IWSG—Belated book tours possible?

If you’re observing Ta’anit Esther, may you have an easy and meaningful fast! And if you’re reading this after sundown on Wednesday, Happy Purim!

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

The first Wednesday of every month, The Insecure Writer’s Support Group convenes to share struggles, insecurities, triumphs, doubts, and other odds and sods. This month I’m wondering about the feasibility of belated book tours.

Would it be pathetic or plausible for me to have some kind of belated virtual book tour for the three books I currently have out? I haven’t sold anything since early November, and was having pretty embarrassing lack of sales before that as well. I’ve still had far more people congratulate me than actually buy books. I’ve held off on physical copies because of this embarrassing lack of sales, though I also wonder if I’ll get more sales with physical copies and the ability to sell them at bookstores and to loan them through libraries.

I made the price for all three $4.99, and abandoned my stubborn plans to market the longer two at $7.99. I’m very firm about not wanting to be yet another writer in the so-called $2.99 ghetto (to say nothing of 99 cents), but if no one’s buying anyway, it can’t hurt to somewhat lower the prices. If I get more sales, I can put them back at $7.99.

It almost feels like I wasted so much time editing, formatting, and designing covers, as well as going back and forth between computers with the last book, since my newer computer doesn’t have Word and thus can’t hyperlink a table of contents or convert into HTML. Would I have better sales if my books were all of 200 pages, in a trendier genre, with faster-paced storylines and glossier, more modern covers?

I write in the style and voice I was brought up in. I can’t suddenly change to fast-paced, plot-centric books with only one protagonist and set over a short timespan. I’m used to books which are slower-paced, character-centric, more about growth, change, and development over a longer period, with large ensemble casts.

I’m not even sure I’d get enough interest to merit a real virtual book tour. I’ve had some guest posts or announcements here and there, but not all at the same time or as part of a tour. It really mystifies me how so many other writers have like 30+ people lined up for cover reveals, release day blitzes, and virtual book tours.

I’m well aware of the fact that I really failed at marketing myself and generating substantial buzz. Some people have even expressed surprise to discover I have books out. I’m not even sure just whom I should approach about hosting me for a potential book tour or further guest posts. Are they typically people who’ve read the book, who read or write in your genre, or whom you’re really close blogging friends with? I don’t want to create an awkward situation if I approach the wrong people.

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16 thoughts on “IWSG—Belated book tours possible?

  1. I don’t know that a book tour is ever actually belated as long as you add some current relevance to it. What’s old is new to people who haven’t heard about it yet. Put a new spin on things and go for it!

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  2. I don’t see anything wrong with a belated book tour. There are also ways to attempt more notice to your books. You could always offer one to some people who would be willing to write you a review in a couple places. Or you could host a giveaway. Or just check out some blogs and see about guest posts and/or if they’d be willing to spread the word about your books. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it/interested, but Agent Query Connect(agentqueryconnect.com) could maybe help you get the word around about your book(or how you could get more notice to them).

    Anyway, just some thoughts. I’m new to your blog so I’m off to check it out and go look up those books. 🙂

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  3. You will have more people congratulate you than but your books. That’s just normal. They want to congratulate you because they’re happy and excited for you. But not everyone has the time or money. Last year, I couldn’t but any books because I was in a very tough money situation. I’ve also decided to cut back on the books I buy until I catch up on my reading. Then there are the people who do want to be polite but don’t think you book is right for them. That’s normal! I’ve had many congratulations and I know not all of them bought my stories. Nor do I expect them to because I understand.

    Whew…that was long. Anyway, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a belated book tour. Do it! 😀 Just make sure to create interesting posts, not too long, and don’t try to cram in every book you’ve released so far. Dedicate each stop to one book and then mention the other books you have available at the end by listing their titles and providing at least the Amazon link.

    Approach any blogger who hosts authors/blog tours. I’m sure you’ve come across a lot. I host them and I’m open for June. All you have to do is ask. The worst they can say is no and if they do, they say it nicely. Trust me.

    Good luck!

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  4. I, like you, failed MISERABLY at marketing myself. I maybe posted something on facebook… maybe? And I’ve never joined a book blog tour. I’m slightly stupid with computers and all things technology so it’s amazing I’m even able to post this. I would, however, consider lowering your book prices. I know, I know, it’s like “but I worked so hard – I don’t want to just give it away!” but if you’re relatively unknown, most people won’t take a chance on you. It sucks, but it’s the truth. Once you develop your audience, they may be willing to pay a bit more. Because they’ll know you and trust your work. I originally had my books listed at 4.99 and have since dropped them to 2.99. I’m considering going down another buck because most of the books that I get are about 1.99. You’ve got to stay competitive. Anyway, good luck sweetie. Maybe we can help each other with blog tours once I figure them out myself!!

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  5. Sure you can do a belated book tour. Holly did with her cookbooks. You can either approach bloggers and book bloggers and set one up yourself or hire a service. Elizabeth Seckman has a great tour going on right now – find out if she used someone or did it herself. (And I set all of mine up myself.)

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  6. Call it your re-release or something like that. If you change the pricing that would also be a valid thing to mention. And I don’t think it needs to be close blogging friends. I’ve hosted strangers on blog tours, in addition to acquaintances and friends. Put the word out on here, but also contact people who comment on here sometimes.

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  7. You have to write in the style and genre that appeals to you. If you don’t, the readers will be able to tell you don’t care for it. And all that time you spent formatting, editing, etc. wasn’t wasted. Not only did you learn, but you’ll have a growing backlist as more and more people discover you. Just keep writing!

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  8. Why not do a blog tour? I’ve seem people stretch theirs out for months!!! Let me know if you need help. Hopefully I’ll see the signup sheet without you having to help and I can just sign up!

    When I was relatively new in the IWSG community (I wasn’t even officially a member!), I did a cover reveal and I was stunned that a few people actually signed up. From that point forward, I made it a point to support as many authors as possible. In the last blog tour I did, I kept a spreadsheet of everyone who helped and if any of those people need to sell so much as a pamphlet, I’m THERE! That’s really the best thank-you you can give (as well as tweeting about it).My point is, this community is very supportive and can be a VERY valuable resource for building buzz. Does it translate to sales? I don’t know for sure. I do know my last blog tour got the interest of some teachers and librarians who bought my book for their classrooms/libraries. It also got some requests for signed copies. It’s an ongoing thing but I have found that when you “pay it forward,” it makes a big difference in the support you get.

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  9. I agree with everyone here that it’s not too late for a book tour. I’m a fan of sourcing out the work to book bloggers — they’ll have reach beyond your own. Then you can (please) come to all of us to ask us to sign up on that tour.

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  10. My publisher organizes a book review tour, but don’t feel like you’re selling yourself short at $2.99, or even 99 cents. I had HUGE success with 99 cent sales. The reality is, for authors who are self pub’d or with smaller publishers (like me), we have to train the masses to take a chance on us, and that’s what those sales do. Now with 18 Things, I have 132 reviews because of those sales. And also, don’t be discouraged by the sale numbers. You wanted to write a book and publish it, and you did. You know how many people tell me they want to write a book? EVERYONE!! But hardly anyone sits down and accomplishes the task. I always say if I was in this for the money, I would’ve went out and gotten a waitressing job a long time ago . . . a lot less work for a lot more money. Continue on for the passion. 🙂

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  11. Nowadays books can be up on sites indefinitely and always have a chance to find their audience. There’s nothing wrong with a belated book tour. Have you considered trying some local events or getting your book in front of book clubs? Those might be helpful too.

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