Guest Post by Karen Cioffi

Being a Gracious Virtual Host By Karen Cioffi Virtual tours are becoming commonplace, yet it seems not all participants are aware of the etiquette involved. To enlighten some and remind others, it might be a good idea to go over some of the basics of being a gracious and proficient virtual host. For those who may be unsure as to what a virtual host is, I’m talking specifically about hosts of virtual author/book tours. Here’s a brief description of a virtual book tour: A virtual book tour is a promotional strategy to create visibility for the author and his book. Writers, and others, with blogs promote the author by featuring him and his work on their blogs. I manage a group of authors in a cross-promotional group and as part of our marketing strategy we have monthly virtual tours. While each guest does not always focus entirely on his/her book (which I call “pure promo”), no matter what the guest decides to offer it is up to the host to present it in a ‘special feature kind of light,’ especially when utilizing cross-promotion. You might be asking, why is it especially important when in a cross-promotion venture. Well, it’s because you are also the recipient of being featured. Another host is going out of his way to present you and your work in a manner that will: Attract readers Make your content appear fresh and interesting Include images (author and book cover) Lead visitors to click on the Learn More About link If a book is being featured, make it appear inviting enough to hopefully warrant the reader to click on the Buy link So as most of us were taught growing up: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you! Now on to what makes a gracious host: Communicate with your guest. Ask what he would like to feature Include Steps 1-5 above PROMOTE your post. This means posting messages in your groups/forums, on Twitter, and other social networks Make sure visitors will find it easy to leave a comment Stop by throughout the day of the post to respond to commenters Thank your guest for being there This is very important: do not publish another post on the day you are featuring a guest, it would be inconsiderate. Please note: Number 7 does not apply if your promotion and links are directing traffic directly to your guest’s post. It only applies if your link goes to your blog page, not a specific post. Karen Cioffi is an author, ghostwriter, and freelance writer. For writing and marketing information visit, ( and sign up for her free newsletter, A Writer’s World; you’ll get 2 free e-books on writing and marketing in the process and two more free e-books just for stopping by. Karen Cioffi-Ventrice Author, ghostwriter, freelance writer, Acquisitions Editor Intern with 4RV Publishing KarenCioffi Writing for Children and More Linkedin: Twitter: Facebook: