Virtual Book Tours – A Tale to Tell

Publicity Tip #58

whirlwind-help-save-girlIn the second installment on virtual book tours I spoke about how to look for the right tour companies. I also mentioned a deal I was pursuing regarding DKC – Dragon Knight Chronicles, a sci-fi/fantasy book publisher getting ready to branch out into other book services like virtual tours.

I got in on the ground floor of their tour service by spending a whopping $24 on 4 different interviews and a book review along with media exposure via DKC’s affiliated social media sites.

My one week Book Launch Tour ended this past Sunday and I feel I’ve had adequate time to reflect on the process and the company. Here’s what I discovered:

The Pro’s

The director of DCK, Kathryn Jenkins, will bend over backwards to keep you informed and up to date on everything regarding your tour, the review, and your interviews. She responds to all emails within 24hrs of receiving them (basically, if she’s awake she’ll reply) and her enthusiasm for books and helping authors is boundless.

The author interviews offered are extensive, detailed, and well-researched as well as quite enjoyable (in my opinion) to complete. They are a set of 10-20 questions revolving all around you, the author, what you do, how you do it, where your experience comes into play and any nitty-gritty bit of info they can dig up on you that readers might find interested they create a question around – and you always get final say as to which questions you want to answer and which ones are better left silent.

The book interview is equally poignant and deep although there are fewer questions to answer – they don’t want to be giving away all the book’s secrets now 🙂 Their questions allowed me to consider details of my writing and the development of the characters and plot in a new way. I found them refreshingly insightful.

The two character interviews are shorter but equally well done and were perhaps my favourite of all the interviews I’ve done yet, for anyone!

The book review was posted and published according to what they state on their website – getting copies out to Amazon, Goodreads, etc.

The blog tour was exciting, fun to participate in, and got my book out to readers who may not have found it if left to their own devices.

The Con’s

DKC promises a 1-2 page review of your book by one of their staff readers. I received a one page review where half of it was my own book blurb and the other half gushed about my book. How can that possibly be a bad thing? As a professional reviewer myself, I was looking for detail that would elaborate on why the reviewer liked various elements with teasers from the story that didn’t give too much away. What I got was akin to what I see from casual readers who really enjoy a book and want to tell their friends to read it… but don’t say why. That doesn’t necessarily make it a ‘bad’ review, just a disappointing one (then again – any positive review should have me jumping for joy but my logical/critical side says that if a business advertises something then they better deliver).

I was clearly one of DKC’s first few authors trying out their bonus service for the blog tours – and I knew that going into the deal. In the end, what I got is exactly what I paid for: seven websites utilized for two visits/day for maximum exposure to the sites and a boost in my personal SEO on my book title and author name. But I also got sites that weren’t even ranking with Alexa.com (not enough traffic to warrant a ranking), two sites with decent ranking in the US and the DKC website. When you pay upwards of $50 for an established book tour service, at least half of the participating blogs have “good” or “excellent” ratings with Alexa.com… that means a large number of readers in your genre are hearing about you – and DKC’s not there yet.

So, I guess the question now is, “Will I hire them for book two?”

And I’d have to answer, “Maybe.”

They do what they know exceptionally well and they are actively searching out bloggers who specialize in Speculative Fiction for all ages. They will be taking their blog tour service live to offer to interested authors in the new year and hope to have enough experience under their belt to improve upon these trial days.

I believe that Kathryn is tenacious and hard-working enough to make an honest go of this, but I would caution anyone using their services during the first 6 months of 2015 to realize that they are the new kids on the block and you will get what you pay for 🙂

For more information click HERE.

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