Long before my first book was published, I had dreams of being a successful author. Fantasies of making a great living from my writing filled my mind.

I created a whole story about what it meant to be a successful author. The life I would live, the people I would meet, the opportunities that would appear out of nowhere.

Like many unpublished authors, I mistakenly believed writing a good book was all it took to be successful. Little did I know that writing the book is the easy part. Yup! Writing the book is the easy part.

Now comes the real work… getting the book in the hands of readers.

My first experience as an author

When I wrote my first book, Message of Hope, I was convinced that my book would somehow take on a life of its own. I dreamed of becoming a famous writer based on one book.

I was in for a rude awakening. The book sold very few copies and remained a “sleeper” book, meaning, what could have been a success, wasn’t.

Frustrated, I committed to learn as much as possible about marketing my books. Not only did I learn effective strategies, I've very successfully marketed several books of my own since that time. Additionally, I've been contracted to work with other authors on their book launches many of which have hit #1 on Amazon.

Truth be told, I owe my success to the time and energy I put into learning as much as possible on how to market my products and services, with books high on the list.
Virtual Book Tours are The Bomb!

Today, there are many options for authors to market books. One of my favorites is a virtual book tour.

A virtual book tour is where you, the author, make appearances on blogs, social media and podcast shows as the featured expert. A virtual book tour consists of lining up a series of guest blog posts, podcast appearances, live video appearances and social media posts during a specified period of time.

In the past, a book tour required the author either drive to various physical locations or hop on a plane to make appearances and do book signings.

Not only was this costly, it required an incredible amount of time and energy, and results were often minimal for most authors.

Today, it’s a completely different story. With so many online options available, virtually any author can successfully plan and execute a successful book tour virtually.
Trifecta Power of a Virtual Book Tour

Without a doubt, virtual book tours have a three-prong benefit appeal. They benefit the host, the listeners/readers and you, the author.

They are a powerful marketing strategy that every author should be doing. When potential readers and fans see and hear you on multiple platforms, they tend to want more of you. A lot more.

Think about those authors you’re a huge fan of. It’s likely when you first come upon their information and you like what they have to say, you want more. So, you do a Google and YouTube search in hopes of consuming more of their information.

Why would your fans be any different? Once they discover you, they want as much of you as they can get. Often, they need to hear you on a number of interviews, read several blog posts of your writings, and see you more than once on social media before they decide to buy your book.

Additionally, a benefit of a tour is that fans tell their friends about you. This increases your market reach and potential for book sales.

An added benefit is that meeting planners listen to podcast shows and read blogs. If they see you a lot, they may be interested in having you speak at their events.
Podcast Appearances Enhance Your Tour

To gain incredible visibility during your tour, arrange a series of podcast interviews that are set to “go live” during a specific period in conjunction with blog posts going live.

This will require a considerable amount of planning. You must coordinate the schedule with the podcast host to assure they release your interview during the time period of your tour.

Depending on how targeted you are with your approach will determine what percentage of hosts will say yes. If you take a “throw a bunch of mud on the wall” approach, the number of interviews you get will be considerably less than if you are very targeted with the type of show hosts you ask.

I’ve heard of people getting as little as a 2% conversion and others who get an 80% conversion. So, what’s the difference?

The lower conversion occurs when someone takes a cookie-cutter approach when seeking show opportunities. They send the same message out to every single host. They don’t listen to even a few minutes of the shows they target and they go for quantity rather than quality. Their results are minimal at best.

On the other hand, I have a client who took between 30 – 60 minutes per show she researched. She listened to a few minutes of a show, researched the host, checked them out on social media and made sure the show was relevant and active.

By the time she sent a request to the host, it was apparent she had done her homework. Rarely was she not invited to do an interview. Her “close” rate was incredibly high.

Upon being invited to be on the show, she made sure to get the host what they needed as quickly as possible. Whether it be her one sheet, high resolution head-shot, book cover, bio, introduction and questions or links to previous interviews, she never made the host wait.

Being organized and responsive is a huge part of what makes her successful with interviews.
Learn Right the First Time

Today's Reality

Since my first lukewarm experience as an author, my life is much closer to my initial fantasy. I make a great living, love what I do, have opportunities show up frequently and enjoy a life I used to only dream of.

Author's Bio: 

Over the last 25 years, Kathleen Gage has mentored thousands of experts, from a wide array of industries, who wanted to grow their businesses and revenues through coaching, authorship, consulting, speaking, ninja marketing ideas, visibility and media exposure. Visit http://www.powerupforprofits.com to learn more. Get the FREE Podcast Checklist at powerupforprofits.com/checklist