Fantasy author Ty Johnston’s blog tour 2011 is running from November 1 through November 30. His novels include City of Rogues, Bayne’s Climb and More than Kin, all of which are available for the Kindle(http://www.amazon.com/Ty-Johnston/e/B002MCBQRU/ ), the Nook (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/ty-johnston ) and online at Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/darkbow ) and online at Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/darkbow ). His latest novel, Ghosts of the Asylum, is available for e-books in all major formats. To find out more, follow him at his blog tyjohnston.blogspot.com.
As I’m out and about on the blogosphere this month promoting my new epic fantasy e-book novel, Ghosts of the Asylum, I’m finding I’m writing a lot about writing, or elements related to my own personal path as a writer. Each day I’m appearing on a different blog, which means I have had to come up with 30 different topics to write about. Oh, once or twice I’ve gotten off easy by simply having to answer questions or by providing an excerpt from my new novel, but otherwise, I’ve been pretty busy working on guest blog posts.
One might think this was an easy task, especially for a writer, to write 30 guest blog posts. But keep in mind, I still continue to write some at my own blog, I also am beginning work on my next project, and as of the time I am writing this (late October) I am still working on final edits to Ghosts of the Asylum.
No, I’m not complaining. I simply wish to point out to other writers that doing a blog tour is a lot more work than it might seem. Coming up with all these ideas is easy enough at first because most who have been writing for a while will have some standard issues worth discussing, ideas they’ve probably written about to some extent or other at some point. Then there are the familiar questions from readers, other writers and fans. Where do you get your ideas? How do you come up with the name of your characters? Who is your favorite character? What do you read? What is your next book?
Eventually, after a fiction writer has been blogging and/or answered enough questions, he or she has ready answers. After all, there’s only so many times one can hear, “Who is your favorite author?” before the answer is slipping off your tongue before the question is even finished. My ready answer to that question is, Alexandre Dumas. But that’s not the truth. It’s not a lie, either, as Dumas is regularly one of my favorite authors. The truth to that particular question is much more complicated, in my case. Who is my favorite author? It depends upon my mood. Often it is Dumas, but sometimes it’s Stephen King or Steven Erikson or Max Brooks. Sometimes my favorite author is Hemingway or Homer or Capote. I could name another dozen just as easily. Margaret Mitchell comes to mind.
But complicated answers don’t usually make for good reading material in articles. The last thing a writer wants is for a reader’s eyes to glaze over from boredom, so we try to answer questions as briefly and succinctly as possible. Which is why my favorite author is Alexandre Dumas, he of The Count of Monte Cristo fame.
Now, back to blogging and guest posting.
When some writers attempt a blog tour, they only appear on a blog a week, or a blog every few days. Some, like me, prefer to appear an a blog each day of the month. As I’ve mentioned, this can be a lot of work. First you have to try and find others who will host your for a day, and you might not know well everyone you contact. You also have to keep up with a schedule. What day of the month are you appearing on a particular blog? And, of course, you have to write your guest post.
All that might sound easy, but it’s not. Making contact through e-mail is probably the easiest part, though not everyone will e-mail you back in return. Keeping the schedule straight starts off easy because the month is wide open, but once you’ve got half or more of your guest posts schedule, then things can become a little tricky, even a little tight. Lastly, you’ve got all those guests posts to tackle, and coming up with fresh ideas can start grinding on you after a while.
It’s work. But guess what? It’s also a lot of fun.
By appearing as a guest on other blogs, you get to meet and chat with writers and readers with whom you otherwise might never interact. You have the opportunity to discover new books, to make new acquaintances, and yes, to introduce yourself to others.
The initial goal of a book blog tour is promotions, to hopefully sell a writer’s books or e-books, but that goal can quickly give way to discovering new friends.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Ty Johnston is a former newspaper journalist and the author of City of Rogues, Bayne’s Climb, More Than Kin, and his latest novel, Ghosts of the Asylum. His e-books are available for the Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/Ty-Johnston/e/B002MCBQRU/ ), the Nook (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/ty-johnston ) and online at Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/darkbow ). When not busy writing and reading (which is most of the time) he enjoys traveling with his wife, drinking quality beer and walking the beagle. To find out more, follow him at his blog tyjohnston.blogspot.com.