Tuesday, July 16, 2013

When blog tours COLLIDE! + GIVEAWAY!!

Hi guys. So today is the day--the end of the blog tours and BELLADONNA's release day. Man, it seems so long ago that I finished writing that book. Publishing is weird like that--by the time your book comes out you're like, "Wait, which one is that again?" :)

So I had big plans for this contest. I was going to turn the whole Where in the World thing around and do a Where in St. Louis, featuring some of my local hangouts and some of the things I love about my city.

But then I got another edit letter for my first contemp, and some unrelated distressing news. And then I wasted some time being sad and anxious and going through the whole "I am working twice as many hours for half as much money. Is this whole writing thing worth it?" line of questioning.

And it is. It really is. But my work-life balance sucks right now. I can't remember the last day I quit work before midnight and I don't foresee doing that anytime in the next week until my next round of edits are done. So instead of spending all day wandering the city in search of fun photo ops for this contest, I'm going to do something different with the contest and spend today working on revisions. I hope you understand.

To some lucky US or Canadian person, I am giving away a VENOM paperback, a BELLADONNA hardcover, and a STARLING ARC--a trilogy of books for one big winner. All signed to whomever you want. All with matchy-matchy covers. I am going to select the winner of the contest randomly, from people who comment in the comments below, but I am giving everyone an extra entry (up to 15 total entries) for each of the US/CA blog tour posts they comment meaningfully on.

I don't normally angle for comments/likes/etc. in this manner, but I worked hard on the tour posts and all of the awesome US and CA bloggers worked hard too, getting everything up on time and laying out their posts in a visually appealing way. (Australia--you guys also rocked, but I can't send books overseas at this moment and you guys wouldn't want our US covers anyway, but for realz, I love you too). All of my lovely blogger peeps retweeted each other and supported each other and I feel so lucky to know them. They deserve your page hits and your comments.

For your comments on this post, I am curious to know how you feel about blog tours: Why do you like being a tour stop? Do you only read the posts with giveaways? Do you ever follow an author's entire tour? What do you wish you could see more of in blog tours? What do you want to see less of? I offered a stop to one US blogger who said, politely but frankly: "No thanks--I don't want an excerpt." You won't offend me with any of your thoughts. For your first entry, tell me anything you want to tell me about blog tours so next time I can make mine even better :)

This contest will run from now until the morning of July 22nd at which point I will close comments on this thread, count up the comments elsewhere, and use a random number generator to pick a winner. BEST OF LUCK!


  1. I always like guest posts on tours. A lot of the time interviews have similar questions but guest posts seem to be more varied.

  2. Personally I love being a part of blog tours and I also like reading others posts for them. I especially like being a part of a tour that I am a fan of the series or author. I like being a part of something for that book. I dont even care what type of post I get to do as long as I am included. As for giveaways, they are a plus but not necessary. If I am interested in the book I'm going to read the post regardless. There are times where I try to follow an entire tour, but do admit that I sometimes get distracted and forget. I think it would be cool to see more character based stuff, like interviews or guest posts from the characters. I always like meeting the characters in a book and getting to learn more about them. I think I would like to see less "spotlight" posts on tours. I feel like you dont really get much out of those.

    Thanks for the giveaway and for the awesome tour! I personally thought the annotated excerpts was a cool and retty original idea =]

  3. Blog Tours are fun! Especially for a book/series I'm really passionate about and want everyone to read. Giveaways are nice but they don't have to have them for me to check it out.

    I like all kinds of posts- interviews, character interviews, excerpts. I don't always read excerpts for books I haven't read yet unless it's something I reeeeeeally want to read and unless it is right before release, like this tour (otherwise I want to cry with the wait for more-lol).

    I think you did a wonderful job putting these tours together! You really made it as easy as possible on the bloggers, which is much appreciated. :) Now I'm off to make sure I comment on every single tour stop. STARLING COME TO MEEEEEEE! lol :)

    Happy Belladonna Release Day!

    1. Okay, I've officially commented on every US and CAN post! lol I'm bound and determined to get Starling, somehow!

  4. I really loved being part of the BELLADONNA blog tour, so thank you for letting me participate, Fiona! <3 I think after my review you can tell how much I am dying for STARLING haha. Plus, I'd love my own finished copy of BELLADONNA since I don't have one and the paperback would go into my charity. I'm sitting here using the force to get STARLING to appear on my doorstep. IT'S GONNA HAPPEN, I'M TELLING YOU!

    Fingers crossed <3 And I'm sorry about the distressing news, but I'm sure you can overcome it! You've got a team of cheerleaders behind you in me and Nikki and Hannah and so many more!

  5. Hmm, don't enter me in this contest (though the matching covers is nice - I have an "old" Venom cover, "old" Belladonna ARC cover, and "regular" Starling cover), but I wanted to comment on your question about blog tours.

    But first - whatever the distressing news, I hope I didn't add to it! And if I did, I am truly sorry :o As with all things in life, it will pass ;)

    Blog tours. I don't get invited or accepted to many "big-name" books' blog tours. Most of the blog tours in which I participate are for small press or indie authors, with the occasional "larger" press book.

    That being said, I've noticed that most of my page visitors comment on my blog tour posts only when there is a giveaway involved. I rarely do promo posts (with just an excerpt or spotlight). I like to do author interviews, guest posts, or even just reviews, because I feel like the content is "valuable" to my blog readers. NOT that an excerpt isn't, but the blog readers sort of know what to expect IN the book. I feel like my blog readers would rather see something the author said (interview/guest post), or how the book was in my opinion (review), or things like that.

    Now, that's not to say that I would turn down having a spot in a tour I want to be a part of, just because the only type of post I can get is an excerpt post. If I want to be on the tour, and an excerpt is what I'm given, I won't complain. Being on a "larger" press blog tour is an honor and a privilege for me - because it almost never happens.

    For me personally, I would follow the entire tour, regardless of giveaways or not (though giveaways are a really nice incentive!), because by following a blog tour, you support blogs and the author and the publishing company.

    So, I think that giveaways are what bring the majority of the blog tour followers to blogs. If you don't have a giveaway, people are less likely to comment/read the content.

    I hope something in there made sense! And this is so ridiculously cliché but I'm here for you, as is so man other bloggers! We've got your back, Paula <3

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  6. First, holy crap Alyssa. LONG COMMENT.

    Second, I LOVE BEING A TOUR STOP as long as it's for a book I loved or am anxiously awaiting. There's just something awesome about knowing you're one of the "official" promo bloggers plus having a lot of traffic helps a lot ;P But there's just something FUN about being on a blog tour for a book you love/will love!

    And I'll read...MOST posts. If it's a review, maybe maybe not, depending on which blog it is and whether I trust that blog's opinion. But I'll MOST DEFINITELY read guest posts and interviews, regardless of giveaways!

    And honestly, I would love to see more interviews or This or That's, but you authors are always so totally busy lol! But I HATE HATE HATE spotlight posts. It's just book and author info with NOTHING fun.

    Plus, I *hope* your next blog tour is awesome! ;P

    Just saying.

  7. I'm not a blogger, but I will give you my thoughts as a reader. :)

    Though I don't tend to read blogs, either... I just don't like reading on a screen. I feel like my attention span is shorter when I'm staring into a light for an extended period of time. So, item one, I prefer shorter blog posts when I do read them. I'm also more likely to read a blog if it contains something interesting and/or unusual, something I'm not going to find elsewhere -- i.e., an exclusive short story or a scene written from a different point of view; maybe an author interview; or I really liked the post you did months ago about writing for hire. I tend to skip excerpts because I'd rather read the whole book at once; I also tend to skip reviews because I can find that information just about anywhere, unless the actual review is entertaining and not just informative.

    Since I don't follow blogs much, I'm not sure how helpful this will be for you, but there it is anyway. :)

  8. Happy release day, Fiona!! :)

    Blog tours are always fun! I only participate in a few every now and then, but I always love to read them. I do pay more attention to the stops with giveaways, but I also pay attention to the stops with interesting content. I usually like to see some variety on blog tours - it gets old when everyone is posting something similar (such as Q&A's with similar questions). The more personalized to the book and unique the blog tour stops are, the more likely I am to follow the entire blog tour.

  9. I love blog tours! Each blog has something unique to give especially when it is an author I love! I have never hosted one because my blog is so new and I feel bad. When the blog tours are personalized with different giveaways or information it makes it easy to follow. I think they are fun!

    Congrats on the release! I so can't wait to read!

  10. I like doing blog tours, especially if its a book that i am interested in. I like doing any kind of post ( interviews, spotlights, giveaways etc) for a blog tour. I do think giveaways bring more people into the blog tours, either to be part of a blog tour or to follow everyday to win a prize. I sometimes do the latter only if I am excited for a book that I really want... (um haha I am a little embarrassed) I especially think that if the blog tour has cool information that more people will follow the tour. Congrats on your new release!!!

  11. I like being a tour atop because I love helping promote books and authors.No,I don't only read the posts with giveaways.I love blog tours with excerpt,spotlights,and giveaways.

  12. I think blog tours are so much fun. I love all the extra content they have in them that you don't get from the books. Some of my favorite posts are character interviews and deleted scenes. If I am interested in a book I will defiantly follow the whole tour. I think that the tours are a great way to help promote books and of course the giveaways are always a great incentive. I hope that everything works out for you and that you don't get anymore distressing news. Your books are amazing and I am really excited to read Belladonna.

  13. I love being a part of blog tours! It's lots of fun to spread the word about upcoming books andget to know the author better. That being said, I'm not a big fan of excerpts, because I don't like having to wait to read more, I'd rather read it all at once! I love author interviews, though, and wacky guest posts. I feel like I'm more likely to read a book if I feel like I know the author, and blog tours are a great way to do that.

  14. I really enjoy blog tours that offer extra "bonus" content like deleted scenes and substantial guest posts from the author. I also enjoy reading interviews if the questions are original. I skip over blog tour stops that just have excerpts because I'd prefer to just get the book and read the story. If I'm curious about the author's writing style, I'll download a Kindle sample and read the first chapter. I kind of see excerpts as filler posts, to be honest. I don't care whether there is a giveaway or not.

    I admit that I am a bit wary about reviews on blog tours. I think some reviewers might feel pressured to be more positive and less critical about the book than they otherwise would be when the author and publisher is overseeing the blog tour. I know that some blog tours require reviewers to give the book a positive ratings or else the blogger is given a promotional piece to post on their blog instead--which I find a bit unsettling. I don't like the idea of people encouraging me to buy a book when they secretly didn't enjoy it themselves.

  15. I like blog tours. I think they're really helpful, although as far as they go I'm not a huge fan of excerpts as part of the tour because I have this thing where I want to read the entire book, not just a tiny part of it. When I read an excerpt, unless I don't like it, which then probably correlates to me not wanting to read the book, I want to read the book RIGHT THEN and I get super focused on finding a copy ASAP. I mean, that's good, but I'm not a huge fan of it because I need it then and I can't have it. I love character interviews though, especially with the main character, the funny character, and the cute boy. ;)

  16. I love blog tours. I like the info and the excerpt if I really love the book! I love the funny interviews with the characters especially. The only bad thing is if the interviews are repetitive and the writer says the same thing over and over again.

  17. Hello!

    I hope that whatever caused your distress above has alleviated or gotten better at least.

    I have mixed feelings about blog stops honestly. I think what makes or breaks them for me is two things: 1) how long they are and 2) what each stop is--is it a repeat of information or does it offer something new or exciting.

    I do read the tours start to finish but I admit I will scan some of the posts only. The giveaways do not make or break a tour for me--the book does. If it is a book that I am intrigued by, passionate about or already know and love, than that is enough to get me at least to follow along on the tour.

  18. Blog tours are fun and it's great for spreading the word, but I feel like along with giveaways and such, the author should also add some interesting tidbits: talking about the process of writing, adding random facts about the book and its setting, etc. I feel that along with self-promotion, the author should also contribute to the blog, for a win-win. :)
    Nevertheless, I am so excited for Belladonna's release!

  19. I enjoy blog tours and will follow all the way through if its a book that I'm really excited for. I like to see all sorts of different things on a tour, from excerpts to interviews, and everything in between. If the author is also an artist, I would like to see more drawings, paintings, etc. of what the characters look like to them. I also love to see dream movie casting for books. Giveaways never hurt either. Basically, I like to see all sorts of stuff on a blog tour. I really enjoyed reading your annotated excerpts for this tour, I liked being able to get even more out of the stories. Can't wait to read Starling!!

  20. Thanks lovelies. I have some responses for you to these thoughts that I will type after I meet tomorrow's deadline.

    In the meantime, feel free to take until 5pm central time on Monday to respond to the blog posts and finish your entries. I will announce a winner on Tuesday.

  21. I like blog tour stops if each one is different. A cut and paste of the same author's quotes and excerpt and I stop paying attention. Maybe if each blog stop highlighted a different character or place in the book. I'll read the post if I'm already interested in the book or have heard good things about the author, doesn't matter if there is a giveaway or not.

  22. I do really enjoy blog tours! Usually if I recognize the book, I usually read the post-even if it doesn't have a giveaway. Giveaways definitely are an incentive, though :)

    I enjoy anything really-excerpts, interviews, etc. I prefer interviews because they're fun though.

    I don't think I usually follow the entire author tour, unless they are blogs that I often read or if I really enjoyed the author's books.

    I really wish blog tours would be a little more open to new things, though some are.

  23. I enjoy blog tours. I look for new and interesting posts. Sometimes I enjoy character or author interviews. Giveaways always draw me in to the tour though. If there isn't one, I usually don't stop unless I am already really interested in the book. If I have no interest in the book or cover already, I usually don't stop to check it out. Thanks!
    saltsnmore at yahoo dot com

  24. Unrelated distressing news and unhappy work/life balance? :( I hope things perk up for you soon! You are lovely and deserve best!

    I love blog tours. I love character interviews, guest posts, and everything in between. It's a great supplement to the author's work.


  25. Thanks for all your thoughts, everyone :)

    Here are my thoughts on your thoughts, and on blog tours from the author perspective:

    1. Gah. I also dislike answering the same interview questions repeatedly too, unless they are about the specific book I am promoting. So maybe when you're thinking about interview questions, do a quick google search to see if the author you're interviewing has been interviewed a zillion times before and what kind of stuff they've been asked.

    2. Guest posts can be fun, but for me personally they generally take about 4-5 hours to write and edit. In 5 hours I can write 5000 words, so if I write you a guest post, I am giving you the time it takes me to draft 1/15 of a book. If my blog tours had been all guest posts I would probably still be working on them.

    Obviously doing a blog feature is beneficial for blogger and author, so I am not saying don't ask for a guest post. I am just saying, if you ask and receive a guest post, know that the author is giving you a big chunk of time and that you should think twice before you cover her post with a WoW post an hour later. #IHateThat O_O

    3. I personally love character Q&As. Not only does this give the author a chance to re-inhabit her characters, it also gives her a chance to give out teaser information about the upcoming books.

    4. Giveaways are nice, but even if the publisher provides the books (which only happens sometimes) if your book comes signed then that means the author paid to ship it. So again, if you get this from an author, realize it's kind of a big deal and be sure to promote the post.

    5. If you get a feature or a blog tour post, don't forget to tweet about it--maybe 2-4 times, don't get crazy!--and @theauthor so she can retweet it and others in her feed can also RT it and drive traffic to your blog.

    6. Thanks again for all your thoughtful comments and support :) I am feeling better. My landlord was going to refuse to let me go month-to-month on my lease and I'm trying really hard to move to Portland, but finding a job is proving difficult. For awhile I thought I would have to move out of my apartment without a new place to go so that I wouldn't be hooked into a lease the day I do find a job in Portland, but I think we've reached a compromise--at least I hope so :)

  26. Closing comments now. Winner to be announced tomorrow :)