Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a Tour Coordinator with Pump Up Your Book Promotion PR, an online public relations firm specializing in virtual book tours for authors in a variety of genres. Ms. Malandrinos is a contributing writer for Writer2Writer and a member of Musing Our Children, in addition to being the editor of Musing Our Children’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens. Her first Christian children’s book will be released in 2010.
Pump Up Your Book Promotion’s Recipe for Success
Earlier this year, Angela Wilson from Market My Novel interviewed me about virtual book tours. In The Dos and Don’ts of Virtual Book Tours, we discussed what a virtual book tour is, how they are used, and what makes a tour successful.
Pump Up Your Book Promotion is dedicated to our clients’ success and works hard to ensure their satisfaction.
Here is a glimpse into our recipe for a successful tour.
Start with a Dedicated Group of Bloggers
When I joined Pump Up in October 2007, only Dorothy and I coordinated tours. Having first been a blog host, I had an idea of what Pump Up was looking for in blogs: They had to be eye-catching, updated regularly, and the bloggers needed to have a working knowledge of SEO.
After scouring the Internet, I contacted bloggers whose blogs matched our criteria and began building relationships. When next month’s tours came along, I would contact the bloggers to see if they were interested in hosting more of our clients.
Over a year and half later, I have a large database of dedicated bloggers whom I reach out to first when I am looking for hosts for my clients. After working together for an extended period of time, the blog hosts know our expectations, continue to deliver, and impress us as they add more and do more for our clients. They spend almost as much time promoting their blogs and the authors they host there as they do posting entries to their blogs.
Continue Searching Out New Blog Hosts
While a dedicated group of bloggers goes far in helping to ensure our clients have a successful tour, Pump Up is constantly browsing the Internet for new blog hosts. We forge new relationships, and our clients’ work reaches new audiences.
Some of the blogs Pump Up uses for virtual book tours are syndicated out to larger sites. A growing number of our clients have been featured by the Chicago Sun Times, Post-Tribune, USA Today, and Fox News. While there is no guarantee on what will be of interest to these larger sites, the potential to reach their audiences is there.
Our demand has steadily increased since I first came to Pump Up, and we’ve brought in additional staff to maintain the best level of service for our clients. Whether a client works with Dorothy, Tracee, Jaime, or me, they can feel comfortable knowing Pump Up will put together the best tour for their money.
One way we ensure good service is by specializing. Even though we each take on books in a variety of genres, whenever possible, we match a tour coordinator with a genre she has worked with in the past. Most of my clients fall into one of these genres: Christian/inspirational fiction and non-fiction, mystery and crime fiction, historical fiction, romance, and children’s and young adult books.
Through specializing, we not only build up our growing database of regular bloggers, we also get a more thorough knowledge of a genre and its subgenres to better serve our clients.
Promotion Before, During, and After
While Pump Up spends a great deal of time coordinating tours, we spend an equal amount of time promoting them. Even before tours starts, we promote them through our tour blog and press releases, which are syndicated out to multiple sites. We also encourage our clients to announce their upcoming tours on their Web sites and/or blogs.
As soon as tours kick off, we begin promoting them at Pump Up’s tour publicity blog. A link to this site is found on each page at our tour blog, as are links to the author’s Web site and where the book can be purchased. In addition, we announce these stops at popular social networks and groups to increase our clients’ reach.
We have one person dedicated solely to promotion. Becky does an excellent job of letting people know where our clients will be each day. Each tour coordinator also promotes her clients daily.
What is so special about Pump Up and what is partially the reason for so many return clients is that we don’t forget about you after your tour is over. We continue to talk about your book and assist our clients even once their tours have ended. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve mentioned my clients’ books in conversation to friends—around home and online. We also offer help in setting up blogs and can even post to your blog for a modest fee.
Pump Up Your Book Promotion continues to grow and make improvements to our services. Virtual book tours are no longer the wave of the future; they are here and now. Pump Up is working with an ever increasing number of publicists who have realized the potential of virtual book tours.
From authors represented by big-name publishing houses to those working with small presses and self-published authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion has an affordable virtual book tour package that will create or increase your online presence.
You can find more details about Pump Up and all our tour packages online at www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com.