So you can read my books

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

THE FEELING'S GONE_Insecure Writers Support Group

Feeling lost?

The way seemed so clear, so bright, so promising.

Now, not so much.

Cover Reveals.  Blog Tours.  Facebook Parties with swag.

One question authors are not asking:


Not very much.  The content is largely author- or book-centric, 

Even reviews are a bit tainted by the fact that they’re included in a promotional tour.

And if you are doing a blog tour, the cover reveal is a bit needless since each stop has the cover bright and center. 

And Swag?  

How many unread books have you got slumbering unread in your eReader?

Reader fatigue can happen even if people are really into your event.

Why is that?

1.)  Blog tours are rarely blog-reader-centric. 

They’re not designed around content that readers seek out, they’re designed around supposedly “fun” content meant to promote the book in question. 

2.) Blog tours/extended events last way too long/have too much content all in a row.

 People get fatigued and may even feel spammed.

3.) Promotional events break what usually works with bloggers and audiences.

We bloggers act as a bridge between our visitors and books. 

 In the past, I have recommended books like 


TRAVELS by Michael Crichton, 

and THE WALKING DRUM by Louis L'amour.  

I received no money from that - 

just the good feeling that comes with pointing out a gem to my friends.

With blog tours, agreeing to help promote an Indie book puts that trust relationship in somewhat shady territory.

4.)  The participating bloggers don’t even get the traffic bump, really, especially if they’re at the end of the week.

It's like being on the floor of the Stock Exchange -- 

too many throats are screaming and no one is paying attention. 

Answer truthfully:

A.) Doesn't your heart drop a little when you see "Cover Reveal" Or "Blog Tour" on the title of a new post for one of your favorite blogs?

If that's so for you, then why expect it to be any different for others out there in the blog-verse?

B.) Haven't you noticed many blogs out there to be less personal with the Voice less audible in the posts?

How much heart can be put into a tweet?  

Has Facebook become a bit of a Prose Selfie for too many? 


I really don't know.  

But have you ever watched your pet lick its empty food dish?  

Nothing is going to grow back.  Yet, it still persists.

Are we like that little dog?  Going to the well even though it has long since gone dry.

What do you think are alternatives?


  1. That's why I don't do cover reveals on my blog anymore.
    I think a blog tour still works, but only if it is not labeled as such and gives something of value. I tried to make every stop in my last tour unique and provide information for readers, writers, and everyone in between.
    And there are alternatives, such as Thunderclap and Goodread giveaways. I'm fortunate that my publisher also advertises through science fiction conventions.

    1. You are a Blog Titan, Alex, your tours will always draw readers.

      For the rest of us ... not so much. Blog Tour Fatigue.

      And slipping a blog tour under the radar by not calling it such just irritates many.

      Goodreads is too snarky for me. Thunderclap requests are too much like Amway to me.

      Yes, you are lucky with your publisher's contributions. :-)

  2. I avoid blog tours now, because yes I cringe when I see someone's blog that I usually enjoy reading overrun with book tours. Now I utilise the sites that you sign up to, to be notified when books are on special.
    I'm a reader first, and as a reader I don't like my personal stuff to be heavy on advertising. If I love an author I follow their book page.

    1. I understand. I try to make my blog entertaining with something different each day: commentary on something puzzling to me, spotlight on a book that entertained me greatly, posts on how to write a bit better, and -- yes, sometimes a request that you read a new book of mine.

      I price my books so that it is a special price every month. :-)

      I hope you have sampled a book or two of mine. Thanks for staying to chat after your visit.

  3. My blog has a small following which is inconsistent. However, anytime I review a book, the number of visiters drops dramatically. I am a big reader and I only review books which are good in my opinion. Plus, I purchase my books.
    I'm reading "Her Bones Are In The Badlands". You are an incredibly talented writer. There are good writers with good stories. You are better than good.

    1. My blog has seen busier days, too. :-(

      Thank you so much for buying and reading my book! That means a lot to me. It means even more that you are enjoying it. Better than good? The ghost of Mark Twain just swatted me with his hat to keep me humble!

      Do you listen to audiobooks from Audible? You can listen from your smart phone or your computer. I would gladly send you the audiobook of DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE with McCord, Tesla, plus Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde as a tangible Thank You. :-)

    2. I appreciate your offer of the audio book. I am reader though. If audible allowed you to pick and choose, I might use them. I will buy more of your books.
      I recognized that your writing stands out from most of what I read. With the roulette wheel of life, we don't always get acknowledged for what we have done well. So I have smacked Mark Twain to leave you alone.

    3. That is so nice of you to say about my writing. Actually you don't have to join Audible to accept my books.

      The ghost of Mark Twain is pouting now. :-) I hope you enjoy what book of mine you read next.

  4. I stopped reviewing books on my blog. And I do get bored by cover reveals and other reviews. I have no experience with blog tours. I guess I must have avoided them. However, I never get bored reading your posts, Roland. Your take on Facebook is brilliant. I will go back and copy it now. Writing books would be so much fun, but what follows, not so much. At least that's what I have learned following many of you on the blogs.

    1. I deeply appreciated it when you reviewed mine, Inger. :-)

      All the BUY MY BOOK! I see on Twitter, Facebook, and in blog tours is getting a bit thunderous. I thought others might be getting to feel the same way.

      But you are right: we writers must find some new inoffensive way to bring attention to our books.

      Thanks for the kind words for my posts. Give Samson a hug and Faith, too, if she will stay still long enough!! :-)

  5. Very provocative Roland. I think authors know that readers/bloggers are weary of blog tours, but no one has come up with an alternative. I'd prefer to have posts with multiple topics like Alex does so there's something for everyone. Nothing wrong with recommending a book, but that's not enough reason for a post which very few people will read even if they comment.

    I used to help out romance authors by hosting them, but I began to feel like a host where parasites feed off me as none of them had any personal interest in me or my commenters. Nothing turns me off more than the 'me', 'me', 'me' author. A good book speaks for itself but of course people have to know it's out there. Twitter posts selling books are ignored by many people I know too. So, where to from here?

    Denise :-)

    1. And I hoping you would have an answer! :-)

      When the new way to market well is found, it will work fantastically for the first few times, and then, it, too, will dwindle in effectiveness.

      There is an answer, of course:
      Having your book praised by a blog or source that is not author-related -- a source whose span reaches millions.

      Oprah Winfrey gushing about your book as she being interviewed on 60 Minutes, Angelina Jolie being seen reading your book on the set of her latest movie.

      Ah, only in our dreams, right?

  6. You've raised some good questions and truths here, Roland. Alex does seem to have solved some of this blog tour problem by regularly posting a few new books on his posts, but they're just part of a larger post that cleverly has something-for-everyone kind of stuff.

    I've really been dragging my feet on getting my own blog restarted--I'm just too busy! But when it is relaunched I'm going to make it more about me as an author and my writing in case anyone on Amazon wants to check me out before buying my book(s), and then some fun stuff that's entertaining and brief. Easier said than done, I know.

    There are a few authors (Alex is one and so are you) who I'd be pleased and honored to give a shout-out to when they have new books. But in order to have enough traffic to make it work I've got to follow Alex's lead and just make it a small part of a fun post.

    1. Sadly, those book nods on Alex's posts are often scanned over quickly to get to the entertaining stuff. :-(

      Alex also visits at least 100 blogs daily which is one of the great strengths of his appeal -- I nor many have that much free time!

  7. This reader sometimes feel inferior reading blogs which focus on the writer, the process, the advertising - and very little else.
    We are in this together. As a reader I need writers who need readers...

    1. I worry about focusing so many of my posts on writing despite the title of my blog. I try to make my post fun for everyone no matter if they are writer or reader (I am both and proud of it.) Thanks for always visiting, It means a lot!

  8. Nice post, Roland! Makes you stop and think about the other side of the coin. Raising hand - yes, I'm guilty of the What's In It For Me instead of the What's In It For Them. Will try to do better (hanging head).

    1. Politicians get elected by considering what their voters want to hear and to receive from their representatives and then, at least, saying those words. :-)

      We don't want to be considered the Amway Dealer of blogs!!

  9. Blog tours can still work, but you have to get your work in front of potential readers and not just fellow writers. The key is finding new outlets and places to visit.

    1. The pain of that is just where exactly are those new outlet and places to visit?!

      It has gotten now because of the flood of blog tours that the very words "Blog Tour" has become a turn-off like the word "Amway."

  10. I have to agree with L. Diane Wolfe. Writers do read, but we should stretch ourselves to other audiences. Advice I need to take myself, btw. Thanks for keeping it real. This was a breath of fresh air.

    1. Thanks for saying so. It means a lot!

      Yes, we have to attract non-readers to our blogs and visit those blogs and other cyber sites. :-)

  11. Huh, and here I thought I was the only one who had these thoughts, because I'm a newbie! Thanks for the support in your very own perfectly thought-provoking way :-) Now if could just get the image of the empty food dish out of my head!

    1. LOL. I was concerned lest when I said "The emperor has no clothes" that I might be lynched!!

  12. Hi, Roland,

    So true. I know I get very tired reading the same blurbs, seeing the same covers, etc.

    That is why I don't really do them anymore. First I always took time to create something special for the author, but being so overshadowed by a hundred others, it was truly a waste of time.

    I wish I knew what the alternative is, but I agree that there needs to be an alternative and L Diane's suggestion of REACHING out to there readers is the way to go.

    Find your audience and promote to them. We all hope the right audience finds our books and enjoys them. For me, it's kids and teens. A writer needs to see where they visit and introduce our works to them.

    I hope all is well and I think of you and Sandra often. I'm still praying for you both...

    1. L. Diane didn't mention how exactly to reach those new readers.

      Readers go to Amazon to buy a book. If you choose the correct keywords ... using Google Ad-Words to research what they should be is wise ... a reader buying a book in your genre will see listened below the book description THOSE WHO BOUGHT THIS BOOK ALSO BOUGHT ...

      And a list of books will be shown -- and if you chose your keywords wisely, your book will show in that line-up! THAT is the way you reach those new readers.

      Sandra's cancer has spread from her breast to her lung to her throat and finally to her lymph nodes. Not good.

      But four months ago, she was accepted to take a new miracle drug (it costs $10,000 a month!). But she got a grant to pay for it, and now she is able to drive, shop, and clean house again! One day at a time now.

      Thanks for the prayers!

  13. Blog tours can work, particularly if they're done through a touring company, but I've heard they don't do all that much for extra sales. I know I haven't had any uptick in sales after I've done normal guest posts, which is frustrating enough.

    I've heard a lot of other people voicing the same burnout and frustration over cover reveals and release day announcements, since it's basically the same post over and over again on different blogs.

  14. Amazing blog and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading through some of your earlier posts as well and decided to drop a comment on this one!