Many authors, myself included, struggle with self-promotion. Most of us have no background in marketing and often have little to no budget to pay someone else for help. Jo's new book, Book Tours: Effective Online Promotion from the Comfort of Your Own Home, addresses this very problem.
Tell us a bit about your latest book Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home
Virtual Book Tours are a great way to create a buzz for a new release or to put life back into an older publication. In this book I take you through everything you need to know to be able to set up and carry out a successful virtual book tour. The book is divided into 4 main sections for easy navigation: 1) What is a Virtual Book Tour? 2) How to organise your own tour 3) Promoting a tour 4) Useful resources You'll find it packed with links, tips, and advice to help make your tour a hit.
Why do authors need your book?
Marketing is part of being a writer. Regardless of how you're published (traditionally or self-published), you will, at some point, need to do some marketing. Virtual book tours are one of the most effective methods of creating a buzz about your book and have numerous benefits. In this book I cover everything you need to know to organise and carry out a virtual book tour. Even if you decide not to do a virtual book tour, you'll still find this book useful as it's packed full of marketing ideas and links to resources.
Why did you decide to write a book about virtual book tours?
I've done several successful virtual book tours for my own books and have worked with book tour companies and authors for years hosting them on my sites. Over the years I've therefore gained a lot of experience in doing virtual book tour both from the author and host point of view. As I often get asked for advice about doing them from other authors I decided to put all the information together and created Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home
What is the first thing you recommend authors do when they decide to organise a virtual book tour?
Put together a media kit. In creating a media kit you have all the information regarding your book, you as an author, and your virtual book tour, all in the one place. This makes it a useful reference tool for you, but also a valuable tool you can use during preparations for your tour. It looks professional and creates a good impression. I also makes life easier for your hosts as they have all the information they might need for your post all in the one place.
You created the cover art for the book yourself. What was your inspiration for the design?
I wanted a cover that was thumbnail friendly as, more often than not, it gets seen online in that format. That meant the text needed to be easy to read and the whole look needed to be clutter free. Too many details or fancy fonts don't look good in thumbnails. I also wanted an image that quickly portrayed what the book was about. I choose the theme "sending your book around the world" and played around with some ideas based on this idea. I'm really pleased with how the cover came out.
Why did you choose to self publish using Amazon's KDP program?
I've always been very pro self publishing. For me, it's always been my plan A. I choose Amazon because it's the leader in its field. Everyone knows Amazon. Using the site is super easy and through KDP your book can be available to the public in just 12 hours from hitting the publish button.
I like that through KDP setting up a free day is easy. It's a great way to spread the word about your book and get readers to take notice. I like that you can update your book information as and when you please and have full control over pricing. They also have one of the best customer services I've come across. If that's not enough, they bought Goodreads earlier this year (one of the top sites for book lovers).
You're best know for your best selling children's picture books. Why the change in genre?
For me, it's not about thinking outside the box. The box simply doesn't exist. I like to experiment with my writing and although I've had most success as an author and illustrator of children's picture books, I'm always trying out new genres. When I get an idea that gets me excited, like this book about virtual book tours, I go with it.
You're a mum to a 5 year old and a 2 year old. How do you find the time for writing and marketing?
My kids definitely keep me busy but I've learnt to make the most of the time I get. I do most of my writing in the evenings once they've gone to bed. Sometimes my husband will take the kids out for the morning to give me a break and give me a few hours to work on bigger projects.
During the day I hop on and off my social media pages to network. I have the apps installed on my phone so I can visit and engage with my contacts even when I'm not near my computer.
I use sites like Social Oomph to program some content to post at scheduled times. I do the same for some posts to my Facebook pages. This gives me a constant online presence without needing to actually be online all the time. I also program my blogs ahead of time. When you have young kids anything can happen and so you need to prepare for the unexpected. By having some content programmed in advance I give myself a safety net and so don't need to stress about keeping up with things as much.
I'm currently working on another children picture story book The Bedtime Book, a series of non-fiction books for writers and authors about using social media, and some new collaborations as an illustrator. I like to keep myself busy ;)
Where can people find out more about you and your books?
On my website www.JoLinsdell.com
Anything else you'd like to add?
Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home is available to buy at the discounted price of $2.99 for the whole month of September to celebrate its release (normal price $4.99) http://bit.ly/VBTKindle
Jo Linsdell is a best selling author and illustrator, award winning blogger and freelance writer. She is also the founder and organiser of the annual online event "Promo Day" (www.PromoDay.info). To find out more about Jo and her projects visit her website www.JoLinsdell.com.
Look for Jo on these Social Sites:
Amazon - US (Kindle)
Amazon - UK (Kindle)
Facebook event page