Online events are a cheap and easy way to reach and stay in touch with your audience and readers. They’re also a super way to sell more books, products and services online while increasing your expert status standing. The following is an overview of a few popular online event options.
Virtual Book Tours
Most authors can’t afford a major PR package that involves a physical book tour (i.e, setting up live media events and in-person signings in a few dozen cities around the country). The online solution is creating a Virtual Book Tour. Virtual tours often include blogging, webcasts, webinars, online chats, teleconferences, radio talk show appearances, online and print media opportunities, and live readings and Q&A sessions via teleseminar. By creating a combination of these events in a short span of time (usually 30-60 days) you’ll generate a lot of online buzz, drive traffic to your website, and hopefully sell a lot of your books, products, and services.
Online live chats allow your audience to talk with you and ask questions in real time. Live chats are easy to set up at free chat sites like Chat Shack Network. These “one-time” events lend themselves to additional media buzz. Plus, spending time with your audience one-on-one is the ideal way to build credibility and trust with online buyers.
Webcasts are media files distributed over the Internet as streaming media–either live or as a pre-recorded download. Like broadcasting over the Internet, webcasting is a good way to deliver video and sound files to your audience. These take a bit more set-up and editing time, but once you create a webcast you have a product that will become an asset and can be used for a lot of different types of online promotion. If you webcast live, be sure to record the event for future use.
Short for web-based seminar, a webinar is a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the web. Webinars are usually presented live and they’re often interactive so you can give, receive and discuss information with all your attendees. Vyew Instant Workspaces is a free webinar solution that offers an easy-to-use interface with all the options you’ll need to host your own webinar event.
On-Demand Seminars, available whenever the attendee wants them, can also help you build your following online. Whether you offer them free or for a fee, these seminars and training events can help you build your mailing lists if you require those participating in the event to register using their email or snail mail information. CourseLab is a fun, free resource for building online training seminars.
Gregory A. Kompes, author of the bestseller 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live and the Writer’s Series, speaks at conferences and teaches Internet self-promotion courses online. Gregory is editor of Queer Collection: Prose & Poetry, Patchwork Path, The Fabulist Flash, and Eighteen Questions, a Q&A series that collects published authors experiences (chosen a “101 Best Website” by Writer’s Digest ). In Las Vegas, he hosts the Writerpreneur Workshops and co-host’s the Writer’s Pen & Grill. Gregory holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, New York, and a certificate in Online Teaching and Learning and an MS Ed. from California State University, East Bay.