alking Virtual Book Tours with Michael Estepa
Michael Estepa is a Filipino born Australian who graduated from high school in 2003. It was during his final year of high school that his ideas for Purged by Darkness were born. After being rejected by Australian publishers Michael went on to finance and self publish his book Purged by Darkness, which was released locally in Australia in 2004. For two years Michael promoted his work by talking to libraries, youth groups, his old high school and book clubs about his book, gangs, drugs, believing in yourself, the writing process etc. Michael then took a chance and sent his manuscript to several literary agencies in America before finally being able to obtain a literary agent in 2006. Michael finally got his break and was offered a contract in 2008. In June of 2009, Purged by Darkness was released nationwide in the US through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. Michael will also be attending the Frankfurt (Germany) Book Fair in October, 2009.
Michael will be on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours in November, 2009 and January, 2010 and is here with us today to give his impression of virtual book tours and online book marketing.
Thank you for this interview, Michael. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?
Author: Purged by Darkness is an action packed, coming-of-age story that revolves around the lives of six friends in the notorious criminal underworld of Melbourne, Australia.
The story is told through the eyes of Kai, the leader of his friends and the main character of the story as he comes face to face with drugs, bullets, and in most recent times a sense of morality. The group’s friendship endures as the six try to define their lives interweaved with their life of crime.
In this strange existence, love and loyalty among the friends flourish because they can only depend on each other. But friendship is pushed beyond all normal limits, as danger waits at every turn.
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?
Author: I chose to promote my work through the virtual web because of the endless possibilities of where my book, Purged by Darkness can end up. There are literally millions upon millions of people who are on the internet every hour so the opportunities for people to discover my book and learn about me are endless!
Is this the first time you have heard of them?
Author: This is my first time to ever hear about virtual book touring and Pump Up Your Book Promotions. When I think of promotions it’s the thought of book signings that comes to mind not typing on a computer promoting your work.
What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?
Author: I hope to achieve several things by promoting my book through a virtual book tour. I hope to achieve awareness and recognition for the message my book, Purged by Darkness has to offer to young impressionable minds, which is “anything and everything is possible!” I want to create an audience for the style and type of genre I write. I would also like to increase sales!
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog?
Author: I also promote my book, Purged by Darkness through my website www.MichaelEstepa.com where I regularly update any invents or news that is happening in my young literary career. I also tell my friends about what is going on regarding my book through my personal facebook page. I am in the process of creating a blog!
Do you promote through Twitter and Facebook? What are your links there?
Author: I do promote through facebook, but like I said previously just through my own personal page where people add me etc.
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Which do you prefer – online or offline and can you give us the reasons why?
Author: I have found offline book signings quite entertaining! I get the chance to meet new people face to face and answer any questions they might have for me. For now, I can only say I favour offline promotion only because I have never tried online promotion. What I do find very appealing about internet promotion is the comfort of it all. I can be in pj’s if I wanted to and no one would have ever known. Even if I was sick, I wouldn’t have to cancel the event because I am not physically there.
Here’s a fun question. If money was no object, how would you promote your book?
Author: Oh wow, that’s a great question! Where would I start? I would dedicate a month to just radio and internet promotion. Then I would buy advertisement space in all the major newspapers and magazines in the US, then do the same in Australia and Philippines. I would then do a two month nationwide book tour to all the major and indie book stores across the US, and I would do the same in Australia and Philippines. I would also dedicate at least a further two months of touring to promote my work in high schools, youth groups, book clubs etc. When money is no object, there is no limit!
Thank you for this interview, Michael. Do you have any final words?
Author: I would like to thank Dorothy Thompson (Founder/CEO) of Pump Up Your Book Promotions for her encouraging words and guidance throughout this entire experience!
I would also like to tell all the viewers out there that if you want a book that excites as well as thrills, has non – stop action, heartfelt moments, a clear message at the end of the story, enough romance to warm your heart and is reader friendly, then Purged by Darkness is the book for you! Regardless of your age or reading skill, you will not be disappointed!