Thursday, October 18, 2007

Meet The Left Thumb Blogger

It is with great pleasure I introduce Glenda Watson Hyatt to my readers.

Every so often our paths will cross with someone who is truly incredible. Such is the case with Glenda Watson Hyatt, The Left Thumb Blogger. Glenda is the author of I'll Do It Myself
http://www.doitmyselfblog.com/

I met Glenda one evening while doing a web search on Virtual Blog Tours. Her name, blog and information repeatedly appeared when I would google Virtual Blog Tours.

When I contacted Glenda to inquire about interviewing her, she was very gracious in accepting my invitation. You are in for a special treat.

Kathleen: Glenda, tell me about yourself.

Glenda: I hail from Surrey, on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, where I live with my wonderful husband Darrellof eight years and my spoiled feline child Faith.

Having recently self-published my autobiography, I'll Do It Myself (
http://www.doitmyselfblog.com/ill-do-it-myself-the-book) in which I intimately share my life living with cerebral palsy to show others that having cerebral palsy is not a death sentence, but rather a life
sentence, I am now promoting it on
http://www.doitmyselfblog.com, my blog and through virtual book tours.

I do all of this by typing with my left thumb.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFrSnILrOrw

Kathleen: Your Virtual Book Tour sounds fascinating. Please share with my readers more about this.

Glenda: Virtual book tours are the latest trend in book promotion. Rather than lugging boxes of books from book signing to book signing, and waiting in airports for delayed flights, you promote your book from the comforts of your home by making guest appearances on blogs, podcasts, and internet television and radio shows. Hosts may interview you or ask you to write a guest post for their blog. The possibilities are endless.

Kathleen: What is the difference between a Blog Tour and a Virtual Book Tour?

Glenda: I would say a blog tour is specific kind of a virtual book tour, using only blogs to promote to your book; although, with a blog tour, you aren't necessarily promoting a book. You could be promoting another product or service, or even a cause.

Kathleen: You have had a successful Virtual Book Tour. What were the greatest benefits to doing one?

Glenda: I thoroughly enjoyed meeting people from around the world. And, unlike an in-person appearance that is over once the people leave and the chairs are folded up, virtual appearances are available long after the tour is over. My blog is still receiving traffic from the virtual book tour I did earlier this year as well as the one I did in August.

Kathleen: What were the downsides?

Glenda: Virtual book tours take a lot of work to organize. Much is involved in finding bloggers to host appearances and answering the interview questions.

Kathleen: Does an author need someone else to set up a tour for them, or can they do it themselves?

There are businesses sprouting up that will organize virtual book tours for authors. Dorothy Thompson's Pump Up Your Book Promotion (
http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/) is one such fine example. However, if authors have the time, it is very possible to organize it themselves. I have done two virtual book tours myself now, and am itching to do the next one.

Kathleen: What are the steps to setting up a tour?

Glenda: Here are a few tips for organizing a virtual book tour: The key is to do your research and prepare before "heading out":

1. Research potential blogs (or podcasts or internet radio shows). Approach bloggers whose blogs fit your target audience and which have fairly active blogs in terms of posts and traffic. It may help to build a relationship with the blogger first.
2. Use a spreadsheet to track dates, bloggers' names and email addresses, etc.
3. Send a thank you note via snail mail to bloggers who host an appearance.
4. Be prepared for the unexpected. A blogger may not post the interview when you expected or something else may happen, so you'll need a filler post on your blog if your readers expect to read something every day of your tour.
5. Be creative and have fun with it. Because virtual book tours are still new, there are no rules yet. Make it your own.
6. Enjoy the adventure and meeting people from around the world. Good luck!

Kathleen: How do you approach a Blog or Site owner to be featured on their site?

Glenda: I have found having an established relationship with the bloggers helps when I approach them. They are more than willing to host an appearance on their blog.

Kathleen: How long should my tour be?

Glenda: I discovered the hard way that eight weeks is way too long for a virtual book tour. My second tour was two weeks, which was more manageable and more enjoyable, and surprisingly, sold more books. I am planning a one-week tour in late October. I'll see whether that is long enough to build any momentum.

Kathleen: Do you need to do any additional promotion for a tour?

Glenda: To date, I have only promoted my tours within my networks. However, I have recently discovered sites for listing and promoting your virtual book tours, which I will try for my next tour. The more I do, the more I realize I still have to learn! It is actually quite exciting.

Kathleen: Did you notice an increase in book sales when you did the tour?

Glenda: My second tour was more successful in terms of book sales than my first because it was more focused on my primary target market. With only a couple of exceptions, I appeared on blogs that spoke to moms with children with special needs.

Kathleen: For someone just starting out with this, what can you suggest to assure a successful tour?

Glenda: I would suggest keeping your first tour short, perhaps a week or two, and focus on blogs (or podcasts) where your primary target that hangs out. Be organized and keep it fairly simple. Once you're comfortable with conducting interviews in this way and have a better feel for how virtual book tours can work, and then you can focus more on promoting your tour. And have fun with it!

End of Interview.

A special thanks to Glenda Watson Hyatt, The Left Thumb Blogger. I would invite all my readers to go to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFrSnILrOrw to view Glenda’s video on YouTube and find out why Glenda is such an amazing woman.

Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Marketer
www.streetsmartsmarketing.com

4 comments:

Yvonne Perry said...

Kathleen,

What a terrific interview with Glenda. Her courage and determination as well as her Youtube trailer is very impressive.Thank you for sharing.

I did my virtual book tour with Dorothy Thompson and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Perhaps you would like to share your or Glenda's story with our readers at
http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com.

If so, let me know and I'll send some questions for either/both of you to answer. Then, I'll post the completed author interview(s) for you.

Yvonne Perry

Kathleen Gage said...

Thank you Yvonne. I found Glenda to be a most amazing young woman.

I would be very happy to share her story on your blog.

My best
Kathleen Gage

Cheryl said...

Great interview! I have a writing friend who is penning a memoir based upon his blog about living with cerebral palsy. The book is already under contract.

I'm glad to see authors stepping out to talk about dealing with life long illnesses. Their success inspires people.

As for Virtual Book Tours, I work with Dorothy Thompson of Pump Up Your Book Promotion and I have to say I am impressed with the clients and how much we can do for them. It has been a great experience, and like Glenda says, you get to meet a lot of nice people.

Good luck with your upcoming VBT, Glenda. Thanks for a posting this great interview Kathleen.

Cheryl m.

ChristinaShIFtCoach said...

Yes Kathleen, this is a great inspirational blog posting. She is amazing.

I won't complain about techno isssues ever again because anyone who has the patience to type with one thumb is thumbs up in my book.

Christina Carpentier
Master ShIFt Coach
Specializing in Career ShIFts
www.shiftcoach.com