Tag Archives: promotion

Life goes on

While I was touring my book around, the world didn’t stop spinning around here. I worked, and we had some unusual visitors at the office. This little guy was photographed from my office window.

He didn’t stay long, but it was fun having him stop by. We also had this visitor, and it’s appropriate for the season.

My iPhone makes it tough to photograph something so tiny, but you can make out his little bat ears at the bottom of the image. He’s only about the size of a walnut, but it was cool seeing him.

In other news, I got the sprinkler system blown out. Old What’s Her Face is on her way home, and we have an appointment to get the camper winterized tomorrow. It seems like winter is determined to show up, so we need to get ready.

I finished reading a book and posted a review. I try to review whatever I read. I look at it like a karma kind of thing. Authors need reviews, so I ought to post them, too. I’ll probably start reading another one before my vacation ends.

New fiction is still taking a back seat. I haven’t written a new word in a month. I’m struggling with the production vs the promotion cycle. I love creating new stories, but hate the promotion part. Honestly, I don’t like getting promotion stuff either, so I assume many people are like me. (Maybe you aren’t, but that’s my mindset right now.)

The questions I’m struggling with are:

  • Should I just bury some of the stories I write? Publish the series work, and keep the stand alone things for myself.
  • What about blog only? I know some who’ve done this, but have no idea what kind of reception it gets. Is it appropriate to release a few chapters over a period of months, then publish, thereby, skipping any blog tour and such? Does this piss people off more?
  • Should I publish them with zero promotion? I know how that works out, but workmanlike promo for every other story could still draw attention.
  • I’ve learned how to write an incredible amount of new fiction. Should I go back to my old ways and produce less?
  • Would it be worthwhile to hold stories, then do a multiple book release with mutual promotion?

I’m interested in what you guys think, so speak up. Do you have any experience with these methods?

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Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

A whole bunch of stuff

The weekend is upon me and I need to figure out what to do with it. This is my two day weekend, so I’m not planning any new fiction, not a single word.

I scrambled to come up with my next Story Empire post, and already have it scheduled for Monday. Then I found out I’m not only up Monday, I’m up Friday, too. This means I have to write and schedule one more. I ought to be able to handle this easily enough.

I also need to schedule a couple of promotional posts to go with my weekly theme. These are kind of fun, because I get to sift through a lot of fun music videos.

While I’m on the topic of blogging, I’ve seen something interesting in my stats again. I’m getting a bunch of weird searches leading to my blog. Sexually weird searches. I really have no idea why Google, or Bing, or whatever leads them here, but I have a message for them. “Hey you perverts! While you’re here…

Lisa Burton

Seriously, dudes, Lisa is about the most exciting thing you’re going to find here, so this image is for you. I suggest reading Yak Guy, it might actually help you with your lives.

Aside from blogging, I need to save a couple of files on the Mac. These are completely formatted manuscripts, and I can’t put them in a folder on this iPad. I usually save them to the Mac’s home screen so they’re easy to publish or email out. I plan on signing up for NetGalley again, and they’re just easier to send out that way.

I also need to contact the promoter I’ve used in the past. Like all things in the book world, they have a schedule, so if I want promo in October I need to contact them before October.

There is a folder in my email right now about a promo I’ve already signed up for. My goal is to fill out the form to the best of my ability, then send it back. I’ll have to send the purchase link after I actually have one. Fortunately, I’m on good terms with this host, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

If there is any time left, I’ll sort thought my victim volunteer list and figure out how many promotional blog posts I can write ahead of time.

Aside from that, I have one more critique of HMS Lanternfish to address. It isn’t super important, but if the hours are available I’ll deal with it. That ought to make a full weekend.

Next weekend isn’t looking super productive either, even though I get three days. It’s fair time, and we always go to the fair at least once. Sometimes author projects take a back seat. The thing is, that I don’t feel bad about it this time. I’ve been super productive this year and some family time has been well earned.

Wishing all of you a great weekend.

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Filed under Blogging, Writing

No new words of fiction this weekend

I spent all day Saturday sending out blog tour posts. It’s part of the author gig. If we don’t spread the word, nobody will read the books. I managed to shape eight of them up to the point of being worthy.

I sent out two more today, along with an interview. I have one more interview to respond to, but that host said I could have a week if needed. It’s hard for me to admit needing it, but I do.

Honestly, I worked a full weekend, and don’t feel like I had any time off. This isn’t a good situation, but one I must endure. The funny part is most of these posts were hacked out a month ago. I had no idea who would get each post, so I had to customize all of them depending upon which host they went to.

There will be a lot of reblogging going on here during January. This is my attempt to pay back those who hosted me. I have a decent following, and if I can bring my hosts some traffic, it’s the least I can do.

Every post is unique, so it isn’t going to be like following one of those cover and blurb tours. Some of them lend themselves to some decent conversation, and I’m looking forward to the comments. I also went with more excerpts this time. Those usually spark some interest, so why not? You can find each post by checking in here, since I’ll be reblogging.

About all we did beyond that was date night. We had a gift card that provided our pizza and beer. Even it was quick so I could go back to work.

This is all part of the glamorous author life. I’m not enamored with promotion and enjoy drafting new material much more. Still, it must be done. Maybe I’ll get back to new fiction in a couple of weeks.

You can help spread the word by visiting the posts along the way. Tweeting, sharing on Facebook, and reblogging really help, and might help my hosts too. You can also express interest in Voyage of the Lanternfish over at Goodreads and BookBub if you’re on those sites.

That’s about it for me this weekend. I’m pooped, but got a lot done. I look forward to chatting with everyone along the way.

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Exposing your work, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hi, all, and welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. This week is a special edition, because it’s geared to all you authors out there. It might give some good ideas to bloggers who want to host guests too.

Today, I’ve collected a group of power bloggers who host authors on their sites. This gives an author a way to reach a larger audience than they might if they were simply posting about date-night or something. This means when you have a new book to promote, or maybe to give an older title a secondary push.

We’re going to start by addressing the three-hundred-pound gorilla in the room, and I mean that literally. Chris The Storyreading Ape, hosts one of the largest author blogs around. “Did you get my fruit basket, Chris?”

“Yes I did thanks, Lisa – very thoughtful of you to use edible leaves to weave the basket, so I didn’t miss out on my veggies, which help keep me at my physical peak.”

“So Chris, do you have a regular scheduled slot for authors, or do you take them piecemeal? While you’re at it, give our listeners a bit about what it takes to get into the Author’s Hall of Fame, and what benefit that brings.

“I have a prime post slot at 01:00 am, London, UK time, every day, which I use to give priority to author articles, except Mondays (reserved for my weekly Monday Funnies).

“Regards how to get articles onto my blog, see the following link for authors seeking to get into my Authors Hall of Fame: https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/contact-me/if-you-are-not-already-in-my-authors-hall-of-fame/

“For authors already in my HoF, but would like to submit further articles, or run book promos, use this link: https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/contact-me/if-you-are-already-in-my-authors-hall-of-fame/

“The main benefit is getting yourself, as a person, not just an author, in front of my blog followers, but also in front of my other media followers as well, on Twitter, two Facebook Pages, Tumblr blog, LinkedIn, etc, including a my Flipboard Authors Hall of Fame Magazine.

“Some of my other blogger/author friends often reblog author articles, which spreads your fame even further.

“The big plus is, it’s free publicity.”

“That’s a great point, Chris. These promos are all free. My own author operates on a shoestring, and I know others do too. With all the reblogs, social media sharing, and more, you could put your work in front of a hundred-thousand potential readers. Then it’s up to you to sell yourself.

“My next guest is Colleen Chesebro. She is an author and poet herself, and hosts authors on her blog. She also offers up a weekly book review. Colleen, you have a neat way of doing these interviews with your list of questions. Tell us about that, please.”

“Hi, Lisa. I thought long and hard about what I could do to help to promote other authors. Then, it occurred to me how hard it’s been for me to learn the art of writing and publishing. So, I thought the idea of using questions and answers would be the perfect way to learn from other author’s experiences.

“I made a huge list because everyone is different in their style of writing. Also, I didn’t want everyone to choose the same questions. I even added some unusual questions, like: “As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?” I was surprised at how many authors have included this question in their interviews.

“The response has been overwhelming, partly because the author has the opportunity to choose what they want to write about. It’s free promotion to share their books, their writing style, and for my readers to learn a few intimate details of the lives of people they know only through blogging and writing.”

“Sounds great! How do authors sign up?”

“The authors can choose from my massive list of questions and by following the instructions HERE. If you’re interested in booking an interview, make sure to read the instructions carefully. My contact information is found in the link.

Conversations with Colleen is a weekly feature held each Wednesday on colleenchesebro.com. I also share these posts on social media. Currently, I’m scheduled through January 2019 and have interview slots available starting in February 2019. If you have a blog, I’m happy to interview you!”

“I’d better have a word with Craig. If he’s going to have a January book release he needs to start contacting you guys.

“All that social media sharing brings me to my next point. Authors tend to get out of the visit what they put in to the visit. I have some who never even show up and comment on the post. I have others who share it everywhere, and even a few that reblog it sporadically for months. I look at the stats, and I know which posts perform better.

“My next guest is Sally Cronin, and she offers several options, including the Cafe and Bookstore. She offers kind of a unique double hit for her guests, fill us all in Sally.”

“Thanks for inviting me along to join these stars of our blogging community Lisa, and I include you very much in that, as your interviews with characters of author’s books, is a creative way to showcase others. We do need to think outside the box when promoting ourselves and others, and the more zany the better. For example, as well as Colleen Chesebro’s Conversations she also entices us in with a Poetry Challenge which is a great way to promote your blog and books. Annette Rochelle Aben who is one of your hosts has a radio podcast – Where the Magic Happens, that both your author and myself have been guests on. The Story Reading Ape was ahead of the game with his Hall of Fame and we consider him the king of this particular jungle.

“You make an excellent point about guests and their level of participation. I often get requests from authors to feature them in the Café and Bookstore, and like you, I spend quite a bit of time putting the post together and promoting it across social media. I do clearly request that the author share across their own networks and also respond individually to those who have taken the time to respond but on a few occasions there is no interaction at all. More than anything the author is not getting the best out of the promotion and is certainly not leaving a good impression with potential readers.”

“Where did you get the idea of the Café and Bookstore which is your primary author promotion and tell us about how you extend the life of the posts?”

“After about two years of blogging, and promoting authors I began to lose track of authors I had showcased, their books and reviews. I put together an alphabetical list of writers and added the Amazon link to buy books, the author’s website, up to seven covers and the most recent review for one of their books. I now have a platform where I can add new authors, keep track of new releases and reviews. In addition I can share the whole bookstore on social media on a regular basis to encourage readers to browse. You can find out how to join the other 150 + authors on the shelves of the bookstore and on the Café and Bookstore page.

“I re-share all posts in my weekly round up on Sundays and this includes the author promotions with a cover and link to their promotion. The round up is one of the busiest posts of the week, and because I post a great deal, many readers pop in on Sunday and visit the posts that they missed. There are thousands of posts published each week, just in the circles we all move within, and it is easy to miss several. I recommend that if anyone posts more than a few times a week that they think about a round up post.”

“Is there anything else you can recommend to authors that will help them promote their work?”

“Despite all the advice out there on book marketing, and about the dangers of over self-promotion, there are still people who bombard us with posts and comments about their own work to the exclusion of others. It simply does not work. You have to remember that the majority of our followers are writers and this means that they are also usually avid readers. They quickly lose interest if the only posts and comments you make are about your books. They won’t buy them, read them or promote them. If you want to build yourself a platform to promote your work, share it with the work of others and see how it flourishes.”

“That’s a good point too, thanks Sally. You can’t post exclusively about your own book. People will turn a deaf ear, and eventually you’ll lose all the followers you worked so hard to gain.

“My next guest offers something very different. Her name is Annette Rochelle Aben, and she offers a podcast. Honestly, Craig just did one of these interviews and said it was a piece of cake. He was worried about saying just the right thing, but it was more like talking with an old friend.

“Annette, tell our listeners how they can take advantage of your podcast and spread the word even further.”

“Reach out, let me know you would like to do a podcast with me and we will send your message out to a world-wide audience.”

“I check Craig’s stats, and I can see how the interviews perform. Do you ever do anything like that?”

“Our tech people give us statistic updates on a monthly basis. Each month those stats increase and for the first ten months of 2018, we had over 5 million hits on the magazine site. This means, over 5 million opportunities for people to hear what you have to say.”

“And how can our listeners contact you?”

“They can contact me through my website, or through the magazine.”

“My next guest is Sue Vincent, whose blog is called the Daily Echo. Sue does something pretty cool in that she also hosts artists and photographers. What this means to an author is her crowd might not be the same crowd you get in other places. Promotion is all about reaching many people, so this can work to your advantage. Welcome, Sue.”

“Hi Lisa, I have to say that this get together is a great idea, although the Small Dog seems to feel that if Apes get fruit baskets, she should have a dog basket. Even the dog runs an open invitation through December for guests to take part in Ani’s Advent calendar. Maybe you could ask Craig if his canine friends would care to come over? The Ape has already agreed to take part.

“I agree with the rest of the party… as a writer, you want to be read, but it’s no good constantly shouting ‘buy my book’…you need to let readers get to know you as a person. Share your passion.  My own blog is eclectic, with most book-related posts on a separate author site. And all the promotion listed here is free and has a potential reach of hundreds of thousands worldwide. While I am happy to host book launches and blog tours, I do keep a daily spot for guest posts, open to writers, artists, musicians and photographers… and bloggers are writers too. Then there is the whole ‘target audience’ thing, and for that I host Living Lore posts with a theme of folklore, myth and legend, and the Elusive Realities spot for true stories of strange personal experiences. Many people have a story to share…and I like sharing.

“I feel I should mention writing challenges too. Colleen runs a weekly poetry challenge, I run a photo prompt every Thursday. We link to every entry, giving extra exposure to writers, I share many of the entries on my blog, and have an open invitation to regulars to come and introduce themselves as my guest. And with all this possible free promo, I seldom have a guest every day! It is easy enough, all I need is a post, links and pics and I’ll do the rest. And neither the Small Dog nor I bite 😉 I am easy to contact through the blog, or by email at findme@scvincent.com.”

“That is a ton of promotional opportunity, Sue. Thanks to you, and all my guests today for participating.

“Looks like it falls to me to wrap it all up. Lisa Burton Radio is here to interview your fictional characters. I rarely interview actual people or – you know, apes. Getting your character on the show is as easy as sending an email to coldhand.boyack@gmail.com.

“Think about all the ways you can expose your work, and none of it costs a dime. They are all unique, and would make a nice blog tour if you plan ahead. My own author has done exactly that several times.

“Since we’re supporting blog hosts today, I’m asking the authors out there to share this post far and wide. Use those sharing buttons, reblog the post. I’ll be adding it to Flipboard, Mix, and several others along with the big social media sites. You might even want to bookmark it for future reference.

“For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton. Now I’m heading to Amazon to find a doggie basket.”

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The Yak Guy Project, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you lost wanderers, and those without purpose. You’ve found Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. Except for this week, that is.

This week you get me, talking about Craig’s book, The Yak Guy Project. I’ve run out of guests right now, and want to keep the slot open for everyone.

It’s okay though, I was there through the writing of this whole story. I can wing it enough to pull this off. As an example, see this poster.

It’s about this rotten kid, who leeches off his friends, and brings nothing to the table. At the beginning of the book he wakes up having been dumped in the desert. Guess people grew tired of his crap.

He gets rescued by a talking yak, but the whole thing is a setup. He’s been relocated to an alternate reality, and given a chance to start over. This means he has to learn some of the things he failed to learn the first time.

These lessons are pretty simple at their heart, but they aren’t easy. Many of them are a matter of life and death. More important are the lessons about understanding others.

Yak Guy has to learn all of this before he can be considered complete. He isn’t the center of the universe, and other people aren’t there to serve him.

Some of you might find it interesting that this story is based loosely around the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Understanding of this isn’t important to the story, but if you know something about the Tarot, you might enjoy spotting the characters and situations involved. As your first clue, Yak Guy is The Fool.

This book has been on kind of a slow burn, it sells, but slowly. Reviews are coming in, but slowly. Some books seem to do this, and there is no rhyme or reason to which one it will be. Maybe Craig released it too close to summer.

I have two issues for all of you today. First is to consider checking out The Yak Guy Project, because this is what we do on Lisa Burton Radio. I’m not going to add fancy links and cover art, because this broadcast will post to Craig’s blog after I go off the air. All you have to do is visit the sidebar and click on the cover art there.

My second pitch is for more guests. These interviews seem to be a feast or famine kind of deal. We either have too many guests to cover them all in a reasonable time, or not enough to keep the line moving. Some authors get tired of waiting and drop out. Usually this is after we’ve done all the work to get their interview ready.

This spot is for you to promote your wares. It’s been productive, because some of you dropped me lines and told me you moved copies on the day of the post. Some authors are sharing their interview on social media a year after we conducted it. You get out of it, what you put into it.

Drop me a line. Would one of your characters like to have an interview by the most awesome robot girl with her own radio show? Could your book use a bit of free promotion?

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Success!

Today is the day. I didn’t get everything I wanted finished, but the heavy lifting is done. The Yak Guy Project is live on Amazon.

I dragged my feet getting started today. It’s been a long couple of weeks at work, and that 6:30 start time was fine with me for a change. I sipped my coffee under a pile of bulldogs, and surfed through social media.

For my second cup, I worked on uploading the story. I wound up doing some spastic “swipe” maneuver and lost everything I’d done to that point. The second entry worked, then the nail biting while waiting began.

While waiting, I wrestled with three different artwork programs to make a graphic for Twitter. After I got the word from Amazon, I updated my sidebar and the cover is a purchase link. The slideshow took a bit more effort, but Yak Guy shows up in the rotation now too.

I made the first step on the only paid promotion I used last book. I’m still waiting for a PayPal invoice, but that’s in the works now.

I really like to do things in A-B-C order under my own roof. I have to operate in a more helter-skelter fashion at my workplace, but try to avoid it here, because it stresses me out. Wasn’t meant to be this time. It’s more A-B1/2-C-B2/2, but I can handle it… tomorrow that is.

I’ll either get the invoice and finish that part, or jump ahead with the first wave of blog tour stuff.

There were some small things too, like getting it set up on Goodreads, Lisa posted about it on her Facebook site. That kind of thing. Lisa and I will be making the rounds soon, and there will be some new Lisa posters on her part of the tour.

So, new book. I reckon I ought to tell you about it. This is my site, and this is where my friends are. This means no deeply thought out third person blurb, just me telling you about the story. You’ll get more tidbits during the blog tour that’s coming soon.

Let’s start with this cool cover from Sean Harrington:

The cover tells you a bunch about the setting. You have a pseudo modern outfit, but with some feudal bits like the sword. The presence of the yak indicates there is no spaceship, Jeep, or dirt bike.

Yak Guy wakes up in the desert with no idea what happened to him. All his life, he’s used others to get whatever he wants. He’s the guy who will sleep on your couch, eat your food, and drink your beer. He’ll let you do the cooking and the cleanup too, but that life just ended – forever.

He’s rescued by a talking yak, who tells him he’s gotten a second chance at life. Change is required, work must be done, survival is optional.

Those who’ve followed regularly will remember this is the one I based upon The Fool’s Journey from the Tarot. An understanding of Tarot is not required to enjoy the story. Those with deeper knowledge will probably be able to pick out some of the Tarot characters and lessons, but like I said, not a prerequisite.

Yak Guy’s world was once modern, but hundreds of years of war destroyed all of that. I worked pretty hard to weave in some bits about what was lost, but not lose the situation they have during the events of this story. Right now, the idea of horsepower comes from actual horses, and they fight with pokey things.

Early sales and reviews are so important to a book. If you’re so inclined, this is the universal link http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07D1QY9Y7 It should take you to the correct Amazon outlet, no matter where you are in the world.

There are other things you can do too. Mark it as something you’re interested in on Goodreads. Share this post. Go to Amazon and use the sharing buttons directly from the purchase site. I already added it to one of my Pinterest boards from there. I also have that pinned tweet you can share. This post will auto-feed to the Entertaining Stories Facebook page, so you can share it there, or share the one Lisa made on her site. None of these efforts requires you to buy the book at all, but it will help spread the word.

I hope I’ve piqued your interest, and I’m excited to bring this one to you. I’m also excited to put it out there before school lets out for the summer. I’m declaring success for today, and I’ll work on more promo stuff tomorrow.

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An Open Invitation

Let’s start this post by recycling this graphic:

Lisa Burton

Long time followers know what this is all about, but I’m going to write about it for the new folks out there. I use my original character, Lisa Burton, to host an imaginary radio show on this blog. Lisa Burton Radio interviews the fictional characters from your books.

These are a bit of a collaborative effort; whereby, I get your notes and create the shtick. You fill in the blanks where your character would interact with Lisa. These post on Thursdays.

I didn’t have a guest this week, but I’m set for next week. I must have a dozen of these interviews in the mail in various stages right now, but they aren’t getting finished for whatever reason. Some folks get halfway through the process, then simply disappear.

I generally work up the shtick over the weekend and send it to you. The following weekend, I assemble what you return and schedule the posts. With full time employment this system works for me.

The spot has proven to be quite popular, and I’ve been able to keep this going for nearly two years now. I’ve gotten emails about authors who sold books on the day of the post, and some who’ve seen fresh movement in older titles. LBR makes a good place to stop on a blog tour, or as part of a second effort. It works well in conjunction with discounts and free days for those who plan ahead.

Obviously, some posts perform better than others. Some depends on participation by the guest author, some depend on the book itself. For myself, I share them across a spectrum of social media sites, and many of my author friends do too.

Do you have a book that could use a kick in the pants? How about a new one making the rounds? Consider using your character as another way of marketing your book. This is what LBR is all about.

Please check out the Lisa Burton Radio category in the sidebar to see those who’ve gone before. It will give you a good idea of how the posts flow, and the inclusion of your covers, blurbs, bios, etc.

I traditionally hide my email address in the page dedicated to the interview process, but here is it for this post coldhand.boyack@gmail.com Drop me a line and let’s do this thing.

I’m going to ask you to use the sharing buttons today. I do this on the LBR posts, but I would like to spread this invitation around a bit for one of my own posts.

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