Revolutionising Virtual Book Tours – Part 1

Part 1 in a short series of posts on virtual book tours

Virtual book tours have been around for some time now, though there are still many people who do not know that they are even a thing.  One of the problems that we find with book tours, and we deal with many different book tour companies, some good and some bad, and that is that things just don’t seem to have moved on much over the years.

We ran book tours until a couple of years again, when we had to stop due to other work commitments.  We no longer have those, so are able to concentrate on creating book tours again.  When we ran them before, we did bring in some new ideas, such as instant date confirmation, but it seems that the book tour world is exactly the same as it was then, and that runs the risk of it becoming stagnant.

Maybe revolutionising is a strong word, but we are doing what we can to bring book tours into the year 2017.

We don’t blame tour companies for doing things the way that they are.  After all, it has been working well and they aren’t techies, but this is where we are different.

I am bringing my experience as a twenty year web design veteran into this world of book tours and seeing where all the problems lay – and there are many problems.

In this article, I will be giving just a brief summary of the problems I’ve found, and the solutions that we have come up with, and I promise to do so in English with no technobabble


The Problem at the Root

The problems begin for both authors paying for a book tour and bloggers hosting a book tour from the way things are set up.

This is a generalisation, but is very close to how most book tours work for a blogger:

  1. You receive an email telling you that a book tour is available between two dates. This includes a link to the tour page.
  2. You are asked to let the blog tour company know the date you would like to post
  3. You send this email.
  4. If you are lucky, you will be contacted within a few days to be told the date you can post, though this can sometimes take weeks and some tour companies only contact you if you have been selected to make a post,
  5. You will then be sent the files by email at some point before the post is due to go live – though some tour companies insist on doing this on the day of the tour.
  6. Once you have the files, you let the tour company know the URL of the post.
  7. They post your link on their website.

This has worked well, but there is a much better way to do this. The technology has moved on and we use it to create book tours in our own way:

  1. You receive an email telling you that a book tour is available between two dates.
  2. You visit the tour page and select the post type & date & click the button to confirm.
  3. You are given instant confirmation of your post type & date, and an email is sent to you with these details and a link to download the marketing pack.
  4. You download the marketing pack, which includes a host of images & all the text files.
  5. Once you have created the post, fill out the form on the tour page with the link & this is automatically added to the tour schedule on the page.

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