Blog Slog

I’m going to be on blog hiatus for a while. That is, I’m going to be writing for other people’s blogs instead of my own. This is what’s known as a “blog tour.”

When I started telling people that The Mother Daughter Show was going to be published, they often asked if I was going on a book tour. The short answer to that is “no.” Very few authors go on book tours. The ones who do go have major publishers, and even most of those authors don’t get sent out on the road.

Book tours are expensive, for one thing, and small publishers like mine don’t have the resources to send their authors around the country. And, glamorous as it may sound, I’ve read enough complaints from authors to understand that a book tour can actually be pretty hellish. Not only do you have to fly around the country, reorienting yourself and giving the same spiel over and over, but sometimes you get to a book store and find that the audience is pretty sparse. You might even find that the only audience members are employees of the book store—I seem to recall having read that anecdote more than once.

But what has taken the place of the book tour—for many authors with lower profiles than, say, John Grisham—is the virtual book tour. (Come to think of it, John Grisham is so high profile that he probably opts to skip the book tour, because he can sell just as many books without it.)

Here’s how it works: there are untold numbers of blogs out there, many of them focusing on books. These hard-working bloggers, bless their hearts, are often happy to have someone else do the blogging for a change. And so they “host” guest authors, who write guest blog posts or just answer some questions posed by the host. On the day that the author “visits” the blog, readers can post comments, and the author can respond.

Obviously, this is a lot less expensive than a book tour, and potentially less humiliating as well. It may be disappointing if no one posts any comments the day you’re guest blogging, but it’s a lot less painful than standing before a podium and seeing only two or three faces in the audience.

Still, it’s a fair amount of work—especially if you’re booked into 14 different blogs, as I am. And while some of the suggested topics and questions are thought-provoking, others are … well, not exactly what you would have come up with yourself. But you sometimes get off-the-wall questions during real book tours too. The challenge is to take the question and figure out how to manipulate it so you end up talking about something you actually want to talk about. (One way to learn to do this is by listening to politicians—lucky for me this is an election year!)

All of this is by way of saying that since I have to write 14 blog posts for other people’s blogs, I’m not going to have the time or energy to write anything for my own blog for the next few weeks. But I’ll be back eventually.

Meanwhile, you can take a look at my blog tour schedule by clicking here. It doesn’t start until July, but keep it in mind. I’d love to hear from you while I’m on “tour.”

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