virtual book tour coordinator, I often hear from clients or potential clients, "How can I judge my virtual book tour's success?"
One might say, "If I don't sell books, then my VBT was a waste of money." While one of the goals of a VBT is to increase sales, there's a lot more to consider than that.
I wrote an article in October 2010 titled, "Why Virtual Book Tours Work." I discussed the impact my virtual book tour--which was about 4 weeks in when I penned the article--had on my search engine rankings. As I mentioned in that article, a successful VBT will increase your online exposure.
Now, keep in mind that my second VBT ended on January 26, 2011. Yet, when I type "Little Shepherd" into Google, the first result is my book at Amazon.
I also had two results further down on Page 1 and two results on Page 2.
When I type "Little Shepherd" into Bing, the other search engine I use regularly, the 6th result is the book's Amazon page, and there are 2 other results further down the page. The second page also comes up with 1 hit. We directed buyers to Amazon for sales, which sure made a difference. My book hit the Amazon bestsellers list in its category 7 times between September and December 2010. Most of that time, I was on a virtual book tour.
When I type "Cheryl Malandrinos" into Google, the 4th and 6th results are from my VBT and there are 5 hits on the second page.
In Bing, the last 6 results on Page 1 are from my tours and 6 more results appear on Page 2.
If I type "Little Shepherd by Cheryl Malandrinos" into Google or Bing most of the results are also from my VBTs. All these results will help me reach potential readers, and I have my VBTs to thank for it.
While I had several contacts prior to coordinating my own VBT, I've meet several new bloggers as a result of touring with my book. Some have become hosts of Pump Up Your Book because they toured my book first, and others now follow my blogs and I follow theirs.
Networking is an important aspect of a VBT that can't be ignored. The more people you know online, the more people you have the potential to reach online. When your next book comes out, you'll also be able to get in touch with these bloggers again, and maybe get some help promoting that book.
Another way to judge the success of your VBT is whether you come away with a few review blurbs that can be used on your website or added to promotional materials. If you can say, "yes," then you had a good tour.
Virtual book tours, just like any promotional tool, can't guarantee sales. They provide the exposure, the networking, and reviews that you need to get your name and the title of your book noticed.