Today we have the talented BK Walker, a person who wears many hats in the book world. From author to blogger to tour host and all-around great gal, she's here to share a bit about Virtual Book Tour Cafe and her writing.
MK: First off, tell us why you take your very precious time to put together book tours for other authors. After all, you’re an author, a mother, and I imagine a number of other things. Why do it and where do you find the time for it all?
BK: When I was first published with Near Suicide, I was so new to the writing world and was completely clueless. When I say clueless, I mean I didn't even know what an “Editor” was. I chose to go with a press, who we will leave unnamed, but I found many other authors with this company that shared the very same frustration I did. I knew there had to be a better way to market and promote our books. So I started researching, making friends with other authors, and came across virtual book tours. I thought to myself, “Brilliant!”. So I gathered up 30 authors, and for the first time, put them all on tour, using each other as hosts. I made great friends, and it just continued on from there. Book tours are fun and a great way to get to know other authors and new authors just venturing out. I decided I wanted to help others, especially those that were new to the writing world and give them an easy to follow plan for promoting their work. That was 2 years ago, and we're still going strong.
As for time, it's a business, being an author and a tour organizer. With any business, you have to devote time to gain satisfaction. I make time for my family, and though I'm not working as a nurse right now, when I was, I was lucky enough that I could still work on my writing and tours while at work.
MK: Speaking to potential book tour authors, what is the top thing you would recommend they do before, during and after a book tour?
BK: Before going on tour, get some reviews of your book. The best place to start is to get beta readers, those that can review your book before its release. Then have them post their reviews on release day. This helps give value to your work. Have a book release party, create hype about your book.
During the tour – set your book price a little lower if you are able. With readers just learning about you and your work, they will be enticed to buy your book and take a chance on a new author if the book is priced lower during the tour. Don't be afraid to offer ebook giveaways during your tour, the more you can get your book into readers hands, the greater word of mouth becomes. Then simply follow my blue print I've laid out for you, and have fun with it.
After your tour, see where your sales are at, where it's leveling off at, and play with the price. If you are seeing a greater increase in sales, you can up the price. Don't increase it too much, but you can increase it. Then you can play with the price until your sales taper off. You will then know what price would be best for your type of book. Continue to seek reviews and have them post to Amazon, Goodreads, and continue to social network your book.
MK: What do you look for in a book tour host?
BK: I look for honest people that are willing to host great authors. I love to build relationships with my hosts, creating a friendship as well as a partnership. I don't get the chance to converse everyday, as you said before I get quite busy, but I'm always available to answer questions. The biggest thing though, is that hosts signup for the books and authors that interest them, and post on time. That is all I ask.
MK: What do you feel is your greatest challenge in hosting book tours?
BK: Hosting book tours is really not that hard. You get free content for your blog, create new friends and find new authors to share with your readers. The information you need to post is sent right to your inbox, as a host we just need to make sure the info is posted on time and the date scheduled. Organizing would be my biggest challenge, because I try to find blogs that fit the books, and sometimes I run out of genre specific hosts.
MK: What is your greatest joy or satisfaction in hosting book tours?
BK: I love seeing authors having fun. When they get to talk about their books and engage with new readers, that's when it becomes well worth all the effort.
MK: You’re also an author - have you ever been on a book tour? What did you enjoy most about the process?
BK: I have been on tour. I actually just toured last year with 6 other authors. That was a big tour I organized and so much fun to actually be on the other side of the tours. I got to meet a lot of new bloggers and reach out to new readers. That's what I enjoyed most, responding to comments and getting to know some new readers & bloggers along the way.
MK: For tour hosts, I happen to know you offer some appealing incentives (outside of the simple pleasure of hosting amazing authors). I also know a lot of the authors being hosted offer prizes for both tour hosts and readers/commenters. Can you tell us briefly (unlike my lengthy question) about those?
BK: I try to keep it enticing for hosts, as they put a lot of work into posting and helping me promote tours. We offer all hosts a chance at a $25 Amazon Gift Card each month. For every tour they host, they get an entry into our monthly hosting incentive drawing. We also offer each host the chance to be the “Blog of the Month”, where I do a feature on their blog with a mini interview, and they also get to offer their readers a $25 Amazon Gift Card for the entire month when they are the Blog of the Month.
Then of course, authors often offer hosts an incentive, usually another gift card to the host with the most comments or other prize package.
MK: I have to throw this in here, because you’re an author. Tell us, what books of yours can our lovely readers currently get their hands on?
BK: I have five books that are on the market – Death Upon Me (Revision of Near Suicide, in case you were wondering what ever happened to that book) – a contemporary romance, Immortyl Kisses:The Collection – a 3 short story Young Adult series, Dares And Dreams – Paranormal Romance, Night Secrets – Paranormal Romance, and Immortyl Kisses: Warrior Rising – Young Adult Paranormal Romance and also a revision of The Collection turned into a full length novel, Broken Captive – a true to life melodrama about self mutilation. All of these are available on Amazon.
BK: I'm actually working on a few books. High Heels & Handcuffs I'm hoping to finish by Summer – Romance with a touch of Erotica, Corbin's Descent (Night Secrets 2) – PNR, Serpent Seekers – PNR, and I'm also working on an Amish YA. There are many waiting to come out, I just have to find the time to finish them lol.
MK: Will you share with us a few of your authors coming up on tour in April?
BK: Oh gosh, many are starting at the end of March, but we have some great authors upcoming.
Steven Novak with Goats Eat Cans - Humor
Acacia Beumer with Launch Out Into The Deep – Christian/Inspirational
David Grant with Blood:The New Red – Dark Comedy/Humor/Transgressive
David Kubicek with A Friend of the Family – Science Fiction
Diane Griffin with Protect Your Teens Tour – ways to protect our children online
Lydia Brew with Ungolden Silence – Literary Fiction
Rod L. Prendergast with Dinner with Lisa – Literary Fiction
Cait Lavender with Hunter Moon - PNR
MK: Quite the lineup and I'm looking forward to hosting some of these authors here in the coming months. You can always stay current on upcoming tours through the VBTC blog and visit BK's website for information on her books and all the great things happening in her neck of the woods.
Don't worry, we won't leave you hanging without some goodies!
A Drawing: BK is offering a Free 10-stop tour to one lucky author. Scroll down to enter the author drawing. The winner will be drawn on April 1st!
A Giveaway: For you book fans, BK is giving everyone that comments on this post today, a free ebook from her backlist – www.bkwalkerbooks.com (any book she mentioned above)
A Contest: From BK-I would also like to say that we're having a big contest at our Facebook Page starting at 500 fans, so if they would like to “Like” us, the giveaway goes as follows:
500 Likes – Kindle ($79)
1000 Likes – Kindle Touch ($99)
1500 Likes - $25 Amazon Gift Card
2000 Likes – Kindle Fire ($199)
Follow the VBT Cafe' Blog and comment on our FB page that you did, and you will get an extra entry.
Then there will be a monthly giveaway after that for fans only.
There's more!: At the VBT Cafe' Blog – a monthly $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway to those that follow the blog and comment on Meet & Greets.
March Blog of the Month with $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway – Natalie-Nicole Bates
Blog Winners for both will be announced April 1st.