by Marianne Soucy
In this article about marketing your virtual book tour I will have my main focus on images. Images are a powerful way of getting your message across, especially combined with text; and images are being used more and more both on blogs and social media.
Create a book tour banner
The first image you need to create for promoting your virtual book tour is a book tour banner. There are several ways you can create a book tour banner; one that is often used is vertical (tall and narrow) which combines an image of you and an image of your book cover, and will include your book title and your website address (see example).
Where to place your book tour banner
On your website, place your banner both on the book tour page, and in the sidebar (if you use sidebar on your website) with a link to the book tour page, so visitors will see it wherever they are on your website (except on single pages or single posts without sidebar). You can also share it on social media with a link back to your book tour page. If you do not use sidebars on your website, then you can look into finding a way to get your image to appear prominently on each post or page. Check your theme’s settings, or perhaps install a widget or other plugin to get it done. You can also refer to your book tour in your bio, if you have a bio at the bottom of each post and page.
Blog post images
During a book tour, you will likely post articles on your own website as well as on host websites. Creating at least one, preferably two images for each blog post increases your chances for getting people’s attention – without being spammy.
One image represents the topic of your post; place the title of your post on it (and make sure the title is catchy!). At the bottom of the image write “yourwebsite.com at hostwebsite.com” (see example).
The second image should be related to your topic, but can also have a quote on it. The quote can be either from the same article where the image is placed, or it can be another relevant quote.
Having two different images for each book tour stop increases your visibility when you share the images.
Where to share the images
Besides putting them on the post, you can share them on social media, fx
- Facebook profile
- Facebook page
And don’t forget to let your email subscribers know about your virtual book tour! You can use the book tour banner in the email.
On Pinterest you can have several boards, for instance one for your book tour and one or more for the topics your book covers. Since people don’t need to follow all your Pinterest boards but can follow individual boards, you will reach more people by pinning images on several boards. Quote images are popular on Pinterest, so having a beautiful image with a quote can get people’s attention. In the description under the pin you can share a little about the book tour or post. And you can also put a link directly in the description (not bit.ly or similar, or Pinterest might mark your pin as spam).
When you pin you can choose to tweet it out. And after your pin is up, you can share the link to that pin on other social media. In this case you may use bit.ly or similar to shorten the link. People getting to your pin from for example Twitter or Facebook will also have the chance to see your other book tour pins and click through to your website (or the host’s if you wish to send people there).
On LinkedIn you can, of course, share on your ‘timeline’ and in groups, but since we all now have the possibility to publish posts on LinkedIn, this can be a good opportunity to share some valuable information as well as market your book tour (in a non-salesy way). Use a good image, perhaps with a quote, and write some valuable content that your audience will like. You can either use an excerpt from your post (or your book) or write some new material.
And in the bio at the bottom of the post, you can put a link to your book tour page. (There is no separate place for a bio on LinkedIn posts, so you need to add it at the end of the post.)
A tip: Be sure to create a title that includes words your audience will search for; so that your posts will come up in search results on LinkedIn. And remember to share your post on other social media.
Where to find images
There are numerous resources available, and I will share with you a few of those I sometimes use.
For free images Morguefile can sometimes be useful, especially if you are looking for sky or sea images for backgrounds.
Some of the paid options are Bigstock, Shutterstock, PresenterMedia, Fotolia, and many more. You may want to compare pricing, and see which one has the type of images you need for your post. Make sure you check if the license gives you permission to use the image the way you want in order to avoid copyright problems. You may want to put your name and/or website on the image. And of course, you can always use your own images.
How to edit images
I will touch on this briefly as this topic is beyond the scope of this article.
I usually use the program MS-Paint to resize and crop images. Check your computer for what photo editing program you have. Two online programs that I often use to put text on images, etc. are Pixlr Express and PicMonkey. Test them out and see what works best for your needs.
There is much more to say about creating images and how to use images to market your virtual book tour, but I hope this article has given you the inspiration to get started. Good luck with your virtual book tour!
Marianne Soucy is the founder of Healing Pet Loss, and the author of Healing Pet Loss – Practical Steps for Coping & Comforting Messages from Animals and Spirit Guides and “Gathering The Light – Healing, Inspiration and Empowerment through Animal Messages and Journeys into Spirit” at: facebook.com/gatheringthelight