virtual book tourIs the Virtual Book Tour (VBT) the wave of the future for aspiring speakers, publishers, and writers to sell their books? While it might very well qualify as the direction we’re headed, it’s also the wave of now. Let’s backtrack slightly first: What is a virtual book tour? You probably could guess but we’ll say it out loud. Remember back in the old days, before the year 2000, when major New York publishers would pony up the expense to send an author with a book coming out on a grand tour of speaking and signing engagements? He’d sit in bookstores around the country and sign his name for fans (on recently purchased copies of the book, of course) until his fingers cramped – hopefully.

The goal was to drum up interest and sell a gazillion more books. A book tour for an enormous name like J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, or Carl Hiaasen might accomplish the goal but the the vast majority of real world book tours for unknown or mid-list authors was a money-losing proposition. A virtual book tour can be undertaken by a writer without the blessing or participation of Big Publisher. It’s essentially nothing more than a webinar or conference call presented to people who sign up for it.

The goal is the same – sell more books – but in this cyber world of niche marketing and micro-targeting, it appears that the VBT is beating the old style tour to hell and back. Publishing is changing and perhaps nowhere is the change more evident than the book tour. Setting one up is as easy as sending an invitation, enticingly worded of course, to your mailing list. At the appointed day and hour, you crank up the old computer attached to the world wide Internet and interact with those who signed up for the event, even in your skivvies or pajama’s if you like. The format could be as simple as a conference call or designed to include audio and video if desired.

Like anything in life, there is no guaranteed amount of sales to be generated by a VBT but early returns are promising. We’ve seen examples like 2500 people signing up for a call by a first time author. Of that total, 500 actually logged into the call and a healthy percentage ordered the book at the end. That’s what we call a successful virtual book tour.

What’s stopping you from doing the same? Nothing.

The Speaking of Wealth Team

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