Archive for the ‘Blog Tour’ Category

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As an author one of your jobs is endless self-promotion.


I did my first ever book bog tour. I mean a real tour, not one where your publisher sends your book to all of two fellow authors in their stable to review it and calls it a tour (yeah, this did happen). This, despite having my first short story published in an in-print anthology in 2009. (I’m not counting the multiple E-zine flash fiction and short stories), and my first book published in 2014 by that same Indy publisher, followed by another. (Wow, it feels so much longer ago than that!) And, I’ve been writing for a lot longer than that.


It was kind of terrifying. Okay, a lot terrifying. 62 book bloggers over 30 days received complementary copies of my 4-book series to blog and/or review at their discretion.


Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash


To add to the, ‘will they hate it,’ fear, I’m not entirely a conventional writer. I’m not a follow the traditional rules write to the long established scripted standards kind of author. I don’t conform to the status quo, the norms; the overall expectations of, ‘This is how it has always been done, so this is how you have to do it,’ mindset. I don’t obey the, ‘This is the currently popular style/person so you must do it too.’ Literary art, to me, is not meant to be kept in a tidy box of expectations.  (And, those expectations are expanding with the volume of Indy and self-pubbed books.)






Book blog tours is only one of the ways to try to get the attention of the readers at large in the hopes they will be interested enough to buy your books.

It is important to note here that people who manage book blog tours do not generally do it purely out of the generosity and kindness of their own hearts. Book blog touring is a paid service. While the bloggers and book reviewers are not paid (their only compensation is the free book), the tour manager will charge you a fee, and the rates will vary.



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My book blog tour was a fail and I’ll tell you why. Predominantly, in going through each blog or Facebook page after their scheduled posting date, almost every one was like skimming through those Facebook groups of endless self-promotion. You know the ones, where countless authors hopeful and desperate seeming plug themselves in a never-ending stream of self-promotion posts that nobody looks at. Few of the authors posting on these groups take the time to scroll through the other advertisements, fewer still with the goal of finding something to buy. I doubt anyone else even looks at them.



The other problem was the genre. You need to sing to your target audience. Can you imagine Alice Cooper or Ozzie Osborn stepping on to the stage and belting out lyrics to a crowd who bought tickets to Michael Bublé or Beyoncé? As Alice would croon, “Welcome to my nightmare…”


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The blogs that signed up for the tour were mostly populated by streams of “book tour” advertisements for romance. Yes, romance. I write dark fiction; thrillers, dark mystery, psychological thrillers, drama with dark twists, not so cozy mystery with an underlay of you guessed it – darkness. I have not to date tried writing a dark romance. Frankly, I don’t think I could write a romance. Romance and dark fiction tend to appeal to very different kinds of readers.


I did get some positive comments on my book covers, even a few on the books’ write-ups. And I got one review so far from the 62 blogs. Do I expect to see any sales from it? It’s possible. Just because there was no uptick in sales during the 30-day tour, doesn’t mean no one who saw or participated will buy. Some buy later. I don’t think it’s likely, though; romance and thriller being unlikely crossover genres.


The comments were also generally from the bloggers themselves posting on the blog tour operator’s blog. They already got complimentary copies, so they aren’t going to buy the books. If a book farts in the woods and nobody hears it, will they buy it? There seemed to be little, if any, traffic outside those bloggers to any of the blogs.



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Can a book blog tour be successful?  Yes. The question is, ‘How?’ It’s about following basic rules of marketing.


Find your audience. If these were blogs featuring thrillers, horrors, suspense, mystery, and other related genres, odds of sales would have been driven up exponentially, assuming anyone reads the blogs.


Traffic is necessary. I suspect blogs that feel like Facebook groups of endless self-promotion ads with nothing else to offer probably get just as much meaningful traffic: little to none. You need blogs that pull traffic in, that have meat and potatoes and lactose free/gluten free/vegan-loving poutine (if such a thing exists). What you need are blogs the people who might read your book are interested in what they have on the blog menu.



Incentives are helpful. People love to feel like they got a deal. Thus, the giveaway. I gave away a couple of small Amazon gift cards and a few free copies of an eBook I was not trying to drive sales on in the book tour. If it was a short tour, I might have offered a discounted sale on the books.


Be inclusive and try to make friends. You want people to want to buy your book, and to make it as easy for them to do it as you can. Remember, everyone who might buy is your friend.


Personal touch is important. Self-promotion is not just about immediate book sales. It is also about building your author platform and growing your hoard of followers, some of whom will buy your books – eventually. More followers can be gained by being personable and engaging with them than standing behind a smokescreen plugging ads at them.


Be seen.  If nobody knows you exist, you don’t, right? Kind of like that Schrödinger-styled tree that may or may not have made a sound when it fell in the forest. Your marketing needs to hit as many eyes as you can, but not literally. This is not A Christmas Story or the Addams Family.



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How the book blog tour works is that the tour operator puts out a call for bloggers to sign up. Once the signups are complete, the bloggers are scheduled to blog on certain dates. It could be a blog, Facebook blog page, or other online site.  The bloggers get a complimentary copy of your eBook(s).


You fill out an author Q&A interview and/or write up some short guest blog posts to be shared with the bloggers.


On their designated day, the blogger puts up the blog post. It could be a cut and paste of the book tour info (all but one did this on my tour), they could post the relevant information and pictures with their own personal narrative introducing it, or they can post a book review.


Ideally, you want each blog post to be unique. Pre-written author interview Q&As or guest posts from you are key here. So is regular active participation from the bloggers, rather than blogs filled with empty cut and paste advertisements.


You visit each blog and make comments thanking the blogger and responding to any comments left by anyone else. Again, be personable and try to make friends.


Sit back and hope for sales, and don’t forget to tip your waiter/waitress.




Other ways to self-promote your self and books include, but are not limited to:

– Book and/or author website/blog is discoverable on internet search engines

– Social media. Be social online and blog.

– Newsletter/email subscriptions (ie Mailchimp).

– Category choices and keywords for your book sales listings and Google searches.

– First appearances. Your cover needs to make them want to pick it up.

– Book promotion. Pay for some outside promotion help.

– Give it away FREE! Allow free download of the first 10%-20%, free short/flash fiction.

– Book events. Set up author signing tables and schmooze, sell, and sign.

– Have some swag. Give away business cards and bookmarks.

– Submit to eZines, magazines, and anthologies featuring short stories and flash fiction.

– Get mentioned in local newspapers and newsletters.



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Here we are, at the kick off for the McAllister Series 2019 Silver Dagger World Book Blog Tour. This is actually the first blog tour I’ve done and it’s kind of terrifying.


What happens on a book blog tour? The blog tour was put out there, managed by Silver Dagger Book Tours, open to anyone and everyone interested in participating. Bloggers sign up and get a free copy of the book(s), in this case four-book McAllister series, in exchange for blogging and/or reviewing the book(s). The idea is to get unbiased reviews and commentary on your books in the hopes readers will discover and love them.

Over the next 31 days 62 bloggers will have unfettered access to read, review, and blog about the four-book McAllister Series. 61 of these people are total strangers! (I recognize one name on the list, but I won’t tell you which one).


Why is it so terrifying? Well, to start these are strangers. Ever heard of “stranger danger”? Of course you have. But this is the author’s version of “stranger danger”. With the single exception, these are people I don’t know. They don’t know me. They have no reason to be nice to me, although this is kind of the point of unbiased reviews. They are not supposed to write rosy blog posts and reviews just to be nice. They are supposed to give the good, the bad, and the ugly of what they really think of your book.


What they say about the McAllister Series is going to tell people whether it’s rubbish or not. (A lot of us writers secretly think everyone else will think our writing is rubbish.) Their views will either possibly potentially maybe hopefully drive readers to actually buy and read your books, or tell them why they should absolutely run the other way and spend their book fund on someone else’s books. And this, getting readers to find your books (and even more so to actually buy them), is no mean feat with the overwhelming exploded at the seams Cthulhu on steroids sized market of available books out there.



It is kind of terrifying. Okay, a lot terrifying. 61 book bloggers over 31 days reading and commenting on my 4-book series. To add to the, ‘will they hate it,’ fear, I’m not entirely a conventional writer. I’m not a follow the rules writer. I don’t conform to the status quo, the norms; the overall expectations of, ‘This is how it has always been done, so this is how you have to do it,’ mindset. I write entirely by the seat of my pants, outlining only after to keep details straight, and use a style, tense, first, second, or third person as it feels it fits the story.


So yes, I am going into this with that little bit queasy feeling of dread. The dark pall of knowing you are about to find out what people (who you don’t know) are going to actually think of your books that you labored so many hours over, putting pieces of your soul that you will never get back into (literally, I AM an author of dark fiction, after all). Half of me thinks they will hate them. The bigger half. A little piece is in wonder and awe. People, strangers, are going to read them. That makes the fearful half grow. Somewhere in there the writer in you tries to find the silver dollar, the silver lining, the little golden nugget of hope, whatever you want to call it. Maybe they won’t hate it.

Okay, time to push the doubts back into the darkness where they belong and talk about the more interesting than a writer’s self-doubts part of a book blog tour.


Photo by BSD on Unsplash

You, my wonderfully dark-loving readers, if you follow the tour will get to learn little tidbits about the author. That’s right. You get to learn some of my not so dark secrets and inner thoughts.

Part of the tour is a Q & A, which is doled out in bits to the book bloggers to share with their readers. Things like what is my favorite color. Okay, that one wasn’t actually on there, but to share the secret I actually have more than one. I love colors for different reasons. Green; for being the color of summer, green grass, trees, leaves, life living at its fullest. Purple, I just like purple. It’s kind of like a best of worlds in between pinks and reds and blues all melded together. But I do answer some questions about me, me as an author, writing, and writing the McAllister Series.

I tried to make my answers honest and entertaining at the same time. Unfortunately, I’m usually the only one who actually thinks my humor attempts are funny, so please humor me (and forgive the pun).

You also get the inside scoop, and hopefully not too many spoilers, on the stories that make up the four McAllister books.


So let’s kick this thing off, and please try to be gentle with my writer’s self-bruised ego (we authors tend to be our worst cynics, critics, and ego beaters). Visit Silver Dagger Book Tours to see more about the tour and follow the book bloggers’ good, bad, ugly, and hopefully not too dark views on why or why you should not want to read The McAllister Series.

Along with the Silver Dagger kickoff, the first stop today is a blogger called Insane Books. Let’s see what they have to think about the McAllister Series . . . just as soon as I pour this big glass of wine. I think I’m going to need it.


And in the meantime, Old Mill Road is just now brand new sparkling and shiny in a dark horror fiction monster kind of way NEWLY 


RELEASED! This book is the free giveaway (ebook) part of this book blog tour! (Other available to buy books include Garden Grove, The Gypsy Queen, and, yeah that’s it except for the McAllister Series. I’m working on finishing The Woods for the new year.)



For younger (middle grade/teens) readers of dark drama fiction, you can check out these books by Vivian Munnoch:

The Latchkey Kids

The Latchkey Kids: The Disappearance of Willie Gordon

Madelaine & Mocha



Do you know #WhereTheBodiesAre?



McAllister Series 2019 Silver Dagger World Book Blog Tour:

Sep 17

Kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours

Insane Books


Sep 18

The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’

The Book Dragon


Sep 19

Readeropolis  – GUEST POST

Java John Z’s


Sep 20

Casey’s Corner

Bedazzled By Books


Sep 21

A Pinch of Bookdust

Book Corner News and Reviews


Sep 22

Always Love Me Some Books Blog – GUEST POST

Reviews and Promos by Nyx– GUEST POST


Sep 23

Lost in a Book – GUEST POST

Book Review Virginia Lee (BRVL)


Sep 24

Literary Gold



Sep 25

Authors From Everywhere

2 chicks and a book


Sep 26

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!

Books a Plenty Book Reviews


Sep 27

Books all things paranormal and romance

books are love


Sep 28

Books, Authors, Blogs

Craving Lovely Books


Sep 29

Drako’s Den

Keep on Booking


Sep 30

Dragon’s Den

eBook Addicts


Oct 1

TNT Book Promotions

A Blend of Sass and Class Blog

T.L. Gray Blog


Oct 2

Tome Tender

Breanna Hayse Romance


Oct 3

Girl with Pen

Inside the Insanity – GUEST POST


Oct 4

b for bookreview



Oct 5

A Wonderful World of Words

Maiden of the Pages– GUEST POST


Oct 6

Chapters through life

Luv Saving Money


Oct 7

4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼

Midnight Book Reader


Oct 8

Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read

Paranormal Palace of Pleasures


Oct 9

❧Defining Ways❧

Paranormal Romance Trance


Oct 10

Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

Scrupulous Dreams


Oct 11

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author



Oct 12

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’



Oct 13

T’s Stuff

Taryn Jameson


Oct 14

Anna del C. Dye official page

Teatime and Books


Oct 15

The Bookshelf Fairy

Yearwood La Novela


Oct 16

Better Read Than Undead

Twisted Book Ramblings


Oct 17

Casia Schreyer – Author – REVIEW ALL

Word Processor, Romance, Cats, Kids and Creed



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