Planning a Virtual Book Launch, a Virtual Book Birthday or a Virtual Book Tour are great compliments to a book marketing campaign. They are free, effective, and can stick around in the blogsphere forever to immortalize your book and marketing efforts.
Anyone can throw a Virtual Party for any reason and the set up is fun and free.
CREATE A PARTY WEBSITE
Do this at least two months in advance. It takes information time to travel throughout the web. Create a party website that’s attached to your author website. Build a party blog for the sole purpose of hosting daily or weekly party updates. If you are a multiple book author, keep the blog for all of your parties and invite current party goers to review your scrapbook of previous parties.
Plan out your weekly prizes, posts related to the book or guest, give tidbits about the book and your guest. Even spotlight like works from other authors.
Keep the party going and post monthly games, prizes, post related to your up and coming works. You can always point folks back to your party site and if you keep it going people will always want to return.
PARTY MUST HAVES
Offer party favors weekly(these are gifts given prior to the release day of the party), music, video interview of the author, video interview of guest, book trailer, gifts, contest, book excerpts, chat room, guest book, cover art, book reviews, email box, and anything you would think would improve the fun.
To promote your party you could do the following; press release, tweet it, facebook it, newsletter, email it, tell everyone in the forums you visit and ask people to pass the word on.
Another author friend of mine used a service to offer up over $1000 in prizes for her Amazon Book Launch Party. She went on a week campaign of countdown advertising and prize offers with games. She updated her blog, sent email newsletters, tweeted, facebook, myspace, evite and the word spread. She’d moved up the ranks in the Amazon ranking system from the millions to around 20K. Not bad for a first party attempt.
COMPLIMENTS TO THE PARTY
Have a real party too! You can have a small local launch party and invite guest to log into the Virtual After Party while they are at the small local party. Sign the online guest book and do videos and pictures that will be posted on the Virtual Party site. After the local party, post pictures on the PARTY BLOG and kick off the next virtual party.