Book-o-Sphere Flutters: Virtual Book Tours – the insider’s guide ~ II

So, today’s topic is (again)

Virtual Book Tours

This is part II of my (ridiculously large!) insider’s guide to virtual book tours. Today we’re talking about types of content that can show up on book tours and I’ll give you my take on each.

I like to think of the content in categories, it makes it easier to focus on each so we can talk about them.

Types of tour stops…

Book tour stops can be:
reviews (your review of that book that’s on tour)
guest posts ( author guest post, character interview {author asks the character Q’s}, character guest post {written in the voice of that character}, character profile, top ten list, playlist, etc – either related to the book directly or to writing by large)
interviews (the blogger has come up with a list of questions the author{or a book character} answers to)
excerpts (an excerpt from the book that’s on tour, or maybe from the first in the series or such)
spotlights (a short presentation containing all the relevant book data – cover, blurb, publication details like date, publisher, etc, maybe author bios or links, sometimes trailers)
These are my definitions on each, but often you’ll find the same content labeled the same way. I’m not that special, lol.

Spotlights & Excerpts…

Some categories of content will be the same at every stop, like spotlights or excerpts (though not always). It’s okay, in my opinion, to run a spotlight or an excerpt that someone else will be running too. The spotlight mainly consists of the basic info of the book, that’s always going to be the same all over the world and all the time. Generally speaking, the number and length of excerpts is limited. Is it preferable to have some other excerpt from the other hosts? Yes. Are there limitations and copyright/contract terms that limit how much the author can share as excerpt? Again, yes. So I’m not absurd.
I tend to think of other stops as spotlights plus other stuff. By spotlight I understand the basic info of that book: blurb, cover, publisher and publishing date, series info. It’s part of every book-post anyway. To that you can add other book-presentation materials, trailers, whatever like that and it’s still a spotlight in my opinion. I think of them as spotlights if you add an excerpt, too. Still basic info, pretty much.


These two types of stops are the most likely to produce lookalike posts around the blogosphere, so I’d suggest not making them your basic option unless you’re okay with content that way.


If you’ve signed up for a review on the tour, you’ll be provided with a review copy. It’s really no different then getting the ARC through say NetGalley or a review copy from an author/publicist. You read it, see what you think, write your review for the date. If you liked or loved it, hurrah! Each time someone loves a book a new star is born. {this is not scientifically verified info, lol!}
But what if you don’t? Well, some tour organizers have a policy in effect for that. Most of the time, they’ll ask you to please not post your review if it’s below 3 stars as part of the tour – post it sometime after the tour. I’m okay with that request and don’t find it too aggravating. True, if it wasn’t part of the tour I would post the review whenever I’d feel like. But I’m okay giving it say a couple weeks time and posting it then.
I won’t speak my mind any differently though just because I’ve gotten the review copy as part of a tour. Authors should be very aware of that. When they pay for a tour, they are or should be aware they’re getting some attention, not praise (unless someone does love their title, regardless of how they came to read it!).
If you’re iffy on granting this compromise on postponing your review a bit, then you can decide to never post a review and ask for some different content – but do so as soon as possible, don’t wait until the night before your stop to point that out. Or you can not offer to do review for tours at all. Find what works best for you and stay true. 🙂

Guest Posts…

I like guest posts as tour stops the most. Original content is do or die, whatever the type of guest post we’re doing. I can’t actually Google the text of each of them, but I do by random pick. If I find out it’s not original content, I make the point and turn it down. Personal policy? If I have to tell someone the same thing twice, they get on my black list meaning I don’t give them the guest post option in the future. Hey, it’s not that harsh! I do have clear Policies written up that say ALL you need to know on the topic. If you ignore my policies, I don’t think you should be featured on my blog.
There are different types of guest posts, and I always find them fun. They don’t need to be long or incredibly complicated. Also, as a personal note, when you’re sent guest post materials? Make sure it’s content you’re allowed to use. Especially when it comes to images, that people have the tendency to forget fall under copyright just like anything else does. Does the post you’re gonna host contain images of anything? Lyrics? Ask if the author has the rights to use these the way they are, or if they have permission. If they don’t, don’t post those images/materials unless you’re uber-sure they’re public domain.
Copyright infringement is the same in all manners of content: ugly. Don’t do it.


Interviews are fun, I like them. I only do them after I’ve read the title, or some other title by the same author. Mostly, the title we’re promoting. Generic questions as the only questions in an interview make it boring for me. I like interviews on the topic of the title being promoted. You can most often tell when that blogger read the title because the questions are interesting and the author gives almost always fun answers. But you don’t have to limit the interview’s topic to that title. Do whatever topic you feel like, it can be random and super fun all the same.
Some do pre-made interviews – I don’t like the concept of that and don’t do them. If it’s pre-made then it’s a guest post, and it should look like one. If it’s an interview, I’m asking the questions, lame and few as they may be. But this is my preference, you do whatever works for you of course. 🙂

The (maybe) weekly rants of glory will be suspended next week since I’m gonna do Armchair BEA. Join on it starting May 28!
Tune in June 7, when we’ll talk about what virtual book tours have to offer for you as a host and why I love them myself. Next up, June 20, we’ll talk Virtual Book Tour Manners, because I like the idea of good practices on all sides of any activity. Again, these posts are based on my subjective experience and opinions, so take them with a pinch of salt.
And, unless questions pop up in the meantime, that will be the last post on the book tours topic. What are we going to talk about next? I dunno, but I will know by next time 🙂

Have a fab Friday!


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