Can Skype be part of a successful book promotion campaign? Yes, it can, from what I’ve been reading. Webwire has an account of Cecelia Ahern’s virtual book tour that represented a coordinated book publicity effort by the author, HarperCollins (her publisher), Skype, and several intrepid, forward-thinking bookstores in various countries.
The Skype virtual book tour gives Ahem a chance to connect with fans in Singapore, South Africa, German, Australia, and the UK, which is great for Ahern, and terrific for her fans, and stupendous for book sales (one would imagine).
However, note that Ahem is an internationally bestselling author.
Would a Skype virtual book tour work for a midlist author or, for example, a self-published author who’s just beginning to build his or her brand? Maybe it would, but name the bookstore that would be willing to take a chance on setting up a Skype virtual book tour (it’s tough enough to arrange a book signing for self-published — or even lesser known mainstream published — authors!).
I’m sure that Skype, and similar technologies, will strongly influence the way people connect with each other. It already has changed the way that this book publicist makes overseas phone calls.
But, although it’s interesting to see how Skype virtual book tours can be integrated into book promotion campaigns, I’m guessing that world-famous authors will be in a far better position to take advantage of the book publicity opportunity than the rest of us … now, and for a long, long time to come.