I’d mentioned in a previous post that I’d signed up for a BookBuzz (BB) promotional tour. I did this in December 2018 and January 2019. It was called the “Book Blitz” promotional tour, and involved BB promoting a book of my choice (Do The Dead Dream?), including managing a blog tour on my behalf. I gave them certain information they’d requested, including a sample story, and they ran with it. At this link (not sure how long this link will remain active) BB let reviewers sign up to do the blog tour. I got 28 takers…don’t know if that’s a lot or not, but it’s more than I have ever gotten on my own. I wish I could thank them all individually, but I cannot (for some I have to create accounts just to access the information, and I’m just not gonna do that), but thank you to all who took an interest in my work to host it!
It was an interesting experience! It really goes to show you, out in the wild, just what people actually think of your work…but it also shows the souls of the reviewers themselves. And while you can never please everybody, it was admittedly neat to have been compared to e. e. cummings, Hitchcock, Stephen King, and H. P. Lovecraft—geez, you can’t ask for more! And to have such descriptions attributed to my work like “chilling…surreal…captivating…strange…unearthly…dreamlike,” well, it’s nice to be appreciated.
Some offered non-public advice, as in I used too many exclamation marks. Well, I’ve never heard that one before. Some commented on the liberal use of all caps. I get that remark, I do, but for the effect I was trying to get across, just doing normal sentence, title case, or italicization would not do it for the story. In the stories where I made liberal use of all caps, I did so because the beings speaking were, essentially, godlike, and speaking in aforementioned cases simply didn’t cut it for me. Maybe I could have used small caps, now that I think about it. In any case, pardon the pun, I had to somehow make the verbiage far more impressive than mere “human case” and don’t have access and/or knowledge to whatever other typographical luxuries might exist out there. But thanks for sticking with the stories, if you continued to read them to the end!
One said they didn’t understand why I arranged the stories as I did.
I actually did have a plan!
I placed the longest stories at the beginning. I then tried to group the monster stories together, and certain other “weirdness factor” stories with similar “weirdness factor” stories. I wanted “Tail Gunner” to be the last story because…well, the guys was a tail gunner. I picked “The Wreck” as the first story because it seemed like the better of the long stories to place first to gain possible reader interest for those who might…wade…into the first pages of the book to check it out…yes, it gets really weird in the end of that story, but the beginning is pretty tame and easy to get into, being about scuba diving and such.
And I did not want a linear progression of my writing!
Since I love to mess around with time and perceptions, and this is not “how I roll,” I did not want to do anything so trite…which was why I’d ended up tagging each story with its creation date. That said, I wanted my better (usually more recent) writing more toward the end of the book, to hopefully leave readers with a better sense of my writing, since I know some of my earlier pieces were more rough around the edges.
At the completion of my BookBuzz period, they sent me several attachments, one a NetGalley analysis sheet, which was really neat, if confusing, because some of the metrics appeared to contradict other metrics given elsewhere. I have a query out to BB, but have not yet heard back, and don’t know if I will, since my “paying time” has expired. When I was paying them they were timely in their responses, but this is now the longest they’ve gone in not answering me, so all I can assume, despite their “…if you have any questions…” is that it’s actually “See ya later, kid!”
As to how this has affected my sales…well, it’s too early, really, and I have not seen any bumps yet. But again, it just happened, and I don’t know the standard “business rhythms” of this kind of promotional effort. I’ll try to keep y’all posted if any such rise in sales occurs. Below are some the specifics BookBuzz sent to me.
Here is what BB did for me:
1) Posted my book on their website:
2) Managed my book blog blitz.
3) Added my book to the following sites so reviewers could access it. Reviewers were requested to leave their review on the links below by December 30th, but they are all largely no longer available, since my time with BB is up, or I just don’t have accounts at their site to check for them:
4) Added my book and/or profile on the following sites. This is cool, since it gained reviews on GoodReads:
5) Submitted my book to ReadersFavorite and Book Life for possible reviews. I went to the link below, but didn’t see anything completed:
6) Created some neat images my book. I used them in this post. They told me to “feel free to use them in any way you’d like.”
7) A few other sites also ended up promoting Do The Dead Dream?:
8) Provided me with Excel and PDF attachments of the following:
—People who requested your book from NetGalley
—Reviews left on NetGalley
—Opinion question answers from NetGalley
—An Overall Snapshot of how your book did on NetGalley (this was presented above)
—Requests and Feedback from BookSprout & Requests from Prolific Works.
Again, I thank all those who had been involved in getting this up and running, as well as to all the reviewers for taking the time to read and review my work. Thanks to Amanda and her folk at Book Buzz for all her promotional wizardry!