Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer, children’s author and editor. Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI.
Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. She is also a former contributor for the Writer2Writer eZine. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.
Cheryl Malandrinos will be on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Tours in November and is here with us today to give her impression of virtual book tours and online book marketing.
Thank you for this interview, Cheryl. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your book is about?
Little Shepherd is the story of five-year-old Obed, a shepherd outside of Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth. After the angel announces the Savior’s birth, he is hesitant to join the others to see the newborn King. Once he steps out in faith, he gets a chance to witness the miracles of that magical night.
More and more authors are realizing the potential for sales that derives from virtual book tours. Can you tell us your personal reasons why you chose a virtual book tour to help get the word out about your new book?
Does it bother anyone that I’m biased? I’m in the business, so I’ve seen the impact virtual book tours can make. I toured with Little Shepherd last year around the same time and my book hit the Amazon bestsellers list in its category multiple times while on tour. I like those results.
Is this the first time you have heard of them?
Actually, the first time I heard of them was not long after Pump Up Your Book opened its virtual doors in 2007 and I began hosting their clients. A few months later, I joined the team.
What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?
I like connecting with bloggers. I’ve met so many wonderful people that way—many of whom have become close friends and/or clients. While the ultimate goal is to sell some books, I know there are no guarantees in this business. Networking is very important for authors, so even if I don’t sell a single book, I still know my VBT is a success when I make new connections.
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog?
My website was redesigned this year. Readers can find it at http://ccmalandrinos.com. I also have a blog dedicated solely to my book, and I run several other book blogs. It helps that I love blogging.
Do you promote through Twitter and Facebook? What are your links there?
Yes. Even though I’ve had a personal Facebook page for years now, I recently started a fan page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheryl-C-Malandrinos/170542359697682 I’m on Twitter @ccmalandrinos and I also have a daily online paper at http://paper.li/ccmalandrinos
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Which do you prefer – online or offline and can you give us the reasons why?
I’ve only held one and it was a waste of time and money. I bought extra books to make sure I would have enough. I sat there for seven hours and sold six books to friends. I’m not saying I would never do it again, but I like online tours much more. I’m amazed when I check my Amazon stats and see that I’ve sold books in geographical locations where I don’t know anyone.
I would give every church across America five free copies.
Thank you for this interview, Cheryl. Do you have any final words?
The key to virtual book tours is not to judge them solely upon the number of books you sell. If you’ve made new connections, gotten some good review blurbs you can use to promote your book, and increased your online exposure, then your VBT was a great success.