Bloggin’ My Days Away

There was a time in my life when I believed that once your manuscript was written, revised, edited, and sent off to the publisher to be made into a real live book, the work of the author was basically done.

Then I had an actual book come out.

No. It turns out [spoiler alert] that once the book is finished, the work of an author has only just started. Because now you have to market and publicize the darn thing!


having colorful graphics for social media is helpful

I know lots of authors who swear that they spend as much time—if not more—working on marketing and publicity than on writing their books. Because long gone are those halcyon days of publishers arranging fabulous signing tours for their authors and buying ads for the books in the New York Times. These days, we need to do pretty much all of it ourselves.

Social media is both a culprit and a godsend in this regard. Culprit, because now publishers can simply say, “Oh, you just need to bump up your posts on Instagram and Facebook, and then you’ll sell lots of books!”

Godsend, because now we can in fact bump up our posts on Instagram and Facebook to attempt to boost our sales.

and swag is always fun

But of course it doesn’t necessarily work that way.

Which is why we all blog. And do interviews. And podcasts. And hit up everyone we know for book reviews and spotlights on their blogs.

It’s been nearly two weeks since The Fragrance of Death was released (yay!), and I’m only now starting to wind down after several very hectic months on the blogging circuit to promote this newest book in my Sally Solari mystery series.

not to mention cool bookmarks with recipes!

Don’t get me wrong. I like blogging and answering interview questions. But it can be exhausting when they are all due within a week of each other—and of course all have to be completely different. So rather than do one more blog post about what it was like to write this newest in my series, here’s a list (with links) to most—but not all, because some are still to come—of the posts on my Fragrance of Death blog tour.

And thank you so very much to all those who hosted me on this whirlwind tour!

Leslie’s Fragrance of Death Blog Tour

July 17: Lisa K’s Book Reviews (Q&A)

July 20: Jungle Red Writers: Thistle Make You Hungry!

July 29: Ashcroft, Eh? (Q&A)

July 29: Ruff Drafts: Stop and Smell the Coffee—If You Can

August 1: Novels Alive: “Rogue” Negroni Cocktail Recipe

August 1: Campaign for the American Reader: The Fragrance of Death, the Movie

August 2: Dru’s Musings: A Day in the Life of Sally Solari

August 2: Mysteries with Character (Q&A)

August 2: Christy’s Cozy Corners (Q&A)

August 2:  Mystery Fanfare: Pants-er or Recipe-er?

August 3: Island Confidential: Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Artichokes Recipe

August 3: Campaign for the American Reader (Q&A)

August 5:  Lit Hub-CrimeReads: What Can Cooking School Teach a Mystery Writer?

August 5: The Wickeds: A Rose by Any Other Name…Would Be Sally!

August 9: Cinnamon, Sugar, & a Little Bit of Murder: Blondie Recipe


Readers: Do you follow your favorite authors on their blog tours? What type of marketing/publicity do you think works best to convince folks to read an author’s books?

43 thoughts on “Bloggin’ My Days Away

  1. For a new series, or book two in a series: I like video author interviews, or appearances on book conf. panels where the intros tell about your book or series and also introduce you to me. I like to hear the author describe the characters, the plot, the series – and that works for either book one or two of a series (if book two sounds great, then I’ll try both books one and two).
    For a later book in a series, either a blog specifically about plot, location, or something unique about this book or a hook in the character arc, if I’m already reading the series. Also book giveaways of later books in a series I’ve not read. I’ve sometimes won book 5 or 6 in a series and I enjoyed it so much I’d go back and start at book one.
    Hope this helps. I appreciate the work that authors do, not only in creating worlds and lives for me to immerse myself in; but also in all that you have to do with your marketing hat on.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I do blog tours for my books as well, Leslie, although I don’t know that I’ve ever sold a book because someone saw it on a blog. I publicize the tour on my website and social media, but that begs the question as to why not just publicize the book there and skip the blog? I’m afraid that some of these blogs exist only to post books from the tour organizers and have few if any regular followers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are definitely a few blog out there that are for that purpose, Tom, but there are also a host of other wonderful blogs by folks who truly want to introduce new books to the reading community–and thank goodness for them!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I follow a few author blogs and many more authors/groups on various social media outlets. Still a big fan of bookmarks. I have a few that I get bookmarks from and place in their shelved books at local bookstores. I used to be sneaky doing it. Now if I am seen, I recommend the books!! I am a self -confessed book swag-aholic.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The blog tour, as thrilling and fun as it is exhausting. I can’t tip my hat enough to bloggers, reviewers, and readers, all of whom spend so much of their time helping us writers! At the end of the day, it seems to be like Liz said, word of mouth is the best thing for book sales. Here’s to hoping you have lots of them, Leslie!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I try to support my author friends by liking and sharing their social media stuff. But the best advertising I’ve found, hands down, is still plain old “word of mouth” advertising.

    Speaking of which, I need to schedule my social media posts for this week!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I do follow my faves on their blog tours. Of course, since they’re my faves– the books have long been pre-ordered, but there is nothing like grinning while you know they sit in your Kindle waiting for you. The books, that is, sadly, not the author themselves. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Holy crap! I don’t see how authors do all that talking. It seems like after you’ve talked it up on 5 interviews, you need a break! I got exhausted just reading this post!
    I like seeing SM showing new books out. Do you advertise just to followers or is it a public post?
    Or a book blogger saying “this came out this month and I’ve already reviewed it, or have it in my TBR pile”.
    I wish I had time to hear podcasts and live interviews, but no time.
    I wish there was an app that could use meta data for all things author advertising related with a corresponding list of all active authors. You just click what advertising and authors you want. Then it puts everything on the app calendar for you to check or uncheck if you want a reminder.
    I mean come on! People can hack into the most secure government and financial systems, why can’t someone design this?

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I do wonder if the “good old days” were really as good for authors as you make it out to be. I feel like only the big best selling authors got the multi-city tour.

    I do miss having multiple mystery bookstores in the southern CA area. I found several authors I loved because they were doing signings in the area. Most were local So Cal authors or authors who did a signing while in the area on vacation. I miss book signings period.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re probably right, Mark. (But we mid-list authors could dream, right?) And yes, so very sad about the demise of so many brick-and-mortar bookstores. I love going to book signings, too. Thank goodness our wonderful Bookshop Santa Cruz (who hosted me two weeks back) is still alive and well!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve caught some of your recent blog stops, Leslie — you’re killing it! Congrats on the new book!
    I have no idea what sells the most books, blogs, FB parties, signings, graphics? So, like most authors I try to do some of each! The ones I enjoy most are the events I do with other authors. It’s nice to have someone to talk to during the down time at a book signing!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Wowza, Leslie, that’s quite a list! You’re amazing…and so are all of your blog posts. Love the arresting new cover design. You and Sally are on a roll!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I have to come back and make another observation. Blog tours are part of word of mouth. The first couple of times I hear about a book, I might or might not pay attention, but the more I see it popping up on blog (and Facebook and other locations), the more I’m likely to pay attention to it. So, the blog tours are good and important. Also, not everyone visits every blog, so you hopefully reach some different people with every stop.

    Frankly, this is one reason why I try most months to limit the number of new releases I review. Yes, I do like to be part of the initial word of mouth push on books. But I also like to bump older books that not everyone is talking about at the moment. I feel like it helps me stand out a bit more from the blogs that are always only talking new releases. And it reminds people of books that are older that they might have been interested in but didn’t actually pick up or read yet themselves.

    And maybe it’s a bit of justification since I review every book I read and I have plenty of books I have bought that I haven’t read yet, so this is a way to justify reviewing something older on my blog. You decide. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  11. LOL, Mark. You made me realize that I don’t really follow people’s blog tours but I’ll always support my friends by RTs when I can, and I’ll def check out a book that’s reviewed by a site I know and respect – like yours, Dru, Lesa Holstine, Kathy Boone Reel, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Leslie, your words came back to haunt me. My first book was published 18 years ago. I thought I had it made. Best seller lists, here I come! What a rude awakening. I can’t believe I sold even one of that first book. Thankfully, my publisher stuck with me through 4 more books in the series. Social media was coming on strong, and I learned through trial and error.

    I’ve used two book tour companies and had great experiences with both. Not sure if they increased sales, but the experience was amazing. Getting ready for book # 2 in my series to come out early next year, so I’m gearing up. We sure can’t wait until the last minute to start promoting!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh yes, I totally get this. I thought writing was the main job—and I still wish for it to be—but gosh are there so many other things involved that are way beyond my capabilities. Social media is my bane. But I guess that’s all part of the learning process. Thanks for this post, Leslie!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Happy touring–that looks like a great lineup of places to visit!

    It is a ton of work to generate content, you’re right. Hope that many readers find your new book (which is on my nightstand as we speak, btw–was so excited when it arrived).

    LOVE the bookmarks lined up…they are so pretty. 🙂

    Like

  15. What a busy little bee you’ve been, Leslie! Exhausting just to read your schedule. I wish there was an easy way to see what “worked,” although I’ve come to realize after 20+ years in this biz, what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow, and what works for on book may not work for another. So frustrating! Best of luck to both you and Sally!

    Like

  16. Congrats on Fragrance of Death and your marvelous marketing!

    It’s a great irony that I’m in advertising yet loathe advertising for myself. And it’s so true that it’s difficult to know what works. I’ll take a page from the Advertiser’s Manual (if it existed): it’s not one thing, it’s everything working together. And you’re doing everything beautifully!

    Like

  17. I like reading author blogs. Though I admit, if I don’t read them right away, I’m not the best at going back to them later. I do always make sure to read my favorite author newsletters to see what new books they have coming out and when they will be near me with in person events, and yes, Sally Solari, is always on my radar. In person events are my favorite ways to hear about new books. That’s how I first discovered the Sally Solari mystery series and now, it’s one of my favorites. I’m picking up The Fragrance of Death today at my local store Bookshop Santa Cruz.

    Like

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