Monday, August 12, 2013

How to Choose a Virtual Tour Service Provider: My Reading Addiction by Christine Amsden


Hello, folks!

In our continuing series from award-winning author Christine Amsden, today we feature another review of an online book tour company. Thanks again to Christine for providing us with this valuable information! Please be sure to share your support for Christine's candid and open reporting here by checking out her website and commenting below.


Aaron Paul Lazar
copyright Christine Amsden, 2013

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If there was one thing I learned during this book release it’s that persistence pays off. If you’re looking to put your book on the Internet, then there are thousands of bloggers you can reach. A few hundred here, a few hundred there, sooner or later it makes a real impact. That’s what I was thinking when I rehired Reading Addiction Book Tours to do a one-month tour of Cassie Scot in July 2013.

I hired this company for The Immortality Virus last summer and I have to confess, it didn’t do much at all. I scraped together a handful of sales over the course of the entire month, and that was after drastically (and temporarily) reducing the price to $0.99. But there were a lot of factors working against that tour, especially the fact that it took place more than a year after the release of the book. (Some reviewers were even confused by this fact and listed the release date as June 2012 instead of June 2011.) I thought that I could revive interest in the title because it had recently won awards, but that didn’t seem to be the case. (I should write an article about awards and what they do/don’t do for you sometime.)

Books are made or broken in the first few months after release. 

I’m not saying there’s nothing you can do to sell a book a year later. There is something — release another book. A better book. And do a better job of marketing it. I’ve sold more copies of The Immortality Virus this summer than I did the summer it was released!

There was one other problem with my Reading Addiction Tour of The Immortality Virus — wrong genre wrong audience. The Immortality Virus is pure scifi. I switched course dramatically to write the Cassie Scot series, which is urban fantasy/paranormal, mystery, and romance. I didn’t write it to play the market, but I think I managed to do just that. This is a story the market wants right now, and it is what Reading Addiction Book Tours does best.

If you go to My Reading Addiction’s packages page, you may notice something that struck me as important when I used them last month. Their biggest tours have a caveat:

*Available to Young Adult/New Adult and Paranormal Genres

Since I’ve used their services twice and one of those times I toured a science fiction novel, I feel comfortable saying that this is an important caveat. I got some nice reviews of The Immortality Virus from their bloggers, but I felt like most of them (and their readers) were more into the paranormal, especially with a romantic spin. To this day I’m not sure what the best source for scifi reviews is because I never found it. I happened to write a scifi book that got a lot of  ”I don’t normally read this genre but this was very good” comments. At the time I thought that would mean something to the people reading the reviews, but I’ve lost some of that naivete. I now believe that the people reading the reviews were more likely to go, “Hm. Well, if I’m ever in the mood for something different…” then put it on a to-read list that never gets read. To support that statement, I note that I have more “to reads” for The Immortality Virus on Goodreads than I do for Cassie Scot, but far, far more people have bought Cassie Scot.

Price

Reading Addiction Book Tours are low cost. Their biggest tour with 40 stops and plenty of bells and whistles is only $200. I ended up using their standard tour — 20 stops, half reviews, which is $90. Since I was a repeat customer, I got a 10% discount. They have great repeat customer specials, special pricing for publishers touring multiple books, and they often have sales or coupons going on so keep an eye on that. Even without the discounts, though, they are inexpensive.

Value

I believe Reading Addiction is a value if your book is in their blogger’s target reading interest. That is to say paranormal, romance, young adult, or new adult. I do not believe it is a value if you are writing science fiction. I’m not sure about other genres. But for their target genres you will get your book reviewed by engaging, enthusiastic bloggers.

Look and Feel

The only truly negative thing I have to say about Reading Addiction Book Tours is that their banner was blah.


They did make me a nice static page that remains active (click on the banner to see it). They also updated the blogger links so that after a blogger posted my review or spotlight, the link went directly to that post rather than the home page. This was a nice touch. 

Professionalism and Communication

Wonderful! Friendly, responsive, and on their game.

**It is worth noting that Reading Addiction Book Tours does not allow negative reviews during their tour. If a host really does not care for a book (i.e. would give it less than 3 stars), the host has the option of switching to promo only. They may post the review on their own after the tour is over.

Bottom Line

I recommend a Reading Addiction tour for paranormal, romance, young adult, or new adult book tours. I recommend them as part of a bigger effort, if your budget can handle it.


Check out Christine's newest book, here.

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Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories.

Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.)

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children, Drake and Celeste.

1 comment:

Aaron Lazar said...

Christine - your reviews on virtual book tour companies are so valuable to authors who have little to invest aside from their books. Thank you for sharing this important information with us!