This is the final post regarding my promotional activities for September and October. It helps me to write about it, and maybe it will improve my game in future efforts. Judging from your comments, you guys are finding it helpful too. There will be more topics in this post, and I'll try to keep each one brief.
I joined the Rave Reviews Book Club Back to School Book and Blog Block Party. (Try fitting that in a tweet.) This project ran the entire month of September, and there were generally two sites per day participating. Every host site had to offer prizes, and the club monitored the comments to hold a drawing. I participated on every site, and I won some great stuff. My stats spiked that day, and my book sales showed a bump too. There is a benefit from cruising around and being friendly too. I gained blog followers during the month.
I participated in Teri Polen's Bad Moon Rising campaign in October. This was dedicated to horror authors, but I managed to fit in anyway. This one didn't come with prizes, but was still a lot of fun. I participated on every post, and tweeted the daily posts. I gained quite a few Twitter followers as a result.
I approached multiple book reviewers going back to August, in hopes that reviews would land during my push. Most of them came through, and I'm still waiting on others. They will come through sooner or later.
I want to mention that Rosy's Book Review Team is extremely helpful. All the review sites are great, but they go the extra mile. These folks not only post to Amazon and Goodreads, they blog about the review too. Approximately a month later, Rosy posts the data on the main team blog. This generates a ton of interest, and Twitter seems to go crazy for them too. I can't recommend them highly enough. Will O' the Wisp wound up in a top ten list on Rosy's sidebar. You can bet I captured that and tweeted the heck out of it.
The reviewers sold books too. A couple of them invited me to guest post on their sites. It's kind of a neat trick to post a review, then have the author show up later. This is one of the unexpected things that happened along the way.
Unexpected benefits were the most fun part. So many people pitched in and tweeted, posted unexpected reviews, or invited me over that I can't name them all. I want to single out P H Solomon though. He really made an effort on my part, and it was completely unexpected. He still makes Goodreads recommendations for Notebook, and I know he sold some copies for me. I also want to specifically thank Charles Yallowitz. He reblogged many of the posts, and included me in one of his own posts. This involved the monsters in his Windemere world. When he posted about the cockatrice, he included a cover and link to The Cock of the South. There were several sales of this book right after that post, and they almost had to be because of him.
I can't thank everyone in a post like this, but the unexpected goodwill is overwhelming.
I was able to pull this all together by planning it as far back as July. It takes Sean Harrington time to produce the Lisa art that accompanied her guest posts. It takes time to garner a book review, because the reviewer has a list to work through. I needed to prepare all the blog tour posts, mine, Lisa's, and Lorelei the Muse even got in on the act.
This preparation allowed me to accept any invitations that came along. I did a couple of blog swaps, because I planned ahead. In many cases where an author visited my site, I appeared on theirs. I had time to custom write a few things, because the blog tour data was ready ahead of time. Macabre Macaroni was all written ahead of time.
I'm in debt to everyone that helped me along the way. I need to get reading some of their books, and will be here when they need my blog space for their promotions.
It was a combination of things that moved copies of both books. I think this is more important than any single thing. Oh how I wish there were one specific thing that would move ten thousand books. There just isn't. At the end of two months, my footprint has grown. More people know about me than did in August.
I'm tired too. The next time, I might not push two books back to back. I think this was a benefit, but it was tiring. It required special circumstances of a fresh release, plus a Halloween themed newish book. That chance doesn't come along every day.
Did I miss a trick in all this? I'm almost certain I did. Tell me about something you've done that helped grow your audience.
Not quite a meltdown
In case you haven't noticed, I've been a bit busy lately. My regular writing week includes visiting your blogs and participating in the comments when it's appropriate. I try to post every day except Tuesday and Thursday. These are usually when I invite guests bloggers over. (Hint, this is my Friday post.)
Whenever I can steal a few hours, that becomes my writing time. I thought I might get a few hours today, but it wasn't meant to happen. There is just too much going on.
Guests and invites are becoming a regular, and welcome occurrence. This week I was interviewed by Mandy Eve Barnett, and did a blog swap with Ali Isaac. (Crawfish Boy, I crack myself up sometimes.) These would have happened in any normal week, and I enjoyed both invitations.
I volunteered to help Charles Yallowitz spread the word about his newest book, Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue. Charles was so helpful that he provided a complete post, along with instructions for how to post it. It only took me a few seconds to upload. The graphics and everything were included and formatted. Awesome!
On top of this normal week, I also took Will O' the Wisp out for a blog tour. Just in case there is someone in this star system who doesn't know, I have a new book out and would like people to read it. It's the big one in my sidebar.
I hired 4-Wills Publishing to take care of the details, and I'm glad I did. All I had to do was email the posts, along with the peripheral materials and they took care of the rest.
They took care of a few extras too that I didn't expect. When I got an email about what to give away for my Rafflecopter promotion, my first thought was, What's a Rafflecopter? I thought it was some kind of crowd funding site. They are taking care of everything, so I don't have to worry about it. I told them I'd give away copies of Will O' the Wisp. I still don't know how it works, but I'm in it up to my neck now. Who knows, maybe someone will win a copy and really enjoy it. Tell your friends, etc.
They also set me up with a Goodreads author event. I'm supposed to be there tomorrow between 12:00 and 2:00 CST. I hope they meant daylight savings time. I'm on mountain time, so that would be 11:00 and 1:00 for me, unless they really meant standard time. I've never participated in this format before, so it's a test to see if I can figure it out.
4-Wills also set me up with this cool web-page. It lists all the places along the tour, provides a link to the Rafflecopter, and allegedly tells us all how to find the author event. I'm extremely grateful for the folks who volunteered to host this shindig. Which brings me to another topic…
Etiquette. That's right, a bearded old curmudgeon is going to talk about etiquette. Emily Post died several decades before we had the Internet to worry about, so it's been every-man-for-himself out there. I have a personal code about this, and I do my best to follow it. It's based upon this premise: Someone out there did me a solid favor.
When someone does me a kindness, it's up to me to return the favor. When Mari Wells posts an awesome review, or Mandy Eve Barnett interviews me, or Ali Isaac agrees to a blog swap – I'm going to reblog the posts. This is my attempt to drive them some blog traffic. I'm also going to surf back through and participate in the comments, because it matters. I generally surf back through for three days to a week, so comment away. This is important, because if someone comments on another blog I don't get notified. I have to check in.
Add in all the wonderful folks who hosted the blog tour, and there's been a whole lot of reblogging going on around here. If my blog is your only point of contact, it might seem a little repetitious. Please remember that these people did a favor for me, and they might be the kind of people you want to associate with one day yourself. Please consider visiting them and checking out their blogs.
In other news, critique group went well last night. I sent them two micro fictions and one that reaches into short story territory. They were well received, and I got a few good suggestions. Sometime this weekend I need to go through them and make changes. I'm struggling with what to submit next month. More short stuff or the first part of my new novel project?
I also forced myself to get a haircut today. (Inspired by Sue Nichols.) My daughter did a great job. My wife really ought to take me out this weekend. I am some serious eye candy right now.
What do you folks have to say? Has anyone messed around with Rafflecopter? Do you believe in blogging etiquette? Are your rules different than mine? Is anyone else out there so busy they can't think straight?
Filed under Writing
Tagged as Blog hop, blog hosting, blog swap, blog tour, comments, critique group, etiquette, favors, haircut, Will 'O the Wisp