Virtual Book Tours: An Indie Author Must!

Virtual Book Tours: An Indie Author Must! 1024 576 Reader Views

by Award-Winning Author, B.A. Bellec

Your next fan could be just a virtual book tour away!

As an indie author starting from scratch, one of the toughest things to do is get your first fifty or so readers.

You can post daily to social media and bug all your coworkers, neighbors, friends, and family, but most of those people already know you wrote a book. You need to try and get in front of people who don’t know you yet. That exposure to strangers is worth its weight in gold.

How do you do it?

One great way is the virtual book tour. Let’s take a step back. What is a virtual book tour?

They go by a few names: Online Book Tour, Digital Book Tour, Blog Book Tour, or Social Media Book Tour. They are all the same thing. Basically, your book will digitally travel to a new place on the internet every day. You, as an author, will partner with a tour host who will gather all the information from you and organize the stops. From the comfort of your own home, you get to connect with readers from all over the world.

There are tiers to the packages the hosts will offer and the tour could be a “Blitz” that only lasts one day and is meant to celebrate something very specific like publication day, a book anniversary, winning an award, or passing a readership milestone. After that, there are varying degrees of length. Some tours will go a few days and some a few weeks. It’s up to you as an author to determine your budget and find the right fit.

The budget can start to balloon fast once physical copies are involved as postage and the books themselves can often match or even exceed the cost of booking the tour. If you want to do physical copies, you could have a select few and do a proper giveaway. Most of these tour companies will be able to set up a giveaway that ties entries to the contest with actions like following you on social media and boosting your tour’s posts. If you have a large budget, build the physical copies into your plan and work with the tour host to get those copies into the hands of the best readers for you.

As an indie author, the marketing budget is usually pretty tight. These tours are one of the best ways to get exposure on Amazon, Goodreads, and social media all at the same time with an easy-to-manage to-do list for you the author. You are paying for the host to design graphics and find the readers, then keep everything on track. The result is you get to interact with the daily tour stops and watch reviews come in. It’s a fun activity and the investment of your money pays off in the form of the connection you get to make with your new fans!

I have used multiple touring companies and I try to put two or three tours a year on my schedule. Some of my favorites are Breakeven Books, R & R Book Tours, and TLC Book Tours. The current Reader Views Fiction Book of the Year, Like Sapphire Blue by Marisa Billions, is on tour right now with Breakeven Books, and R & R Book Tours signed on to sponsor a Reader Views award this year. So happy to see these tour organizers partnering with Reader Views to bring more eyes to the indie author community.

If you are trying to increase your review total and going in circles, put on your research hat and get on Google to start looking for the host that is right for you. Some of the hosts are genre specialists and if you want a specific date for your tour, it’s best to reach out early as many of these tour hosts are booking months in advance. Remember, your next fan could be just a virtual book tour away!

Big congratulations to the team at Reader Views for being recommended by Reedsy as one of the Best Writing Contests for 2023!

The Reader Views prizes are extraordinary and the admin team behind the scenes takes the time to connect with the winners. I am honored and blessed to be a former award winner myself and proud to be a current sponsor. Any author on a tight budget should make the Reader Views contest a must in their marketing plan.

About the Author

Bryan “B.A.” Bellec’s debut novel, Someone’s Story, won the Reader Views Reviewers Choice Literary Award for Young Adult Book of the Year in 2021. Someone’s Story is a coming-of-age novel about teen mental health. One of the aspects that makes Bellec’s projects unique is he includes musicians in his novels and then he produces original songs as his book goes through the editing stages. You can find that music on his YouTube channel. His second novel, Pulse, was released in 2021 and has been receiving strong reviews. That novel is a genre flip with dark dystopian sci-fi horror peppering the pages. The Pulse sequel is coming in 2023.



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1 comment
  • Victor Volkman

    Thanks for the heads-up on those three tours. I used to use Sharon Martin’s “Beck Valley Book Tour” which recently shuttered their doors. I was in despair to find another reputable book tour outlet but I will inquire those three which you mention and hopefully I can find a good fit. When it works, there is nothing better than a virtual book tour. It has to be done very carefully because if Amazon suspects a pay-for-play situation, they will delete ALL of the reviewer’s past reviews. This actually happened to me personally and I know Irene Watson fought with Amazon about that.

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