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Sell more books with an online book tour

Just as modern Blog-684748_1920 technology has led to new ways of publishing, so it also has created new opportunities to promote your book. Among the best of those options is an online book tour.

Rather than a book tour in which you go to brick and mortar booksellers or other stores to speak about your title, in an online book tour you pen different blog entries that appear on a variety of blog sites as guest posts. The primary goal of either strategy is simple – sell more books.

Your guest posts should relate to the book you’re selling, though not necessarily be about the book. For example, if your book covers great snowshoeing trails, one blog entry might be on the best frozen waterfalls to see during those treks while another entry is about how to spot wildlife when on a snowy path. The idea is to not boast about your book but to provide interesting information that would lead others to purchase it.

A blog tour offers you exposure. If you’re seen at several different blogs over a number of consecutive days, many people who never knew about you will have a chance to learn about and interact with you. Many of them will follow your blog, subscribe to it, take a look at your website and books, and probably even buy some of the latter.

There are several kinds of blog tours you can do. A traditional tour lasts 1-2 weeks with a blog post every day. The goal is to generate enough sales that your book lands on an bestsellers list and stays there for at least a few days. An extended tour goes for several weeks or even months, though sometimes a blog entry runs just once a week. If your book is about a seasonal event, such as skiing, you may want to run an extended blog tour from October through February. Another type is a blastoff tour, which lasts just four or five days surrounding the book’s release. This is very useful when your goal is to simply get the book on a bestsellers list.

Regardless of which type you choose, to ensure success your blog tour always should follow these simple steps:
Find blogs that your target audience would read – Long before your book is published, spend some time identifying those blogs. Ensure they allow guest posts, and if they do, interact with those blogs and after a few weeks contact the blog owner with your request. Explain in that request why you think a guest blog from you would be of interest to their readers.
Arrange the guest posts with the blog owner – This primarily involves determining what day your guest post will appear and what topic you will write about. The post dates should not overlap but occur once a day for several consecutive days, centered on when your book is released. Each blog should get a unique post.
Write your guest posts well in advance – Once you have squared away with the blog owners which day you will be the guest blogger and your topics at each site, start writing. You want to make the best impression possible, so waiting until the last minute increases the chances of an entry that reads slapdash with typos in it (Never count on the blog owner to edit your post!).
Drive new readers to your book – While you might not mention your book in each blog, you should include a note at the end of the post that tells who you are and states that you’re the author of such-and-such book. Link that title to where readers can purchase it.
Promote the blogs carrying your guest posts – The blogger allowing you to run a guest post does so in part to attract new readers. To help in that effort, you should promote your guest post on all of your social media platforms – Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest and so on. These promotions should note that your guest blog is coming up, contain links to the post once it is up, and a thank you to the blog host afterward with another link to the post.
Respond to commenters – Personal interaction with potential readers always is the best way to snare a sale. When comments are posted to your guest blog, be sure to respond, even if it’s just a simple “thank you for the kind words.” Always remain positive with your remarks if a commenter is critical – especially if the comments are unfair.
Send thank you’s – After the guest post runs, email a thank you to the blog host. Be sure to remain active on the blog as a guest commenter for at least a few weeks.

Lastly, not every stop on your blog tour need involve a unique post written by you. They can be punctuated with occasional reviews of your book that bloggers write or their interviews of you. Such entries can be just as good in generating book sales.

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.


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