Thursday, January 14, 2010

Publishing, media, and the internet are constantly changing. In the past, publishers frequently promoted books by sending authors on tour. For a number of reasons (the economy, the demise of the independent bookstore, etc.), book tours are far less common. But fortunately, we have entered a new, digital age, which allows endless possibilities for book promotion.

Last season we published Meet Me under the Ceiba, a novel by the Panama-based author Silvio Sirias. When we learned we’d be publishing a book by an author in Central America, we thought that would be the death knell. How could we possibly promote a book in the U.S. by an author who wouldn’t be around for promotional events? A new, or relatively new, author’s willingness to self promote is often the key to a book’s success. Fans don’t magically appear, and you can’t sell a book if no one knows about it, no matter how good it is.


So, we were excited to discover that Silvio—a literature professor in his mid-fifties—was quite internet savvy. He has a Web site, blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts that he actually updates regularly. Then he hit us with news: he was going on a virtual book tour. With the help of a virtual tour company called BronzeWord Virtual Latino Book Tours, a ten-day tour was set. Each blog host offered a free, signed copy of the book for the person who had the best comment or discussion topic. Through reviews, posts, and discussions on these blogs, interest is being generated, fans are being created, and books are being sold.


Unlike so many young, naive writers, Silvio wasn't going to expectantly wait around for fame and fortune to come to him. And because of his use of the internet, Silvio and his new book have more of a presence than many books with authors who are physically in the U.S. Silvio’s book tour began on Monday, January 11 with Book-lover Carol and will continue until Friday, January 22. To follow his tour or see his previous stops, check out his schedule below:

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