Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blogging on a Blog Tour

THANKS TO THE PROLIFERATION of blog sites on the Internet, I'm on a "Blog Tour" with my new book. Two months ago I'd never heard of a blog tour. Now I'm an expert at virtual visiting.

Blog tours are becoming standing operating procedure when an author has a new book published. It's nothing like the old fashioned book tour. For that I had to cold call some far-off bookstores, ask if I could come and talk about my book, and then try to find my way home from Fresno, Modesto or Palo Alto when my GPS died.

On the old fashioned book tour, I had to wear clothes, bring bribes in the form of cookies and bookmarks, and sit at a table watching readers buy Stephanie Meyer's books by the armload.

An old-fashioned book tour is expensive, too, what with the cost of gas, a GPS, cookies and clothes, not to mention time consuming — a long drive, a two-hour "event" and an extra-long drive back after getting lost.

I would be exhausted by the time I arrived home, my cheeks were cramped from all that smiling (and sitting, if you get my drift), and my arms ached from hauling still full cartons of books.

Now it's perfectly clear to me why blog tours are the way to go. Making an appearance as a guest on popular blog sites related to my genre couldn't be easier. There is no traveling long distances, no hauling heavy books, no baking cookies. I don't even have to wear clothes if I don't want to.

All I did was send out a dozen queries to my favorite sites, like DyingforChocolate.com, LadyKillers.com and FemmesFatale.com, and ask if I might "stop by." To my amazement, they all responded positively to my request, and I found myself with blog stops every other day for nearly a month.

Along with my queries, I sent a list of possible topics related to my new book, such as "How to Plan Your Own Killer Party," "How to Survive an Old-Fashioned Book Tour" and "How to do Research for Your Romance Scene."

Some sites chose a topic from my list, while some sites had specific topics for me to choose from, such as "Please include chocolate recipes." Others just wanted Q & A interviews, and the rest said I could write whatever I wanted. How cool was that.

Another blogger recommended that I stockpile a bunch of articles ahead of time, but I'm more of a deadline writer. I jotted the dozen or so dates on the calendar, and then wrote each blog while lounging on my couch, listening to music. I never got lost while traveling the entire country. I got to eat all my own cookies. And I could wear my PJs (or not) all day long if I wanted to.

When my articles went "up" on the Internet sites, I dropped by throughout the day to see if there were any comments, and responded to each of them, feeling as if I'd made some new friends.

Thanks to blog tours, I may never leave home again.
Or get dressed.

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