Friday, January 9, 2009

Karen Cioffi Talks About Virtual Book Tours

Images Of Book Shelves On Computer Screen

What motivated you to start your very successful virtual book tours group?

1. I attended the Muse Online Conference in Oct.08. I was in a workshop by Denise Cassino and another one by Karina Fabian. They both gave very helpful advice and suggestions. Denise actually suggested we tour with members in the group. After the conference ended I decided someone needed to be the catalyst so I contacted a number of members and when I found interest I created Virtual Book Tours.
My motivation was to promote my children's bedtime story, Day's End Lullaby. Being self-published, I found it more challenging than it might be otherwise. I thought creating this group would be a great vehicle for traditionally published and self-published authors to help one another promote their books and themselves.

Tell us a little about your experience so far.

2. I smiled when I read this question. I have to say overall the experience has been great. We have wonderful members who give generously of their time and actually care about hosting each other with the intent of helping their guest promote his or her book. And, since this is an ongoing tour, it takes committment on each members' part. I think our group is extraordinary.
I have to say though, I didn't anticipate the amount of effort and time that would be involved in getting the group off the ground. Then when working with a number of people, with different personalities and temperments, it has at times been a challenge. And, keeping it going with the schedules and staying on top of things takes time and effort. How the schedule is maintained can be a question or blog by itself. But, it's worth it as long as every member benefits from the group.
And, I have to say I have two great co-moderators, Kathy Stemke and Dehanna Bailee, who help me with the behind the scene workings. They both generously accepted my request for help.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start this type of group?

3. My hints for someone thinking of starting this type of group would first and foremost have patience and try not to take anything personal. Then, anticipate devoting time and effort to create it and to keep it working. Next would be to listen to the members suggestions and use those that will best serve the group. And, remember not everyone is going to be pleased with what's going on all of the time.


  1. Great info Nancy! Thanks Karen, for letting us peek in!

  2. Overall the VBT is a big success. However, as Karen said, the time and effort is quite extensive, if someone wants the posts to be interesting and not simply copying what someone else posted.

    It gets us and our books out there, though.

  3. Karen, I really appreciate your starting the group. I'm finding I really enjoy interviewing other authors on my blog.

  4. I'm participating in a group that in aiming at getting their members ready for a virtual blog tour. We've started by posting once a day on our blogs and visiting other members who are part of this challenge.

    I have already seen a difference on my blog, and it is heartening to see that others are doing it, too. Good luck with the sales of your books.

  5. As in anything worthwhile, time, effort and patience are all virtues to have. And I, for one, am thankful for being a part of it. Believe it or not, each year I miss attending workshops at the conference. What a hoot. My hat off to you for starting and maintaining this group along with the moderators.

  6. Thanks, All, for stopping by. And, thank you Nancy for such a wonderful hosting job!

    I agree with Lea, anything worth while takes time, effort and patience.