Press Releases are valuable and powerful. Basically, a press release (PR) is a short, well written article, written in the third person, aimed at highlighting a newsworthy story.
It discusses the who, what, when, where, why and how.
We give full credit to our good friend and mentor, Jason P. Jordan for the excellent workbook he created. He did such a good job explaining the details of what and how to do a press release that we uploaded it into the documents below.
Below is what was submitted to us:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Author David Knapp Releases His New Book Exposing How to Be a Better Friend To Those Experiencing Loss
Mesa, Arizona, July 8, 2015 — David Knapp’s new book helps the reader understand what a grieving person really wants and needs, but can’t express. “I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY: Being a Better Friend To Those Who Experience Loss” is a peek into his personal conversations helping family and friends experiencing loss; conversations covering a 40-year span.This book is written so friends learn what to say to help grievers in their time of sorrow.
Knapp points out “This book can be used as a handbook. Stand-alone chapters focus on varying types of loss and provide insights related to the dynamics of comforting those grieving. For the bottom-lined individual, the list at the end of each chapter “What to Say / What NOT to Say” will be especially appreciated.”
The author’s lessons on grieving were forged in the crucibles of losing not just one wife to cancer, but two. In those years, he raised four children, blended a family of eight teen-agers, and shouldered his responsibilities with respect and admiration by his family and colleagues.
Some of the conversations reveal unintentional hurts, while others give the reader, the “opportunity to be embraced by the wisdom and affirmation of our humanity in and through the process of loss,” as Dr. Bill Steinke, Hospice Chaplain noted.
Dr. Steve Vandegriff, Professor at Liberty University, writes, “David Knapp hits a nerve with his book, “I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY: Being a Better Friend To Those Who Experience Loss”. David takes a candid and vulnerable walk through all the dynamics of grief and loss. It’s a book that every person who works with the public on a daily basis should have in his/her library. It’s a book for the person who simply wants to be a better friend to those experiencing grief.”
The book will be available for pre-order on Amazon.com starting July 15, 2015. Readers can reserve their digital copy and receive a preview of the introduction & the first two chapters; plus pick up two bonus features.
About David Knapp
A two-time widower, the author raised four children, blended a family of eight teen-agers, and shouldered his responsibilities with respect and admiration by his family and colleagues. Today he’s the proud grandfather of 27, resides in Mesa, Arizona, and is now married to Crystal Wacker Knapp. Together they have plans for workbooks and other resources for grievers and caregivers. He is actively pursuing and is available for seminars and speaking engagements.
737 S 111th Street
Mesa, AZ 85208
For more details about the book and booking engagements, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480-289-8442.
Below is a great write up about
Virtual Book Tours
Whether you are an author or aspiring author you realize that if your book is going to have the impact you want it to have, you need to do one of two things: Market Your Book yourself or hire someone to do it for you.
Have you made best selling status but now it is gathering cobwebs in cyberspace?
Are you just getting ready to launch your book and want maximum exposure?
In the world of traditional book marketing we are familiar with Book Signing Events and understand the benefits of them for exposure. However, in our digital world, we are given a whole new arena of ability to spread our message to a worldwide audience for virtually a fraction of the time, money and effort that a physical book signing would entail.
Virtual Book Tours are an excellent way to promote your book and this guide along with its’ associated worksheets will help you help successfully navigate your way.
Enhancing the reputation of the author is the goal of a Virtual Book Tour. The sole purpose of a tour is to establish authority, drive traffic to the author’s website, increase followers to their social media and blogs, build key relationships with influencers in their niche and sell books…not just now, but for years to come. It is designed to give maximum exposure. It is also the springboard for building your prosperity platform of products to follow, due to the credibility and connections you will be building with this tour.
Podcast hosts, radio talk show hosts, and bloggers often seek out authors with and invitation to be hosted. Why? They get fresh content without having to create it themselves, they get new listeners and often they will profit from affiliate commissions. The authors promote the tour, which provides the hosts with new traffic, while the hosts promotes the tour, giving the author new traffic, creating an exceptional win/win situation. To top it off, the readers and listeners get excellent educational or entertaining content with the ability to purchase the book immediately, while it is on their radar screen for top of mind awareness.
Purpose of Tours
- Help the author sell more books both before and after the tour.
- Establish the author’s expertise, reputation and platform by driving traffic to their blog, website, and social media networks.
- Build relationships with other experts who have already built a strong following.
- Get exposure to new audiences.
- Open the door for speaking platforms, media opportunities, and guest blog invitations that may have never been available without the exposure from the tour.
- Build both mailing list and blog subscribers
- Provides high quality links to the author’s website that have been optimized for the search engines and have the potential to bring new visitors for months or even years to come.
Types of Tours
There are several different types of tours and the fun of this is that you can design your own to suit your style.
Don’t be afraid to do some mixing, and blending to fit.
Traditionally, Virtual Book Tours that are short term, lasting anywhere between one to three weeks, with a different tour stop each day are called a Basic Tour. You will need to provide each of your tour hosts with original content and you will be able to promote the tour even after it is over.
The Virtual Book Tour that lasts several months with tour stops either every day or several days a week is called the Prosperity Tour. On this tour, you post a series of articles on each of the blogs you visit. Typically you would need to plan to visit one blog a week and post anywhere from three to five posts on each blog. To establish yourself as an expert in your niche, (for nonfiction writers), you will want to aim for continuous exposure so mixing it up by do a podcast interview, a radio spot interview, social media posts blog post a week on an ongoing basis.
A Ranking Tour is generally a short tour that tends to last between one to five days. It is intended to be used to help an author increase their book sales rank in a short period of time. You will post on lots of blogs at once as well as appearing in multiple podcast and radio show interviews each day.
A Social Media tour is just as it sounds…the entire tour is designed around social media or a mix of social media appearances including Twitter chats, Facebook discussions on pages, groups and profiles, Google Plus hangouts, and even Live Casts. This type of tour typically works well for an author that has already established a strong social media presence. If you do not have one, choosing Tour Hosts that have a strong following is a wise alternative.
Planning and preparing for a strong virtual book tour to coincide with your Best Selling Amazon book launch will often result in a large number of sales in a short period of time. As in all types of tours, this type of tour will require well thought out advance preparation. You will need to attract a group of partners, each one of them agreeing to donate something, perhaps a video training, a free report or ebook, a podcast interview, something of value. Each of these partners will agree to send an email to their mailing list on the same day with the invitation to purchase your book on Amazon that day. Those that purchase the book will be encouraged to enter their Amazon receipt number. Upon doing so, they will get the batch of free bonuses from yourself and your partners.
What is cool about this particular type of tour is that not only does the author get exposure to all of the partners mailing lists, but the added attraction of all the valuable downloads that have been provided by the partners often provides the incentive to purchase your book. Be aware that while combining your book tour with your bestselling author campaign can give an incredible amount of exposure, it will also increase your workload and if you are not prepared and haven’t coordinated the details you may end up in overwhelm. This type of campaign work best with nonfiction books.
Remember: Be creative with your Virtual Book Tour and build it to suit your situation and your personality.
Following is a recap of what a successful Virtual Book Tour can do for you:
• Potential book buyers get a chance to sample the contents of your book.
• If you are a non fiction writer, you will enhance your authority and expertise in your subject matter by the ability to post your content in venues you have not previously had exposure to.
• A well planned book tour builds buzz for your book…and gets people talking and sharing!
• If your tour host does a review for you book, it lends credibility and exposure.
• When other established experts host you on their blog, podcast, radio show, live cast and post about you on their social media platforms, there is an implied endorsement, which lends credibility.
• Committing to a Virtual Book Tour gives you an incentive to get moving…to promote your book and get your valuable content out there…in a YOU. EVERYWHERE. NOW environment.
• When you are hosted on a blog, podcast or radio show, there is also an implied endorsement, which lends credibility.
• You get increased opportunities to attract and interact with readers and potential clients.
• The contents of the Tour will stay online for years to come which has the potential to bring continued traffic and clients long after the work is done.
• You build strong relationships with other experts in your field, which can open other doors that may not have opened otherwise.
• Gives you the opportunity to reach best selling status on Amazon.
• Podcasts and Radio interviews during your tour will help your listeners connect with you. An added benefit is that they can listen at times that are convenient to them.
While you will be spending time finding good Virtual Book Tour Hosts, remember that in order to get maximum exposure for your tour, you’ll need to promote the tour yourself as well as encourage your hosts to promote it.
Put Your Tools in Place NOW!
Before you begin promoting the tour, actually even before you search out tour hosts, make sure you have your own basic promotional tools in place:
• Either set up your social media accounts or begin regularly populating them with valuable information. This includes but is not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Goodreads, YouTube, Pinterest and others.
• Make sure that your website or blog is built, updated and ready to welcome new visitors.
• Make sure you have a Web page expressly for your virtual book tour
• Have a lead capture system set in place so you can build your list.
• You will want a statistics counter on your website or blog so you can measure results.
• Create a hash tag (#) created to track the tour on Twitter. Go to www.hashtag.org to register your hash tag.
• Set up Google Alerts to track your tour.
Promote the Tour
Similar to any other marketing campaign, write out a plan and schedule every activity. See our Promotional Book Tracking System.
Promoting a virtual book tour is similar to promoting a book launch —you’ll be using a variety of online promotional tools to attract visitors to the tour.
• Be active in social media, blogging and newsletters right from the onset.
• Send out press releases the day before the tour begins. There are a variety of services available for this purpose, among them being www.prweb.com and www.prlog.com. Check our Promotional Book Tracking System. Always conduct your own searches too. Some of these services are free while others have a cost associated. You should also seriously consider sending releases to your local media and other writing organizations.
• On the day the tour begins be sure to post a blog listing your tour schedule and give a link to your first tour stop. Send people to your tour page and encourage them to sign up for your RSS feed.
• If you are doing live events such as webinars or live casts, be sure to specify the time zone.
• Run an ad on your blog or website, even social media to promote your tour, making sure to link to your Tour Web page.
• Send a note to your mailing list of subscribers or followers about the tour and invite them to sign up for your RSS feed.
• If you have your own podcast or newsletter make sure you promote your tour through those channels.
• Invite family, friends, colleagues, people you network with to participate.
• Create a short video and an audio clip inviting people to follow your tour and be sure to post them on your website as well as offer them to your hosts to post.
• Do a series of audios and videos explaining the tour stops…be sure to post them on YouTube and other sites.
While it is not difficult to plan for and pull off a very successful Virtual Book Tour, it does require planning, an investment of time and some organizational skills.
The key to a great tour: START EARLY!
We cannot emphasize this enough. You have already spent months and months to get this book written.
We KNOW the excitement, the sweat, the frustrations, exasperations and excitement of coming to the point of the excitement of finishing your book. There is a lot of heart and soul that goes into this production. So let’s not act with haste now! Decide the length of your tour, do not overextend yourself and give yourself plenty of time to contact your hosts as well as recruit additional hosts should you need them.
These are the key ingredients to success:
1. Start planning your tour at least two to three months in advance!
a. Put your basic promotional tools in place well before you start. These include: Your blog, which you post quality content to REGULARLY
b. Your Website (or blog) is ready. It needs to showcase your book and include a book sales page that has a call to action, your contact info, your media kit, a stat counter, your opt in form for your mailing list and an RSS fee for your blog.
c. Set up your record keeping and organizational procedures for the tour.
d. Network to build your contact list well in advance.
e. Set up all of your social media. This includes LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, ITunes, etc.
f. Set up virtual reading communities such as Goodreads. Most of all strive to be ACTIVE and CONSISTENT in these networks. Build your following.
g. If you intend to set up an affiliate program be sure to build WebPages, links, sales copy and tracking tools that would attract and motivate your affiliates to promote you.
h. Decide on the type of tour you will be doing and give careful attention to the content you will provide.
i. Choose your Tour Hosts well in advance and provide them all of the tools and resources that they need to successfully promote you.
REMEMBER: Many times book reviewers, podcasters and radio show hosts are booked several months in advance. This makes advance preparation imperative so that you do not miss key opportunities.
2. Keep in Mind that the goals of your Virtual book Tour are to:
a. Sell your book both during the tour and afterwards.
b. Successfully reach best selling status for you book on Amazon
c. Get an Alexa ranking on your blog.
d. Get massive exposure to new audiences
e. Get reviews for you book
f. Get quality back links to you website to establish search engine optimization.
g. Build your mailing list and communicate with the list regularly so that you will generate both book sales and beyond that, product sales.
h. Last but certainly not least, build those ever important relationships with other experts, authors and influencers in your niche, paving the way to build your prosperity platform.
Your ACTION STEPS
1. Determine your goals for the tour.
2. Determine the type of tour you will be doing.
3. Determine the length of the tour and the tour dates.
4. Determine what kind of contests, bonus materials and giveaways you want to give out.
5. Research and list all prospective hosts.
6. When scheduling, remember to consider upcoming holidays and weekends.
7. Use our Tracking system to keep track of each segment of your Virtual Tour. Staying organized will save you from a lot of headaches and potential embarrassment.
8. Be mindful of the time zone changes between you locality and those of your hosts.
9. Finally, if you develop a system that works for you in tracking your activities, document so that you can rinse and repeat.
10. In order for your tour hosts to be able to best represent you, it is wise to send them a copy of your book. If you have already set up Create Space for the physical copy of your book, you can send that, however, either the Kindle or pdf version will work fine. Make sure that you send a copy with plenty of lead time, so that they have time to review it first.
Now the fun begins!
It is time to really put some quality time into finding the best tour hosts. In our experience, this has been an amazing and rewarding endeavor. Not only have we been able to build great relationships with our Tour Hosts, we have gained a wealth of support and knowledge from this experience.
This will require several things of you, some of which you may already know but it is wise to give this part careful consideration. Of course you already know who your ideal target audience is, so naturally your ideal hosts are those who already speak to people that most closely fit your ideal avatar.
When searching for quality hosts, size of the audience doesn’t always mean it is the best fit. The type of audience you want is the ones who will be most receptive to purchasing your book.
Places you could look in your search are:
• Podcast networks like ITunes, Stitcher Radio and other podcast networks. Locate a selection of them and listen to their shows and then select the ones that feel most closely suited. Typically the best podcast hosts to approach are those that regularly interview authors or are geared to your target audience.
• Book review blogs, blogs that focus on writers and blogs that focused on the topic of your book and aimed at your target audience.
• Who do you know that is in your own personal circles of people you already network with, including friends, colleagues and even competitors?
• Check out Amazon.com. This is an excellent resource. Simply search for authors who have written on similar subject matter. Chances are that if they are in launch mode themselves, they will be very open to getting interviewed and participating in cross promotion.
• Search Twitter using a keyword that relates and find other users that use that keyword in their profile.
• Facebook groups that focus on supporting authors. The stronger and more engaged you are in these groups the more apt you are to find really good hosts.
• Search out groups on LinkedIn, Google Plus and Goodreads
• Research through ezinearticles.com to find people who have already published articles that fit your ideal audience.
• Google searches for podcasts, radio shows and blogs that relate to your topic.
• Set up a Google alert at www.google.com/alerts for the topic of your book.
• Join networks such as www.radioguestlist.com. Radio Guest List has amazing resources, including a great training on how to get FREE radio interviews! (http://temp.thewomanilove.com/howtogetradiointerviews)
• www.bloggerlinkup.com is an excellent resource as they often have a listing of the guest posts they are looking for.
• Upon finding potential hosts be sure to check their blogs, and websites of links to other sites that are similar. Often you will find a treasure trove of resources.
Now it is time to narrow down your search to your top candidates. When making this evaluation consider the following:
1. How much traffic does their blog site get relative to the other sites you have considered?
2. What is the Google page rank of the site?
3. What is their Alexa ranking? (Reference this Article)
4. How many listeners does the show have?
5. How well does their audience match with your ideal avatar?
6. How active is the host on social networks?
7. Have they hosted other book tours?
8. Do they have a sign up form to their mailing list?
9. Are readers or listeners actively commenting on posts?
10. How well designed is their site?
11. Do they regularly update their content? Are they regular podcasters?
12. Is there a clear way to contact the owner?
Generally, you will get a more positive response if you approach people you know than if you approach total strangers.
To increase your chances of acceptance, it is beneficial to reciprocate by connecting and interacting with them on their social networks, making comments on their blogs, inviting them to guest post on your blog and retweeting their relevant twitter posts.
It is also important to make sure that your potential host understands how they benefit from your Virtual book tour.
Your own organization and preparation will go a long way in seeing the success of your Virtual Book Tour. The easier you make it for them the better the results and the better the response you will get.
Your host are doing YOU a favor so be mindful of best practices including showing appreciation.
This is the correspondence you will be sending them:
1. Invitation to participate in the tour: Make yourself a basic template to work with but be sure to personalize it to fit the situation. Your invitation’s main goal is to convince your potential host that they would love to participate in your tour.
How many invitations should you send? That depends on if you know them or not…most certainly your response rate will be higher if they know you, so you will need to plan accordingly.
2. Follow up if no response to invitation: If you didn’t get a response within three or four days, then send a follow up email with the subject line reworded and also reference your first email message to them. Perhaps they (like most of us) get so many emails that they missed it.
3. Confirmation upon acceptance: Send a confirmation email immediately if you get a positive response. Let them know what the next steps are. (See our Manual).
4. Copy (pdf or kindle) of your book along with your bio and other pertinent information.
5. Further details closer to the tour date: Include a cover letter, reminder of dates, interview questions or article along with low resolution images of your book and author photo:
6. Reminder the day before the tour stop.
7. Thank you to the host on the day of the tour
8. Coordinate drawings and announcing of prize winners: Be sure to send this info in advance. Detail what you want to do and when. Your host may need to provide the winners’ contact information
9. Distributing the prizes: Post a congratulatory note to the winner on the comments section of the blog host site, on your tour page and on social media.
10. Thank you’s for book reviews: (See our suggested contest for book reviews.) Encourage review posts to be made on Amazon, Goodreads and any other book review sites you are familiar with and be sure to include the link to your book on Amazon. Suggest to the host that they likewise post book reviews on their social media.
11. Reminder to continue promotion through the end of the tour: As the tour progresses, send emails to the hosts of the tours progress and ask that they continue to promote it. Let them know that the tour page will remain online and ask if they will share stats on how many visitors/listeners your post or podcast had.
12. Final thank you to ALL of the hosts: This is SO important. Not only first an email, but also a nice card sent in the mail…remember to make a great impression!
Your Virtual Book Tour Hosts are lined up and booked. You’ve sent your details to them, now to prepare your content.
You will find it beneficial to vary the content that you provide. This will vary according to the type of book you are publishing, as in a nonfiction book or a novel.
• “How to” articles and videos
• Articles providing commentary based on the books’ content
• Book reviews written by tour hosts
• Q & A articles with readers or listeners submitting questions in advance of the blog post or podcast. (See our article on the 10 x 10 x 4 method).
• Book excerpts
• Audio book readings of key sections of the book
• 30 second videos on various topics of the book
• Articles discussing the characters of the novel
• Articles discussing the plot of a certain section of the novel.
• An interview with a character in the novel.
• Articles discussing the process of writing your book.
• Book Video trailers
• Host interview questions via podcast, video or written for blogs
• Teleseminars or webinars
• Organized chats on social media in groups or events
• Games, contests and sweepstakes
Tailor the content to the audience on each of your tour stops. An effective way to get a feel for what type of content would be the best fit, study each tour host’s most popular posts and most recent blog posts (or shows) to see what other topics are being covered. How can your content complement these?
Can you expand on a topic that’s already been discussed or cover another angle that would be a terrific fit for the audience?
Ideally, you want to provide “unique” content to these hosts – content that has not been posted anywhere else online.
Bloggers are not fond of duplicate content online, preferring to offer unique content. This can be a feature you can offer when inviting potential hosts to participate.
If you find you need to offer duplicate content to a different host, use an article spinner and use a different title.
Don’t underestimate the time it takes to create new and fresh content. Start as early as possible.
• Use your table of contents as a source for ideas for content.
• Make a list of topics and items you want to feature.
• For blogs, check with your host to see if they have a word count limit. Typically they will limit to between 400-10,000 words.
• If you are doing a podcast interview, be sure to you know the time frame the interviewer allots. Some interviewers keep the interview to 15 minutes others will go up to an hour.
• Review your Virtual Tour Hosts blogs or podcasts to get a feel for their speaking or writing style.
• It may be beneficial for you to allot time to write a number of articles at once, so that you know they are done. Even if you simply write them and go back for final edits, you will rest easier if you know you have the bulk of the work done.
• This tour will be your time to shine, so make sure you have edited and proofed all of your articles. Even if you need to hire an editor, it can be a good move for you.
• Schedule your calendar to send articles or interview questions to your hosts at least 10 days in advance.
• Always be sure to include links to your book and make sure that any special bonuses are mentioned during and at the end of the article or show.
• Use our Promotional Book Tracking System for both blogs and your interviews to improve efficiency and reduce the chance of oversights and errors.
In review, advance preparation will be the key to your success.
Considering the time and effort it has taken to write your book, going the extra mile now will reap huge rewards. You may even find it advantageous to hire a virtual assistant to keep you organized. If that is not possible, then do yourself a favor and give meticulous attention to detail. Remember that the content of the interviews, no matter whether they are blogs, podcasts, webinars, video interviews or radio shows, will be online for a very long time…with the potential to bring you clients.
Not to be overlooked on your Virtual Book Tour is Social Media.
It is a powerful tool with the potential for lots of exposure. If you are just beginning to build a following, ask someone who has a large following to host you.
Facebook Groups or Events: Set up a Facebook Event or Group and invite others to join you at a specific time. Pick topics of interest, let others ask questions of you, and ask questions of others. This is an excellent way to interact with others, although it would typically be those who are already following you.
An alternative is to have one or more of your Virtual Tour hosts host it in their own group or event. This will give you exposure to their following as well.
Google + Hangouts: This can be a huge event or a smaller event with only special invitees attending. It can be a live event that is recorded and later posted to YouTube to be viewed by a broader audience.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn has a group feature and while LinkedIn frowns on self promotion, you can contact the moderator of the group and ask them to host a Q&A on the topic of your book. If the moderator is open to it, request an introduction and a review on your book. The key is search out groups that fit your target audience and join and contribute in advance.
Tweet Chats: A twitter chat is a virtual networking event that can give you a great deal of exposure as well as interaction with readers. These chats are scheduled for a specific time and usually last an hour or so. The host will pose a question for the author to answer. While you can host your own chat, it is best to use a host to maximize your exposure to a new audience. Look for existing chats that you can participate in.
Generally hash tags (#) are used to identify the chat so that the chats are searchable (for example: #MyBOOKChat or something similar).
Search for twitter chats that are related to your topic by using quotes, for example: “twitter chat for authors”. Or do a Google search for twitter chats related to your target audience. An example of this would be “twitter chats for self publishers” etc. You will find a lot of good resources this way.
Both authors and tour hosts benefit when you offer giveaways, bonuses and contests.
It is a big it because it sparks interest and creates some great hype for your tour. Many times people will share the excitement with others as well.
There is a world of possibilities when preparing these offers and discounts and you will want to have some fun with this.
Good planning is required here as well as you will need to consider the following:
• What actions you want people to take
• What prizes or bonuses you will give away.
• How you will track your entries.
• How you will award the prizes.
Get creative and have some fun!
Being creative with this will spur book sales and great reviews.
1. Giveaways based on blog comments: In this contest you could invite others to comment on the blog and then randomly draw winners. Or, ask them to post why they want to win the prize and how it would benefit them. Mix it up and offer a random and best comment prize at the same tour stop.
2. Giveaways based on postings to social networks.
3. Tweeting Contests: This is a great way to motivate others to spread the word! You will need to track the tweets by means of using hash tags (#). Make sure the hash tags are short because of Twitters limit on the number of words you can use for a tweet. A simple way to track the tweets so you can select a winner is to use HooteSuite. To do this you would click on Add Stream, select Keywords, enter your hash tag, click add then click create stream. This will be useful in also tracking tweets about your book.
4. Multiple Entry Contests: By this we mean that you could offer multiple ways for people to enter your prize drawing, which will give you added exposure. For instance, they can get an entry for each blog post, each tweet, each Facebook comment, for subscribing to your mailing list, subscribing to your RSS feed, connecting on LinkedIn, sharing a video, or a link to a podcast.
The multiple entry contests will definitely take much more work to track, but we found an excellent tool at www.rafflecopter.com
Ideally the prize should showcase your area of expertise.
Here are a few ideas:
• Give away your book
• Give away a free audio or video training
• Give away a free report
• Give away a free consultation
• Give an Amazon Gift Card
• Combine with all of your Virtual Tour Hosts and provide a mix of valuable information from all of the hosts. In other words, each host provides a selection of their valuable content.
• Create a GRAND Prize with a full assortment of tools and resources for the winner.
• Offer one time or temporary discounts on products and services you offer.
Think carefully about giving away copies of the book that you’re promoting through the tour. People who visit your tour posts or interviews aren’t likely to buy the book if they think they might win a free copy, so think creatively of a way around that.
Encourage interaction from readers and listeners. Acknowledge readers by responding to their comment s and questions.
Invite their participation, mention giveaways, acknowledge your hosts.
It is imperative that you budget time each morning in preparation for the daily tour activities, so that everything goes off as planned. Count on spending between half an hour to an hour each day on this.
Here are some of the things that you’ll need to have on your daily agenda.
You will find our CHECKLIST handy.
Print it out and check off the items each day.
□ Check the tour stop post, including the links, making sure everything is working properly.
□ Post the daily tour stop link to your webpage.
□ Do a promotional blog post for the daily tour stop.
□ always add a thank you comment on the daily tour stop.
□ at the end of the day send a thank you email to the host of the day.
□ Email a reminder to tomorrow’s host.
□ Post a link to today’s tour on social media networks
□ Check for comments that need to be acknowledged both on blogs and social media.
□ Check on book giveaways and draw the daily winners if there are any.
□ Send announcements and prizes to the winners.
In conclusion remember to acknowledge your hosts by sending a thank you card in the mail…not just an email. Also acknowledge them publically on your website, blog and social media. Sending an autographed copy of your book would be a great gesture as well.
Delivering Your Perfect Pitch to Your Perfect Audience
This is important information that we need to know in order to properly match you with the best interviewers:
- Identify your ideal client. Who are they? What is their age/gender/income level/primary business activity, etc?
- Identify your own point of view. What sets you/your company apart from all the others in your field? What is your unique spin?
- What are your credentials?
- Are there any insider tricks you are willing to share with listeners/readers?
As an interviewee we caution you to avoid the following:
NEVER, NEVER go into an interview with the idea in mind you’re going to pitch your book. You want to share timely, interesting and relevant information that informs their audience. Share your expertise & knowledge, and help their listeners.
Step up and take charge…don’t wait for your host to start the conversation.
These are three of the most important characteristics an author must display during their interview:
Be enthusiastic about what you’re doing. People see it in your eyes, whether they sit in front of you in an audience or sit at home and watch you on the television. “Raw enthusiasm and self-confidence made up for a lot of the hurdles along the way,” Gill says. Will it be scary? Sure. Exciting too! Give it your all.
You have to believe in what you’re saying. If you don’t, people will often know, and even if they don’t, you’ll develop a bad reputation over time. Gill has actually walked off sets and refused to represent products when he realized that their promises were lies.
The biggest secret to sales is the law of averages. Most people will say no. Some will say yes. Gill remembers going door-to-door. “You have to give 300 good quality pitches a day. In those 300, you’ll find 15 or 20 people to say yes. If you can’t get past the nos, if you can’t get past the negativity and keep a smile on your face, you’re not going to reach the ones who say yes.” Keep at it. You’ll learn and get better and better.
Include in Your Interview:
Short stories, little known facts, jokes, anecdotes – you want to entertain and enlighten. Prepare 30 -90 second sound bytes. Quips, quotes.
You can also use lists, charts and diagrams if it is a video podcast.
If you were to leave our listener’s with one piece of parting advice, what would that be?
What is your call to action?
Formula(s) and Examples for Creating a Pitch
One of our favorites follows the television infomercial formula: 4-step codified breakdown for a typical infomercial pitch:
Here’s a problem with what you’re doing today
Here’s the ideal solution to that problem
Here’s what makes the solution difficult or less desirable
Here’s how our product makes it easier
- The breakdown of fruit juicer infomercial might look like this:
- Eating too many processed foods is destroying your health
- The solution is to eat more fresh fruits and juices
- The problem with typical juicers is that they’re too large, time-consuming to use, expensive, hard to clean, etc.
- Our awesome, compact, easy-to-clean, and affordable juice machine is what you need!
- Breakdown of infomercial about home workout DVDs or fitness equipment:
- You want to lose weight and get in shape. right?
- The solution is going to the gym and working out regularly
- The problem is that you don’t have time to go and gym memberships are expensive
- What you need is our awesome, cost-effective, home workout DVD/machine.
- Pitch Formula: How _____________trick you into_______________and how to stop them dead in their tracks:
- How your subconscious thoughts trick you into eating too much…and how to stop them dead in their tracks.
- How insurance companies trick you into signing away your rights and how to stop them dead in their tracks.
- Pitch Formula: Is/Are your ____________________destroying your _________________? ______to stop them now.
- Are your children destroying your marriage? 5 ways to stop them right now.
- Are your doctors destroying your health? 3 ways to stop them now.
- Pitch Formula: These ____common ________________________actually do more harm than good!
- These 3 common pain killers actually do more harm than good!
- These 5 common exercises actually do more harm than good!
- These 3 common apologies actually do more harm than good!
- Pitch Formula: “_________ Insider Reveals The 7 Hidden Secrets
Your ____ Prays You’ll Never Find Out About”
- “Health Insider Reveals The 7 Hidden Secrets Your Doctor Prays You’ll Never Find Out About”
- Pitch Formula: The ____toughest questions your ______will ever ask you…and how to answer them without getting into trouble.
- “The 5 toughest questions your kids will ever ask you … and how to answer them without getting into trouble”
- “The 3 toughest questions your attorney will ever ask you … and how to answer them without getting into trouble”
- Pitch Formula: Is/Are _____________getting too__________?
- Are China and India getting too many of our jobs?
- Are parents ruining their kids by letting them get away with too much?
- Pitch Formula: “The ___ toughest questions your _________
will ever ask you … and how to answer them without getting into trouble”
- “The 5 toughest questions your kids will ever ask you … and how to answer them without getting into trouble”
- “The 3 toughest questions your attorney will ever ask you … and how to answer them without getting into trouble”
Your Website’s Media Page
In an effort to build the Spotlight on Your Business and your book, you will want to include a Media page on your website and your blog.
To establish exposure, your media page will be your hub that will attract journalists, talk show hosts/producers, radio shows hosts, podcasters and guest and guest bloggers.
Your media page will contain all the information that they need to know about you, your book and your business.
On your website’s menu bar, you can choose to call your media:
- Press Room
- Media Room
- Press Kit
On some sites, the media page is accessed through a link from the “About” page of the site. Whatever you call your book publicity page, just make sure it’s clearly marked and easy to find from any page on your site.
Remember, your “Media” page isn’t just for the media – it’s a great place to showcase your credentials and biographic information for a variety of author and book publicity purposes.
If you are researching for opportunities for a virtual book tour, where you will seek complimentary businesses and experts in your niche, having a well defined media page on your own website will be vital to your success. Many experts have a Media Kit on their sites and you will come to appreciate this as a great resource to you.
With a virtual book tour, you can tie in your interviews with your interviewee, sharing your expertise with their followers and vice versus…and sharing the links to the completed interviews as well as your upcoming interview schedule. Remember, your goal is to put the Spotlight on your book, your expertise, your product and your services.
Your media page will serve as a great way to introduce yourself to bloggers, podcasters, radio show hosts, and even TV hosts. It will also be a way to reach out to potential clients and potential joint venture partners.
Here are some of the most important elements to include on your website’s media page:
• About the Author – You might create two bios, a short one of about three sentences (imagine a radio announcer introducing you) and another bio about half a page long.
• About the Book – Summary of your book, written in a news style without marketing hype.
• Praise/Endorsements/Reviews – Feature any celebrity quotes prominently.
• Awards – Book awards and awards received by the author.
• Author Photos – High resolution version for print and low resolution for online use. Include a caption beneath your photo listing your credentials or author tagline.
- Book Covers– High resolution for print and low resolution for online use.
• Contact Information – Make this easy to find, include email address, phone number, and address if applicable.
Other elements commonly found on author and book publicity pages include:
• Complete Press Kit – We like to call this a Speaker One Sheet. It is one page or document containing all of your media information in one place.
• In the Media – Provide links to previous media coverage that you’ve received. If you have appeared in any major print or broadcast media, include their logos prominently on your media page.
• Audio and/or Video Clips – Short audio or video clips of you (preferably being interviewed) allow potential interviewers to hear or see you in action.
• Interview Topics – A list of topics you can speak about.
• Sample Q & A – Radio stations, in particular, will appreciate using questions you provide for an interview
• Article Topics – A list of topics you can write about and/or suggested angles for feature stories about you. You might even provide pre-written stories or tips for the media to use.
• Fact Sheet – One-page document with pertinent facts about your industry or book topic.
• Press Releases – Links to online versions of press releases about you, your book or business.
• Media References – Nice quotes from media who have interviewed you or worked with you.
• Clients Include – If you’re a consultant, you might want to post a list of important clients (with their permission) and a few testimonial quotes from clients.
Below is an excellent resource we suggest that you look into.
Sandra Beckwith, a former award-winning publicist who now teaches authors how to generate media attention at www.buildbookbuzz.com, advises imagining what questions journalists would ask about you and your book and making sure they can find the answers to those questions in your media room. “You want to make sure you’re providing the information they want in a format they’re familiar with,” she says. “That means you want to present that information in a factual way without hyperbole or exaggeration.”
Many online book publicity pages contain downloadable documents in PDF format, but Sandra advises just putting the text of your media materials on a web page and letting people copy and paste from there. Even when it’s convenient to copy or download your book publicity materials from your website, some people will still want you to email information to them or even send a printed media kit.
For inspiration, check out these book publicity pages for ideas to use in creating your own media page:
Tricia Goyer (fiction and nonfiction)
Laura Stack (nonfiction)
Al Lautenslager (nonfiction)
Dana Lynn Smith (nonfiction)
Melissa Williams (children’s)
Mike Michalowicz (nonfiction)
Shaila Abdullah (fiction)
Rabbi Ed Weinsberg (nonfiction)
Your online author publicity page is a great promotional tool. If you don’t already have a media page on your site, get started now – you can always add to it over time. If you do have a media page, now is a good time to review and enhance it.