book tour was coming up. There was a fair amount of writing to do, but the questions were interesting and got me thinking. And the guest post topics were challenging for me as I normally don’t write about writing. I like a challenge. As I was answering and writing, I had to keep in mind which book of mine I was promoting. When I went to do the same for my next book tour for Concussion Is Brain Injury, I had to shift focus from being an author of a novel to being an author of a non-fiction medical memoir.
Once I sent off my answers and posts, I noted the start date in my calendar so that I could be ready to tweet and/or blog about the tour events. I also noted down the dates of the #TwitterViews so that I could answer the questions as they were tweeted. They came at the rate of about one question every half hour over several hours. Much easier to do in real time then catch up later. Plus less overwhelming for your Twitter followers. In the Starter Kit they include the URL of your Author Page. You can see it immediately, well before your tour start date. The first few dates are filled up, and then … nothing. I wasn’t sure if that meant they hadn’t found bloggers to fill the rest of the dates or what. But on the first day of the tour, all those empty dates suddenly got filled. So fear not empty days, they shall be filled. And, as I discovered with my second tour, the dates or events can sometimes change. For example, one day was supposed to be an Author Interview, then it was changed to Book Feature. The Book Feature is your book cover, your Amazon blurb, social media links, buy links to Amazon and Smashwords, Amazon author page and your website, and rating and genre info. It’s a bit disconcerting when you don’t know what to expect, but once you get into the tour, it’s okay. And any time I had questions, I received a reply pretty quickly. That went too if by the end of the day (they ask you to wait to see your event show up on a blog because of time zone differences etc.) I hadn’t seen my guest post or interview, I emailed to ask where it was. They’d reply by the next day at the latest with the URL.
One thing to note: book reviews may not show up until the end of the tour. The Book Feature will show up on the day scheduled for the review — that’s your cue that a review is being written and will be posted later. Some reviews appear on Goodreads, some on Amazon, and some on both. The book club ones follow a short question-and-answer format. The individual ones vary with the blogger’s style. I was really pleased with the number of reviews I received (even if some had spoilers, oy!). Between March 7 and 25, twenty-one new text reviews were posted on Goodreads, five new text reviews on Amazon.com, and one new one on Amazon.co.uk. Of course, being a Canadian author with a book set in a Canadian city, one cannot expect any Canadians to review it! Ahem.
And so after all that, I had great reviews, plenty of buzz about She, and very, very few new sales. Oh well. I think I’ll do another Goodreads giveaway anyway.