Sun | Jun 24, 2018

Pointers on publishing - Virtually anything is possible

Published:Sunday | October 7, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Corine La Font, Contributor

This title can be taken to mean what we normally use in everyday language to say that all things can come true. In the same way the meaning can translate in the virtual world which exists on the world wide web or what we call the Internet.

With today's technology, it becomes even more apparent that all things are possible, and I will outline just a few of the strategies that allow authors to make that a reality:

Virtual book tour

A virtual book tour takes the place of the traditional book tour where the author moves physically from place to place, sometimes from country to country doing tour stops to promote their book. At the outset, one can see that it is costly to travel physically from place to place and the associated costs of setting up booths, shipping books, storage, printing of flyers and promotional material and much more in planning and implementation of a traditional book tour outweighs that of the virtual book tour. The virtual book tour allows you to reach an even wider audience right from the comfort of your home with little to no associated costs. Yes, there is a lot of planning involved like any other event, if you want it to be a success, but the fact that you can reduce jet lag and conduct your book tour from your home or office, sounds quite encouraging to me.

Virtual blog tour

The virtual blog tour is quite similar to the virtual book tour, except that the focus here is that the blog tour is being hosted on blog sites. You will have to seek out and determine who will be your hosts and send in your requests early so that you can execute a successful and effective blog tour. Unlike the virtual book tour, where your book cover or image is heavily featured among content and links to your website or Amazon page, the blog tour focuses more on content-sharing information about the ideas in your book or concepts that you wish to educate your audience.

Virtual book signing

Yeah, sounds unreal right? Well, it is being done. I don't think it has taken the world by storm yet, but give it time; it will. Just to share the concept, though. It works like a traditional author signing, held at a bookstore or at a conference, only instead of interacting with the folks in person, you, the author, are thousand of miles away in your home or office or even the beach (there is wireless now). You can meet your readers virtually, using your webcam and after a bit of chit-chat and exchanging smiles, you ask what they would like signed. You autograph a digital file which is then delivered to them immediately via Skype, Oovoo or email, where it can then be printed out on label paper and stuck in their book. Yeah, I know it seems false, but it fills a gap in airfare or ground-travel costs, especially if you have a global audience that really wants to feel they have a part of you. Check it out. The concept may grow on you.

Virtual events

An effective way to reach a large audience is through virtual events. The ones more often used are webinars and teleseminars. Normally conducted for an hour at any one session, it gives you, the author, the opportunity to educate, promote and convince the audience to purchase your book or information products. It allows for high interaction and is a great way to get feedback that you can use to revamp or plan future products. Technologies used to facilitate such events are GoToWebinar and Instant Teleseminars. Freebies include Anymeeting and

Virtual radio

Always wanted to have your own radio show? Well here is your opportunity! Blog Talk Radio is an online medium that allows you to be the DJ or host you always dreamed of. Take advantage of this facility as a way to promote yourself, books, information products or even services. It offers a free package for 30 minutes of air time, just enough to get the word out and you can have guests on too! It's your show, so you are responsible for producing, planning and executing your show. Blog Talk Radio also helps you to promote on your social networks and itunes. Going premium will cost you from US$39.00 and upwards a month. My suggestion - stick with the free package and then, as you build a following and audience, you can think about upgrading.

Virtual online writers' workshop

Gone are the days for face-to-face trainings! Yes, they are needed, at times, but you can still have that face-to-face interaction virtually. Technology like Skype and Oovoo are there to accommodate that, and it minimises the heavy costs associated with renting a venue and setting up the room plus refreshments. Two weeks ago, I made reference to an online writers' workshop in the making which is to be held from October 12 to December 14, 2012. Just in time to hang your lights on the trees for the holidays!

You can sign up at this link

Areas of interest that were in demand from the survey administered two weeks ago were fiction, non-fiction and poetry. It will be a 10-week structured, intensive and interactive workshop that is poised to be loaded with fun and learning. During the 10 weeks, there will be live calls to increase interaction and dialogue among participants and at the end of the workshop, one person will be selected as the 'Most Improved Writer' and will be awarded a prize.

So do you believe that anything is possible? Well, in the virtual world, it is. Give it a try and see.

Corine La Font is a certified author assistant and online book marketing specialist. Tune in to her radio programme at She can be reached at or or visit her website at