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Blog Tour in Cyberspace

Day One on my own Blog Tour and already it's feeling a bit weird!

Yes, as of 11 a.m. today. 4. a.m Eastern Time I am officially on my blog tour. Which means - eh, I don't really know. My first stop in cyberspace is

This is a sweet blog run by a mother and daughter team who clearly love books and have a lot of them! They have 422 members - 423 now that I have joined them. It feels like the polite thing to do, like they're hosting my party, I should at least turn up. They've asked me a bunch of interesting questions - why do I write juvenile fiction, what is in my main character's school locker and what kind of candy do I give out at Halloween. Also what superpower would I like to have and which of my characters I'd like to meet in IRL (in real life - even I know that!). Go on, read the blooming thing if you want to know!

So far there is one comment - from Goddess Fish - the blog tour promotion company. But there are 12 entries to the raffelcopter! Yes "what is that", I don't hear you ask? Well, it's apparently the world's easiest way to run a giveaway with no I.T. help required. Giveaways are a big thing online and particularly with blog tours. I'm not even giving away a book, but an Amazon/ Barnes and Noble voucher for $20. I have no idea why, other than I ticked that box on the Blog tour option. It's a bit like standing in a bookshop and randomly throwing money on he ground. Maybe the winner will feel such intense gratitude they'll blow their voucher on a copy of my book. But I don't think so.

So far other than the promotions company no one has commented. Which is a bit like nobody turning up at a book signing. Though some people have re-tweeted my tweet. Including another blog - Long and Short reviews - who I will be visiting later on the tour - hi guys! And hopefully the Society of Authors will do the same. And then maybe my brothers and sisters and my cousins and my mates and all those people who read me any way.

So - a blog tour? Que? I don't hear anyone at the back enquring. Well, a Blog Tour is a virtual author's tour to help the author promote their books without travelling. You sign up to a blog tour company or your publisher organises it and you visit a different blog every day and give interviews and write posts. As so much promotion moves online, they are becoming more standard for book launches particularly in the United State where there are several independent promotion agencies. In the UK and Ireland, they are a bit new fangled, which is why I signed up with an American company Goddess Fish

Marianne and Judy (who of course I've only met online) seem really nice and professional. I picked them out from this list of recommendations

Partly because they do childen's fiction, but also they are author's themselves and have a long track record (5 years, which in online terms is venerable.)

So what is the point? Well, I'm hoping to find that out as I go. It won't necessarily translate into a big jump in sales, but its supposed to help generate interest in your writing and connect you with new readers. Communicating online can feel like throwing a message in a bottle into a vast ocean of indifference. Look at all those tweets and facebook entries bobbing along like so much flotsum and jetsum. Or it can feel like being a four year old jumping up and down saying "Look at me"! Mummy, Mummy, I"ve written a book!"

But at least the blog tour is going to a targeted audience. Book bloggers are by definition bookworms and presumably so are their site visitors. Will any of them be interested in children's historical fiction set in the Irish war of Independence? Only time will tell. Meanwhile I will sit at my metaphorical book signing and check my tweets! Unfortunately my mummy doesn't tweet.


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