Thursday, November 11, 2010

Maria Zannini: How To Do A Blog Tour

Today I'm blog swapping with Maria Zannini, author of the recently released TRUE BELIEVERS from Carina Press.  Maria is cool.  I've been following her blog now for months and hope you are too.  She's super-funny and always has something interesting to share such as today's post on "How To Do A Blog Tour."  Easier said than done, mes amies.  Without further ado, please welcome Maria to the blog!

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How To Do A Blog Tour


If there's one thing I've learned it's that experience will slap you silly with smarts if you take the time to pay attention. After my first blog tour for Touch Of Fire, I picked up some tips that I will gladly share with you today.

• Mindset. Stop looking at promotion as if it were something shameful. It's not. It's a means of telling others about your latest work. Unless you're selling cheap suits, stop worrying.

• Plan ahead. Most authors have a fair idea when their book will release. Plan for a blitz immediately before and after that first week of release when you will be the media darling.

• Schedule your stops at least a couple of months ahead of time and write those posts well in advance. You are going to have enough to do without having to write a scintillating post before deadline.

• Network. Not when your book is out, but right now. Visit blogs and forums often. Comment often. Make yourself VISIBLE. Readers respond to people who interact with them.

• Cast your web widely. Don't blog just at familiar places. Try some place new. Bring your blog followers with you and introduce them to a blog or web site they haven't been to before.

• Talk on a variety of subjects. Your readers don't want the same old pitch. Give them a reason to visit you while you're traveling from blog to blog. A writer is a storyteller, and storytellers are entertainers. Entertain.

• Can't figure out what to say? Steal. Borrow. Check out what other authors talk about during their blog tours and quietly pilfer their ideas.

• While everyone else is on tour, be sure to note where they've been, what they talked about, and what kind of response they got while they were there.

• And here is the biggest secret of all. Readers want relationships, not sales pitches. Give them a bit of yourself in every post.

Readers/Fans: Is there anything that drives you crazy about blog tours? Go ahead and rant. Tell us what you think.

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Maria Zannini's latest release is a science fiction romance called TRUE BELIEVERS.

Mix one cynical immortal and one true believer and throw them into the biggest alien-hunt the world has never known. Rachel Cruz is a Nephilim masquerading as an archeologist and she's stuck with an alien who believes she can lead him to his ancestral gods. Black Ops wants to find these gods too. They want them dead.

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Contest time! Every time you leave a comment, tweet or mention "Maria Zannini" anywhere with a link to my blog, your name goes in the hat for a chance to win a Texas sized prize. Go here for more information.

HOLD THE PRESSES! Maria has made it to the second round of the Kensington Contest. Vote for her novel, Mistress Of The Stone. (Maria is the one with the very cute dog.) Every vote, tweet and nudge is appreciated.

Thanks, everyone!

24 comments:

Dru said...

They can't be long-winded and like you mentioned above, all the topics should be different and entertaining.

Maria Zannini said...

Hiya Dru!

I am with you on long-winded. I hope I keep mine relatively short.

And if they can't be short, may they at least be interesting.

Thanks for visiting me here!

Sherri said...

Not sure I have anything to add, Maria, but I am following Liz now because of you and seeing her regularly posting in your comments.

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: ...I am following Liz now because of you ...

Good for you, Sherri. That's what I like to hear. To me that's the greatest advantage to a successful blog tour.

I've picked up quite a few new followers since this tour started, and I hope I've introduced a few of mine wherever I've been.

Thanks for a wonderful bit of affirmation.

Sondrae Bennett said...

Very informative post! My debut novel comes out in January so it was great to get some marketting advice from someone who's been there. Thanks!

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Sondrae and congratulations!!

The first one is always tricky I think. --or maybe it was just me. :)

If you stop by my blog, there are a year's worth of posts for a series called Killer Campaigns that deals with nothing but marketing tips.

http://mariazannini.blogspot.com/search/label/Killer%20Campaigns

Thanks for coming over. It was great to meet you!

Krista D. Ball said...

You know what I hate as a reader? Excerpts. I don't read them on blogs. They generally are way too long, plus the formatting on blogs generally make the reading difficult.

If a blog wants them, I really wish they'd ask for no longer than 200-300 words (I can tell if I'll like your work in under 50) and put spaces in between paragraphs so that it's easier on the eyes.

As an author, I find the interview questions get dull after a while. "What inspires you", "what inspired this book", "what inspiration did you get to help you write this book", etc etc. After a bit, it was really difficult to come up with anything exciting to say, but I hated copying/pasting the standard answer.

As for what Dru said, as a reader AND an author, I HATE LONG-WINDED blog posts! :p

Joanna St. James said...

Hey Maria the only thing that irks me so far, is when for a whole month all the author talks about is blog tour day 1 till day 90. I like it when they mix things up and realize there are other things happening eg hey guys am guest blogging today at blah blah on another note did you know someone else also has a giveaway?

Maria Zannini said...

Krista: I am not a fan of excerpts. I don't mind very short ones, but for the most part I prefer they leave a link for 'more'.

If I'm interested, I'll click the link.

Maria Zannini said...

Joanna: I kinda expect blog tours to go from one day to the next—or however they've scheduled it. But then my tour is a non-promo tour, which means the articles I post are the same kind of articles I would have put on my blog.

Even my interviews are more for entertainment than information, that is of course, if the host lets me do it that way. :)

Cathy in AK said...

I'm a latecomer to your blog tour, Maria, but I'm having fun and learning a lot : ) You do a great job mixing it up as far as content, which keeps things fresh. Nicely done. I'm taking notes ;)

Maria Zannini said...

Aw, thanks, Cathy. This tour has definitely been more fun than last year's. More work. But definitely more fun.

Lia Bal said...

Hi Maria, firstly, I just love it that you and Liz swapped blogs for a day. Both of your blogs are amongst my favorite. I have completely enjoyed your blog tour. You always have different information to share. I enjoyed this particular post a lot and I will try to use this information when it will be time for me to promote my own book.

Maria Zannini said...

Lia: I'm glad you enjoyed it! Tomorrow, we'll do one more 'business' post on networking. Thanks for following along, Lia.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I'm with Dru. No long winded blog tours. You hit the sweet spot when it comes to length.

Sara-Jayne Townsend said...

Thanks for this post, Maria. Very helpful! Thinking about blog tour for next book, once have release date confirmed and I was going to ask you for advice! But you've already anticipated!

Sara

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: Thanks! I like to aim for about 500 words.

Maria Zannini said...

Sara-Jayne: You can email me any time. I share whatever I can.

Linda Leszczuk said...

More Tank and Iko. We definitely need more Tank and Iko.

Meghan Schuessler said...

Good tips, I will keep them in mind for when I (hopefully) get to have a blog tour of my own :)

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: You're going to give them swelled heads. I might have to give them their own column, The Tank & Iko Show.

Meghan: I wish someone had told me these things before my first tour. I suppose some things are best learned from hard knocks. :)

Susan Blexrud said...

Great blog, Maria. I totally agree that you have to create more value than you capture when blogging. Visiting the sites you admire and establishing relationships before you query them for a guest post is great advice. Keep up the good work, and I look forward to hosting you at my blog, Embrace the Shadows, next week.

DEZMOND said...

ah, I love our dear Maria. This was a lovely post.

And Liz, you already know I like the cover of your new book!

Maria Zannini said...

Hiya, Susan! Glad to see you here. Looking forward to the interview too. You are my final destination on this blog tour.


Dezz, you saucy stud. You're everywhere, man! Thanks for coming over.