Blog Tour,Notes from Becky

CSFF January Tour

It’s tour time again. Can you believe it? But before I give the details about our January tour, I want to make some general comments.

Increasing Blog Traffic. As you know, one of our goals is to help bring traffic to each other’s blogs. For those of you who are writers, this is an important part of building your platform or drawing attention to your work. I’ve been concerned that one of the major services tracking blogs has not been picking up most of our posts. This hurts our ranking which in turn hurts our Google placement.

I contacted Technorati to learn why the posts aren’t being tabulated. They sent me to their guidelines – http://support.technorati.com/guidelines/ . In a nutshell, here’s what I learned Technorati wants:

Original content
Frequent posts
Permanent links
Blogs that sign in and ping Technorati directly: http://technorati.com/ping

What does all this mean for the tour?

First, copying a book’s blurb from the author’s or publisher’s Web site actually hurts you. Instead, summarize the material in your own words. Don’t forget that readers looking for information about a certain work may come to your blog. Good content can turn those visitors into regulars at your blog. I suggest you work to make your tour posts ones that others will link to and talk about.

Secondly, if you post once a month for the tour, you probably aren’t building a strong following or a high ranking. For those of you who wish to use your blog to draw attention to your own writing, I’d encourage you to post as often as possible on whatever subject you choose. However, posting regularly, without long periods of inactivity, even if “regular” is only once a week, still works, as I’ve learned with the Speculative Faith blog.

Third, links to specific posts work better than links to the blog in general. In other words, our posting links to each other’s blogs no longer is a plus and it actually may be interpreted as part of a “viral linking scheme.” I still want us to support each other by alerting others to those participating on the tour, so I’m not sure what the solution here is. I do know that if you will link directly to five posts (as a minimum during the tour), these permanent links should help Technorati find you.

Finally, please be sure to sign in with Technorati: http://technorati.com/frontpage/ and ping them directly after you post.

Opting IN or OUT. If you’re new to the tour, please follow the directions below to be sure you’re included as a participant.

Top CSFF Tour Blogger for December. Though we again had excellent blogs to choose from, once again Steve Rice walked away with the (virtual) prize. Congratulations, Steve. You can read his humorous posts at Back to the Mountains: http://ansric.blogspot.com/2008/12/lost-genre-guild-1-get-lost.html , http://ansric.blogspot.com/2008/12/lost-genre-guild-2-going-deeper.html , and http://ansric.blogspot.com/2008/12/lost-genre-guild-3-deep-enough-lets-try.html .

On to the tour. For January we are featuring The Book of Names, by D. Barkley Briggs. The tour begins Monday, January 19 and runs through Wednesday, January 21.

Dean (which is what the D stands for – 😉 has offered us First Look chapters of his next book. If you’d like to have those sent to you in PDF format, email Dean at Dean Briggs <dbbriggs5 at gmail dot com>

Once again, we encourage you to participate in the tour all three days with your own posts and with comments to other participating blogs. Those members who requested a review copy of the book are expected to write a review, though as you know, we ask for your honest opinion, not token approval. Chances are, with most books, there is something to like and something to not like as much. Reviews, like fictional characters, are more believable if they are balanced.

Besides a review, consider writing about fantasy, YA books, character development, or any number of writing topics this book may bring to your mind. Or write about the major themes, or interview one of the characters (ask him what he thinks about the author, for example – LOL), create a contest over information from Dean’s Web site, write a piece of fan fic, or whatever else you think would be interesting.  And don’t forget, those who are able to post each day will again be in the running for the CSFF Top Tour Blogger Award.

The book link you will be required to post for The Book of Names is
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/160006227X .

Optional links you may wish to include are D. Barkley Briggs’s Web site, http://hiddenlands.net/index.php?Itemid=49&id=19&option=com_content&task=view
and blog, http://hiddenlands.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=23&Itemid=79

I will provide you with the participants’ links no later than Saturday night. Be sure to include these at least once in the body of your blog OR update your sidebar to show the January participants.

Opt In. If you DID NOT participate in December (for the Lost Genre Guild tour) you will need to OPT IN no later than Saturday morning, January 17 by replying to this e-mail with your name and blog address (even if you’ve requested a review copy of the book or have emailed me earlier about your intention to participate this month).

Opt Out.
If you participated in December OR if your name appeared on the participants’ list, but are unable to participate this month, reply to this e-mail and OPT OUT for the month (no later than Saturday morning, January 17).

At present, our schedule for the coming months is as follows:

*  January 19-21 – D. Barkley Briggs, The Book of Names, first in the Legends of Karac Tor series (YA fantasy)
*  February 16-18 – Jeffrey Overstreet, Cyndere’s Midnight (second in the Auralia Thread fantasy series for adults)
*  March – Christopher and Allan Miller, Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow (YA fantasy)
*  April – George Bryan Polivka, Blaggard’s Moon, sequel to the Trophy Chase Trilogy (adult pirate fantasy)

See you on the tour,


4 Responses to “CSFF January Tour”

  1. JC Lamont says:

    Um, can I just say that I have no idea what’s going on. I’ve heard the term blog tour a few times, but I’ve no idea what it means, nor do I know what I’m suppossed to do. I am an aspiring Christian fantasy author and a friend told me to check this blog out…but I’m lost.

    Is there a list of rules or something someone could send me? Thanks.

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  3. […] Apokedak Brandon Barr Keanan Brand Rachel Briard Valerie Comer Frank Creed Amy Cruson CSFF Blog Tour Stacey Dale D. G. D. Davidson Shane Deal Jeff Draper April Erwin Karina Fabian Andrea Graham […]

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