Monday, July 17, 2017

One by One by Robert Germaux Virtual Book Tour

My Book Tour is THRILLED to share author Robert Germaux's newly released detective novel "One by One". This is Robert's fifth book and it promises to be an exciting read. Robert is happy to hear from his readers so be sure to drop him a note. If you're interested in a review copy be sure to mention that too! 

Print Length: 342 pages
Publisher: Robert Germaux (May 26, 2017)
Publication Date: May 26, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC


The victims appear to have had nothing in common, other than the fact that, as one officer put it, somebody wanted them dead. And that somebody left a “clue” at each crime scene, but as those clues began to accumulate, Detective Daniel Hayes and his hand-picked squad soon discovered that the clues appeared to have even less in common than did the victims. 

In order to catch his prey, Daniel realizes he has to change his focus and concentrate on an entirely different aspect of the case by following a twisting trail that eventually leads to a face-to-face encounter with the killer.


Both my parents were readers. I'm talking stacks-of-books-on-their-nightstands readers. So it's no surprise that an early age, I, too, became an avid reader. Everything from sports books (especially baseball) to Nancy Drew to the Hardy Boys to almost anything about distant and exotic places. And although I've always enjoyed putting words on paper, the writer in me didn't fully emerge until I retired after three decades of teaching high school English. I quickly wrote two books aimed at middle school readers, at which point my wife urged me to try a novel for adults. As is usually the case, Cynthia's idea was a good one. Over the next few years, I wrote several books about Pittsburgh private eye Jeremy Barnes, including "Hard Court." Along the way, I took a brief hiatus from the detective genre to write "The Backup Husband," the plot line of which came to me one day when I was playing the What-if game. On that particular day, the question that occurred to me was, What if a woman suddenly realized she might be in love with two wonderful men? After "The Backup Husband," I wrote "Small Talk," my first novel about Pittsburgh police detective Daniel Hayes. I then switched gears again with "Grammar Sex (and other stuff)," a book of humorous essays. Now I’m back with "One by One," the second Daniel Hayes mystery, which will be released on June 1st. You can find all of my books on my Amazon Author Page.

In our spare time, Cynthia and I enjoy reading (of course), seeing Broadway plays and musicals, watching reruns of our favorite TV shows, such as "Sports Night" and "The Gilmore Girls," and traveling to some of those distant and exotic places I used to read about as a child. So far, we've been fortunate enough to walk in the sands of Waikiki, swim in the warm waters of the South Pacific and enjoy a romantic dinner in Paris.

I love interacting with my readers and getting their input on my stories and characters. Please feel free to contact me on my website.


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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Author Websites - Why You Need One and What to Include

You've written a book and you want everyone to read it. If you're serious about branding yourself as an author then you’ve made sure to be active on social media, submitted a press release to several PR submission sites, and schmoozed with all the right people (i.e. book bloggers, book reviewers, tour providers, etc.). So what’s missing? Do you have an author website? Does it include all the key elements necessary for informing potential readers about your book? If the answer is no, then you have some work to do. 

If you don’t already have an author website, now is the time to get one. This is especially true if you're planning to take your book on the virtual road with a book tour. It's not at all necessary to invest a lot of money in an author website. Free websites via WordPress or Blogger make perfectly acceptable author sites. In my opinion, it’s much more important to concern yourself with your website content.

Did you know that website visitors spend less than 10 seconds on a website before deciding whether to keep reading or to move on? This shows just how vitally important it is to you and your book to grab your site visitor’s attention immediately. I've compiled some important author website dos and don’ts below.

·       Don’t make your author website too busy. This means no affiliate links and ads. The only ads visitors should see are purchase links for your book.

·       Don’t make it difficult for visitors to find their way around your site. Be concise, precise and specific with your navigation buttons.

·       Don’t confuse an author website with a blog. Visitors don’t care what you ate for breakfast, how cute your dog is or what you did on vacation. The focus should be on your book. Sign up for a free blog for all that other stuff. In fact, a complementary blog is a great additional author marketing tool, since it can be used to interact with readers on a more personal level. Include a link to your blog in your author website navigation bar.

·       Don’t use overly bright, funky colors and odd fonts. If colors and fonts are hard on the eyes or make it difficult to read your content, visitors will leave your site.  

·       Do include your book’s cover photo on your homepage. Resize the photo if necessary, it should not be too large. Make it clickable, to send visitors to Amazon, Smashwords, etc. for purchase. This can’t be stressed enough. If visitors have to hunt and search around the Web for your book, they’ll probably give up.

·       Do include your author bio and photo, and book blurb on your homepage. Links to other pages should be included in your site’s navigation bar, and should include current reviews, schedule of events (promos, giveaways, book signings, book tours, etc.) and a brief book excerpt.

·       Do include social media buttons on your homepage so visitors can follow you on Twitter, Facebook, etc. 

·       Do remember to update often. Keep your events schedule, reviews and bio current.

Remember...your author website represents you and your book. Think of your author website as your home base - where you house your author bio, book blurb, contact info, etc. It's an essential element to include in your book tour, so don't overlook it.

If you're unsure how to go about starting an author website or blog let me know here. I can help!

Monday, July 10, 2017

How To Write a Brilliant Character Interview

In one of my previous blog posts, I talked about why character interviews are so important to your book tour content. I received several emails after that post, asking for more information on how to actually write a character interview that I just knew I’d have to write a post about the subject. Here’s my method for writing a rockin’ character interview…

Character Bio

Begin by writing a bio for your character, to use as a jumping off point for your character interview. Since you know your characters so well (at least you had better), you should have no problem writing a one to three paragraph biography that includes physical and emotional traits.

You might already have much of this information listed in your book outline. Embellish and elaborate what you already have in your book outline by adding character quirks, interests, life goals, fears, etc. to build upon your character.

It’s perfectly fine (and encouraged) to add things that might not even be in your book. Your completed and polished character bio can even be included at the intro of your character interview.

Brainstorm Question Ideas

Here’s where you have the opportunity to reveal your character’s deeper self to your readers. For example, if your character interview is based on your antagonist, ask him/her why he/she did the awful things he/she did in your book.

You can also go completely outside of your book. Asking your character oddball questions like what their favorite meal is, greatest fear, most embarrassing moment, etc. is a wonderful technique for making your characters more real and appealing to your readers.

Work Out Answers

The wonderful thing about character interviews is that you, as the author, have the ability to manipulate how your character answers your questions. How great is that? Use your character’s answers to your advantage by delving more deeply into your book. Be so mysterious and compelling with your answers that potential readers will be excited to read your book.

If you’re looking for unique book tour content, character interviews should definitely be on your list. Practice the character interview process with several of your book’s characters. Don’t be surprised if you soon become hooked. It’s an excellent way to promote reader interest in your writing!

If you’re unsure about the character interviewing process, or you need assistance with a book tour please let me know by contacting me here. I’d love to help you!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Top 5 Reasons Why Book Bloggers Are Not Agreeing to Review Your Book

Most authors understand the importance of getting reviews for their books. Book reviews are gold to authors, but just how do you go about getting book bloggers to agree to read and review your book? Most of the time, it’s as simple as sending a polite email – polite being the key word. If you’re an author, who has sent countless book review request emails to countless book bloggers, but are receiving few to no responses it might be time to rethink your approach.

There are usually some very definite reasons why your review request emails are going unanswered. Here are my 5 top reasons why book bloggers are not agreeing to review your book:

1. Not Targeting the “Right” Book Bloggers

There are TONS of book bloggers on the internet. Just do a Google search and you’re likely find any number of book bloggers who specialize in a wide variety of book genres. Compiling your list of possible book reviewers means you’re going to have to do some work. For example, if your book is a romance and you send emails to book bloggers who only read science fiction, children’s books or dystopian, you’re wasting everyone’s time. This leads me to my next point…

2. Not Actually Reading a Book Blog and Review Submission Guidelines

Taking a few minutes to read through a book blog to get a feel for what the blogger enjoys reading will let you know whether your book is a good fit for their blog. While you’re on the blog site, you should also take the time to read the blogger’s submission guidelines. There’s nothing more irritating to a book blogger than an author who clearly has not read the site’s guidelines before submitting a review request. If submission guidelines clearly state that the blogger doesn’t review romance and your book is a romance…well then, you should already know how that would end.  

3. Not Treating an Email As You Would Any Other Professional Correspondence

As a book reviewer, I’ve received all sorts of book review requests. By far, the requests that address me personally (Susan or eBook Review Gal works for me) are the emails that get AND hold my attention long enough for me to have a look at the book. Dear Sir or Madam won’t fly, because if you’ve actually read through a blog you’d know whether the blogger was a Sir or Madam. This is why you shouldn’t send bulk email requests. Take the time to send individual, personalized emails to every book blogger on your list.

4. Not Including Links to Your Book

Book bloggers are busy people. Most do not blog full-time. Most have actual 9 – 5 jobs and they do this NOT as a way to make money, but because they simply love books. Please don’t make book bloggers hunt around the internet to find information on you and your book. It’s polite and courteous to always include clickable links in your emails.

5. Making Too Many Darn Stipulations

Oh, for Pete’s sake. I’ve received more emails from authors who start out by requesting a book review, but then go on to list several sites where they want their review posted, and sometimes even including how and when they’d like it posted. Really? I post my reviews on my website, on Amazon (U.S.) and on Goodreads. That’s it. I don’t have time to sign up any other Amazon sites based in other countries. I don’t have time to go to any number of other bookseller sites, register and then post every review. Be happy enough that you received a review at all. Don’t make demands and you’re much more likely to receive a review.  

Writing and authorship is a professional career, just like any other professional career. As such, it’s extremely important to be professional when reaching out to book bloggers to request book reviews. If you follow these simple steps you just might begin to see an increase in reviews of your book! 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Why You Should Include Character Interviews in Your Book Tour Content

Including clever and engaging content in your book tour portfolio is a must for authors. The more uniquely original content you can supply your participating book tour hosts, the better. This gives your hosts plenty of material from which to choose. They might even love your supplied author guest posts and interviews so much that they’ll happily share more than one post on their blog. That’s even more exposure for you and your book!

However, you might be saying, “Ugh…I just never know what kinds of posts to write. I’ve written my book and now I have to write some more?” Yes, you have to write some more. If you’re a fiction author, character interviews should be at the top of your tour content list. Why?

Your Characters Can Promote Your Book for You

If done properly and effectively, a character interview can contribute a great deal of additional information about your book. Since you get to write the questions AND answers, it’s pretty darn simple to manipulate your characters to say anything you’d like them to. Asking a few tantalizing questions and answering them with insightful, engaging answers will get potential readers excited about your book.  

You Prove to Readers Just How Much You Know About Your Book

Who’s going to know more about your characters than you? No one, of course. Here’s where you get to unleash your characters in all their idiosyncratic, quirky, genuine goodness. You can say a lot about a character in one carefully crafted Q & A. This gives your readers an even closer glimpse at what makes your characters tick. An author who can easily play puppet master to their main or supporting character with the help of an interview knows their book like the proverbial back of their hand. Readers will appreciate you for this.

You Get the Chance to Include Some Fun, Interesting Facts About Your Characters

Character interviews don’t have to be all book-specific. Be imaginative with your questions and answers. Including some out-of-left-field questions make your characters come across as being actual living, breathing people. Asking your character about their favorite foods, hobbies, music, television shows, or their future goals or most embarrassing memory, can add plenty of additional traits to your characters that may not otherwise be included in your book.  

You Have the Opportunity to Create and Share Your Character’s Bio with Readers

Since your main goal with a book tour is to promote awareness of your book, your target audience will likely be book lovers who haven’t yet read your book. This is where a carefully written bio comes in handy. A bio sets the stage for your character interview. It lays the groundwork for your book AND your character interview. To do this, go back to your book outline to create a one or two paragraph bio, using all the character traits you used when beginning your book. If you didn’t use a formal outline, then create your character’s bio now – remember, you should know your characters inside and out at this point.

In my experience, readers love character interviews – and why not? They’re clever and insightful bits of additional information about your book. Give it a try. Character interviews just might become your new, most favorite promotional content!

If you’re interested in taking your book on tour, but want to leave the details to a professional, please let me know by submitting a contact form here. I’d love to help you market your book with a book tour.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What a Book Tour Can and Can’t Do For You and Your Book

If you’re an author, you’re undoubtedly searching for new ways to market your book. Book tours are excellent tools for both newbie and established authors. However, having reasonable expectations prior to your tour launch keeps everyone on track. The following are some key things to keep in mind before taking your book on the virtual road.

What is the Primary Purpose of a Virtual Book Tour?

As with an in-person book tour, the main purpose of a virtual book tour is to meet and greet your existing and potential readers. It’s your opportunity to schmooze, promote and sing the praises of your book. But, what’s so great about a virtual book tour is you can do it from your living room while sitting in your PJs.

Engaging your readers in conversation about you, your writing and your book is easy peasy when you: 
  • Leave comments on participating blog posts
  • Comment and engage on social media posts
  • Be your usual awesome self

Wait…I Thought Book Tours Were All About Getting Book Reviews?

Here’s where many authors misunderstand the primary purpose of a virtual book tour. That’s because…

If you were on an in-person book tour, would you expect immediate book reviews?

Of course not. You’d probably sit at a table, pen in hand, and sign your book for readers. You’d chat about your book, and maybe even read an excerpt to a small gathering of fans, none of whom will sit down and immediately write a book review and post it on Amazon.

Sure, participating tour bloggers might have the opportunity to read your book ahead of time and perhaps leave a review, but… 
  • This rarely happens, since most book bloggers have HUGE TBR lists that go months into the future.
  • This is considered a “review in exchange for a free book”, which, although it does NOT go against Amazon’s current TOS, it does hold far less weight with potential readers. And…
  • Technically, these types of reviews are considered by Amazon to be editorial reviews, which do not get those coveted star ratings.

Trust me when I tell you that organic reviews are much more valuable to you as an author…and organic reviews are much more likely when more potential readers know about you and your book through your virtual book tour.

So, What the Heck Can a Book Tour Do For My Book and Me?

Promotion, promotion, promotion! Most book tours have anywhere between ten and twenty participating tour hosts. Each tour host publishes their post and then shares it with their own, unique social media followers. Therefore, conceivably, your book will be seen by hundreds (perhaps thousands) of potential readers who probably would not have happened to stumble upon your book by chance. That’s a HUGE organic market of potential buyers, readers and possible reviewers.


YOU have to get involved in your tour. Look at it this way – if you scheduled time to promote your book at your local bookstore you wouldn’t show up and just sit in a corner, reading a magazine while ignoring everyone who came to hear about your book, would you?

Treat your virtual book tour as you would any other professional engagement by being just that…engaging. Don’t ignore your potential readers during a virtual book tour. Get social and it will definitely pay off in sales, fans and reviews.

If you're interested in a book tour please feel free to contact me to see how I can help market and promote your book! 

Friday, June 23, 2017

God's Silver Soldiers by Art Greenshaw Virtual Book Tour Stop and Book Excerpt

Book Genre: Christian/Superhero/Graphic Comics
Publisher: Nordskog Publishing, Inc.


Book Description:

Truthmonger Comics, is a creative entity whose mission is to bring the much-needed messages of morality and spirituality to today's youth through the medium of comic books. 

Joining creator/editor/writer Art Greenhaw for this new line of Truthmonger Comics and its flagship title, God's Silver Soldiers, are superstar comic book artist Ben Dunn, writer Rebecca Dunn, and graphic designer Josh Knight. Truthmonger Comics is additionally inspired by Art's friend of many years and biggest literary influence, Stan Lee.Creator/editor/co-writer Art Greenhaw s comic book roots run deep, Art having enjoyed a 20 -year friendship with Stan Lee and a lifetime apprenticeship.

- Book Excerpt -

The smoke is clearing on the lawn of Angelica’s newly blown up home. We see that the center of the home is completely missing, but the further away from the blast site there’s less and less damage.

The soldiers, who have been blown in different directions and have various stages of injuries, are getting up or waking up from being knocked out from the blast.

John is helping Becky up.

Moses: How ya doin’, girl?

Becky: What happened?!!

Soldiers have come together on the lawn. There’s holes and burn marks on their uniforms. One of them is holding pressure on a pretty bad cut on another’s arm.

John: Is everyone OK?

David: Define “OK”!!

Cecilia: Where’s Angelica?

Samson: Last I saw, she was being dragged off to that helicopter by what I can only describe as demons from hell! I mean, did everyone else see what I saw?

Moses talking, but with a memory bubble of the demons attacking.

Moses: Oh, I saw them, all right! Pretty much the scariest moments of my life!

All are looking puzzled.

Becky to Cecilia (or the group): Why did they zero-in on Angelica? Why not

any of us?!

David is speaking to the group.

David: I think I can answer that one, though I’m not sure how…!

John: What do you mean? Did you overhear them or something?

David: No. I mean, I know “why” they took her, but no one told me. It was like I

could read their minds...but even “more” than that. It was like I could just feel their intentions!

Soldiers are looking at each other skeptically.

David: Look, I know what you’re thinking. I’m not crazy, OK?! I can’t explain

it to you, but I’m telling you the truth!

Samson speaks to David.

Samson: (quietly) Look man, we’re not judging you. ALL of this is just a little

tough to take in...

Moses: Totally!! I mean, did you see those things?! THEY WERE DEMONS!

I was like, “Oh no you didn’t...!!!” when that hell-spawned, head monster grabbed Angelica!

Author Bio: 

Creator/editor/co-writer Art Greenhaw's comicbook roots run deep, Art having enjoyed a 20-year friendship with Stan Lee and a lifetime apprenticeship studying the works of his biggest comicbook influences including Stan, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Al Hartley, and Ben Dunn. 

Art was a National Council of Teachers of English literary competition award winner and was the Optimist Club's oratory contest winner. He has studied art at the Dallas Museum of Art and co-created and co-wrote stories and songs with pop culture icon Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, who proclaimed Art "The Voice of Rat Fink". 

Art is a Grammy Award-Winning artist, producer, arranger, and mixing engineer and holds a Grammy record for most Grammy Nominations (eight) by a group in his particular category of Gospel-Christian music. Among the legendary artists who have recorded the songs and stories of Art include Ann-Margret, Engelbert Humperdinck, Trini Lopez, The Jordanaires, James Blackwood, The Light Crust Doughboys, The Ventures, the Southern Methodist University Mustang Band, and many more.

It is Art's lifetime mission to bring much-needed messages of morality and spirituality to today's youth through his favorite literary medium: comicbooks. Art owns and manages the iconic #1 Texas legacy country band, The Light Crust Doughboys. Connect with the author on his website