Posts Tagged ‘Book Tour’

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.

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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 http://bestfantasystories.com 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.

The Last Week to enter for the Free Book

March 24, 2008

It’s Been Quite a Month

This week is your last chance to be in the draw for a free copy of The Wildcat’s Victory. The draw will take place on the 31st, after all the tour visits are made. So far you have an excellent chance of being drawn – if the lottery had the same odds we’d all be millionaires. So take a minute or two, save the link to one of the venues shown below and visit it on the appropriate day. Heck, even visit a day or so late, as long as you enter a comment under the interview, review or podcast before the draw is held.

This week you have another opportunity to hear me live (more alive than last time – it won’t be 5:30 in the morning) and find out if I can make sense when I’m baffled with questions in real time. Talking about being baffled – I’d better check time zones with Dennis Griffin because we’ve had that extra-foolish time change this month. As if merely changing a clock setting could alter the amount of daylight. The studies so far say that it’s resulted in an increase of greenhouse gas emissions because people have spent the evening daylight to drive to the mall and shop.

The number of visits to this blog to follow the Book Tour has shown an upward trend but the largest jump came when I posted the information about the scam directed at my promotion efforts on Facebook. It doesn’t take a polling expert to see that Internet users are vitally concerned about the likelihood of scams, phishing, and identity theft online. Now all I have to do is put out some other bait and wiggle it like a worm to see if I can catch another do-badder that I can unmask online. Any takers?

After the Tour is over I will be looking for new items to place on this blog, so by all means enter a comment here with suggestions and I’ll see you’re included in the book draw. I will post all the reviews I get in the appropriate category – as they come in. Some will be late because the box of paperback copies was late. I have an interview with another writer on this computer so I will find that and see what I can do to build a week of material out of it.

The last week of the Virtual Book Tour starts tomorrow. The visits will be :-

Mar 24 http://shareyourheroine.blogspot.com/ (character interview)
Mar 25 http://sadiej.findingperfect.com/ (review)
Mar 26 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dennisngriffin (podcast)
Mar 27 http://blogginboutbooks.blogspot.com/ (review) and
http://www.youdontknowjack.blogsavy.com (guest post)
Mar 28 vacant.

I’m in the 2008 EPPIE Award winner.

March 18, 2008

“The EPPIE goes to: J. Richard Jacobs, Jeremy Davies, K.L. Nappier, Marilyn Peake, Margaret Whitley, Eugen M. Bacon, E. Don Harpe, Anderson Gentry, Christopher Hoare for TWISTED TAILS II: Out of Time Volume 2.”

Until J –  J. Richard Jacobs the editor of both volumes, e-mailed me for my snail mail address I had thought our sister volume Twisted Tales II: Time on our Hands Volume 1 had been the Science Fiction winner and volume 2 had been runner up. J replied to my query saying he’d thought the same thing until he received the official packet. Either way it’s a great boost for our science fiction anthologies about twists in time – both of them. The contributing authors at Double Dragon Publishing have followed up their good placing in last year’s awards with Twisted Tales I – making them a great band of brothers and sisters to be part of. Many thanks again to Marilyn Peake who did all the work of sending out the copies of the anthologies for the judging.

Watch out for next year – we’re expecting the imminent release of Twisted Tales III: Pure Fear for an anthology of terror that will have you hiding under your beds.

To get back to the business of this blog – this was Day Eleven of my Virtual Book Tour and I had an interview in two parts on Conversations with Writers. The stats showed a big peak in views over the weekend as readers logged in to look at the scam message I received on Facebook. The posts describing the scam and giving the actual wording will remain on this site, so you can still go and read them if you were busy on the weekend.

Tomorrow’s visit is to Inspired Author   http://www.inspiredauthor.com  for an interview.

Book Tour, Week 3 and more on the Facebook phishing

March 16, 2008

Hi All:

The Virtual Book Tour starts this week with Conversations With Writers, with a two part interview:- http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/2008/03/interview-part-1-of-2-chris-hoare.html

The full program for the week is
Mar 17 http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/2008/03/interview-part-1-of-2-chris-hoare.html and http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/2008/03/interview-part-2-of-2-chris-hoare.html
Mar 18 http://www.inspiredauthor.com (interview)
Mar 19 http://www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com (spotlight)
Mar 20 http://theplotline.wordpress.com/ (spotlight)
Mar 21 http://theplotline.wordpress.com/ (character interview)

Returning to the subject of the phishing scam that targeted me through my original promotion on Facebook —

As far as I can see from my posts to my Facebook page the original note of mine was posted to Marketplace on March 1st (the two messages posted below are set between >>>>>> and <<<<<<)

>>>>>>>
$5.99 – The Wildcat’s Victory
Listed by you on March 1st.|Edit|Remove
For Sale – Books | 0 views
ISBN: 1-55404-538-X
Condition: new

SF/Alternate world adventure. Second novel of the Iskander series.

On Sale at Fictionwise for Leap Year weekend
Listed at Calgary, AB.
<<<<<<<<<<

The reply was an e-mail to me on March 11th from notifications at Facebook headed

>>>>>>>>
Marketplace Enquiry: The Wildcat’s Victory

Linda Candy sent you a message about your marketplace listing: The Wildcat’s Victory

Subject: The Wildcat’s Victory

Hello ma/sir,
How are you doing today? I saw your item on craigslist and am really interested in it for my cousin and there so many questions i need to ask you here are the questions below…
1. What is the condition of this item?
2. How much is the final price of this item?
3. Can you email me the pics of this item?
4. Did u accept Cashier check, personal check or money order?
5. Am taking care of shipping by my self did u accept that?
6. Can u send the rest funds on the payment to shipping company same day you get the check?because there will be excess funds on payment because of shipping company
7. I need your full name, address and phone number?
Example below
Linda Candy John
247, Kulio avenue
Bolt
Maryland
21207
Because i have my own shipping company that pick
up there item from there seller, so when u receive
the check just got it cash and send the rest funds
on the check to the shipping company, because
there will be over payment the check, so when i get
ur info i will forward it to cashier that
will issue out the check to you.
NOTE….Email me to my personal ID now at linda_candy925@yahoo.com for me to be sure you get my email…………….Okay
<<<<<<<<<<<<

Looking at the message more closely now, I see that the classic overpayment scam is included. I guess I was too concerned about sending a compassionate response to what I thought was a child’s message that I skipped consideration of the last paragraph, which had seemed to me to be a sign of insecurity and confusion in a young person. One more example of seeing what one believes instead of what is actually there.

More about the Cyber Scam-bot.

March 15, 2008

This is a rest day on the Virtual Book Tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion. I’m not sure who’s supposed to rest – I never shut off my computer for a day unless I’m going to be away.
The Tour gets back on the road on Monday with a two part interview at Conversations With Writers.

Thanks to my Muse Conference Board buddies, Vivian, Terri, Vickie, Diane, and Chris for their takes on the message – and to  Jim Selleck, on the Museitupclub, and Dr J Lee Choron, on Zumaya Authors, for their responses to my query as well. Jim posted a lengthy explanation to Comments on this blog below. Thanks also to Mother Hen, Lea Schizas, who said she has scam notes like that periodically on her sites, even Apollo’s Lyre (well she has so many sites for scammers to find). We should all learn to avoid answering them.

Jennifer Schwabach, from the Double Dragon Authors’ site, sent me a note about an article on Yahoo-tech that described the very process used. The full article describes five cyber scams we should all be aware of. I will post the original message I received from the Russian CyberLover software tomorrow. You will be able to learn enough from it to be suspicious about similar notes.

Here is the info from note she sent me:-
Chatroom Scams
The Scam: Russian cyber-crooks have developed a software robot that poses as a human in chatrooms. These bots can chat with up to 10 people simultaneously, and easily persuade them to hand over phone numbers, photographs, birthday, address, and other personal information. The site claims “Not a single girl has yet realized that she was communicating with a program!” Information harvested by these bots can be used by fraudsters to carry out various forms of fraud. Unsuspecting victims may also be tricked into visiting a ‘personal site’ that could load malware onto their computers. Sergei Shevchenko, Senior Malware Analyst at PC Tools said CyberLover, “employs highly intelligent and customized dialogue to target users of social networking systems. It can monitor Internet browser activity, automatically recognize and fill in the fields in the web pages, generate keystrokes and mouse clicks, and post messages, URLs, files and photos.”
The Don’t’s: Common sense says never, ever give out personal information to anyone you just met online.
The link to the full article is <http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/hughes/24616&gt;

I will post the original message I received of Facebook next time I get to the blog (Should do one tomorrow with the next week’s Book Tour stops). Looking at it from the knowledge I have now it seems really easy to spot – but I don’t doubt the scammers are increasing the sophistication of their scambots all the time.

Pre-Tour Guest Blog

February 28, 2008

I should point readers to a guest blog that was posted on February 26th on A Pen and Fire — http://www.apenandfire.com/ Cindy Lynn Speer announced she’d like to do some guest blogs on her site at about the same time as I began preparing for my Virtual Book Tour, so I did a trial run.

The blog is “how do you like my character” and is about the decisions I made in developing the protagonist of my Iskander Series, Gisel Matah.