Do You Have an Active Blog? Do You Welcome Guest Bloggers?

Without hosts – our blog tours would not exist. We work with a wide variety of interesting bloggers and they give life to our campaigns. We are in the process of expanding the list of bloggers that we work with. Some bloggers we work with once – others we work with on a good number of tours – much of this depends on the focus on their blog. We’re also looking out for new bloggers and would love to add you to our host list.

We are always on the lookout for bloggers, newsletter creators and website owners or managers who would be interested in being notified about our upcoming virtual tours and campaigns. We notify these people about tours and campaigns when we start to coordinate the project and if they are interested – they simply let us know. If the topic or project is not of interest – they simply ignore the invitation. There is NO obligation to participate in any campaign and we review the blog, newsletter, radio show, website etc – to be sure that it is a match for the project. If you would like to be added to our master host list – drop me a note at nikki @ nikkileigh.com or you can complete this survey – http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/L9NHTWR

What a Tour May Include:

These are some of the things that we usually do with individual tour stops –

  • Written or recorded interview – the hosts supply the questions for our client to answer
  • Guest post or article written by the client – about a topic that is relevant to their product or service
  • Written interview with a character from a book – the host can ask questions of a character in a book
  • Radio interview – we work with online radio shows and radio stations to coordinate interviews for client
  • We can often supply a book or a sample of a product that we are promoting for reviews
  • We are also open to unusual ideas – so feel free to suggest an idea :)

We look forward to speaking to you and learning more about you and your blog.

Any questions – feel free to contact me nikki@nikkileigh.com

Authors – Selling Your Books and Gaining Visibility is as Close as Your Keyboard

Years ago being an author meant you would write a book, get published (if you were lucky) and hope for the best when it came to selling and gaining visibility for you and your masterpiece. That is unless you had star status or were a professional speaker who could sell from the platform or to your existing client base.

Countless authors romanced the idea of going on a world tour with their book, being the star author in bookstore after bookstore with lines of eager fans clamoring to purchase an autographed copy of their book.

Like numerous other authors, with my first book I was convinced I would miraculously be discovered, appear on all the top television talk shows, be swept away by a major publisher and live happily ever after with my world famous book. The dream went as far as me living a solitary life in a rural community, on a nice piece of land, near a river or lake, a mystery to the residents of the local town.

Like most authors’ my dream quickly soured when I realized the truth of what it meant to be an author. There was little if any budget for book tours, publishers (if you could even get one) didn’t proactively promote our books above and beyond a short-lived attempt, and most authors would rather scale the side of mountain than speak in front an audience.

I had the good fortune of being a professional speaker, so scaling a mountainside was not something I could see myself doing at any point in my future. Yet, selling books was still a matter of schlepping boxes from location to location in hopes of selling out at each venue.

Fast forward to today. Having a world tour is now at close as any author’s computer keyboard and telephone. With the onslaught of teleseminars, social networks and social media marketing there are so many options for authors that certainly didn’t exist when I published my first book well over a decade ago.

Between social networks, blogging, guest blogging, joint venture book launches, web radio, teleseminars, and webinars to name but a few choices, an author can create their own very successful book tour. With a bit of ingenuity, focus and commitment, it is now feasible for an author to take a book from total obscurity to a global virtual book tour in what used to be an impossible timeframe and within a very low budget compared to what it would have cost for even one book tour in the past.

The best part of all is the playing field has been leveled due to the Internet. And even if the author doesn’t have the time, skill set or desire to host their own tour, there are experts who specialize in coordinating virtual book tours (hint – one leading expert is as close as the owner of this blog).

Myself, I do have the skill set, but I also know that at times it is actually more cost and time effective to contract an expert rather than coordinating it myself.

However, if you want to organize your own tour, here are a few considerations. One, who is your reader? Resist the temptation to say, “Everyone.” In the world of marketing, we say, “If everyone is your market, then no one is your market.”

Next, determine where your reader “hangs out”. What social networks do they belong to? What forums do they frequent? What web radio programs might they listen to? Who do you know (or could you know) who has a similar readership reach as those readers you are trying to reach who could do a feature blog posting on you or help to otherwise promote your book?

Begin now to formulate the answers to these important questions.  Within the answers lie the opportunity to invest your time and efforts gaining targeted visibility and sales without having to schlep books in the trunk of your car to location after location.

Kathleen Gage is known as the Street Smarts Marketer. She is the author of four books, dozens of eBased information products and teleseminars. Kathleen works with speakers, authors, coaches and consultants teaching  them how to gain visibility for their products and service.

She lives in a small rural community on what she calls her “little piece of heaven” across from a picturesque river where she is a mystery to the people in her town. She attributes her good fortune of being able to reside where she does to the power of the Internet to market her books and other products.

To learn how to effectively market yourself by way of the Internet, click here to join Kathleen’s Street Smarts Marketing VIP Club.

Do You Need Guest Posts or Do you Want to Guest Post on Blogs

If you answered that you you want guest bloggers for your blog – the first thing you need to do is to contact me to be added to my virtual tour host mailing list. That will give you a chance to see if the topics of any of our upcoming virtual tours is a fit for your blog. I can be reached at nikki @ Nikkileigh.com

The second thing you should do is visit this site – http://bloggerlinkup.com

Welcome to the Blogger Link Up mailing list. I’m Cathy Stucker, a.k.a., the Idea Lady.
You will get one or two emails from me every day, Monday through Friday, with opportunities to get content for your blog or provide content to other bloggers in return for exposure and links. Please respond only if you are a good match for the opportunity. Don’t spam requesters with unrelated offers. And you may not require payment. This is a friendly exchange between bloggers.
If you have a request, just submit it at BloggerLinkUp.com, and I will send it out to the list within a couple of days.
Request Sources for Interviews: http://bloggerlinkup.com/sources
Offer Products for Review: http://bloggerlinkup.com/review
BloggerLinkUp is still young and growing, and the best way to make sure that we can all benefit from these leads for a long time to come is to spread the word. The more bloggers we have participating, the greater the opportunities for all of us. Tell your friends about BloggerLinkUp, and recommend that they sign up. Blog about us, Tweet us, or otherwise let everyone know.
Thank you for being a part of BloggerLinkUp!
Cathy Stucker
P.S. If you want to know more about me, you can find links to my blogs, web sites and social media profiles at ConnectWithCathy.com. Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, and let’s help each other.

Blogging Tips

Here are some tips for bloggers.

• Keep your posts “on topic”. This will enable you to promote your product and website when you keep your posts and blog on topic.
• Make your posts informative and interesting. This isn’t just busy work to entertain your visitors. You can share information to help them make an educated decision to buy your product.
• Do not recycle old information. Your readers want you to share new information. The exception would be to relate a past event to a present situation.
• Have a realistic and consistent schedule. After you start your blog, post fresh content on a regular basis. Your potential customers will expect that and will lose interest if you lag behind with your posts.
• Make the important message easy to understand. The posts don’t need to be elaborate and technical. Be conversational and easy to understand tone.
• Maintain a certain level of quality. You need to use keywords in your posts but don’t lose the effective content because you tried to cram too many keywords into your post. Search engines love blogs and can increase references to you and your product. Maintain the quality and weave keywords into your posts.
• Proofread your work. The old adage is to: edit, edit, edit and edit again. If you want to look like a professional and your post is full of errors and typos, the visitor will not be motivated to buy from you. Or they won’t see you as a professional. This can hurt your credibility.
• Be passionate about your topic. If you are excited about your subject, that should be conveyed to your visitors. Pass that excitement to your potential customers and they should rush to buy your products.
• Determine your target market. It is critical that you know who needs your product. These are the people that you need to attract with all of your promotional efforts.
• Finally, link to other blogs. When you post comments on other blogs, include your blog URL under your name. Don’t post an elaborate message or blurb about your blog. All you need is to post a relevant comment that will attract attention and list your name and blog address. Subtle is much better than blatant and potentially rude promotions.

Nikki Leigh is an award winning and best selling fiction and non-fiction author. She has over sixfteen years of promotional experience. This background has been helpful with her book promotion and her new promotional venture, Promo 101 Promotional Services which offers many online promotional options. Her promotional books – Book Promo 101 and Book Promo 201 lets her share many of the things she’s learned. For details about Nikki Leigh, visit http://www.nikkileigh.com. For detailed promotional and virtual blog tour information, visit – http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/. She also has a blog where she posts a wide variety of promotional articles – http://promo101tips.wordpress.com/ – check the category list for any specific topics that are of interest to you. For full details about Book Promo 201 – www.nikkileigh.com/book_promo_201.htm

Every Author Needs A Blog

In the 21st century, it’s no longer optional to have a blog. All authors need to have a blog to promote their books. Before we go any further, let me expand on that a little bit. Every authors needs to have an active and relevant blog. That means there should be fresh and interesting content on the blog at least 2 – 4 times a week.

What is a blog?

Originally a blog was simply a way to communicate with friends. Four or five years ago I started a “blog” to post a novel I was working on and to share it with friends. Today blogs are a great way for authors to build a brand and establish a promotional platform for their books. You can use a blog to help potential readers get to know the author behind the book and to learn more about the books you write. Non-fiction authors can use a blog to share their writing style and it is a great way to build your credibility when you write about the topics in your books. Think of it as a cyber sales person who is representing you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What does your cyber salesman say about you and your books?

Choose a Blog Platform

To get started, you can easily set up a free blog on www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.com, each of these services offer free blogs. You click to “join” and the website is set up in a way that makes it very easy to set up a simple blog. Follow the directions and you can start blogging in minutes. Over time you can learn ways to fine tune your blog and to customize the layout or you can hire someone to set up a blog and to teach you the best ways to use that blog to promote.

For authors who are less tech savvy, Blogger is very easy to use. For authors who have more computer and internet experience, WordPress is a great free platform. Each of these sites gives you a blogspot.com or wordpress.com address, but for $10 on Blogger and $14.95 on WordPress, you can chose your own domain name to use.

How to use a blog?

A blog can include information about your writing, how you write, how you develop story ideas and why you’re qualified to write your books. Non-fiction authors can use their blog to build their credibility with potential readers. Take the opportunity to show people that you have something beneficial to share. You can also show that you have the background and knowledge to help them. Fiction authors can share insider details about their books, the characters, the setting and many other parts of their books. You can also share writing and promotional tips with others. These are just a few of the unlimited number of ways you can use a blog to promote yourself and your books.

Promote your blog

Just starting a blog is not enough. Once you have a blog and once you start blogging on a regular basis (at least 2-3 short or long blog posts per week), you need to list your blog in blog directories. Two or the many directories include: www.blogcatalog.com and www.Technorati.com . Go to both of these sites and register for an account. Once you have an account, you can submit your blog(s) to the directory. This is a great way to help more people find your blog. Think of these like a “Google” for blogs.

Your blog address should be listed on your author business cards, linked to your website, included on your social media profiles, included anywhere your author bio is posted  and listed in your email signature block. These are a bare minimum of the places where you should list your blog address.

It is also very good to register your blog with www.feedblitz.com or www.feedburner.com and place a subscription block so that interested readers can subscribe to your blog. This means that your subscribers will be notified about each of your future blog posts. It’s a great way to stay in touch with interested readers.

These tips are just the beginning of your blogging journey. But it is a promotional journey that you need to take – you and your publisher will be happy that you did.

About Nikki Leigh

Nikki Leigh is an award winning and best selling fiction and non-fiction author. She has over sixfteen years of promotional experience. This background has been helpful with her book promotion and her new promotional venture, Promo 101 Promotional Services which offers many online promotional options. Her promotional books – Book Promo 101 and Book Promo 201 lets her share many of the things she’s learned. For details about Nikki Leigh, visit http://www.nikkileigh.com. For detailed promotional and virtual blog tour information, visit – http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/. She also has a blog where she posts a wide variety of promotional articles – http://promo101tips.wordpress.com/ – check the category list for any specific topics that are of interest to you.  For full details about Book Promo 201 – www.nikkileigh.com/book_promo_201.htm

FREE Promotional Options For Author


I have made some major changes to the blogs I’m offering in March and I pdated this list to reflect those changes. These changes should make it easier to find information and give additional exposure to every one who submits information about their books and themselves.

ANY published author is welcome to submit these questions and answers to promote their books. To use any of these blogs – click on the link, click on “how to submit” in the top corner of the blog and follow the instructions. I ask that you send the questions and answers as an RTF file. It is also good to send a jpg file of your book cover – no PDF files for the cover art. When you complete the interview, send to nikki_leigh22939@yahoo.com with the interview title in the subject line and I will add you to the list for that blog.

I have divided the blog lists for fiction and non fiction books to make it easier to find the ones you need. I’ve added several new blogs lately – so if you’ve been here before – there are some new options.

The print and digital edition of Book Promo 101 are available. The print book is oversize 8″ x 10″ and the layout is gorgeous. The print edition of Book Promo 201: Harness the Power of the Internet with Web 2.0 and Social Media Marketing will be available May 2009. If you would like details about the contents of this book visit http://www.nikkileigh.com/book_promo_201.htm

I offer a wide array of promotional services to authors. Feel free to take a look at the possibilities and contact me with questions. If you are interested in something that you don’t see listed, let me know and we can talk. For a list of these services visit – www.nikkileigh.com/promo.htm

I offer a wide assortment of virtual book tour options and the current list is located at http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/04/virtual-blog-tour-options.html and I offer virtual blog tours which coordinate and enhance Amazon Best Seller Campaigns – http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2009/02/amazon-best-seller-virtual-blog-tour.html there are a number of options and price ranges and we can talk about other options. I’m planning to add more services in 2009. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list to get the latest updates, send me a message at nikki_leigh22939@yahoo.com. I am also adding a wide variety of social media marketing options to the things that Promo 101 Promotional Services offers.

This is the full list of promotional blogs – the name, the blog link and the link to full instructions are listed for each individual interview.

Promotional Blogs for Fiction Books

Are you an “outside of the box” promoter? I’d love to share your ideas on this blog – http://promo101articles.blogspot.com/2009/04/calling-outside-of-box-promoters-share.html


Share your furry writing companions – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com
How to Submit – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-to-submit-information-about-author.html

http://itsallinthesetting.blogspot.com/ – Details about story setting.
How to Submit –
http://itsallinthesetting.blogspot.com/2007/07/its-all-about-setting.html

Animals in Your Book – http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com/

How to Submit – http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com/2008/05/how-to-submit-your-book.html

Villains in your book.- http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com
How to Submit –
http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com/2007/07/how-to-submit_7729.html

Heroine in your book.- http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com
How to Submit – http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com/2007/07/how-to-submit_134.html

Hero in your book.- http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com
How to Submit – http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com/2007/07/how-to-submit.html

Best Friend – http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com
How to Submit – http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com/2007/07/how-to-submit_28.html

Share Book Details – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com
How to Submit – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com/2007/09/how-to-submit.html

http://frombookstomovies.blogspot.com/ – From Books to the Movies
If a movie was made about your book, which actors and actresses would play the main characters? This is your chance in case a movie of your book and it can be a lot of fun.
How to Submit – http://frombookstomovies.blogspot.com/2007/08/how-to-submit.html

Interview a Male Character – http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com
How to Submit – http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com/2007/11/how-to-submit_6392.html

Interview a Female Character – http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com
How to Submit – http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com/2007/11/how-to-submit_1859.htm

In Detail With Nikki Leigh – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com
Give potential readers more information about you and your background.
How to Submit – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com/2007/09/how-to-submit.html

Before I Was Published – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com
Tell us about what you did before you were published and especially include anything that relates to your books and your writing.
How to Submit – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com/2008/02/tell-us-your-story.html

http://currenteventsinbooks.blogspot.com/- Can you tie a topic or element from your book with current events? This is the place to submit them. Send them to me and I’ll review them.
How to Submit – http://currenteventsinbooks.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-to-submit.html

Do you have interesting promotional ideas and suggestions that you would like to share with other authors? http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com

How to Submit – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-to-submit-your-promotional.html

http://judgebookbycover.blogspot.com/ – Share your book cover.
How to Submit –
http://judgebookbycover.blogspot.com/2007/07/judge-book-by-its-cover.html

http://startatbeginning.blogspot.com/ – Share your First Chapter
How to Submit – http:/
/startatbeginning.blogspot.com/2007/07/how-to-submit.html


Promotional Blogs for Non-Fiction Books

Are you an “outside of the box” promoter? I’d love to share your ideas on this blog – http://promo101articles.blogspot.com/2009/04/calling-outside-of-box-promoters-share.html

Share Book Details – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com
How to Submit – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com/2007/09/how-to-submit.html

Share your furry writing companions – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com
How to Submit – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-to-submit-information-about-author.html

Animals in Your Book – http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com/

How to Submit – http://fictionalcharactersindepth.blogspot.com/2008/05/how-to-submit-your-book.html

In Detail With Nikki Leigh – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com
Give potential readers more information about you and your background.
How to Submit – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com/2007/09/how-to-submit.html

Before I Was Published – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com
Tell us about what you did before you were published and especially include anything that relates to your books and your writing.
How to Submit – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com/2008/02/tell-us-your-story.html

http://currenteventsinbooks.blogspot.com/– Can you tie a topic or element from your book with current events? This is the place to submit them. Send them to me and I’ll review them.
How to Submit http://currenteventsinbooks.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-to-submit.html
Do you have interesting promotional ideas and suggestions that you would like to share with other authors? http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com

How to Submit – http://authorpromotion.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-to-submit-your-promotional.html

http://judgebookbycover.blogspot.com/ – Share your book cover.
How to Submit –
http://judgebookbycover.blogspot.com/2007/07/judge-book-by-its-cover.html

http://startatbeginning.blogspot.com/ – Share your First Chapter

How to Submit – http://startatbeginning.blogspot.com/2007/07/how-to-submit.html

I reserve the right to refuse to post any submissions, but so far I haven’t needed to turn anyone away. I did edit a couple of first chapters to maintain a PG-13 rating for my visitors. That could be one of the reasons why some have such a long waiting list. All the blogs are listed on my Blogger profile which is located at – www.blogger.com/profile/00985309338453728557.


Nikki Leigh
Author of the Book Promo 101 Series
www.nikkileigh.com/book_promo_101.htm
Author Promotional Services – www.nikkileigh.com/promo.htm

Promotional Question #1 from Martin Bartloff

I met Martin Bartloff at the VA Festival of the Book in March 2009 and we have conversed on Twitter several times since then. His first book is being released soon by my good friend Karen Syed at Echelon Press. He has some promotional questions, so I suggested that he send them to me and I’d post some answers here. Anyone else is welcome to do the same thing. You can reach me at nikki @ nikkileigh.com

Here is Martin’s first question –

I don’t want my novel to be like other books I see–being eaten like small fish in an ocean full of books. How should I market my book sufficiently, beyond twitter, myspace, facebook etc?

This is something that many authors wonder about. With over 250,000 books being released each year (and that could be higher now) – we all want to make our book stand out in the crowd.

I would start by making sure the book is being promoted sufficiently on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook – and other appropriate social sites. Sufficiently is a subjective word – what I consider to be sufficient may be over board for another person. I’ve talked to people who have an old profile, no pictures and a couple dozen friends and they think that is sufficient. I know this will shock people – but I don’t think that’s sufficient.

Here are some bare necessity things I would do with these platforms —

1 – Have a well developed profile page on each of these sites
2 – Make sure you give a good amount of info about you and your book(s)
3 – Include some pictures of you – at book events is good and definitely your book cover
4 – Check the applications on these sites and see what would be beneficial. You want people to be able to interact with you, you want to be able to post book trailers (if you have any), you want to post pictures, a link to your blog (which you need), a link to Twitter, updates on your social profiles, and much more
5 – I do not think you need games and other distractions- although I have some of those myself
6 – Are you updating the “status” area on these sites regularly?
7 – Are you actively gathering friends — and potential readers?
8 – Do you share book related events that you have coming up in the future?
9 – Do you have a fan page and/or a group on Facebook?
10 – Have you promoted these pages?
11 – Are these pages complete?

These are just off the top of my head – but will get you started. IF you have all these things on the social sites mentioned above – these are a few more things.

Have you written a press release about the release of your book?
Did you circulate it? (There are articles about writing and distributing PR on this blog)
Are you blogging?
Do you share interesting and relevant info on your blog?
Do you blog regularly?
Do you ever ask people in you can guest blog on their blog?
Do you invite other to guest blog on your blog?
Do you have a book trailer?
Is the trailer posted on all relevant video sites? (I’ll warn you there are more than you think :)
Are your books in local bookstores?
Is there any group in your community that you could partner with to do a fundraising event that you could tie into your book content?

The last in more creative, but can be a lot of fun and great exposure for you. It is also a lot of work – so be sure you know what you’re getting into.

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. What ways have you used to promote your book? And, how did they work for you?

Nikki

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