Words to Profit

Marketing Tip

5 Advantages of an Ask-Type Virtual Book Tour

by Diane Eble

One of the things that has always been an especial challenge to authors is knowing whether anyone will be interested in what they want to write about. It's always been guesswork on the part of publishers and authors. (Which is one reason  most book sales never match the investment the publisher makes, and most authors never earn enough royalties to pay back the advance against royalties—if they were lucky enough to get a decent advance.)


Now, however, we do have the technology to find out what people want to read.


I think this will eventually turn the publishing world around. For better or worse, I can't say—at least in the short run. I suspect it'll be a mixed bag, like just about anything in life.


One of the newer technologies is the ability to ask one's audience, or potential audience, what they most want to know about a subject, through an Ask-campaign type Virtual Book Tour.


To me, the key ingredient in this kind of Virtual Book Tour is the built-in mechanism of asking people what their most important question is concerning your topic. Just talking about your book is powerful, but asking specific questions real people submitted kick it up several notches on the effectiveness scale.


Here are five things the "Ask" element allows you to do:


1. It allows you to build relationships with your audience. Before recent technology, a person would go into a bookstore, buy a book, and the author and book buyer usually never meet. With an Ask-campaign, you are able to develop an ongoing relationship with your reader. When they sign up for your VBT, they give you permission to keep in touch.


2. You learn what your readers want to know. This is a great way to develop further products, or hone your services to match just what you know people want to know.


There are different ways you can leverage the above two advantages when approaching publishers. For example, if you write an eBook and do a VBT, you can use what you learn from your audience to write a book that expands on your eBook in the areas people want to know more about. You have more clout with a publisher if you can tell them you have a large list and a proven track record that you can sell books with this method.


3. You "set it and forget it." Once you set up your VBT, have the live event, and put up the replay, it becomes a perpetual marketing system. It's not a one-time event that you have to repeat over and over (such as when you do radio interviews). Once you have the live event finished and the replay page up, you simply change a few things on the Ask page (such as that the event happened, and when they ask their question they can listen to the replay), and then it's up in cyberspace for good.


Rather than repeat your actions over and over, you can now turn your attention to promoting that Ask web page (so you can build your list and introduce people to your book by letting them hear you explain it via the VBT replay).


There are many ways to promote your VBT Ask page, and we'll talk about those in future articles, teleseminars, etc. Some of the more effective ways are articles submitted to ezine directories (in the resource or bio box, you point people back to your Ask page); press releases; postings on your blog; mentions in forums and on social networking sites; your business card; talks you may give.


4. You have a continual stream of ideas for future content. Since your market is telling you what they want to know on a continual basis (assuming you're continually promoting it), you will always have ideas about what to do next. From this you can repurpose content in any number of ways. All the while you can be confident that you are reaching your audience and giving them what they want.


5. You can build a media page for your site around your Virtual Book Tour. Your VBT replay can become part of your media page, showing the media that you can talk engagingly about your book and garner an audience. In addition, the questions you supply the media will come from the actual questions people submit. This can be a powerful draw for the media.


The Ask-type VBT overcomes so many of the stumbling blocks to selling books authors have struggled with for decades. We truly are living in an exciting "new era of publishing." Never have authors had more resources at their fingertips to finally connect with their audience, build relationships, and sell their books!


If you would like to explore what a Virtual Book Tour can do for you, contact Diane. If you have a question, ask it now—it may be one of those she answers on her upcoming teleseminar on Virtual Book Tours!


Suggested Action Steps from Your Book Publishing Coach:


1. To find out more about Virtual Book Tours and sample some Diane has done, check out www.virtualbooktourexpert.com.


2. If you would like to become a thought leader by interviewing other thought leaders via Virtual Book Tours, check out the training that's available for a fraction of what it's worth: www.virtualbooktoursforauthors.com .



Watch Diane suggest how to get the most out of your visit here.


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