Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Great Blog Campaign

I'm pretty much done with book 4. I think I'll re-read the last chapter because I think I rushed through it last night, as my laptop battery was dying. I also did a little rewriting. I'll get that sent off today (yay!!!). And then I have to make revisions on my House essay (due tomorrow). Plus, I have to write some radio scripts today.

But then tomorrow, I'll be free! Free!!!! Well, sort of. I've got other stuff to do, like getting promotion for the next book in swing, getting another series idea developed, a speaking gig Monday, some presentations and handouts to prepare, and a ton of e-mail to deal with. But I will take a little time to recover. I'm going to go hang with the parental units this weekend and eat barbecue.

I've hinted at this and was planning to announce it later, but then I realized that time is creeping up on me, and if this goes like I want it to, it could take a lot of time, so I'd better announce it now. As part of the effort to spread the word and get some big impact around the release of Damsel Under Stress, I'd like to see how many people I can get to talk about it in their blogs or on their web sites during the first week of release (April 30-May 7). Yeah, I do those blog tours with other authors, but I think there are times when ordinary people can be even more effective at hitting a broad audience.

What's in it for you? Well, my publisher likes this idea, and they've agreed to make advance copies of book 4 available to use as rewards. The advance copies of Damsel were ready in late January, for a May release. Count on your fingers and see how much earlier you'd get book 4 before the release date. I don't know how many copies I'll get, but I think what I'll do is give half of them away just by doing a drawing among the people who participate at all. If you mention my name and the name of the book, you're eligible. The other half will be merit awards. I'll have to think of some categories, like best review, most creative idea, biggest impact, Mom's favorite, etc. I'll also put links to all these blogs or web sites on my blog, so you may pick up new readers and make new friends. I may come up with some other prizes, as well.

Here's where it gets fun: I'll make myself available to help out. If you want to interview me, I'll answer e-mail interview questions. I'll provide guest blogs on whatever topics you want me to address. I can serve as liaison to arrange things if you want one of my characters to do a guest blog or if you want to interview a character. You may have noticed that I can get flaky and busy, so start thinking of what you might want to do now, and then starting next week you can begin shooting requests at me. Earlier is better than later. I may not be able to do as much fun stuff if I get a ton of requests the last week of April. You don't have to use me. You're perfectly welcome to review the book if you buy it the first day it's out and get your review posted that first week (or if you're one of the ones who gets an advance copy). Or you could discuss the first two books and mention the next one coming out. Quiz memes and stuff like that could also be fun (especially because they tend to get passed around). You get the idea, and I'm sure someone out there will be far more creative than I could be.

This is kind of an experiment, going back to the post I made the other day about the impact readers can make. If, say, a hundred people could reach just ten people each, that should cause a noticeable blip in book sales.

And now I must get to work before I can relax and play.

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