What is a virtual book tour?
During a virtual book tour, the author visits a number of blogs to promote their books. These blogs primarily focus on books – hosting giveaways, reviewing books, hosting author interviews, cover reveals, book release day parties and basically, everything book-related.
As a virtual book tour organizer, we work as the “middle man” between the author and the bloggers. We set up the tour, get in touch with our tour hosts, set up a schedule, send out review copies and guest posts, send interview questions to the author and make sure the answers are sent to the right tour host. We coordinate giveaways and collect winner’s information at the end of the tour.
How can I schedule a book tour?
What do I need to send to you for the book tour?
Once you’ve signed up for a tour, we’ll send you a tour packet that details everything we need, along with suggestions for how to prepare your posts. Below is a list of the items we’ll need right away so we can get started organizing the tour.
1. A blurb for your book.
2. Book cover (front cover only suffices).
3. Author bio.
4. Author picture (this is optional).
5. Links to your website, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, and places where we can purchase your book.
6. Book Excerpts (200-300 words each).
7. Review copies of your book
What about payment?
We always ask for payment up-front. We only accept payment through PayPal, since we find that easiest to work with.
Once we’ve sent you an email, we will let you know our PayPal email address, or, if you prefer, we can send you an invoice.
What do you do after I have sent the files and payment?
We make a media kit specifically for the tour, with the book blurb, cover, author bio, picture, links and book excerpts. We use the book cover to make a tour banner with the title and dates of the tour. Next, we put up a promotional post on our website for the tour.
We send out an email to our book tour hosts. The email will include basic information like the date for the tour, the blurb, what type of tour stops we’re looking for and the book genre. We will also attach the media kit, tour banner, book cover and author picture to the email, and include a link to the promotional post.
Tour hosts interested in hosting this specific tour will reply to our email, and then we’ll work out a schedule. We send review copies to people interested in reviewing the author’s book, collect interview questions from the people who want to host an author interview, and send out guest posts to the people interested in hosting a guest post.
What format does my book need to be?
Although review copies are also preferred in e-pub format, Mobi and PDF formats are required.
There’s no requirement to send out paperback copies to reviewers.
What are the different types of tour posts?
Posts can be a variety of things including reviews, author/character interviews, book excerpt posts, guest blog posts and giveaways. We recommend unique posts for each stop to keep the tour diverse and interesting.
A review is basically just that, a review of your book. We leave it up to our hosts how they want to write their reviews (with or without rating, with or without images in the review text) but we do ask all of them to include the book cover, title, author, genre, synopsis and promotional links.
For an author/character interview, the tour host may come up with the questions themselves, or we can provide the questions. For a character interview, it’s possible the tour host will ask the author to come up with the questions themselves if they haven’t read the book yet. The tour host will send the questions to us and we will forward them to the author. Once the author has responded to the questions, we will send them back to the tour host.
A book excerpt post means that the tour host will post the book cover, title, author, genre, synopsis, promotional links, author bio, author picture (if included) and a book excerpt. If there are multiple excerpts available, tour hosts are free to choose which one they like best.
For a guest blog post, the author writes a blog post which will then be posted on the tour hosts’ blog. The guest post can have a wide variety of topics, as long as they’re writing related. Typical examples are: playlists suitable for the main characters of the book or the book itself, posts about the author’s writing process or publishing process, where the author got their inspiration from, etc. We can help come up with topics for guest posts.
A lot of people don’t like writing guest posts, but we do feel they’re very important. They show the author’s writing skills, and may entice visitors to purchase the author’s book. However, if you don’t want to write a guest post, please mention it and we will be sure not to schedule any during the tour.
Another way to come up with posts is to pay attention to questions people are emailing you. If you have enough interesting questions, you could create an F.A.Q. as a post.
Giveaways can be for whatever the author wants to give away. Please go to the question “How do Giveaways work?” for more information.
How do giveaways work?
The author chooses what he/she wants to give away during the tour. These can be eBook or paperback copies of the book, swag, or gift certificates from your publisher’s site or Amazon. The author also chooses how many copies they want to give away, and whether the giveaways can be international or US only. We don’t recommend giving away copies of the book that’s currently on tour.
The giveaway can be one prize on each tour stop or one prize given away at the end of the tour. Once the type of giveaway is determined, we will set up the required number of giveaways, make sure all tour hosts know what they can giveaway, etc. Typically tour-wide giveaways will be set up using Rafflecopter and we ask the tour hosts to pick a winner if we giveaway a prize on each stop.
Rafflecopter giveaways are set up to include additional entries for following the author’s website, liking their fanpage on Facebook, following them on Twitter and tweeting about the giveaway. The author can choose other options for the additional entries as well, like becoming a fan of the author on Goodreads, adding the author’s book to the Goodreads TBR list, etc. A lot of this depends on what the author wants.
After the tour or giveaways has ended, we get in touch with the tour hosts and ask them to send us the winner’s information. The tour hosts get to choose the winners themselves – usually this happens through Random.org. It the giveaway is tour-wide we’ll use Rafflecopter’s built-in random winner tool to select a winner. We gather the information (name and email address) of the various winners and send them to the author. The author can choose to contact the winners themselves, or if they prefer, we can contact the winners as well.
Where will you promote the tour?
All tours are promoted on the IndiGo Facebook Page, a variety of Facebook and Goodreads groups, Twitter and the Indigo Website.
What happens if someone doesn’t post on the scheduled date?
We try to make sure this doesn’t happen, but unfortunately, it sometimes does.
We try to prevent this from happening by sending out reminder emails to tour hosts and making sure everyone gets what they need well beforehand. The author can help with this by sending us the necessary guest posts at least two weeks before the post is due.
If a tour host contacts us saying something came up and they can’t review the book – time restraints, for example – while they were signed up for a review, we will try to reschedule it to a book excerpt post.
What is your policy on refunds?
As soon as we started working on the tour – that means, creating a media kit, tour banner, contacting the tour hosts, uploading the promotional post and setting up the schedule – we can’t send any refunds.
How long beforehand do you recommend I schedule the tour?
We recommend you get in touch with us at least one month before you want to start the tour. This gives bloggers enough time to schedule the tour post, and reviewers will also have enough time to review the book.
What do you recommend an author does during the tour?
We recommend authors comment on all tour stops and actively tweet about the book tour, mention it on their blog and/or on Facebook.
What is a book blitz?
A book blitz is similar to a book tour but all participating blogs will receive the same post, feature you and your book on the same day, or over the course of a week, and it does not include a book review.
How can I schedule a book blitz?
Fill in this form to schedule a book blitz. We will contact you through email.
What is ARC Management
ARC Management is a service we provide to help you get your book reviewed, either pre-release or post-release.
How does it work?
We’ll send an email to our list of review sites/bloggers and ask them if they would like a review copy. We also have our own street team, made up of reviewers that we have carefully vetted. With your permission, we will also make your book available to them.
Will my book get negative reviews?
We don’t guarantee positive reviews. Some blogs have a policy that they won’t post reviews of books that rate less than 3 stars, but we never ask a reviewer not to post a negative review.
Will you send out the review copies for me?
Yes, if that’s your preference, we’re happy to distribute your review copies for you. If you’d prefer to handle that yourself, we’ll send you an email with the contact information for each person requesting a copy.
Do you keep track of where my book is sent?
Yes, we maintain a spreadsheet which we update with links to your reviews once they are posted.
Do you guarantee that everyone you send a book to will actually review it?
We make every effort to only work with bloggers and reviewers who are reliable and only accept a book if they intend to review it. We can’t guarantee that every reviewer will post a review or do so in a timely matter, but we do our best and will send out inquiries if it’s been more than 4 weeks.
How long does the service last?
We will continue to monitor blogs and Goodreads for 4 weeks in an effort to collect links to your reviews. At the conclusion of 4 weeks, we’ll send you a copy of the spreadsheet we’ve maintained.