|Pen of the Dreamer|
Glad to have you here, Calisa. Readers, be sure to leave a comment below for a chance at goodies from today's guest.
You know, coming up with blog post ideas, much less full posts are coming harder for me the longer I tour.
I can relate to that one, but without it readers won't find your latest.
True but still I hear it all the time. I’ve done it.
I’m talking about over doing a blog tour for a new book.
When is it too much?
Torture Art of
by Calisa Rhose
A first book is mind-boggling in and of itself. So many questions, even more answers. Beware--when you ask a question--be prepared to be literally flooded with responses! It’s wonderful, exhilarating, and daunting, how many have already been where you are, and are very willing to help a newbie. I was in tears with appreciation at times. I wouldn’t have made it through those two months without all my new friends!
But you have to be careful how much of that advice, or which part of it, you choose to take advantage of. Remember--no matter how valuable or inspiring all the advice is--not all is for you or your book, as much as you tweak and try to make it fit. It’s like Cinderella’s stepsisters. The shoe was intended and designed for one person. Both sisters wanted to wear that treasured glass slipper, but it wasn’t a good fit for them and look what happened.
Advice is like that. Take what does fit and run with it! Just be prepared to share it with a newbie in your future who can wear it too. It’s not ours to keep and hog, but to share and spread around. Someone, someday, will find it fits them too.
When Home released I jumped in so far over my head I actually had to cancel blog dates. That’s not good. It was great that the hosts I had to cancel on were so very understanding, though. They all said no problem and wished me luck…which, I might add, I needed desperately.
Who needs self-inflicted brain damage?
Yet we all throw ourselves into the fray head first, not thinking how that endeavor could end. How are we supposed to know? We already, many of us, spend from dawn to dusk, or well beyond, on the computer. What’s a few more sites to visit? A few more minutes a day will put us and the book we are so proud of out there for others to see, hopefully, to buy.
Oy-- that frame of mind nearly did me in two years ago. A few more minutes??
I got my release date the first week of October and by the end of three days later I had over 20 blog guest spots offered. By the next week I had close to thirty and began scheduling them around December 28th--release day.
Starting on the actual release date, though, I booked every single day for a week straight, two days I scheduled myself at two blogs at once. That week from hell taught me a huge lesson. Never book two in one day and rarely, or never, one a day for more than two or three days in a row! By the end of that week, I hadn’t even reached the half way mark of my tour, I was ready to be finished. I couldn’t because I had already committed to another month! Yeah, every other day and twice on a few. Not only that, I found myself on more than one occasion, writing a post for the next day because I’d fallen so far behind I couldn’t keep up with all the dates I’d booked. In addition -I was editing for a different publisher then, and so, had work, family and all other kinds of things I had to do around blog posts that didn’t have to do with writing.
It was brutal.
What I learned.
Risk Factors released from Lyrical Press on March 4th. I laid out my plans, collected my guest spots, two months before and began writing posts and responding to interviews a month before the date of release. I’m still behind, but now, at least I have three or four days to a week to catch up between posts. I’m mostly two or more posts ahead at all times even. I strategically scheduled my guest spots every other day and some with two or three days between, none on weekends, so I can catch up with my other blogging, editing and writing obligations--and still keep everything on track. And that doesn’t count all the other forms of promotion, all those pesky hoops we have to jump through, just to get our book out there, so we can hope to make a few sales.
I haven’t got it ironed perfectly wrinkle-free this time either, but I’m a lot less stressed and have time to breathe. I’m getting closer to getting this self-promotion stuff down, I think. But I doubt any writer will ever be able to really market a perfect plan. There’s just no such thing.
What I can share in this is simple. Don’t over-do.
*Schedule only as many blog dates as you can manage without going bald.
*Don’t be afraid to cancel some if you find yourself over-extended.
*Don’t forget your blog dates! (Yes, I’ve done that…Monday, this week, in fact…)
*You spend a ridiculous amount of time begging people to visit you on those blogs, pleading for company, so you aren’t commenting only to find you’re the only one replying to yourself…take a few minutes every couple of hours (if not more often) to reply to those who have heard your blood-soaked pleas for company. I can’t stress how important this is! Why will they follow you to your next blog post if you don’t even acknowledge them at the first one? And each blog on your tour is a first for some reader.
*Take a few minutes to return the favor to those faithful followers. Go say hi to them on a guest blog or to their guests on their personal blog.
*Let everyone know you are on tour. Don’t use Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, G+, or any of those other social media venues? Start…right now. Get your face and your book out there. No one sells out of a closet only they have the key to! Open that door wide and begin yodeling. Loud. Louder, Heidi!
*Do you have a website? Blog? I know there are some who don’t think they need one, but in all honesty--that’s how I began getting my name and writer self out in the cyber world. It’s my comfort zone, where I share without feeling like I’m being pushy and crude. It’s the one place that can be all about me and no one thinks it’s wrong.
I began blogging at least five years before I sold my first book. By the time I did sell, I had a good following and support base to help me with this promotion gig. I was in a ‘club’ with other struggling writers who understood, who cheered me on when I sold. I gained this support system through my blog mostly. But that’s another blog post.
*I know a lot of writers who swear by swag. I don’t have any yet, but it’s a financial thing for me. I will have some soon. Bookmarks, cover cards, QR codes, pens, etc. They are great contest and gift items and each one helps you and your book be seen in a wide arena other than family and friends or internet.
I got a swag pack from a publisher contest editor, sent all the way from
I won another contest and got the most beautiful cup with LaVerne Clark’s book
cover on it and full of scrumptious chocolates…sent from Australia. I
won another cup from Sarah Grimm for her After Midnight contest, with a music
note thing I made into a key ring.
Guess what? I join contests because I won such fun ones in the past. I hope my contest will be as fun for all of you who comment today.
Bottom line? It’s like the old saying: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Believe me, I’ve tried. You can’t. Not that I think readers are horses! Just that you can put your book out there all day long, but in the end the thirsty are the only ones who will buy your book, and only when they have been stimulated to do so.
To help you want to win my contest I’m also awarding one host with the same packages I’m offering each commenter. A signature Rose Rock or Gift Card and an eBook of Risk Factors along with some fun swag. Thank you all for taking a moment from your uber busy day to stop in and say hi. And seriously, that all it takes for you to be entered and help a host win too.
I’ve enjoyed visiting you Becca. Thanks for letting me take over to ramble. J
You're welcome, Calisa. It has been interesting and I hope helpful to other authors struggling with this very thing. And readers - remember, writers want to hear from you. The want to know what you think of their work (especially if you love it) and they what to know what you would like to see in the future from them. At least I do. So don't forget to say hi to Calisa.
RISK FACTORS- available March 4, 2013
Love, like life, is not without risk.
BLURB- Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales, Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps.
Now Connor, a patient’s owner, is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for.
Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him, leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having her feel the hurt of being left…again.
Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv--and himself--enough to play the possibilities?
It was close to five o’clock and Viv wanted to go home. Winter hadn’t reached the Midwest yet, but from September through October the temperatures often dipped and dove sporadically, before diving for the long winter ahead. There’d been a slight chill in the air that morning and she hoped for a few more weeks of warmth before harsh weather moved in.
She looked forward to a hot soak in the bathtub, but Skittles was due for pick-up first. Connor had assured her he’d pick her up, or have his father get her before five. She glanced at her watch again. Four-fifty-six.
She didn’t mind staying late if she needed to; it would be a shame to leave the nervous animal alone another night.
She opened the small closet to put the dust mop away.
With a start, she spun and her hand caught the broom handle on her way around. Gasping, she grabbed uselessly, horrified as the cleaning tool flew sideways from the closet. In slow motion she saw it shoot out against Connor’s shoulder and fall with a sharp snap onto the tile floor.
“Oh! I’m so--so sorry! Are you hurt?” Instant heat rushed up her neck and she bent to reclaim the errant broom to shove into the closet. She slammed the door and leaned against it on a sharp breath.
“I’m fine. You worried your killer broom might attack again? You might consider putting a lock on the door,” he said with a crooked smile.
Find Calisa Rhose