January 5, 2009 by Lillie
Table of contents for Blog Book Tour
December 15, 2008 by Lillie
Table of contents for Blog Book Tour
- Blog Book Tour: Part 1—What It Is
I recently took two blog book tours for my romantic suspense novel Dream or Destiny. The first tour lasted three weeks and included seventeen stops; the second tour lasted less than a week and included four stops. After the first tour, I wrote a wrap-up report of the tour that I hope will be helpful to other authors in planning their own tours as well as to bloggers hosting blog book tour stops.
I’ve also hosted several authors on blog book tours and plan to do more of this in the future. Blog book tours, also called virtual book tours, are becoming increasingly popular, but I’ve learned that not everyone knows what a blog book tour is.
More than a year ago when I was planning ahead for the release of my novel, I wrote a post about virtual book tours (VBTs). Since then, it seems that blog book tour is becoming the preferred name.
Authors have often gone on book tours, traveling across the country or within a region to visit book stores for readings and booksignings. Book tours don’t always result in a lot of immediate sales for authors, but they do give authors the opportunity to meet booksellers and readers and to build their and their books’ name recognition. Book tours give readers live contact with authors.
Today, book tours are too expensive for all but best-selling authors. Many authors prefer to spend their time and energy writing rather than traveling, yet they still need to promote their books. More and more books are being sold online rather than in local bookstores, and booksignings don’t often draw large crowds (unless the author is already famous).
Blog book tours are taking the place of physical book tours for many authors. There are no travel expenses and no time away from home. Instead of physically visiting bookstores, authors virtually visit blogs to promote their books. Blog book tours don’t always result in a lot of immediate sales, but they give the authors the opportunity to virtually meet readers and bloggers. Tours build name recognition for the authors and their books, and they give readers virtual contact with authors.
A visit to a blog can take many forms, including interviews—written or audio (podcasts), reviews, excerpts, and guest posts. The schedules for my first and second blog book tours show that my tour stops included most of these.
I’ve hosted reviews, an author interview, and a character interview, a fun and different visit. Hosting authors on their blog book tours is new to me, and I’m looking forward to a variety of different visits.
In the next installment, I’ll offer advice for authors, and in the final installment of the series, I’ll make suggestions for bloggers hosting blog book tours.
As a reader, do you enjoy blog book tours? What do you like or not like about blog book tours or individual tour stops that you have read?
December 11, 2008 by Lillie
I’m honored to be hosting a stop on Jean Henry Mead’s blog book tour for A Village Shattered, a senior sleuth mystery. The story is filled with intriguing characters living a retirement village shattered by a series of murders.
One of the secondary characters especially interested me, and I jumped at the chance to interview her. Please welcome retirement village resident and Portugese dairyman’s widow, Michelle Lugundos, known to all as Micki.
Lillie: Welcome to A Writer’s Words, An Editor’s Eye. Thank you for agreeing to answer questions about yourself and the murder mystery you found yourself entangled in. I understand your name is Michelle though most people call you Micki. Is Michelle a common Portugese name?
Micki: No, it isn’t. My parents came to this country from the Azore Islands just before I was born, and they wanted to give their first born child an American name. When they learned there were so many other Portuguese families living here in the San Joaquin Valley, they gave my seven younger sisters all latin names.
Lillie: It must be strange to read about yourself. The author, Jean Henry Mead, portrayed you as someone who is witty, perceptive, and distrustful of authority. Did she describe you accurately? If not, how did she get it wrong?
Micki: I don’t think I’m so witty. Sometimes my club members laugh because they think I say strange things, like the time I compared the sheriff’s investigation of the murders to gigging a tadpole instead of a frog. You know, he grabbed the first suspect that walked by instead of waiting for the real killer. I didn’t trust the sheriff at first, but then I learned that his only experience was training police dogs. He was trying his best but it just wasn’t good enough.
Lillie: Tell me about your experiences helping your husband run a dairy farm.
Micki: Oh, my, I had to get up every morning at four o’clock and cook a big breakfast before I helped with the milking. I was glad when we could afford milking machines because I had such calluses on my hands. I also helped him buck 100 pound bales of hay. See, I still have big muscles on my arms. I’ll never forget the night the hay caught on fire and burned for two days. That was the most exciting thing to happen at the dairy, except when a heifer gave birth to a calf.
Lillie: A Village Shattered takes place in a retirement village. Where is the village located? What attracted you to it? What is it like to live there? Did you and your husband retire there together or did you move there after Antonio died?
Micki: I moved to the village after Antonio died. It’s a mile from the city of Modesto in the northern San Joaquin Valley. I had some Portugese friends who lived in the village who talked me into moving here. If I had known that a serial killer was going to start murdering my club members alphabetically, I would not have sold the dairy. I used to love living here and going to Sew and So Club meetings. But now it’s too dangerous to even open my door.
Lillie: You were devoted to your husband but even more to your father. What made these two men so special to you?
Micki: Antonio was my first and only love and he reminded me of my father. They were both good, hardworking men. My mother died when my sister Phillipa was born and Papa raised his eight daughters by himself. He never looked at another woman. Not that we would have accepted a surrogate mother. I took over that job until I married Antonio, then my sisters in turn looked after the younger girls.
Lillie: Did you feel safer after your sisters arrived from Fresno to stay with you? What did you think when the sheriff told them to leave?
Micki: I could not believe how bossy my younger sister Josephina was. She made me crazy. I used to spank her when she was little and maybe she was getting even with me. I was glad when the sheriff told them it was too dangerous for them to stay in the village and they had to go home. Sheriff Grayson gave me another partner after he arrested Nola and put her in jail. She didn’t do the murders but she did set fire to Pat Wilson’s house. The sheriff kept taking my partners away or they got killed, so I did miss my sisters when they left.
Lillie: You are obviously a good cook. Describe some of your specialties, especially linguisa. How did you feel seeing the deputy squirming on the floor in pain after eating one of your brownies?
Micki: Everyone loves my brownies and linguisa, which is Portugese sausage. It’s mighty tasty but my friend Carole said there’s too much fat and calories in the food I cook. She only weighs 97 pounds so she doesn’t know what good food tastes like. I baked a batch of brownies the other night and one of the deputies guarding us ate one and fell on the floor. We thought he was dying. I was afraid that everyone thought I had poisoned him.
Lillie: What do you think of Sheriff’s Grayson’s investigation of the murders?
Micki: I know he tries hard but he doesn’t have enough experience. When he was elected, half his sheriff’s department quit and went home, so he doesn’t have anybody to advise him. I think he wishes he was still training police dogs.
Lillie: I understand that A Village Shattered is the first of the Logan & Cafferty Mystery Series. Do you think Dana Logan and Sarah Cafferty should be the ones getting top billing? Do you think the author will give you a larger role in future books?
Micki: No, the author put Dana and Sarah in a motorhome and took them to Wyoming to investigate the death of Dana’s wealthy sister. I don’t think they’re ever coming back to the San Joaquin Valley, except for maybe for a visit. I will miss them.
Lillie: What else would you like us to know about you or the story?
Micki: I feel like I’m running a boarding house. My friends are dying and just when I get used to a partner living here with me, the sheriff takes her away. He finally gave me a deputy to protect me but he’s having woman problems and can’t stay awake 24 hours a day, so I have to stand guard with Antonio’s hunting rifle so young deputy Dalton can get some sleep. I hope the sheriff finds the killer soon so we can all stop being afraid.
Lillie: Thank you, Micki. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and am sure my readers did also. I’ll miss you in the next book. Please check in during the day to respond to comments and answer questions. And bring your author along, too. Readers may have questions for her.
Micki: Thank you, Lillie. You must stop by for some linguisa and brownies. The author is allergic to both of them.
Comments are open. Say hi to our guests and ask questions for either Jean or Micki.
December 9, 2008 by Lillie
On Thursday, December 11, we’re having an unusual guest here. I invited author Jean Henry Mead to visit to promote her new senior sleuth mystery A Village Shattered. Jean asked if she could send one of her characters in her stead, and it didn’t take long for me to decide to interview retirement village resident and Portugese dairyman’s widow, Michelle Lugundos, known to all as Micki. Be sure to come back Thursday to meet this intriguing character.
Jean told me her characters were more interesting than she is, but I’ve been following her blog book tour and read several fascinating interviews.
She began her career as a photojournalist and had numerous newspaper and magazine credits by the time her first nonfiction book was published in 1981. She has interviewed well-known politicians, famous writers, and notorious bad guys. After publishing several nonfiction books, she realized she had way too much good research to ignore, so she used the material to write her first novel.
The crime-solvers in A Village Shattered are senior citizens. Jean writes senior sleuth novels to show that seniors can do just about anything a twenty-something character can. And she has created a large and varied cast of characters who live in the retirmenet village. At least they all used to live there—now a murderer is decimating their numbers at a rapid pace.
Micki said she would bring Jean with her on Thursday to answer questions and respond to comments. Come back to meet Micki and Jean and learn more about A Village Shattered.
December 5, 2008 by Lillie
Today I’m back at Father Jerry’s Jottings with the conclusion of my two-part series on blogging: Blogging for Beginners. I’m sure most of my readers know everything I’ve covered in this introductory post, and I know you can add some tips I didn’t mention. Stop by Father Jerry’s blog and give your best advice to beginning bloggers.
December 4, 2008 by Lillie
When Shirazi invited me to write a guest post about Dream or Destiny at Light Within, I confess I hesitated. Shirazi writes about blogging, business, Pakistan, and blogging in Pakistan. But Shirazi has also written a book and is a big fan of mystery fiction. After several e-mail exchanges, I was convinced that Light Within would be a good blog to add to my book tour.
I hope you enjoy my guest post Writing a Mystery: Dream or Destiny and hope you will give some encouragement to a blogger who is working hard to expand opportunities for writers and bloggers in Pakistan.
December 3, 2008 by Lillie
Though I sometimes get in a hurry and don’t read all the blogs in my feed reader, I never miss Brad Shorr’s Word Sell. Brad covers blogging, copywriting, marketing, and social media on his blog. He’s also a Top 500 Reviewer at Amazon.com.
Although he reviews fiction at Amazon, he doesn’t normally cover fiction on his blog. So I was delighted when he invited me to visit Word Sell for an interview. His questions really made me think. I hope you’ll stop by Word Sell and ask your own questions if there’s anything Brad didn’t ask.
December 2, 2008 by Lillie
Today’s stop is a special treat for me. Father Jerry Sherbourne was my priest at All Saints Anglican Church before he joined the Army as a chaplain. I gave him a blog as a going-away gift, and he wasn’t quite sure what to do with this unexpected present. I describe his reaction in today’s guest post: Starting a Blog.
Though he was skeptical at first, Father Jerry is now an enthusiastic blogger, and he asked me to give some advice to his readers who are interested in starting their own blog. Stop by and say hi.
December 1, 2008 by Lillie
After my recent three-week blog book tour, I decided I would make shorter tours in the future. This week, I’m taking a short tour with four stops. I hope you will visit the host blogs and comment. It’s a lot of work for a blogger to host a blog book tour stop, and I want my hosts to know they are appreciated.
The stops on this tour are at blogs that don’t focus primarily on books and writing. I’m excited about the opportunity to reach new readers through these blogs.
- Tuesday, December 2
- Father Jerry’s Jottings
- Guest post: Starting a Blog
- Wednesday, December 3
- Word Sell, Inc.
- Interview by Brad Shorr
- Thursday, December 4
- Light Within
- Guest post: Writing a Mystery: Dream or Destiny
- Friday, December 5
- Father Jerry’s Jottings
- Guest post: Blogging for Beginners
I hope to see you at each of these tour stops.
November 14, 2008 by Lillie
Today is the last day of my three-week blog book tour for Dream or Destiny. Jeanne Dininni interviews me at Writer’s Notes. This is one of the most extensive interviews of the tour, right up there with