Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Telling the Truth Tuesday - Thoughts on book blog tour

 I first began blogging in May of 2009, three months after my book was published. I realize now that it makes a great deal of sense to build a presence on the web prior to publishing a book because then you already have a following. But my blog presence has built slowly,  just as the sales of my book have happened one person at a time. It's that kind of book - not for everyone. And I think it's that kind of blog as well.

Here is what I learned from my book blog tour, in no particular order:

  • The blogging community is one of the most supportive communities I have encountered. With a very few exceptions, people are supportive, want to help one another, give advice when needed, and generally just have a good time together.
  • Alex Cavanaugh's ninja army really does rock. The dude has 850+ followers and gets an average of something like 90 comments per post. I find that quite intimidating, don't you?
  • As with everything else in life, one probably should let go of any expectations about results when doing a book blog tour.
  • Choosing blogs to guest on is key to a good tour. I think a combination of blogs in your genre, plus some in a different genre makes sense. I've purchased books by author friends in genres I don't normally read and have enjoyed them tremendously.
  • Be prepared to spend many hours per day during your tour. Checking in frequently on the blog where your guest post appears is super important.
  • It was extremely helpful to get all my guest posts written prior to the beginning of the tour so that I could concentrate on responses. That took a good deal of time, as well. 
  • Communicating with hosts prior to the tour to ensure they have everything they need makes it easier on your hosts. Hopefully I didn't cross over into nagging.
Is a blog tour worth the effort? Unquestionably. It was the one thing I felt unfinished in terms of whatever marketing I was going to do for Following the Whispers. It just took me this long to understand everything I needed to understand and to make the connections in bloggydom necessary to make it work.

I'd like to give a special shout out to Dani Greer. She taught the book blog class I signed up for (it was free, I might add). It is where I met so many of the writers/bloggers I am connected to today, like Helen Ginger, Diane Wolfe, Elizabeth Spann Craig...I know I'm forgetting some. It was there I learned the basic tools of blogging and how to set up a tour. Thank you, Dani.

Anyone out there who has done a tour, please add your thoughts. Till then,


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't let it intimidate you!
This community is so supportive. Only thing I would add is be sure your Google Alerts are set, because you'll find yourself mentioned in places you weren't expecting.
Glad it was a success!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I followed your tour and loved every stop you made.
My book is beginning to pick up again on Amazon for some reason,
I am in the process of wading through the hundreds of poems for a new book tiresome but exciting at the prospect.

Enjoy your day.

KarenG said...

I enjoyed your tour, as there were a variety of topics; and as a host, the guest post made it very easy for me. I hope you are happy with your results. You also picked a good time for it, with the launch of your ebook. That made sense.

Liz Fichera said...

Karen, You did a wonderful job on your tour! I thought your posts were informative and interesting while at the same time giving us a glimpse of you.

Bravo to you!

Karen Walker said...

Alex, sigh, another tech thingie I know nothing about, but thanks, I'll check into it.
Yvonne, thanks so much for that support and best of luck choosing your gems.
KarenG, thanks, it was the only thing timing was I could think of to enable me to do this.
Liz, thanks for the kind words.

L.G.Smith said...

You're right about the importance of connecting on-line before the book comes out. Some say you should begin as early as three years before in order to establish your presence on-line. That's some crazy planning ahead.

Thanks for letting me learn from your successful blog tour.

J.L. Campbell said...

I'm glad I stopped by. I should be planning some kind of tour. Reading this reminded me that I should start doing some work in that direction. I do agree that the blogging community is super helpful.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think you did your tour at just the right time. It gave you a chance to build up your following and bring others to the blogs that hosted you.

Tonja said...

I have a question. Maybe you addressed this on your blog tour...I only saw it when you got to Alex's blog. What other self-promotion did you do besides the blog tour?

Karen Walker said...

L.G. You are very welcome.
J.L. Good luck with that.
Diane, you are so right - if I'd done it when my book first came out, it would not have worked so well.
Tonja, The first year my book came out I sent press releases out, did some articles in newspapers and magazines, had a book launch party, did a few book signings and gave talks around town based on issues dealt with in the memoir.

Julie said...

I've been catching up on your blog tour, and all your posts are wonderful and so informative. It's also very interesting to read what you learned from the experience. I'm glad it was such a positive one for you. Great job! :)

GigglesandGuns said...

Glad you tour was a success. These are some very good points.

ave a great week.

Michelle Fayard said...

Karen, your blog tour taught me so much while inspiring me. Thank you!

Gabrielle Evelyn said...


This is the first time I come here and I am so happy to find so many wonderful words!Cheers.

karen millen

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. great points - certainly don't let Alex' mob intimidate you - they're his mob .. soon to be yours!!

I think you're doing a great job - getting the book out there .. and the internet offers so much now-a-days ..

Your story needs to be told and read .. so many can learn from you .. cheers for now - Hilary

Melissa Sarno said...

Thanks for sharing all of these insights. Someday I hope to do a book blog tour so this is tremendously helpful. I'm glad the experience was valuable for you :-)

Empty Nest Insider said...

You did an excellent job on your tour! Hope things continue to go well for you. Julie

Karen Walker said...

Julie, thanks for your continued support
GigglesandGuns, you're welcome
Michelle, wow, that's saying a lot - thanks
Gabrielle, welcome and thank you
Hilary, you have been such a strong supporter throughout - I really appreciate it
Melissa, hope it helps when you get ready
Empty Nest Insider, thank you so much, Julie

Arlee Bird said...

You are right on target with your observations. You did a great job organizing and keeping up with your tour. Alex is right about Google Alerts. And it's very easy to set up--I did it so it has to be easy. I've found some very interesting mentions through Google Alerts and discovered some very cool blogs.

Tossing It Out

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Lee. I'll check into Google Alerts.

Suze said...

I best enjoyed your post to Alex's blog. It was very fun. :)