Saturday, October 9, 2010
Patricia Rockwell has spent most of her life teaching. From small liberal arts colleges to large regional research universities and even a brief stint in a high school; her background in education is extensive. She has taught virtually everything related to communication. Patricia was on the faculty at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for thirteen years, retiring in 2007.
Sounds of Murder, her first novel, is a cozy mystery which follows the exploits of amateur sleuth and acoustics expert Pamela Barnes, as she attempts to use her knowledge of sound to solve the murder of a university colleague strangled in the departmental computer lab.
Recently, Patricia organized her own virtual book tour and is here to chat with me about that experience.
Carol Denbow: Welcome Patricia, so glad you are here to help our visitors understand what a “virtual book tour” is and how it works to promote your books. Please start by offering us your definition of a virtual book tour.
Patricia Rockwell: Carol, my understanding is that a “virtual book tour” occurs when an authors “tour” around the blogosphere visiting different blogs and at each stop to promote their books. It takes the place of a “real” book tour in which authors would actually travel around the country from bookstore to bookstore promoting their books. The major benefit is that the “virtual” tour is less expensive and less time consuming.
Carol Denbow: You set up your recent virtual book tour yourself. How did you locate and make contact with online sites for your tour stops which would be suitable to your genre?
Patricia Rockwell: Well, for me it was a no-brainer. I have two blogs and a number of followers; a number of whom I’ve gotten to know quite well. I put a request up on both my blogs for hosts for my book tour, indicated the dates and what would be involved. I received responses from six bloggers which covered most of the dates I had planned for the tour.
Carol Denbow: When contacting potential tour stop sites, how receptive were the Webmasters to your requests?
Patricia Rockwell: Very. As I said, I posted the request on my blogs and bloggers responded to me—so I knew they were willing.
Carol Denbow: Did you set up individual interviews at each stop, post book reviews, or what?
Patricia Rockwell: I gave each blogger the choice as to what they preferred. They all chose interviews so that’s what I prepared. Some gave me prepared questions, and some let me create my own.
Carol Denbow: How did you promote your virtual book tour?
Patricia Rockwell: Mostly, I just posted about it on my blogs, mentioned it on Facebook, and tweeted on Twitter.
Carol Denbow: In your personal opinion, how hard was it and how much time did you need to invest to set up a successful tour?
Patricia Rockwell: I found it was less time-consuming than I imagined it would be. The important thing for me was to maintain a calendar of each date of the tour and know exactly what was to happen on that date and make certain I was prepared and had delivered the appropriate material to each blogger in time for the visit of the day.
Carol Denbow: Was there any monetary expense in putting together your virtual book tour?
Patricia Rockwell: No.
Carol Denbow: Where did you learn how to put your tour together and make it happen?
Patricia Rockwell: Mostly from your blog and other online sites.
Carol Denbow: In your eyes, was the tour a success and would you recommend other authors try it?
Patricia Rockwell: It’s hard to evaluate how successful it was because it’s difficult to attach book sales to one particular event. I can’t say I saw a dramatic rise in book sales from the tour, but I certainly got more press that week than I had previously.
Carol Denbow: Is there anything you would do different if you decide to do it again in the future?
Patricia Rockwell: I think I might expand beyond just the followers of my blogs—maybe investigate some book bloggers or other book sites, particularly sites oriented to my genre.
Carol Denbow: Thank you Patricia, great interview!
Patricia Rockwell’s publications are extensive; with over 20 peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals, several textbooks, and a research book on her major interest area of sarcasm published by Edwin Mellen Press. In addition, she served for eight years as Editor of the Louisiana Communication Journal.
Dr. Patricia Rockwell is presently living in Aurora, Illinois, with her husband Milt, also a retired educator; the couple has two adult children. Visit Patricia’s Blog at http://subjectivesoup.blogspot.com.
If you are interested in learning more about organizing a virtual book tour of your own, read the e-book, How to Organize a Virtual Book Tour, available at Authors Box.