Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tagged, yet again!!

Wow, Tagging is becoming a way of blogging now - lol - I've been tagged on two Multiply sites (Rena's site and Crystalee's site) as well as Holly's blog. On Rena's site, I was asked to answer 20 questions, so if you want to be tagged to do that one, you can go here and play that one; and on Holly's and Crystalee's, I was asked to do 6 random things about myself, so you can take whichever tag you want. I don't have people to tag so figure if you read my blogs or anything, consider yourself tagged - lol; how's that.

The rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you: Holly Jahangiri, Do I Have to Spell it Out?

2) Post the rules on the blog: Here you go.

3) Write six random things about yourself:

Okay, here goes:

- I'm highly allergic to aspirin - if I get even the tiniest amount of aspirin in my system, I go into anaphylaxis.
- I'm working towards a van and house (sometime in the far future it seems)
- I was shy when I was a youngun (true - it would take me a long time to make friends or speak to people). I didn't overcome this shyness until I was in college (but now, only shy for short periods of time, unless there is an immediate click when I meet someone)
- I have never had a broken bone but have had probably close to 150 stitches at some point or another (I have had three cesarean sections and had a hernia repair, knee surgery and busted my face twice with stitches right below my lower lip (a tiny X marks the spot) and stitches above my eye)
- Five and six are just not coming to me so I guess if you want more random things about me - you need to read my posting from 2007 and read some more random things (although in looking back, one of the things about me is the same - the aspirin allergy)
- (*five - just thought of this) - the first movie I ever saw in a theater was "Sound of Music" and it was during a very rare mother/daughter outing - which included my grandmother. I was big stuff back then - going to an actual theater with my grandmother and mother.

4) Tag six people at the end of your post: Tagged at end and beginning - whoever is reading my blog is tagged.

5) Let each person know they have been tagged: Not sure who all reads so can't leave them a message.

6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up: Okay, Holly, Crystalee and Rena - my tags are up -

"Tag, You're It!"

I'm tagging the six people who may be reading my blog right now - lol unless you have already been tagged and have posted your six random items.

I will also cross post this on my Multiply site - so consider everyone tagged who feels like responding - E :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Coffee, Tea and you want me to host what?

Virtual book tours (or blog book tours) are the wave of the future. With the economy as it is and finances dropping (as well as some institutions on the verge of collapse), doing a live book tour is getting near impossible. The travel alone is the biggest expense an author has to incur to do a book tour. You have to spend your time schmoozing with the managers of the bookstores or wherever you happen to want to set up a book signing with no guarantee that you will make enough sales (that's of course sales for the store and receiving royalties months later which amount to pennies on the dollar; most authors make less than $1 per book, even priced at $25 for a hardback copy), then either book a flight or drive to your destination, book a hotel for the number of nights you plan to be in the area and then of course eat out or on the run. Then you pack up and head out either to the next destination or home. Expenses are racking up with no definite income based on the sales or lack of sales you may have.

So what's an author to do? Well, a simple solution is to do a virtual book tour. This is done online and if you don't have a regular day job that you have to get dressed for, you could actually visit all your tour stops in your pajamas. But I wouldn't recommend it since someone told me before that if you want to feel the part, you need to dress the part. At least put on comfortable clothing just in case you need to run out during the day for that cup of coffee or you need a break.

I have hosted several tours of late and have been a poor host. That is until the recent tour on my JGDS blog with Trockle. No, I wasn't the best host for the tour but I was more active and participated in the tour more than I have other tours. Why? The difference could have been that I am writing children's books now and felt that promoting a child's book would help get my blog noticed and hopefully boost sales for me as well as the author of Trockle, or maybe it was because Vivian (my publisher) was the one putting it together and since it was a fellow author in the same publishing house I felt obligated to do a better job than previously.

Most of the other tours I have hosted have been from a professional service and it was kind of "here is the tour we are doing now and would you mine posting something on such and such day" and then it was over and done with - not much contact with the author (if any at all) nor the people putting on the tour. I felt distant, like I didn't really need to worry about anything. I would post my obligatory article, that I volunteered to do but there would be nothing in return. I didn't see much change in the hits or comments on my blog during a tour stop than before. I was a bad host. You have to stay active, authors in contact with hosts and keep things out there in the public's eye in order to have a successful tour.

I am about to host three more tours, one on the JGDS blog and two here and because of the guidelines Holly and Vivian have come up with, I believe I will be a better host and having been more active in the most recent tour doesn't hurt either.

If you are a fellow writer and want to have your book hosted, it is fine but remember to stay involved with the tour all the way to the end. Post responses on your host blogs as the comments build during the day on a particular spot. Promote yourself like crazy everywhere you have connections. Your blog should be very active during the time of your tour. Your hosts need to make sure they talk your book up during the tour as well, not just for the day they host you but all the stops you plan on making during your tour. Try to offer your hosts something. Maybe have contests and have door prizes, doesn't have to be anything that costs a lot, but offer something. Your hosts and followers will participate more if you have something to give away.

For more guidelines on what makes a good host, email me at and I'll share with you the list Holly and Viv have come up with and are willing to share with future hosts.

So, yes, I will host book tours and I will be a good hostess and promote your book to help you out.