A traditional book tour usually involves an author promoting their book at bookstores, libraries, literary fairs or perhaps giving a talk at meetings and trying to sell the book afterwards. It involves visiting different towns and cities and this can be time consuming and costly as the physical location has to be booked and prepared beforehand, there is local advertising required to promote the event, travelling and accommodation costs, and time away from either work or continuing with writing.
Because a Virtual Book Tour is online there are no physical locations so an author can tour from the comfort of their own home and promote their book to a lot more people.
Using a coach tour as an example, a tour like this would have a start and end date and in between would stop at different places; a Virtual Book Tour will also consist of a start and end date and involve various stops at different places too and these places are usually blogs run by people who are passionate about books and who often provide a free review service in exchange for a free book. Usually referred to as bloggers, in the Virtual Book Tour world they also referred to as ‘hosts’ or ‘tour hosts’.