In September, I’m scheduled to embark on my first virtual blog tour to support the release of my three self-published novels, McCall & Company: Workman’s Complication; McCall & Company: Swollen Identity; and Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench, to alert the digital universe about the launch of Laugh Riot Press, and to introduce myself as a writer of funny books to as many readers in the digital marketplace as possible.

In Days of Olde, say way, way back a decade ago in 2004, the only book tour option for an author was to get in a VW bus, light up something special, and drive from town to town, visiting bookstores large and small, signing books, and reading passages.  (The VW and the joystick were optional, of course.)  Not to mention that only authors duly knighted by the Traditional Publishing Empire would or could even consider such a promotion journey.

Jump a whole huge decade forward, to where self publishing is the way of the world and the smart, righteous path, and indie authors around the globe are climbing into their virtual VWs, traveling to book blogs across the internet, and writing guest posts while being interviewed and spotlighted and reviewed—all while sitting in their home offices wearing pajamas and eating chocolate donuts.  (Maybe not every self-published writer is eating chocolate donuts.  Maybe that’s just me.  Maybe some are eating chocolate ice cream.  Or maybe that’s me too.  You get the point.)

I hired Virtual Book Tour Café to set up my guest blog dates and manage the logistics of my tour.  BK Walker, who owns and runs VBT Café, is an indie author as well as a virtual book tour guru.  I purchased her Café de Grande Tour for $275.  My tour will take 8-12 weeks and will include 20-25 Blog Stops.  VBT Café will assemble a media kit, write a press release, provide a social media blast each day there’s a blog stop, and create a static banner to display on each book blog of my tour. There will be author interviews, character interviews (with the characters in my books), guest posts, and author spotlights.  There will be five reviews of my book(s).  There will be a full banner ad on the VBT Café home page for the length of my tour.

All that and there’s no way to know whether my tour will be a success or not.

Either way, for the next few months, I’ll be busy tending to my tour, which means I’ll have less time to write—I’m more than halfway done with Let There Be Linda, a crazy caper novel about two estranged brothers who bring their dead mother back to life to settle scores and reset their lives.  (I’m loving this book!)

And since the last thing I want to do is have less time to write and since there’s no way to know if the tour will be successful, then why, the question is, am I doing it?

Here’s the answer—and it’s probably not what you think.

I like a challenge.  After more than two decades of commercial success as a Hollywood screenwriter, becoming a self-published novelist, putting my heart and soul and sense of humor out there in the digital marketplace in the form of a funny book, to open that door and walk through it is a way to challenge myself anew.

Plus, my virtual book tour is a wide-reaching way for me to introduce and promote my novels and Laugh Riot Press and myself as a writer of funny books to the digital world of readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and the e-Universe at large and...

Most folks feel that’s a good way to increase sales.

I hope those folk are right, but I’m not self-publishing my books for the money.  Some extra dough in my pocket wouldn’t be bad, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not in it for the payday.

I’m doing it for the thrill of accomplishment.  I’m doing it for the heart-pumping adventure.  I’m doing it for the adrenaline-fueled excitement.  I’m doing it because I’m a writer and a writer writes.  I’m doing it because I love to make people laugh, and I’ve written three funny books that I think will do just that.  I’m doing it to feel self-fulfilled, like I’m living right in the middle of my life.

Taken in those terms, it seems like my virtual book tour is already a success.

Fire up my virtual VW.  And pass the donuts.  I’ll see you out on the road...

In the meantime, let’s play the next round of Laugh Riot Press 20 Questions.

20questions

Question #4: Is membership dependent upon a literary judgment of a writer’s book?  In other words, does Laugh Riot Press render creative judgment?

Answer #4: Absolutely not.  If you’re the writer and you think your book is funny, that’s awesome.  Let’s get it out there and find other people who will think so too.

Question #5: So what is membership dependent upon?

Answer #5: Easy—the highest possible level of presentation.  That means your book has been professionally edited, cover designed, and formatted so that it is as polished as anything the traditional publishing empire could produce.  It’s a done deal, right?  With your passion as your guiding light, how could your book not be professionally polished?

Question #6: Do writers have to be published with the Laugh Riot Press imprint?

Answer #6: Nope.  We love our logo, but self-published writers whose books present at the highest possible professional standard and who have created their own imprints are welcome to join Laugh Riot Press and participate in our year-round social media marketing movement alongside indie authors whose books present at that same high-quality standard but have chosen to use the Laugh Riot Press imprint.

Question #7: Does Laugh Riot Press take a percentage of its writers’ book sales?

Answer #7: No way, brothers and sisters.  It’s your book, your sales, your revenue.

That’s it for now.  Thanks for reading me.  I’d love to know what you think.  Email me at rich@laughriotpress.com.   I’ll email you back.

The more funny books in the world, the better.

Rich

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Posted on July 2, 2014 and filed under 20 Questions, book marketing, self publishing, Rich Leder.