A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

NOTE: the blog is currently dormant but please enjoy the posts we're keeping online.

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I-Spy: Taking a Virtual Tour

Join the authors and friends of Not Your Usual Suspects for an occasional series of posts about their world of reading, writing and publishing.

Short and sweet, hopefully both informative and entertaining - join us at I-Spy to find out the how's and why's of what we do.

TODAY'S POST: I-Spy something beginning with ...   Taking a Virtual Tour

 Last July, I published my first book, In the Shadow of Revenge, with Carina Press. A lot of emotions accompanied that publication. There were the expected ones, pride, a sense of accomplishment, relief that it was done and pressure to do it again. But one emotion came on unexpectedly, and that was fear, more specifically, fear of marketing. 

As an introvert, the last thing I want to do is blow my own horn or be the center of attention in any arena. I’m more the sit in the back row type (behind someone very tall), the get lost in the crowd type and I always escape to the bathroom just before it’s my turn to introduce myself in a group meeting.

So along with all the excitement of getting published came the very real fear of having to put myself “out there” for people to see and get to know. This piece of the publishing process was intimidating, overwhelming, exhausting and most of all, unexpected. Give me a closet (I write in my walk-in closet) and a laptop and I’ll write for as long as you want, but please don’t ask me to talk to anyone about it.

But the inevitable was right in front of me and there was no escaping to the bathroom this time. I started with Facebook, as that seemed the least scary. My kids were all on it so at least my children would share the posts about my book even if no one else did. Then I graduated to Twitter, which I’d never used and knew nothing about. I still don’t really understand Twitter, even though I use it now I will admit that I’ve not yet reached a thousand followers.

Facebook and Twitter didn’t seem like enough so I started guest blogging on sites I contacted through the writing organizations I belong to. It still felt like I wasn’t doing enough so I kept looking for other venues and finally stumbled upon virtual tour companies. After researching four or five different options, I decided on Partners in Crime,

PIC represents a network of over 300 bloggers and offers tailor made virtual tours for crime, mystery and thriller writers at every level, from newbies like me to the well known and well-published. All I had to do was tell them what I wanted. After perusing their different packages, I opted for a one-month tour with daily visits to at least one blog and sometimes two. It was up to me if I wanted to do an interview, offer a giveaway, get a review or do a post as a guest blogger. I opted for reviews and interviews. I was also offered the option of doing a radio interview with Suspense Magazine. And of course my book, In the Shadow of Revenge, was spotlighted on PIC’s website for the duration of my tour. 

Two months prior to the start of my tour, Gina and Cheryl, the owners, operators and resident geniuses at PIC began sending me the blog sites I’d be visiting along with each blogs interview questions. I had plenty of time to write up my responses and send them back to Gina, who packaged everything up and sent it to each blog owner. The package included my interview, or the blogger’s review of my book, depending on the site as well as my cover art, a bio and head shot, an excerpt and all links to my Amazon page, Carina Press, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and my website. Talk about getting myself out there… and all I had to do was answer interview questions in the quiet of my closet. Sales you ask? Sales doubled over the month long tour, not bad for a new author.

Doing a virtual tour with Partners in Crime was the best decision I made in my publishing process and with my second book near completion you can bet I’ll be touring with them again. 

FUTURE POSTS will cover:
Kindlegraph / the art of research / writing male/male romance / rejection and writer's block / building suspense / writing love scenes / anti-piracy strategies / audio books / interviews with editors and agents / using Calibre.
We welcome everyone's constructive comments and suggestions!


J Wachowski said...

What a great post P! Wish I'd known about them when I started with my first book. Thanks for sharing some great info!

jean harrington said...

Thanks for the constructive tip. I plan to check out Partners in Crime. Sounds like it's effective. And I'd love a dose of effective.

Anne Marie Becker said...

I appreciate hearing about your experience. Doubling your sales sounds like a good return on your investment. :)

Ana Barrons said...

Oh, my goodness, you are a woman after my own heart! I kick myself every day for being so terrible at self-promotion, and I still can't quite figure out Twitter (although I do know how to tweet about other people's releases). Thanks so much for this post and the tip about Partners in Crime.

Clare London said...

This was really informative, Patricia, it's something that so many authors are wary of. I think you'll have reassured them! and how great that it's had a direct result for you.

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