10 Tips of Book Marketing: Virtual Tours

Virtual Tours for authors accomplish two things.
1. They increase Google page rank, and
2. They improve Amazon sales rank for books.

In this one minute video, literary publicist Stephanie Barko discusses how a Virtual Tour works.

Tip #1: Virtual Tours

What is a Virtual Tour?

A Virtual Tour takes a book to websites and blogs that feature content about the author and title during a short length of time. Virtual Tours became popular when the value of borrowing a book bloggers’ following became apparent. In terms of exposure, promotion, and book sales, ground tours can seem like a poor return on investment for the level of money, time and risk expended. An author can complete a Virtual Tour for half the cost and physical energy of a ground tour, but with the same number of stops.

What happens during a Virtual Tour?

Depending on the topic, the book is toured on blogs, forums, social networking pages, frequently updated websites, and video sites. Sometimes the content submitted by the Tour Provider is passive, meaning no action is necessary by the author after it posts. Sometimes the content is active. With active content, the author has the opportunity to interact with a site’s followers by commenting or chatting.

Content during a tour may include interviews, excerpts, author videos, book trailers, podcasts, original reviews, review snippets, endorsements, cover art, headshot, candids, author essays, articles, book giveaways and guest blog posts.

How long does a Tour last?

Density of content over time is important in a tour. Virtual Tour stops are usually completed within a 30-45 day time frame.

Where does a Virtual Tour go?

Virtual Tours travel through both genre-specific and general book blogs and websites. Select both niche genre and general reader high traffic sites whose hosts accept guest content.


A Virtual Tour is an excellent book marketing tool for a debut author who is still building page rank for a new website. For established authors, a Virtual Tour is a good choice as a book launch tool, since it improves Amazon sales rank when the title has its best shot at becoming a subcategory best seller.

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