Archive for the ‘Book Tour’ Category

Rast’s VBT is into its second week.

April 14, 2011

I’m inviting everyone to visit some of the tour sites during the VBT for my new high fantasy novel. The schedule is posted at the end of my VBT page on the tour site. The link is here in the blurb my tour director has posted

“CONTEST! Christopher Hoare is giving away two e-Copies of Rast during his virtual book tour. You can find his entire tour schedule at Leave a comment (including your email address) at any of his blog stops during the tour. He will select two winners from all comments received. The more blogs you visit and comment at, the greater your chances of winning a copy of the book.”

For anyone interested in seeing how book promotion works in the digital age, this tour is a good introduction. Answering the different interview questionnaires and writing a number of guest blogs can be quite a writer’s marathon. It’s one reason I’m not posting as much on my blogs now. Admit it – I’m almost written out. After awhile it’s hard to cover the same terrain with a fresh approach each time. When I got to the last guest blog request I gave up and said, “the only thing I can come up with is a bit of satire” so that’s what went. Of course, I didn’t even have a bit of satire in mind, but I started with the most unlikely approach and it worked itself out. It appears on Monday April 25th at – luckily satire is popular with most people.

For those interested in commenting on one of the blogs to get a copy of Rast I might mention that there are fewer new visitors commenting that I hoped – so you have an excellent chance of winning one.

I’d also like to remind Canadian visitors that my tour coincides with a federal election. I booked April first, so those guys are just trespassing. But joking aside, the last few years have seen a sad decline in our political landscape. More and more people, especially young people, are not voting. I’m appalled at the number of people who confess to no interest or to not understanding what the issues are. When young people in the Arab world are standing up to hooligan mobs as well as government murder squads to win the rights to vote the comparison with our weak kneed ignoramuses are an indictment on our self-satisfied sloth. Our national broadcaster has a “Vote Compass” on its site – a poll people can take that shows their opinions and preferences relative to the major political parties in the election. There is no excuse for saying they don’t understand the issues.

So — May 2nd is election day in Canada. Get out and vote.



My Virtual Book Tour April 4th to 29th

March 25, 2011

Chat and Virtual Book Tour

From March 30th to the end of April I will be busy promoting “Rast” and my other writing. I’d really love to have you join me for some of this. The link to my schedule for the VBT is below —

I will be using my old Trailowner blog as the main notice board for the Virtual Book Tour. The tour will feature interviews; reviews; guest blogs; and spotlights, mostly about “Rast” although a couple of sites ask about my other writing. I will be giving away copies of “Rast” and if there are many winners I will also be sending them my Iskander series freebie “Gisel Matah and the Slave Ship”.

In addition to the VBT, on March 30th I’m participating in an all day chat with three other Muse authors. There will be giveaways during the chat for answering questions – two authors are offering freebies. To participate in the chat one would have to sign up about three days ahead, which would make you a member of Coffee Time Romance (free) and able to participate in their regular author and publisher chats and giveaways. CTR isn’t only for romance as it includes most genres (and it has two ‘streams’ – the other being the erotic romance.) Actually I think our chat at the Coffee Lobby is on the erotic side of the house – Marsha, who’s an erotic author, set up the chat. The link to sign up is

My fantasy novel Rast

March 10, 2011

Rast was released at the beginning of March and I’m already deep in promotions things. I’ve signed on for a Virtual Book Tour in April and will be posting information about the tour and giveaways here as well as on the other blog

You can learn more about Rast on my website and on the publisher’s site –

On the Iskander series I must remind everyone that the novella freebie “Gisel Matah and the Slave Ship” is still a free download from my website. I wrote the adventure as an intro to Gisel and her trials and tribulations as security officer for her people on the 17th century alternate Earth called Gaia.

“Masquerade” is slowly progressing through a final polish with my local novel writers’ group; one chapter a month. I think I’m looking at a 2012 release for it, but don’t want to hurry my friends, it’s a good test for their critiquing skills. Perhaps I’ll post a bit of it here later this year. It is my Iskander series take on a man-in-an-iron-mask scenario  – Gisel and her friends know who he is but not where he is. She goes through a series of perilous operational adventures to thwart the Empire’s plans for him – and Zagdorf’s machinations.

I’ll not leave this as long without a new post as I’ve just done – I think I’m caught up on the to do list and will have more info about promotion plans to let you know.

A quick note on Book Tours

May 8, 2008

Checking my spam queue I discovered a comment to my post on the book tour from Dorothy, of Pump Up Your Book Promotion. Some useful info there, you might want to check under the Book Tour category for it — it was posted April 24th.

Virtual Book Tours are the Promotion Choice

April 25, 2008

With the price of oil nearing $120 a barrel, and suggestions that it could hit $140 for the summer, it means that it has become impossible for most writers to justify the cost of a physical book tour. Looking at my own situation in Western Canada, I’d have to sell a lot of books in order to finance an overnight trip to appear at a couple of book signings in, say, Edmonton, 350 miles away. That’s a cost of nearly $400 dollars even if I’m going by cheap motel and fast food class. 300 books a day? Stephen King I aint.

If you’re a literary establishment writer – had the admired creative writing program in university, your poems printed in the right anthologies, you could get a grant to cover the cost of a tour. Otherwise, the alternative is to conduct the Book Tour online. You can organize your own and learn as you go along or hire a company to organize and host one for you.

There is probably much to be said for both, but to get the most out of any book tour, the process for each should be very similar. You still have to work diligently at them, and other writers have written how much. A really good article has appeared in this month’s issue of “The Fountain Pen”, by Mayra Calvani. The link is – Have a read of the whole newsletter while you’re there – visit:  The other point I would mention (in addition to my comment at the end of her article) is the warning not to expect the Blog Tour to be a one-off panacea. You’ll do best with another tour for your next book, provided you’ve put in the effort to make the most of them.

I think the final item for me to mention on my Virtual Book Tour retrospective is that of reviews.
When my first novel was published I found it difficult to get reviewers to read it. I know I’m not alone in this because, as a promotion tool, I started reviewing for the Muse Book Reviews  and I know most authors who approach me are really desperate for someone to take a look. (Yeah, I know that doesn’t make my reviewing sound very classy, but then I’m really rough on craft weakness.) Pump Up Your Book Promotion arranged for reviews as part of the tour from new readers who I would never have attracted.

I have my reviews posted on this site (surprise – they’re under ‘reviews’) for you to take a look at. With the Book Tour, I was taken up by three new reviewers – with another one promised (she won the free book promotion give-away and says she’ll post a review). It was especially interesting to find that all three did not normally read my genre, but liked my novels. It’s a bit late, but that tells me that I’m missing a lot of readers by being lumped with the Science Fiction crowd. But there isn’t a genre called “Alternate World Adventure with Kick-ass Female Protagonist in a 17th Century Period Setting”. I tried for SOFT Science Fiction, but the soft always gets dropped.

So you can be the judge. Was the Virtual Book Tour worth the cost just for the new unbiased and objective opinions about my writing and the series? The categories are over on the right – read and see.

I Promised you the Book Tour

April 23, 2008

Well, actually, I promised to write a retrospective of the Virtual Book Tour as a service to other writers, but it seems to me that the tour’s aimed to attract the notice of readers. Does it do this, and how can one tell?

I already posted a short commentary on the topic at the beginning of April as part of the post “And the Winner Is”. That was about the dearth of comments to the posted articles, interviews,  and reviews. It seems to me that this can be taken as an indication of the attention the tour has gained from browsers who don’t necessarily have their own blogs – maybe readers rather than writers with their own promotions. I did check in to other writers’ visits who were also touring that month, but only I and a writer of a historical novel exchanged comments.

I posted announcements about the tour on several writing sites I belong to, but as far as I know the announcements garnered little response. I would have thought some other writers would have dropped by to add support but the only ones who did knew me from other online activities. Not the book tour, I know, but if I’m going to give a thumbs down to promotion on anything here it would have to be online writing groups.

The plus was definitely coming into contact with up to twenty other breathing humans who toil away on the Internet producing copy and commentary. I would never have crossed paths with any of these people if it hadn’t been for the Blog Tour. Now – I think it’s essential that I don’t just leave things at that point. I haven’t gone back to many of them, but that’s just a function of my bear-like denning personality – I must make it a point to visit them and leave a comment or two when I’m not using their blogs for my promotion. (Good point, Chris. Make sure you do it.)

I did two blog talk radio interviews and enjoyed talking with the hosts. I felt really dubious about doing these beforehand. If there is one thing I really detest its “personalities” pontificating to some host on the radio. Why should I care about someone meeting with Salvador Dali while researching a book in Tuscany? I don’t give two hoots about someone’s novel that grew out of ten years as a rag picker in Togo. (I’m making these up, by the way.) But I think my own recorded droning is less a trumpeting of supposed superiority than a sharing of the bunk and junk of getting some novels published. The recordings are still clickable on the sites, and the links are listed on this blog under book tour.

I’d like to thank Cheryl and Dorothy at “Pump Up Your Book Promotion” for their organizing, hosting and guiding. Cheryl was there just about every day checking if the blogs were up or finding out why if they were not. (With a number of participants who also had lives to intrude sometimes posts were delayed.) Dorothy was a great help getting this blog site up and running. I did think she intended to do a couple more things (eg. no banner ever arrived here) but she was involved in moving that month and so was unable to spend more time with me. This blog is a lot more useful than my two other (now neglected) ones.

The interviews were varied in focus and specifics in many places. They were sent and completed the month before the tour started, but were good at making me focus on some things in my writing life I had been doing, as well as some I’d be better off not. These were among the blog posts that were often least commented on (like none). I think one has to be dreaming if one expects a guest blog or an interview is going to send a new reader scuttling to the bottom of the post to send fan mail. The fact is – book tour or no – nobody is going to hang out on a blog to look for a new author to read. The tour is part of a process that must include satisfying the needs of others. So I have to say that the virtual book tour is not the beginning and the end of promotion, it’s a step along the way.

Now I’ve appeared on the sites, I must go back to visit every so often. If I want to be noticed on blog sites when I’m promoting a novel again, I’d better make sure that I’m better known there. If you think you might want to do a virtual tour – better start planning early enough to ensure you don’t arrive as a stranger. As for the tour paying off in sales – I will probably never know, but if my royalties next cheque are more than last I’ll probably attribute some of the return to the Book Tour.

And the Winner Is!

April 3, 2008

The draw for the free copy of “The Wildcat’s Victory” drew sixteen entrants – not including myself who appeared on almost every blog, and using only one entry from anyone else who commented on several. It turned out to be fairer that way. My own blog received most comments during the month – four, and a couple of items of spam that I disallowed as moderator. Another blog site had a couple of spam comments as well.

So . . . here we go. The lady wishes to be identified only as Fantasy Girl from one of the blog owners who responded to the comment I had made. I will buy a mailing envelope tomorrow when I’m in town and put the copy in the mail. Thank you all for participating and commenting. The only disappointment I feel is that I couldn’t send copies to everyone.

While on the topic of the draw I will post my observations about the process and offer advice to anyone who wants to run a similar promotion.

Firstly, because some of the sites seemed to need a Special Forces assault team to break in to make a comment, I would recommend that one’s own blog be emphasized as an alternative to commenting on the day’s tour stop. This would also be appropriate for the blog radio sites that don’t have a visible ‘comment’ link.

I think some readers who followed the links were bashful about commenting, and perhaps the requirement to log in or to baffle the machine reader test prevented them from posting. Again point out that they can go to the author’s tour blog where, even though a comment will need approval before appearing, it will be noted and counted in the draw.

Perhaps some people thought the odds of winning were too great for them to bother. I wish the contest had drawn that many entries. If I had counted myself for all the comments I posted in the month I would have had a 50% probability of winning.

Perhaps the draw announcement should be posted at the start and the end of the interviews and guest blogs to make sure people register the information. A short instruction on each site about the draw and the options for commenting might be a good idea.

I might have posted more invitations to participate on writing and networking sites I belong to, but I really didn’t think it would be necessary. The Tour conductor posted on a few sites daily and I had my own blog announcements. I doubt if I’d receive much more response by buying spam software and blitzing the whole Internet. Perhaps that feeling was the reason I didn’t get more response – I feel embarrassed to bug people too stridently. In this world, unfortunately, one has to be obnoxious to be heard.

Announcement Soon

April 2, 2008

I need to hear back some personal information from finalists before I can announce the winner of the free copy of The Wildcat’s Victory. Hopefully, that will be tomorrow.

I looked at the EPPIE site today and see that the original information is correct and the update was wrong – or something. I give up. Twisted Tales II Volume 2, Out of Time was a finalist. They were both finalists. J. don’t for heaven’s sake split another anthology into two . . . ever.

I think this will do enough for this post – it’s only designed to keep you in suspense.

Today may or may not be the Day.

April 1, 2008

I expected to post the name of the winner of the free copy of The Wildcat’s Victory on this blog today, but we appear to be running a bit late. The guest blog on You Don’t Know Jack showed up today, and I find it’s almost impossible to get the site to accept a comment. I don’t know how long it took before the comment box appeared at the bottom of the entry – I went away and did something else. When I checked in just now I see the box is there but writing and submitting a comment results in an error message – Error establishing a Database Connection.

I have a feeling the late posting of the blog stems from the same software issues. I don’t believe the blog owner planned to post the guest blog late.

What else can I tell you about? My winner’s goodies from EPIC arrived in the mail, for participation in the Anthology Twisted Tales II in company with 16 other Double Dragon authors. Maybe it arrived today, but I hadn’t checked the box since the middle of last week until going by on my way to run the dogs this morning. When I received the package I was mystified at receiving something from a lady in Nevada whose name I was unfamiliar with. But the contents were very welcome.

Firstly it seems to clear up the confusion whether Twisted Tales II volume one or volume two had been declared winner. It would appear that both being listed as finalists, we were in a tie. I find that a pleasing way to resolve the question. In addition to the booklet entitled the 9th Annual EPPIE Awards I received two lapel buttons reading EPPIE Winner (wow, I can pin one to my jacket and one to my skin for when I’m in bed or in the bath. More likely it means I can secrete one in a safe place to retrieve whenever I misplace the first one – or vice versa.). Next is a certificate to be framed and hung on a wall congratulating me on being a finalist and a bronze medal reading EPIC 2008, Twisted Tales II Out of Time Volume 2, Christopher Hoare, on a green ribbon. Unfortunately the loop tab on the medal has broken off in transit (probably some hurried luggage handlers threw the mailbags off the plane before it landed) so I won’t be able to parade about wearing it. Just as well, I might be mistaken for a member of the Green Party and run out of town by the local Pollute and Poison Committee. (This is Alberta.)

So watch this space – I may have another blog to post later today when we have a winner for the novel – or else watch anyway until I do post one. There will also be two more book reviews to point you to in a week or so – those dead tree copies arriving late messed up the schedule here. The last review will be even later because I just mailed the reviewer a copy of Deadly Enterprise so she can review both novels in sequence.

One More Day

March 30, 2008

The draw for a free copy is near. Your last chance this weekend to log on to one of the blog stops and make a comment. I’ll post the whole tour below —

Mar 3 (guest post)
Mar 4  (podcast)
Mar 5 (spotlight)
Mar 6  (interview)
Mar 7 (interview)
Mar 10 (spotlight)
Mar 11 (review)
Mar 12 (interview)
Mar 13 (guest post)
Mar 14 (interview)
Mar 17 and
Mar 18 (interview)
Mar 19 (spotlight)
Mar 20  (spotlight)
Mar 21  (character interview)
Mar 24 (character interview)
Mar 25 (review)
Mar 26 (podcast)
Mar 27 (review)
Mar 28
Mar 31 – GIVEAWAY – free copy of “The Wildcat’s Victory” to one person who comments during your VBT

It has been an interesting month, that gave me the opportunity to visit lots of blogs and meet the people there. I haven’t started to put down my summary of the Virtual Book Tour as yet. In fact there are a couple of sites still to visit because the paper copies of the books were late and so only one of the four reviews made deadline. I will post announcements on this blog as the reviews become available

Just shifting gears . . . and planning an ongoing program now the tour is coming to an end. Just watch for the winner announcement on Monday.