Yesterday my husband bought himself a 9″ Nook tablet, sort of a non-Father’s Day gift, since we don’t have kids. He’d been thinking of getting one for some time, but this week Barnes & Noble made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: a $120 discount. His new table cost $149.00, a fabulous deal. Sale ends today.
Yet the acquisition was not without some frustration. He had been told it came with the new operating system and access to the Google play store, but when we plugged it in, the first thing it said was that a “critical software upgrade” was needed. Then it didn’t like our wi-fi connection. For some reason we had to rename our wi-fi router, before the Nook could check in with the Mothership. (Nothing works without approval from the Cloud these days.) I used my B&N account, and he discovered that the Library is the Home Page which meant he had to look at all my romance novel covers! But it turns out you can have more than one user on the Nook, so the romance novels are consigned to my side of the device.
He seems pretty happy with it now, so all’s well that ends well.
Turning to other matters…
Some friends pointed me to a useful blog post called LOGLINES AND TAGLINES ARE DIFFERENT And You Need Both For Your Novel by by R. Ann Siracusa. It’s well worth your time to read if you struggle with elevator pitches, and timely with RWA National coming up next month.
There has been a lot of talk of privacy in the last week, so you might also want to read Rose Anderson’s post on [NETWORKING FOR INTROVERTS] How Much Should You Share Online?
This is something I wonder about sometimes. I tend to not share a lot, not so much because I’m terribly introverted, but because my real life is so dull, I find my fictional characters much more interesting.
If you are concerned about privacy, here are a couple of options to reduce your visibility to online search engines.
Startpage bills itself as “the world’s most private search engine”. Though it uses Google’s search engines, Startpage first removes your identifying information including your IP address. Their website says “Startpage, and its sister search engine Ixquick, are the only third-party certified search engines in the world that do not record your IP address or track your searches.” Ixquick is used in Europe and was awarded the first European Privacy Seal.
The SRWare Iron browser, developed in Germany, is based on Google’s open source Chrome browser, but with more privacy protections. I’ve tried it and it seems to work fairly well.
My alter ego, Lyndi Lamont, is participating in the first MFRW Colors of the Rainbow Blog Hop! There are 22 authors of LGBT romance in the hop, and along with the individual giveaways, you can download a free excerpt book. Leave a comment on my blog to enter to win a free download of my historical erotic romance Deception.
That’s about it for this month. Hope you are all having a good Father’s Day, or non-Father’s Day, as the case may be.
Last month I promised a report on the blog hop and mini-tour I’d planned for my latest release How To Woo… A Reluctant Bride. I ended up doing a second blog hop in January, so will include that also. This is by no means scientific, but just the results of my little experiment. Keep in mind that this was an attempt to revive a blog that had been essentially dormant for several years, so there was little or no base of support to draw from.
Note: I’m only going to discuss sales at Amazon.com since those were the only ones of any size.
The Secret Santa Blog Hop was first, from Mon. Dec. 17 through Thursday Dec. 20. My story was uploaded to Amazon on Dec. 11 and was live by Dec. 12, so the blog hop took place the following week. The grand prize for this blog hop was a Kindle Fire preloaded with a bunch of the participating authors books, including mine. The prize for commenting on my post was a $15.00 gift card, and over the course of the hop + tour, I also gave away two free e-books (winners choice). I got 25 entrants for the gift card. Not bad. The page views during the hop ranged from 66 the first day (some of them me until I figured out I could check comments from the Dashboard) to only 14 on the last day.
I checked my sales on Sunday and again on Thursday and saw I had picked up ten sales. Might have been more if I hadn’t offered e-book giveaways for the mini-blog tour. Someone, I’ve forgotten who, said not to do that. Offer something other than a book so they will buy yours. I think it’s good advice.
Starting on Thursday, Dec. 21, I blogged at several other sites including the main TRS (The Romance Studio) blog on Dec. 21. There were very few comments and I have no idea how many page hits were involved. However, by Monday, Dec. 2 4, I had sold another 15 copies. Again, not too bad when everyone is getting ready for the holidays. By Dec. 29 I was up to a total of 79 copies.
This month I participated in the Something New, Something Naughty Blog Hop from Thu. Jan. 10 through Sun. Jan. 13. Page views ranged from 26 to 42 and I had comments from 27 people. The grand prizes for this hop were gift certificates from EdensFantasy and two other gift cards of the winner’s choice. Again I did the $15.00 gift card giveaway.
I also guested at Louisa Bacio’s blog on Jan. 11 and she told me there were 138 page views. That’s awesome!
By the evening of Jan. 11, my sales for that month at Amazon were up to 102, in addition to the 79 in December. I realize that might not sound like a lot to some of you, but it was more than I expected, so I am happy.
I liked the blog hop better as there was some camaraderie with the other writers involved and I only had to come up with one blog post for each tour. Writing blog posts can be time consuming. The mini-blog tour (3 days, 4 different blogs) was more stressful as each one had to be different. Next time I will try to plan further ahead to lessen the stress, but this was thrown together very last minute.
Did the blog hop and mini-blog tour help?
I’ll never be certain, but I can’t imagine it hurt. The objective was to raise my visibility online and I do think that happened. Next time I may do a smaller amount on the gift card giveaway, but this is all a learning process. I’m not sure I recommend doing two blog hops so close together, but with a new release, and at this time of year, I think this was a good move. I would definitely blog hop again and I’m grateful to the writers who organized the hops, namely Tabitha Blake (Secret Santa) and Jennifer Wright and Lisabet Sarai (Something New, Something Naughty) as well as our own Louisa Bacio.
UPDATE: I forgot to add thanks to Tara Lain for her fabulous talk on blog tours at the November OCC meeting, and to my three Yahoo support groups where I learned about self-publishing and discovered organized blog tours: Indie Romance Ink, Authors Network and Marketing For Romance Writers. And a big thanks to Vivienne Westlake, author of A Marquess For Christmas, for doing an excerpt exchange.
Now I have to stop blogging for a bit and work on another story!
Has anyone else tried blog tours or hops? Any thoughts on their effectiveness?
Linda Mac w/a Lyndi Lamont
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