Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Authors: Is Book Touring Limited by a Tight Budget? Try Meeting Virtually.

While there are those authors out there touring cities with their novels and doing book store book signings, the bulk of us are home on our computers, clickety-clacking away, trying to find ways to connect with our audiences on limited marketing budgets. Wait -- did I say limited? I meant with pretty much no marketing budgets.

Enter Skype. I grew up watching the Jetsons, how about you? Remember how phone calls were face to face on a live screen? Such science fiction! And here it is!

Okay, Skype isn't a new thing to many of you. Skype is fun.You use it to talk to your missionary friends in another country, or your cousins in another the state. You ogle your grandbabies in another town and share tea with a friend across town before going to bed. But Skype is a great tool for the home-bound or town-bound author.

Several weeks ago I tried it for the first time, meeting with a book group seven hours away to discuss my novel The Green Veil, the first in my 3-book Empire in Pine series. The event was set up by fellow author Lisa Lickel who is part of that group. Lisa and I met by Skype a day or two ahead of time to make sure things would operate correctly, and to go over the format of the meeting. If you try meeting with a book group by Skype, I highly recommend you meet ahead with the coordinator too. You can get an idea of what the group is like, their tastes and interests, and work out any bugs with the system which for me happened to be a sound issue I was able to resolve before the actual club meeting.


Nowadays more and more book clubs are found online in the virtual community. Facebook pages, Yahoo groups, and Goodreads groups are just the tip of the iceberg. If you have a way to tap into these communities and also can connect to those clubs who are physically meeting in churches, libraries, and town halls all across the country, then why not offer to meet with them by Skype?

Even if they aren't discussing your book, they might be delighted to pick the brain of an author. And who knows... maybe you'll end up making new friends and fans in the process.

Skype is easy to set up, and it's totally free for making video calls. That makes it a perfect meeting and promotional tool for the budget conscious author who longs to make new, book loving friends.

Write on!

Jetsons image credit: http://jgkitchens.blogspot.com/2011/02/kitchen-planning-meets-jetsons.html
Skype book club photos courtesy of Lisa Lickel & the Boltonville Book Club

What ways have you found to interact with book clubs or fans on the internet?    Was it effective?

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