The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Welcome, my friend and fellow Wild Rose author, Joanna Aislinn!

So happy to welcome you to my blog, Joanna - we have chatted so much through Facebook, I feel as though you are my friend as well as a fellow Wild Rose Press writer. Really looking forward to your blog and gaining the advantage of sharing your experiences...take it away!

Hello everyone. So happy to have made my virtual way to the UK—I’ve been wanting to visit London forever; Scotland would be a lovely stop, too. Special thanks to Rachel for having me here today!

A little about me:

This avid reader’s writing roots stretch back to my early teenage days. Life got in the way until ten years ago, when the story playing out in my head wanted a more concrete virtual home. When I finally got the guts to submit, I was lucky enough to have my manuscript land on wonderful editor Vicky Reed’s virtual desk. No Matter Why (The Wild Rose Press) hit the virtual shelves on January 15, 2010. At present, I’m busy with its sequels, learning everything I can about promo, building a web presence, making lots of friends online and finding time to work a day job and manage a home along with everything else! She really has no idea when she actually writes anymore. J

Back to that promo part: the necessary evil that allows the world to know me and maybe even want to buy my book(s) someday:

I've been coming across quite a few author-frustrated-with-promo-issues and find myself VERY grateful to know I have lots of company. Read one just this morning at 1st Turning Point (love that place!). Mary McCall did a great job talking about promotion and her frustrations. Read lots of good points in the comments, too. Thanks to the crew, guest bloggers and all of you who leave such great comments all the time!

Okay, so I got wordy as I tapped out what should have been a sentence or two response. (Me???) Then I decided to copy my ‘comment’ since it seemed to have some useful elements. (You, of course, can come up with your own opinion on that, lol!) Here they are, some tips, ideas and opinions I’ve picked up over the course of the past year or so since my blog made it onto the webmap. Take what you like and leave the rest! J

Try to give your blog its own unique flavor. People like to feel they have something in common or something they relate to. When I can, I relate it to writing because (1) I write, and (2) some of my readers are aspiring and/or newly pubbed authors and learning their way as I am. As Skhye Moncrief said during her spot, consistent posting definitely helps. That is, however, quite an undertaking—there is just too much to do on a daily basis, especially w/a day job, career and/or family in addition to the writing itself. Add the promo and what little time there is seems to be shot. I'm trying to create a new mindset and not try to make my posts too long. (Who—author or reader—has time to read something too drawn out anyway? As you can see, I already fell short, lol.)

Passing the bloglight to others helps promote them, helps me with time and ideas and has recently brought people to me w/other ideas along with the offer of articles—how cool is that? Plus, it allows my blog to evolve and change and hopefully not be deemed static. Linking blogs helps increase exposure as does visiting and posting at other blogs. I aim for one a day but even that can get hairy depending on the school-time of year.

I've gotten a few subscribers and a few sales from posts I've done at my blog and interviews I've done at others. (BTW, I'm always looking for family-friendly interviews to post--and it doesn't have to be just authors, either!) Recently, I added Diane Lang’s tips on wellness. That led to contact from Patricia Diesel who offered tips on organizing (which we’re in the process of working out). Someone else found my blog via a search. I was lucky enough that she liked what she saw, contacted me and ask to link blogs. Don't you know? She's an editor too! You just never know!

Almost done I promise! As a reader, a good excerpt and/or review will hook me enough to buy a book (usually digital). For a print book, chances are I've met the author and really liked his/her workshop or talk. If I like what I've read enough, chances are I'll buy another.

Finally, keep those comments at blogs short, lol! If you need to edit it—as I just did and then turned it into a post of my own, it’s too darned long! Who's got time to read a ton of paragraphs while skimming through blogs, for goodness sakes?

And yet another thing we have in common! Lack of time...I don't know how these writers who release two or three book a year do it when they have a job, young families and everything else! Puts me to shame! Joanna and I would love for you to share your stories too...


  1. Hi Joanna! It's so nice to see you "out and about" in a new place! Blogging is a tricky thing with so much else going on in a writer's life. I know there are days I don't get around to checking my "usual" blogs, let alone get to "new" ones that come through my loops.

    I really do appreciate people who have blogs and are willing to host other authors. (Thanks to Joanna AND Rachel for having hosted me in the past!) It's a great promo opportunity and a way to get "out there". And I do feel like I've gotten to know people through this means, even though we've never met in person.

    Have a great day, ladies!

  2. Hi Debra and thanks, Rachel--so glad to be here!

    Finally figured out how to post here--thanks so much! Sorry it took me so long to get here.

  3. Oooh, nice blog header, Rachael, and great blog, Joanna! It also helps to ask a question of readers to encourage comments. :) And, add pictures. I've seen a few blogs where it's all text and no pictures. A picture helps capture a reader's imagination or helps to illustrate a point. :) I loved yours with the flowering trees. :)

  4. Excellent post, thanks for sharing. I'm big on the pics too. I love to do illustrated excerpts or illustrated anything. :)

  5. Hi Terry and Beth :)

    Your ideas work for me as well--I really need to work on being less wordy though--I find the shorter the post (but more than a few sentences, of course) the better my attention. I believe that a product of technology and how busy we all are; I call it AADD (ACQUIRED Attention Deficit Disorder, lol).

    Once upon a time, never fazed me how long anything was and a 1000-page book was just a great story to be tackled. Almost kind of sad, isnt' it?

    Thanks so much to all of you!

  6. Great ideas, Joanna. Always good to see you out and about. I couldn't get to the 1st Turning Point link, but I love that site too. Besides including pics and asking for comments in blog posts, I sometimes throw in a video, either useful or for fun, just to mix it up.
    Best of luck with your sequel!

  7. Great advice, Joanna. I have gained a few followers with just what you're doing now--exchanging blog posts with another author. I planned a blog tour for my June release, and am in the proccess of antoher one for my September release.

  8. I'm hoping to gain followers by posting on other blogs as my release date approaches - a bit off your beaten path - shape shifters - but I have a number of guest appearances scheduled and just hoping for the best.