"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Setting Up Your Blog Tour

A blog tour is similar to a book tour, only the author travels from blog to blog instead of from store to store. Depending on the author and the blog, coverage may consist of a book review, Q&A (either posted or live), guest posts and/or a book giveaway. Blog tours, like traditional bookstore tours, will feature a designated number of “stops” and can last one day, one week, or one month depending on the author’s preference. You want to do this around the time your book releases.
1)      Benefit of the Tour - While many authors believe the purpose of a blog tour is to generate more sales that is not the case. If you go into a blog tour with the belief you’ll dramatically increase your book sales, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. The biggest benefit of a blog tour is to generate buzz about your book without having to travel.
2)      Setting up the Tour, Creating an Itinerary and Advertising – Some publishing companies will set this up for you, but more and more of them want you to provide your own marketing. Check to see what your publisher prefers. If you will be doing this yourself, start by contacting everyone in your email list to announce the desire for a blog tour. Include what you want to promote, when you want the tour to take place and for how long. Then advertise on your social media sites. Next, provide a list of “stops” on your own blog. If you want the tour to take place all in one day, you will simply add a list of blogs/websites as they sign up to host you. If you want your tour to last a week or even a month, you need to provide a more specific schedule which reflects where you will be hosted, what day and what will be posted (such as an interview, book review, video chat, guest post etc.)
3)      What’s in it for the bloggers? Remember, you DO NOT pay bloggers to participate. This should be a free service. If and when bloggers do choose to participate in a blog tour, we assume they are indeed willing to take the time to read the book and write a post because they are interested in the book and because it helps the author or their own blog by increasing interest/traffic. After all, you are providing valuable content to their blog at no charge, and you are increasing awareness about their blogs which creates a win-win situation. This is known as cross-promotion.
4)      What do I offer my blog tour hosts? Whether you are dictating what each blog host will post or allowing them to choose, please keep these tips in mind:
a.)                Limit the Number Of Questions Asked – For each interview, three to ten questions per blog is perfect because it allows you to keep the momentum going, prevents you from answering all the good questions on one blog, and keeps your readers interested in your tour. If a post is too long, readers lose interest.
b.)               Include links - It’s important that every blog on your tour include a link to your book’s sales page, your blog/website and any other ways readers can find you. After all, visitors need to know where to purchase your book should they find you interesting.
c.)                Offer Photos - You can enhance your interview by offering a photo of yourself doing something related to your book’s theme, a headshot, or a cover of your book.
d.)               Give Something Away - While it can be rather costly to send out review copies of your books to every blogger in the blogosphere, especially if you’re not sure how popular a blog is, you can offer to hold a book drawing for every blogger who participates in your blog tour (whether they are hosting or simply commenting on a post) and then give away one to five books at the end of the blog tour. You can even prepare a pdf file of your book to give away.

5)   Be Present - The day(s) of the tour, it is very important for you to be available for comments and reader interaction on the blogs hosting you. Readers want to see you as an actual presence, not just a flat character.
Please share your advice and thoughts if you’ve ever set up your own blog tour or even hosted another author on theirs.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

14 Ways to Promote Your Book (Part 1)

I'm guest posting at the Bayou Writer's Group blog today. If you have time, please stop by and share your thoughts and advice: http://bayouwritersgroup.blogspot.com/2012/03/14-ways-to-promote-your-book-part-1.html

Happy Writing!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunshine Award

Meghan Kirkland at The Thinker was kind enough to give me this Sunshine Award!
There are some rules that go along with this award:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award and provide a link.
2. Answer the questions below.
3. Pass it on to any bloggers you think deserve it.

Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Animal: My miniature dachshund who is not so miniature (SHE’S FAT!)
Favorite Number: 7
Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Water or Diet Root Beer.
Social Network: Twitter, Google +, Facebook AND LinkedIn
My Passions Are: Writing, reading, traveling, spending time with friends and family.
Getting or Giving Presents: Giving
Favorite Patterns: Jewel tones with a Moroccan feel.
Favorite Day of the Week: Saturday
Favorite Flower: Gerber Daisies, Roses and Plumeria.
Everyone needs a little sunshine! If you would like to accept this award, please leave a comment and link below to let us know where to find your responses. Happy Writing!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Emerald Isle and Spring Break

I'm enjoying a wonderful spring break with my friends and family. I'm slacking off writing this week to spend time with them and refuel my creative juices. I hope you are all able to find time for the same.

In celebration of the Emerald Isle, check out some of these great Irish authors.

Until next week - happy spring break, happy St. Patrick's Day and happy writing!

What are you up to this week?

Friday, March 9, 2012

I've Been Tagged...

I’ve been tagged by Rebecca Kiel! Now that I am “it”, here are the questions I need to answer:
1.    What is the one book you couldn’t live without? I would hate to part with any of them, too many favorites. However, if I could only pick one it would have to be the Bible.

2.    What can you see out your window at the moment? It’s raining here so everything is drenched, including the fat birds that crowd my bird houses.
3.    What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Hmmm…probably spaghetti (the red sauce) mixed with mayonnaise – it came out looking pink. YUCK! A friend in high school tried to convince me it was great so I ate it – ONCE.

4.    What fictional character would you most like to marry? My husband is the only guy with whom I want to share this journey. However, for the spirit of the game I’ll choose Atticus Finch – wonderful father and role model.

5.    If ever a fictional villain was going to win, who would you want it to be? When I was young, I absolutely loved the movie Labyrinth. David Bowie’s character, Jareth: Goblin King is the first actor crush I remember having. Tight pants, teased hair, magical powers, he wanted to grant your every wish – in exchange for personal gain of course, but who minds that with the right *I mean wrong* guy? ;-)

6.    How many types of cheese can you name off the top of your head? Umm…a dozen off the top of my head, but I know that’s barely a dent in the list.

7.    If you didn’t want to be a writer, what would you want to be? An event planner/organizer. I enjoy doing this from time to time.

8.    Can you play a musical instrument? Yes, I played clarinet in school and my husband taught me a little on the piano and drums. I wanted to be in choir in school, but the teacher told me to “never sing in public again.”

9.    Do you own a Kindle or a Nook or any sort of e-reader? My husband bought me a Nook Color for Christmas 2010.

10. If you do, how many books do you have on it? Several hundred – mostly free downloads because I still prefer to buy the tangible ones. My kids (two and four) probably use it more than I do.

11. You just got published. In a glowing review, someone calls you “the next [insert famous author name here]”. Which famous author has to watch their back now you’re on the scene? I’m going to steal Rebecca’s answer and say:The real sign of having arrived on the literary scene is when I read a review of someone else’s that says, The next Sylvia Ney.

Now, it’s my turn to tag:

Please check out their blogs for their answers.  Have fun and Happy Writing!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Madness of March

Yes, there is definite madness brewing this month. I may have too many irons in the fire, but I haven’t slowed down yet.
First, I took on a lot of responsibilities this year with one of my writer’s groups: http://www.bayouwritersgroup.blogspot.com/ I became a board member, conference planning member, fundraising committee member, the newsletter editor, the blog editor/administrator, and the facebook administrator for this group. Don’t get me wrong, I’m having a blast, but once I get going, I can’t seem to stop!
Somehow, I still want to manage my personal blog (thank you for stopping by and reading ;-), continue learning and tutoring, prepare for the “A to Z” blog challenge, write and submit. If you are working on your own submissions, consider:

BIRDS AND BLOOM BACKYARD BLUNDER CONTEST http://www.birdsandblooms.com/Contests/Backyard-Blunder-Contest - NO ENTRY FEE - Do you have a funny birding or gardening story to share from your backyard? We want to hear it! Send us your best "backyard blunder," and the winning story will receive $500. To enter, email your true story (no more than 400 words) to contests@birdsandblooms.com. Please put "backyard blunder contest" in the subject line. Deadline March 15, 2012.
KANSAS CITY VOICES http://kansascityvoices.com/04submissions/submit.shtml We publish an annual eclectic mix of fiction, essays, interviews, articles, poetry, and art. We seek exceptional written and visual creations from established and emerging voices. The magazine is published in November of each year. Deadline March 15, 2012. There is no need for submissions to relate to Kansas City or the Midwest. Prose limited to 2,500 words. Poems limited to 35 lines. Payment for each published poem will be $20 and one free copy of the magazine. In the sole discretion of the publisher, one poem may receive a "Best of Prose" award in the amount of $100. Payment for each published prose piece will be $30 and one free copy of the magazine. In the sole discretion of the publisher, one prose piece may receive a "Best of Prose" award in the amount of $100.
THE BINNACLE ULTRA-SHORT COMPETITION - http://www.umm.maine.edu/ultra-short-competition.html - NO ENTRY FEE - We are looking for prose works of 150 words or fewer and poetry of sixteen lines or fewer and fewer than 150 words. All works should have a narrative element to them. A minimum of $300 in cash prizes will be awarded, with a minimum prize of $50. At least one of the prizes will go to a UMM student. Please submit no more than two works total, prose and/or poetry. Deadline March 15, 2012.

SILVER BOOMER BOOKS ANTHOLOGY http://silverboomerbooks.com/sbb/wp/for-writers/ Silver Boomer Books seeks your stories, poems, essays and interviews dealing with widowhood. As always, we're looking for quality over quantity and actually favor shorter works, especially shorter poetry. Projected release date for the anthology is October, 2012. We need your submissions until March 30, 2012, and will let you know in August if your work is selected for inclusion. Pays $5 for poetry and $10 for fiction.

http://www.dyingmatters.org/finalchapters - NO ENTRY FEE - Open to all. Limit 2,500 words of prose or 40 lines of poetry. Must be in English. Dying Matters Coalition is running a new creative writing competition about dying, death and bereavement. Anyone touched by dying, whether directly or as a relative, friend, colleague or caregiver, can enter. 1st: £200; 2nd: £100; 3rd: £50; plus highly commended certificates. All entries will also be considered for publication online or in print form. Deadline March 31, 2012.
NIGHTWRITERS WRITING CONTEST - .750 WORD SHORT STORY or 40 LINE POETRY. Entries must be based on the theme: F ORGIV ENESS. Deadline: All contest entries must be received no later than March 31, 2012. – Check my blog folder for adobe contest flyer.

What are you working to complete?
P.S. I’m also planning a Dr. Seuss themed birthday party!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

First Friday Reading Series Presents Reading by D.B. Grady

by Erica McCreedy, Special Projects Coordinator - Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA

The Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana will present a free fiction reading by Louisiana author D.B. Grady on Friday, March 2nd, 2012, at 7 p.m. at the Porch Coffee House & Café in Lake Charles. The reading is part of the First Friday Reading Series which is co-sponsored by the Council and the Porch, and it offers another reading platform for area writers and poets, both published and unpublished.

D.B. Grady, a former U.S. Army paratrooper and a veteran of Afghanistan, is a freelance writer and novelist. His debut novel, Red Planet Noir, won the 2010 Indie Book Award for Science Fiction, and his newest book The Command: Deep Inside the President’s Secret Army (co-authored by Marc Ambinder), which is now available on eBook and will be released in print in October, examines the role of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command in foreign policy and the war on terror. Grady is a correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for American Thinker, National Journal, and Real Clear World, among other periodicals and journals.

The Porch is located at 4710 Common Street in Lake Charles, and the reading will be followed by live music. For more information on D.B. Grady, visit his website at www.dbgrady.com, and for details on the First Friday Reading Series, call the Arts Council at 439-2787 or visit http://www.artsandhumanitiesswla.org/.