Social media is all about the buzz, it’s all about initiating conversations and interacting with people using microblogs, message boards, online chats, podcasts, video, photo sharing sites and virtual worlds. Social media tools can help writers reach interested parties and break through the constant marketing clamour to create a friendlier, more intimate relationship with readers. It’s not a panacea and cannot guarantee sales, but if it is used as part of an overall strategy – which must include networking in person – readership will grow.
Free Author Services
Virtual Writers has been connecting with writers and readers since 2007. We provide online venues for writers to meet, network, build visibility and cultivate both a live and social audience.
Our main online writers’ space is in the form of a digital community where users move, communicate and socialise using mouse, microphone and keyboard controls. We find this type of virtual environment ideal for busy writers as it enables them to attend live events from the comfort of an armchair.
Daily Online Writing Events
We have daily writing challenges and meets at our sim in Second Life® and on our social media channels. Look out for our Writers’ Dash and 500 Word Snatch prompts as these provide opportunities for you to present your work to a wider audience and receive feedback. Your work can be curated and placed in our Dash in the Pan magazine, or linked to the blogs of challenge participants, which often rallies interaction and increases exposure. Likewise, leaving your dash piece in the comment section of the post encourages other members to engage with you. These interactions help build your reader network.
Open Mic Performances
This promotional service was designed for authors and poets to present their work to a live audience using Second Life®‘s voice medium. We have several venues available on our sim in Second Life® and have years of online event hosting experience.
March Poetry Festival
We offer talented poets the opportunity to exhibit their work and readings alongside some of Second Life®‘s most prominent poets. Held the last weekend of March.
We’re happy to publish articles from our community members. Each guest post will include an author bio, head shot and links to the author’s website, social media feeds and fan pages.
Topics we are interested in publishing:
- The art of writing
- Avoiding writer’s block
- Tips for using role-play to stimulate your writing
- Writing for children (picture books, middle grade and YA)
- How to write a cover letter
- Giving the elevator pitch
- Your writer’s space
- Plotter or pantser?
- Writing competitions – are they worth all the effort?
- Independent or traditional publishing?
- Agent or go it alone?
- How to pitch your book or movie script to prospective agents
- What to expect in a publisher’s contract
- Your Influences
- How to create believable characters
- On being a debut author
- How to write a synopsis
- Dealing with rejection
- Using social media to promote your work
There is an option for guest authors to have their book showcased in our Amazon store and on our website sidebar.
Author & Book Advertising
The Book Squawk consists of a special page designed to showcase your work. Each page includes a brief interview, author bio, head shot, book blurb, book excerpt and links to your author website, book trailer, social media feeds and fan pages. Your page is cross-promoted to our community members on Second Life® and our social media channels – reaches approximately 30,000 people (excluding blog followers). In addition your book cover will be featured on the sidebar for one month. We also reserve a listing space for your book in our online store. This package is ideal if you have a book release or book tour and want to build some buzz.
Book trailers are quickly becoming a cornerstone of both the self-published and traditionally published writer’s marketing campaign. The potential to convey the spirit of a book in a fun and accessible way can boost sales. Virtual Writers can create a professional trailer for your book at a reasonable price.
Web banners or banner ads, placed on third-party websites or blogs, can help drive traffic to the author’s own site and increase book product awareness. Let us create a compelling ad for you.
3d books – we can create a 3d version of your book for web use; altogether more attractive and professional than the standard version.
Machinima (muh-sheen-eh-mah) is the use of real-time 3D video-game technologies to create a cinematic production. It is the combining of film-making and animation in an interactive virtual space where characters and events can be controlled by humans, scripts or artificial intelligence. Virtual Writers can create a 5 minute video recorded in Second Life® for use on your site.
The blog book tour is now several years old and is still going strong as an effective way to promote the author. Instead of having to tour several cities – and surrender to the roads and railways – you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
To learn more on how they work, check out our blog post What’s a Blog Book Tour?
We offer a fast-paced virtual trek in which you will be featured by a selection of host bloggers known for their enthusiasm of your genre.
- Coordination of all tour events
- Personalized tour page – includes your personal tour dates, author bio, head shot and links to your author website, book cover, book summary, book excerpt, buying information, book trailer, social media feeds and fan pages. We also reserve a listing space for your book on our online bookstore.
- Media Kit – including a 3d book cover and 2 x banner ads for use on your own site and sites booked for the tour
- Tour publicized daily on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, Second Life® & Virtual Writers website – reaches approximately 30,000 people (excluding blog followers)
Please be aware we require 3 months advanced notice before the proposed tour date. The author/publisher agrees to send ARCs/pdf/ebook copies of the book to host bloggers at least 6 weeks prior to the scheduled tour date. We are now limiting our tours to regular community members only.
Press releases are a powerful way for authors to catch the attention of journalists and editors. We provide a professionally written press release that improves your chances of being noticed.
- Virtual Writers will present an outline
- Using author feedback we draft a press release for approval
- Using the approved draft PR we create a final professional press release (providing the author with a digital PDF file)
Reading Group Discussion Guide
Get your book into the hands of book clubs and reading groups with a useful guide aimed at encouraging deep discussion. Virtual Writers has been connecting readers and writers since 2007, and is experienced in running virtual book clubs.
Embracing book clubs and reading groups equates to an increased readership and greater product awareness. Allow us to create a compelling discussion guide for you to use on your own site (or send out to interested parties).
Our discussion guide (digital PDF file) will include:
- An attractively designed sell sheet, which includes full details of the book (title, cover image, publication date, ISBN, retail price, a book summary (if fiction, this includes the plot and major themes), author biography and pertinent reviews or endorsements (anyone with a level of brand awareness able to lend credibility to your work);
- Stimulating questions aimed at encouraging deep discussion;
- A Q&A session with the author (integrated in the guide).
In addition, your guide will be featured on our site.
Updated: January, 2015