Today I'm hosting Dorothy Thompson's Virtual Book Tour.
"What is a Virtual Book Tour?" you ask.
This is a very creative way to conduct a book tour. Rather than visiting actual book stores, you visit various blogs, answer questions, and interact with readers. Dorothy Thompson is author and editor of Romancing the Soul anthology (to which I contributed a story) and several e-books. She has become known as a relationship expert, with a web site (www.thewriterslife.net ) and articles in magazines and ezines.
Dorothy also has compiled what's she's learned about promoting and selling books into her latest eBook, A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published Book.
Today Dorothy is visiting my blog in her month long tour. I've asked her a few questions. I think you'll enjoy reading her answers and learning about publishing and promoting.
MEA: Welcome, Dorothy, to Mary Emma's Potpourri of Writing.
How has your book tour been going? Perhaps if you'll describe this type of tour, readers will have a better idea of what it's all about.
DOROTHY: Hi, Mary Emma, and thank you for having me!
While everyone should know that it takes a combination of things to effectively promote an eBook, I must say the most effective as of this date has to be this virtual book tour. I have never seen anything like it, and I only wish I had done this before. It was like DUH! I had heard of virtual book tours, but I thought you had to have someone set them up for you. I had no idea I could do it myself.
They're easy to set up, and since you're the boss, you can appear on any blog you'd like, If you set your tour for a month, that should give your eBook plenty of time to gain interest. The sales have been unbelievable.
MEA: Why did you start writing eBooks?
DOROTHY: I started out e-published. Years ago. But I had no idea how to promote eBooks, hardly knew what one was. But I was so excited to be published, I was willing to go any route. However, the book bombed. I didn't know how to promote it. I couldn't take it on signings. I couldn't hand sell it. I didn't know what to do with the thing.
Three years later, my anthology, Romancing the Soul, was published both in print and electronic format by Zumaya Publications. It wasn't until then that I started learning how to promote. I kept notebooks on what worked and didn't work, and I found the secret to good promotion is to target your audience. I found my audience, and soon thereafter started all sorts of things to get sales. I began a newsletter, gave away free advice, etc.
Next I contacted my publisher about publishing another relationship book. She advised me to wait a year to let Romancing the Soul gain momentum. As she's a smart cookie, I decided to do just that.
In the meantime, I kept writing and revising this next book. (Incidentally, it...The Soul Mate Triangle: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Soul Mate Relationship, will be published next year...waaahooo!)
However, I was getting antsy. I wanted more reltationship books out there, but I knew I had to wait. Me and waiting don't match.
It was then I decided to write a shorter relationship book and turn it into an eBook to sell on my web site while I waited for my other book to be published. A couple weeks later, How to Find and Keep Your Soul Mate was selling off my web site.
Sales were okay, but nothing to write home to Mama about. I still hadn't found the secret to have them selling like hotcakes. A few months later, my writing group and I published an eBook to give away, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting Published.
After using a new technique, outlined in my promotional book, A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published EBook, I managed to get our eBook into the #1 spot in all the search engines in one week for our key search words that people would use to find it. I thought, "That is really cool!"
I tried the same technique with our free Halloween eBook. It only took SIX days to get it in the #1 spot in all the search engines.
So those little free eBooks were my guinea pigs. I had learned how to use the search engines effectively, as a result, sell more books.
It was then I knew I was ready to tell the world. I unleashed A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published EBook last September. I have to admit, I am making more money from this eBook so far than all my royalties combined.
MEA: Have you found readers more receptive to your e-books than print books?
DOROTHY: I am finding people are more curious about the promoting eBook than anything because I think people want to learn how to make money with their writing that gets instant results. Before you even think about doing this, you must have a market.
I've seen self-published eBooks that just sit. The author has done everything in his power to promote it, yet he's getting no sales. Informational eBooks are the ones selling well right now. But again, you must have an audience. If you have any expertise in ANYTHING, it has the potential to make a pretty good eBook.
You see, there must be a demand for your eBook. Zero in on your market and get that eBook out there!
If you'd like to learn more about my eBook, A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published EBook, you can visit: www.thewriterslife.net/promoteebook.html .
Thank you for having me, Mary Emma, and happy promoting to you!