Being a Gracious Virtual Host
By Karen Cioffi
Virtual tours are becoming commonplace, yet it seems not all
participants are aware of the etiquette involved. To enlighten
some and remind others, it might be a good idea to go over some
of the basics of being a gracious and proficient virtual host. For
those who may be unsure as to what a virtual host is, I’m talking
specifically about hosts of virtual author/book tours.
Here’s a brief description of a virtual book tour: A virtual book
tour is a promotional strategy to create visibility for the author
and his book. Writers, and others, with blogs promote the author
by featuring him and his work on their blogs.
I manage a group of authors in a cross-promotional group and as
part of our marketing strategy we have monthly virtual tours.
While each guest does not always focus entirely on his/her book
(which I call “pure promo”), no matter what the guest decides to
offer it is up to the host to present it in a ‘special feature kind of
light,’ especially when utilizing cross-promotion.
You might be asking, why is it especially important when in a
cross-promotion venture. Well, it’s because you are also the
recipient of being featured. Another host is going out of his way to
present you and your work in a manner that will:
Make your content appear fresh and interesting
Include images (author and book cover)
Lead visitors to click on the Learn More About link
If a book is being featured, make it appear inviting enough to
hopefully warrant the reader to click on the Buy link
So as most of us were taught growing up: Do unto others as you
would have them do unto you!
Now on to what makes a gracious host:
Communicate with your guest. Ask what he would like to
Include Steps 1-5 above
PROMOTE your post. This means posting messages in your
groups/forums, on Twitter, and other social networks
Make sure visitors will find it easy to leave a comment
Stop by throughout the day of the post to respond to
Thank your guest for being there
This is very important: do not publish another post on the day
you are featuring a guest, it would be inconsiderate.
Please note: Number 7 does not apply if your promotion and links
are directing traffic directly to your guest’s post. It only applies if
your link goes to your blog page, not a specific post.
Karen Cioffi is an author, ghostwriter, and freelance writer. For
writing and marketing information visit KarenCioffi.com,
(http://karencioffi.com) and sign up for her free newsletter, A
Writer’s World; you’ll get 2 free e-books on writing and marketing
in the process and two more free e-books just for stopping by.
Author, ghostwriter, freelance writer,
Acquisitions Editor Intern with 4RV Publishing
KarenCioffi Writing for Children and More