As I mentioned in January, I’m getting MARRIED in the Fall! And with all of this wedding stuff (seriously, why didn’t you guys tell me this was going to be a second full time job?), I couldn’t help but see the resemblances between planning a wedding and planning out virtual tours for my romance authors!
1. You have to start early. Almost 10 months before my wedding date, I was signing a contract ensuring I had a great venue for my wedding; around 9 months before I booked a photographer; and at 8 months prior I had a DJ. Different bloggers and review sites have different timelines they follow when booking guest blogs or interviews, but they all like to do things EARLY. There are dates I book for virtual tours almost a year in advance, but then there are others that I can work within 2-3 months.
2. You have to think about other people. Yes I know, everyone says that your wedding is all about you. That’s a LIE. Yes, your wedding should be reflective of your personality. But you have to remember that your BFF from high school has just become a vegan. And your great-uncle better sit right up front or next to a speaker during the ceremony because he’s going deaf. On a virtual tour, you do need to think about the blog that’s hosting you, as well as what readers want to know about. This is a big reason why I ask for topic suggestions from the blogs I work with, so that blogger and their readers are getting something interesting, but quite a few places still say “topic of your choice.”
3. You have to look good. My dress appointment is coming up, and I AM TERRIFIED. For one, I think all wedding dresses are ugly, and the last thing I want is to look like every other bride out there. I also abhor trying on clothes. But then I remembered: this is for a specific, albeit important, event with a very specific kind of look and I’m going to find something that works. For virtual tours, you really need to make sure you re-read your posts before you send them to me or to a blogger—typos are just like fashion faux pas… everyone notices them, and they will talk about you!
4. You have to smile and be gracious. Yep, I’m one of those brides… I’m having two bridal showers. And as much as I don’t want to come across as “that bride,” I know that the two people throwing these showers are doing so out of the goodness of their hearts, and they are both being super generous and nice and supporting me before my big day. On a virtual tour, most bloggers are choosing who they want to showcase on their blogs—I know I don’t have to remind all of you just how many authors there are in the game right now. The field is oversaturated, and the blogs, no matter how big or small, are taking time out of their schedules to help you promote your books. So say thank you. More than once!
5. You need your best friends by your side. I cannot even begin to tell you how lucky I am with my bridal party. They are AWESOME and so low key and nice and sassy when I need them to be. I know they are going to be amazing at the bridal showers, the bachelorette party will be insane (in the best possible way) and my wedding day will be all the better because they are there. As you know, authors and publicists, authors and other authors, authors and bloggers, authors and review publications/websites are all working together to spread the word about a book, and many of you know that it is NOT easy. Making key connections, and reciprocating where necessary goes a long way—something as simple as re-tweeting or sharing on Facebook, or hosting another author on your blog, or doing a giveaway on a blog even when it isn’t your publication month.
Ok, I know most of these are a stretch, but you get the idea. Planning really helps, whether it’s a wedding or a virtual tour :-)
GIVEAWAY: in the comments, share a memorable wedding moment—either from your own or from a wedding you’ve attended. To two commenters I have a fun giveaway: The Newlywed Cookbook by Robin Miller (I promise you’ll like it, even if you aren’t a newlywed)! Please be sure to leave an email address so I can easily reach you. I’ll announce the winners tomorrow afternoon (US and Canada addresses only).