Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blog Tour Spotlight and Interview with author of VIRTUAL BLOG TOURS, Jo Linsdell

Today I'm spotlighting Jo Linsdell, an author whose book will certainly come in handy when I start my blog tour!
Author Jo Linsdell shares everything you need to know in order to be able to organise and carry out your own virtual book tour in her latest release 'Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home'.

About the book:

In this book, Jo Linsdell, shows authors how to successfully market their books online and build their author brand by utilizing virtual book tours. When asked why virtual book tours are good news for authors, Jo had this to say " A large percentage of the world's population (currently around 40%) now uses the internet and with the rapidly increasing use of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices the number of people on the web will continue to grow. It's therefore clear that authors need to be marketing online. Our target audience is now online and just a click away. Through virtual book tours, we can now reach our readers from the comfort of our own home and successfully promote our books to a global audience at little or no cost. That's big news for authors."

Virtual Book Tours are a great way to create a buzz for a new release or to put life back into an older publication. In this book I'll take you through everything you need to know to be able to set up and carry out a successful virtual book tour. 

The book is divided into 4 main sections for easy navigation:

1) What is a Virtual Book Tour?
2) How to organise your own tour
3) Promoting a tour
4) Useful resources

You'll find it packed with links, tips, and advice to help make your tour a hit.

Interview with Jo Linsdell, author of Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home
Why do authors need your book?
 Marketing is part of being a writer. Regardless of how you're published (traditionally or self-published), you will, at some point, need to do some marketing. Virtual book tours are one of the most effective methods of creating a buzz about your book and have numerous benefits. In this book I cover everything you need to know to organise and carry out a virtual book tour. Even if you decide not to do a virtual book tour, you'll still find this book useful as it's packed full of marketing ideas and links to resources.
Why did you decide to write a book about virtual book tours?
I've done several successful virtual book tours for my own books and have worked with book tour companies and authors for years hosting them on my sites. Over the years I've therefore gained a lot of experience in doing virtual book tour both from the author and host point of view. As I often get asked for advice about doing them from other authors I decided to put all the information together and created Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home


What is the first thing you recommend authors do when they decide to organise a virtual book tour?
Put together a media kit. In creating a media kit you have all the information regarding your book, you as an author, and your virtual book tour, all in the one place. This makes it a useful reference tool for you, but also a valuable tool you can use during preparations for your tour. It looks professional and creates a good impression. I also makes life easier for your hosts as they have all the information they might need for your post all in the one place.
You created the cover art for the book yourself. What was your inspiration for the design?
I wanted a cover that was thumbnail friendly as, more often than not, it gets seen online in that format. That meant the text needed to be easy to read and the whole look needed to be clutter free. Too many details or fancy fonts don't look good in thumbnails. I also wanted an image that quickly portrayed what the book was about. I choose the theme "sending your book around the world" and played around with some ideas based on this idea. I'm really pleased with how the cover came out.
Why did you choose to self publish using Amazon's KDP program?
I've always been very pro self publishing. For me, it's always been my plan A. I choose Amazon because it's the leader in its field. Everyone knows Amazon. Using the site is super easy and through KDP your book can be available to the public in just 12 hours from hitting the publish button.
I like that through KDP setting up a free day is easy. It's a great way to spread the word about your book and get readers to take notice. I like that you can update your book information as and when you please and have full control over pricing. They also have one of the best customer services I've come across. If that's not enough, they bought Goodreads earlier this year (one of the top sites for book lovers).
You're best know for your best selling children's picture books. Why the change in genre?
For me, it's not about thinking outside the box. The box simply doesn't exist. I like to experiment with my writing and although I've had most success as an author and illustrator of children's picture books, I'm always trying out new genres. When I get an idea that gets me excited, like this book about virtual book tours, I go with it.
You're a mum to a 5 year old and a 2 year old. How do you find the time for writing and marketing?
My kids definitely keep me busy but I've learnt to make the most of the time I get. I do most of my writing in the evenings once they've gone to bed. Sometimes my husband will take the kids out for the morning to give me a break and give me a few hours to work on bigger projects.
During the day I hop on and off my social media pages to network. I have the apps installed on my phone so I can visit and engage with my contacts even when I'm not near my computer.
 I use sites like Social Oomph to program some content to post at scheduled times. I do the same for some posts to my Facebook pages. This gives me a constant online presence without needing to actually be online all the time. I also program my blogs ahead of time. When you have young kids anything can happen and so you need to prepare for the unexpected. By having some content programmed in advance I give myself a safety net and so don't need to stress about keeping up with things as much.
What's next?
I'm currently working on another children picture story book The Bedtime Book, a series of non-fiction books for writers and authors about using social media, and some new collaborations as an illustrator. I like to keep myself busy ;)
Where can people find out more about you and your books?
 On my website www.JoLinsdell.com
Anything else you'd like to add?
 Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home is available to buy at the discounted price of $2.99 for the whole month of September to celebrate its release (normal price $4.99) http://bit.ly/VBTKindle


Author Bio

Jo Linsdell is  a best selling author and illustrator and internationally recognized marketing expert. She is also the founder and organizer of the annual online event "Promo Day" (www.PromoDay.info) and the Writers and Authors blog (http://WritersAndAuthors.blogspot.com). To find out more about Jo and her projects visit her website www.JoLinsdell.com.



Monday, September 2, 2013

Press Release!

Check out the press release below, or see it here.

WiDo™ to Publish Debut Novel, YA Fantasy by Bethany Harar

SALT LAKE CITY, UT September 2, 2013

Several years ago, aspiring writer and high school English teacher Bethany Harar heard Neil Gaiman speak at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC.  She remembers, “An idea for a novel was lurking in the back of my mind, but I was worried that the concept was overdone.  During his speech, Gaiman mentioned that he didn’t mind tackling previously covered subject matter because he hadn’t written his version yet.

“That resonated with me, and gave me the confidence I needed to begin. I went home and wrote my first chapter that very afternoon.  When I finished that book, I wrote another, but was still not completely satisfied with the product.  Eventually, I wrote a third, and decided it was worthy of publishing.  The concept started from a dream I had, where a young woman with dark hair was walking on the beach, singing along with the ocean.  From that moment on, I became enthralled with Sirens, and knew I had to write their story.”

Bethany Harar’s concept grew into the book that was recently accepted for publication by WiDo.™  Submissions editor Allie Maldonado has this to say about the book, “It is about young love and belonging and fighting for what you know is right. Bethany is completely right when she says it is how one writes the story that makes it fresh and original. I really enjoyed how she addressed this subject, and I believe that YA readers will too.”

Harar submitted her manuscript to WiDo Publishing for several reasons:  “I appreciate that they are willing to work with unagented authors.  They based their decision on the quality of my writing, rather than my publishing experience, and gave me a chance as an emerging writer.  In addition, they have an excellent reputation.  WiDo works with a variety of genres, and I was impressed with their books.  I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to work with them.  It is, without a doubt, a dream come true.”

“Making writers’ dreams come true is one of the best parts of my job,” says Maldonado. “Especially a debut author like Bethany who has worked extremely hard to write a book worthy of publication. We love her story and we’re thrilled that she chose WiDo to publish it.”

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Random Thoughts On Bars

First, I'd like to wish my dear friend Bethany (yeah, we have the same name) a very happy birthday!

Being an old, married woman with two children, I don't often hit the bar scene anymore.  Last night, I had the opportunity to go out with two girlfriends to a bar in Arlington.  Usually, I do not frequent anywhere that isn't within a ten minute radius of my house, so this was quite an adventure for me.  I made several observations that I thought I might share with you.

1.  I'm really glad I'm married, because there are a lot of super hot girls out there and I know I wouldn't stand a chance in hell of finding a decent guy anymore.
Wow!  What an awesome can!
2.  Pick-up lines have not improved.  A guy used my Corona can as an opportunity to strike up a conversation.  He mentioned how he'd never seen one like that before (it was taller and skinner than your average can), and asked if I liked the can.  I told him I liked what was in the can better.  He then called the can the "Virginia Slim of Beers."  I gave him a confused look and he sheepishly walked away. 

3.  It is now acceptable to wear anything that allows everyone to see your bra.  Not the strap.  The entire freaking bra.  Might as well walk around in a bikini, which oddly seems more appropriate.

4.  Stools and chairs at an outdoor bar are a hot commodity.  One fine fellow even saved one for the entire three hours we were there, insisting that someone was using it. It stayed empty the entire time, and I called him lots of names in my head because I had to stand while the stool stayed open.  Maybe he was hoping he would get lucky and find a girl to sit there, but I can tell you he didn't have a shot in hell of that happening.

5.  The bartender actually gave me a hard time about getting a water, informing me that it was 9:30 and it was too early to start drinking water.  Um, really?  Does that seem weird to anyone else?  Shouldn't they support sober driving?  

In any case, that was enough to last me at least another year.  Crazy bar people.

Beth - 0
Bars - 0
Corona Can - 1

A Dream Come True

For those of you who don't know by now, I've been offered a contract by Wido Publishing for my Siren book!!  I'm beyond excited.  I'm ecstatic.  I'm elated.  I'm giddy.  I'll stop now.

There is still so much I'm learning about the process, but essentially a press release will go up on their website announcing me as one of their new authors (yes, I'll post the link here when it happens) and then I get an editor. 
My favorite picture ever.  Signing the contract.
At that point, it could be a long while before the book officially is released.  But again, I'll keep you posted. 

I want to jump up and down.  I want to smile at every stranger and share this amazing news.  Actually, I have shared the news with complete strangers just because I couldn't contain my joy anymore.  Screw self image.  For this one time, I'm throwing humility out the window. 


Beth - 1
All the other publishers and agents who rejected me - 0
Wido Publishing - 100,000,000,000