Just like their traditional counterparts, virtual book tours highlight a book or series on various blogs for a set amount of time.
For example, a new romance might be featured on two different blog sites every day for twenty days. That’s a lot of exposure to readers and reviewers. So a book tour can be a great way to get exposure and hopefully, reviews and sales for a book.
The pricing for a book tour is all over the board, depending on what company you use, how many stops, if they guarantee reviews, etc. You can do everything from giveaways to interview posts to recipes, you name it.
For a book launch, getting as much exposure as you can is definitely worth it and is something that we regularly utilize to promote our books and authors.
In fact - we're partnering with Silver Dagger Book Tours for a unique contest!
Contest runs through April 12, 2020 so enter today!
Today, we’ve had a quick word with Maia Gomez from Silver Dagger Book Tours. Enjoy!
When did you start blogging and why did you make books the focus of your writing?
I started blogging about six years ago after discovering book tours and eventually evolved into doing my own tours as I wanted to help spread the word about all the amazing books out there. I've been a bookaholic from birth so naturally gravitated towards books in my spare time. I believe that reading has declined by society in the past few years as people are ensnared by social media and streaming, so want to do all I can to help bring new books to new readers.
How did you first get involved with virtual book tours?
I stumbled upon book tours quite a few years ago from browsing Goodreads looking for new books...somehow on there I linked to a tour and thought it was just too neat. After browsing tours for a few months, I decided I wanted to help spread the word too and for the first time in my life tried my hand at blogging.
Once I got pregnant with my second son, I quit my job to stay at home with him, got pregnant with my third son shortly thereafter and am now a permanent stay at home mom with all the time in the world to put my efforts into running my company (between bursts of chaos, snack-times and playtimes of course).
How did you establish the company and get writers to sign on?
I started out first doing some tours either for free or in exchange for ebooks, but after all the hours I put into everything, I really needed a bit more compensation for my time and hard work. Yet, I believe that what some of these other tour companies charge authors is just highway robbery. Thus, I came up with the idea to let authors tip me after the tour whatever amount they deem fair and can comfortably afford, that way everybody walks away happy from everything and authors can get a tour rolling without having to shell out first. I am literally affordable to any and all budgets!
You allow people to pay what they want, so what have been some of the payments that you've received, monetary and otherwise?
The most that I have ever received from a tour was $400 from an extremely happy author, though my general average falls in the $50 - $200 range. I also trade for other services, books, swag and other random items. Not everybody has cash on hand they can comfortably afford so I'm totally open to bartering. My main goal is to help authors get some promo, not clean out their wallets, though I do expect compensation of some sort for all of the hours I put in and the expenses on my end to keep things running and for paying my assistants. Besides cash, I've had people send me gift baskets, books, chocolate and even have one wonderful lady knit me blankets every now and then as payment LOL.
How many books have you promoted thus far and how many bloggers do you work with?
Oh wow, coming up with a solid number of actual books is hard as I feature series all the time, but I've done over 3000 tours with many, many more coming soon. At any given time, I have 60+ active tours running as 2-3 kick off every weekday and a few on weekends as well.
As for bloggers, I have over 300 regulars in my group, though they all post different genres, so it varies per tour, with a bare minimum of 50 bloggers per tour, though sometimes I range more in the 70+ bloggers per tour, it just depends on the genre and how long sign ups run.
What has the response to your offerings been like so far from both writers and readers?
Writers are just pleased to no end that I'm completely affordable no matter what their budget is. I give everybody the same high-level quality work no matter what the end payment is, cost is not a factor in the results of the tour. I have a LOT of authors come back for repeat tours claiming they prefer my tours over some of the other top companies as I have the most interaction and they like my style better. Readers are extremely happy as well since in addition to learning about new books daily, they also have a chance to win something in the required giveaway on each tour. The author gains new followers from them entering and readers get a very good chance at winning gift cards, swag, books and other neat items! There's also free books, sales and other awesome treats to be found sprinkled throughout the tours...swing by and see what goodies you might find!
Are there any upcoming events that you would like to mention?
There's always new tours kicking off daily, and always new features being added on all the time!
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I have a titanium steel plate in my forehead due to a major sinus infection on my 10th birthday that required multiple surgeries and a year of homeschooling. I actually affect radio signals and can either make them crystal clear or totally mess them up on antennae radios. My husband always knows when I'm walking up when he's working on something outside as the signal drastically changes every time!
I also get electrocuted at random times by various things like lamps, toasters etc., that seem to have no effect on others but shock me lightly but repeatedly.
Best of all, Maia offers authors an incredible deal in enabling them to pay whatever they can afford--although at least $20 is recommended--for a month long virtual book tour.
Maia Gomez lives in the beautiful town of Fredericksburg, Texas. A self-described country girl, Maia grew up hunting, fishing and digging for Indian artifacts, and enjoying nature. Aside from being an entrepreneur and book aficionado, Maia is a stay-at-home mother of three young boys who likes cooking and doing DIY projects with her husband. Can't wait to win? Get started with Maia at Silver Dagger Book Tours!
Hear what other authors have said about their beta reading experience!
Thanks for your help with my special circumstances and the timely response from the beta reader. - Karen
Thank you so much! Please extend my thanks to your beta reader. Her insights were excellent, and will help me improve my story. - Z. B.
The feedback is instructive. I am glad we went back to repeat readers as they are confirming there were improvements in the areas I and my editor targeted. - M. T.
Wow! That was fast! ;) Loved the feedback and critiques… I was just picturing some comments in a Word file, so you guys went above and beyond with in-depth reporting! I’ve sung your praises over at Goodreads, so hopefully someone will get the hind and some business will come your way soon. :) Thanks again so much! These stories will be better because of you, and I’ll be sure to contact you again next October when I publish them so you can all get your complimentary eBooks. (The perks of being self-published…) - Jack
I will use all these comments to improve my story. I will definitely use your services again. - Georges E.
What a wonderful and necessary service you provide - this is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for. If it is possible, could you please thank the beta readers for me, and especially pass along my thanks to the second reader (EML36) for the thorough comments and insights? Combining the viewpoints and thoughts of the three, I now have some indication of what worked and what will need revision. I hope to make use of your company again sometime soon. All the best. - David A.
Thank you very much for these reports. I like how they're crafted, and they're of big help for me. - Cristelle C.
Thank you so much for this beta reading. It is so helpful and will help me revise the book appropriately to be even stronger. I will recommend your services to anyone who asks. Thank you, thank you, thank you! - Rachel L.
I want to thank you for your great service, they were truly awesome betas! - Tanor C.