Recently, several authors asked me for links in advance of posting their virtual book tours. I am reluctant to provide advance links for a variety of reasons:
- I could change a title or a tag that creates a different live link.
- The posting system could change the link to something else.
- The post could be lost, need to be reposted and, again, the link would change.
- My editor could change something, without my knowledge, and change the link.
- A page redesign could configure the links differently.
See a pattern here?
The fact is, virtual book tour hosts can never be 100 percent about what the live link title will be. There are too many unknowns in cyberspace. When touring, you should take the time to visit the sites to pull correct links.
Some authors say they want the links in advance for advanced promotions. Here is what I say: In the Web world, we have short attention spans. Web surfers will not remember to visit a site for a tour you announced a week in advance. Your best bet to catch fans in cyberspace is to pull links the day you tour, and publicize them on your social networks and via e-mail that day. People are more likely to click and view if they know it is new.
Visiting the sites on your tour date also ensures that your host did, in fact, post your items at the appropriated time. You will know right away if your items are not up, and be able to correct that immediately.
HOT TIP: When promoting, send your readers directly to your virtual book tour page, not just to a general site. Some people could get your announcement well after your tour. They do not want to have to search a site to find you. In fact, most won't. Be as specific as you can. Also, ask your virtual book tour hosts if the address will be the same when the post archives. If not, find out how you can get the updated address and when it will archive.0