Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Writers' Wednesday: Talking All About Blog Tours!

Welcome writers! Today I want to chat (briefly) about blog tours. They are definitely one of the popular ways for writers to talk about and promote their books, especially new releases. They can consist of anywhere from 5 - 50 blog stops, over the course of a few days or a few weeks, where an author chats about her book, or provides excerpts, or answers interview questions, or provides her book for a review for said blog.

Lots of work, yes, but it can pay off with sales in the long run. Wondering where to start? One of my local RWA chapter members, Wendy S. Marcus, presented on this very topic last weekend, and rather than summarize her many helpful points, I'll give you her link to a blog post she wrote about it.

A couple of things to keep in mind, if you're thinking about a blog tour:

1. Organization is key! You'll need to keep track of the blogs you're visiting, the posts you're writing, when they'll be posted, and whether you'll be stopping in that day to respond to comments.

2. It's time-consuming. Blog posts are typically anywhere from 300 -1000 words or more. That's a lot of time to write an original, witty, reader-catching posts (and you don't want to reuse posts, because many readers will follow you from stop to stop).

3. Consider hiring a person or organization to help you. There are many virtual assistants who can help plan a blog tour for you, as well as blog tour companies who will take care of every last detail. They vary in cost, and I make no claims about any of these (except the first, as noted), but here are some places to start looking around:

Goddess Fish Promotions - This site is owned by the folks who also run The Long and the Short of It, and they are also personal friends of mine. Having given that disclaimer, I find them professional and very, very organized in their tour offerings. They work hard to target blogs that will appeal to your genre of reader, and they check their blog partners regularly to make sure posts are up and people are commenting.

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Black Lion Tours

Virtual Book Tour Cafe

Jar o' Marbles (this one's a virtual assistant rather than a blog tour company)

OK folks, happy writing and happy touring! And don't forget, I have not one but TWO tours coming up in the very near future...and I'll be giving away goodies on both of them. Hope to see you on tour!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Mentionables: Check Out All These Links!

Happy Monday, everyone! Just a few things I'm mentioning today:

1. Tomorrow's a double-header day for blogging: I'll be at both The Romance Studio AND at fellow author Mae Clair's blog. Please drop by and visit with me if you can!

2. Interesting links & articles from this month's Romance Writers Report:
~If you're an author, are you making the most of your Author Central Page at Amazon? It's a free service and a great place and way to showcase not only your books, but your reviews, your Facebook or blog links, and more!
~A few up-and-coming websites that writers can use to promote themselves include Togather, Libboo, and Writer.ly (on a side note, I'm interested to hear from anyone who's used them - I have yet to check them out in detail)
~Using the in-house publicist at your publishing house is a great (free!) way to build buzz about your name and reach out to partner with someone to market yourself even more. Don't be afraid to ask for the publicist's name and contact info, if you don't already have it, and send an email to find out how the two of you can work together.

3. Interesting links & articles from this month's Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators issue:
~Animoto is a web application that can help you produce your very own book trailer!
~Smilebox is a fun way to create photo collages, release announcements, and more, that uses videos, photos, music, etc. to appeal to your computer-based crowd of readers.
~Swoon Reads is a brand new YA romance imprint from the Macmillan Publishing Group that will be soliciting manuscripts and then using a reader recommendation system to choose which get put through for actual publishing consideration (side note: I tried signing up yesterday and had trouble submitting the form. If you're successful, let me know).

I'll be talking about blog tours on Wednesday, sharing info from our local writers' group meeting over the weekend as well as some of my own experiences, so stop by if you're a blogger or a reader or a writer who's interested in hearing more. See you then!