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Thursday, April 17, 2014

What You Need To Know About Virtual Book Tours

As you can see from my posts, I enjoy hosting virtual book tours. It's a way for me to discover new books and authors, and I enjoy my efforts in helping to promote reading as a whole. 

Virtual Book Tours are an excellent way for authors to promote their books, but I'm not sure that every author on tour is quite ready to do what's needed to promote it. 

I'll explain. 

I've hosted a lot of posts, but an author hardly ever comments. I wonder sometimes if they are even following their own book tour. I've even taken this one step further and checked out their social medias during the tours I'm hosting, and the MAJORITY of them never even share it.

That just blows my mind. How can an author expect readers to get excited over their book and tour when they aren't even excited over it themselves?

Many authors seem to have some kind of mistaken notion about virtual book tours. They think they can just sign up for one, and everyone else is going to sell their books for them. It doesn't work that way. 

For example, there was one author on tour, and I signed up to host her tour stop. She was a self-published author, and this was not her first book. 

I decided to click on through and check out her social media. There was no mention of the tour, at all. I clicked on her Amazon link, and her book was listed for $6.99 on kindle. She had no giveaway with her tour, and her blurb was minimal. If readers weren't turned off by the high price of her book, they would have been by the lack of info. I still have no idea of what her plot was.

The reason why this author sticks out in my mind is because of this. Recently, I was lurking on one of the writer's forums that I like to hang out at, and I saw that she was posting on there, knocking book tours. I really think she was on a mission to insult every book touring company out there, with her stories of how she got no sales and how it didn't benefit her at all, etc.

But she didn't tell the full story. 

She didn't tell the other authors how over-priced her book was, or how the book reviews she had were poor. She didn't tell the other authors how she didn't promote her own book, or how awful her blurb really was. According to the reviews I read, the writing was poorly-edited and didn't flow well. 

For an author that didn't know all this, they would have left that message forum believing that book tours are not beneficial, when in fact, they are almost essential for authors, especially self-published authors.

Even the top authors have book tours. I've hosted tours for all types. Publishing companies organize book tours because they realize they work. If a self-published author writes a book and doesn't promote, their sales are going to be small.

Lack of sales is not the fault of the bloggers or the virtual book touring company. Authors have to realize that their book sales are going to go off of their book blurb, pricing, and the book itself. So before taking your book on a virtual book tour, you need to ask yourself if you're prepared. Is your book priced right? Will you lower the price for the tour? Is your blurb interesting? Are you going to actively spread the word about your own tour? Are you going to be pleasant and thank the blogger that hosts you? 

If you can answer yes to those questions, you might be ready for a book tour. 

 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Gospel For The Damned Blog Tour & Giveaway

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/speculative-book-tour-giveaway-gospel-for-the-damned-by-gordon-gravley-tour-dates-21714-31714/


Virtual Book Tour Dates:2/17/14 - 3/17/14
Genres: Speculative/Dystopian/Literary 




Blurb:


Set against the backdrop of a city under quarantine, Gospel for the Damned is an episodic and introspective novel that follows young journalist Aaron Garrett on his three day assignment within sequestered San Francisco. His assignment: Interview The Elliots, family of the missing minister suspected of releasing the deadly Omega virus.
What he finds is a fractured community and a myriad of ways of facing hopelessness: clinging to normalcy in banal routines; thrill seeking in dangerous truth-or-dare games; mercy killing and federally sanctioned euthanasia; embracing sorrow through macabre celebrations; and searching for God where faith has been abandoned.
Together with The Elliot Family, Aaron embarks on a mission to save someone, anyone, from a doomed existence.
This is Gordon Gravley’s first literary work, and its philosophical leanings may very well provoke questions of your own about the world we live in, and the future we face. 

Excerpt:

It was an opportunity that would make my career or crumble it, and I’d like to say it came to me by way of my diligence and journalistic talent. But truthfully, I was given the assignment for the simple reason that I was the only one on staff at the Sound who tested as resistant to the Omega virus; it was my luck to be in the 2 percent of the nation immune to a disease that, to date, had wiped out a third of the West Coast’s population. 

Buy Links:


Createspace


About Gordon Gravley:


After decades of self-doubt and errant life choices, Gordon Gravley finally came to write this, his first novel, and is now diligently working on his next two. He and his wife currently reside in the Northwestern United States.

Connect with the Author:


Giveaway:

Seven lucky winners will win a signed print copy of Gospel for the Damned. The giveaway will run the length of the tour, USA only please!




Goodreads Book Giveaway

Gospel for the Damned by Gordon Gravley

Gospel for the Damned

by Gordon Gravley

Giveaway ends March 17, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Touch & Go By Lisa Gardner





This book is currently the #2 bestseller on Amazon Kindle in the Thriller category. 

Blurb:

How do you vanish a family?



Ten minutes after walking the elite Back Bay townhouse and investigator Tessa Leoni already doesn’t like what she sees. Signs of an abduction. Clearly the work of professionals. At best, the entire family has been kidnapped. At worst…



How do you disappear a marriage?



The more Tessa learns about the Denbe family, the less she likes their chances. What might have looked like the perfect existence—a powerful CEO, his adoring wife, their angelic child—is not what it appears. Husband, wife, daughter—magazine perfect, but each hiding dark secrets…



How do you erase a life?



Tessa knows more than she’d like to about families riddled with lies. What she doesn’t know is where the Denbes are and if any of them are still breathing. She’ll have to climb over unbending feds and territorial local cops to find out, and if she’s not fast, the Denbes’ chances of survival will quickly become little more than…


Buy it on Amazon

Monday, February 17, 2014

Suspense Spotlight: God On Trial Blog Tour

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/suspense-book-tour-god-on-trial-by-sabri-bebawi-book-tour-dates-2414-3414/


Virtual Book Tour Dates:2/4/14 - 3/4/14
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Fiction, Philosophy




Blurb:



Convinced that God is a negative force, tormenting the helpless human race, an ailing English professor becomes determined to put the deity on trial. But when he’s diagnosed with schizophrenia, he soon succumbs to the damning madness and brutally stabs and kills his wife. And in the deadly manhunt that ensues, he is ultimately shot dead by the police. This prompts his grieving sister to follow through his life’s mission to bring God to justice.

Excerpt:

He’s now back home in California. It is another night. That tantalizing sensation overtakes his natural senses again. Growing up, he always felt a sense of discomfort that was unrelated to his illnesses, and he still feels it now. He never has been able to identify the source of his severe and unusual discomfort. He wonders whether it was his family, religion in general, or society, with its unscrupulous culture.
He thinks of his parents. “Sadly, They were at odds,” he hears himself utter. “And rightfully so.”
His mother was at home, taking care of five kids, and his father was either working or endlessly playing. His mother had a tender soul. She was simple, affectionate, and caring, and loved her children dearly. The child in him sees her before him as a pretty young woman with fair skin, brown hair, and large brown eyes. She stands by his bed; she is neither too tall nor too short and neither too slim nor too heavy, but she is mysterious. Though his mother probably never knew it, she has had an immense impact on his life that continues with him until this moment of certain hallucination.
He becomes fully awake. It is 2:25 a.m. He gets up and decides to make a cup of espresso forte. After breaking a couple of coffee cups, spilling coffee all over his kitchen counter and floor, and mumbling a few expletives, he cleans up. Now he is calm; now he will taste the fruit of his coffee-making adventure; he places the cup on his desk and starts to write.

I’m not sure my parents’ odd relationship had any effect on me. I was a happy child tormented by religion and religious people’s hallucinations. I was tormented by Egyptian hypocrisy. I’ve seen a great deal of hypocrisy, child abuse, infidelity, abuse of women, and abuse by the government, churches, and mosques.

He hears the voice of his mother; during his childhood she always read to him in bed before he went to sleep. Now she reads from the Bible. In both her wisdom and lack of awareness, she reads from the Book of Genesis and the Book of Revelations. This exposure to apocalyptic writing at a very young age has had a profound effect on him.
Being imaginative, and in this phantasmagoric state, he now experiences the same fright he experienced as a child. He returns to bed and suddenly falls asleep but is soon awoken by one of his many epileptic seizures. His body shakes uncontrollably, and his tremors seem to have a mind of their own.
As his attack gradually dissipates, he thinks of the savagery of God and questions why a peaceful God would be so cruel and nasty. These thoughts make him feel even more terrified. Since childhood he has been petrified of that entity referred to as “God.”
At age seven or eight, he developed an obsessive-compulsive disorder. He’d repeat the phrase “God forgive me” to himself all day until he went to bed. He kept this a secret because he had no idea how his mother, siblings, or Zakia would react. He remembers that he often went to Zakia, who was a Muslim, and asked her to hold him. She would oblige, and he would feel protected, even from that savage God.
He gets out of bed. It is 3:42 a.m. He makes another cup of espresso forte and sits at his desk, thinking. Again he writes.

This phase simply shaped my feelings about whether God does indeed exist. I often thought I’d be better than him or her or it, for I would not be as cruel, brutal, or malicious. Today I am an agnostic, and I can’t get myself to understand why anyone would believe in such a God as depicted in the holy books, including the Bible.
In addition to the Bible, there were other sources of great damage. Egypt is an Islamic country. I was exposed to and forced to learn about Islam and its holy book, the Quran, which is like the Bible in its catastrophic content. I was forced to learn about the Islamic laws, Sharia, even though I was a Coptic. I did so in schools, and I did so in everyday affairs. I was even forced to memorize and recite verses from the Quran, which also had a negative impact on me.
The daily prayers announced over loudspeakers, and coming from all directions, were a frightening experience for me. Everywhere in Egypt, between each mosque there is a mosque, and even that wasn’t enough. The radio broadcasted Quran readings repeatedly. Even today the memory of these sounds brings a deep downheartedness to my soul.
I remember Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind cleric who’s in a North Carolina prison now for conspiring to commit terrorism. His mosque was right behind our house. I remember Abdel-Rahman’s Friday sermons. He’d curse the Christians, Jews, and Americans (I don’t know why he cursed Americans) publically over a loudspeaker that echoed miles away. The sheikh would scream in a screeching, deafening voice, “May God burn them and displace their children, and may God burn their houses.” The congregation would repeat, “Amen.” And the pattern would continue.
This persisted for a long time. We were so used to it, however, that it didn’t bother us much. The amazing thing is that Sheikh Abdel-Rahman was a friend of my father’s. He often visited my father at his law firm and spent hours talking with him. My father considered him a harmless, kind man.
Well, for once my father was wrong. The sheikh always has been a terrorist, and he put his evil spirit into action. Fortunately he’s in prison now. I hope he never gets out.
He stops writing for a minute and wonders how the United States allowed that savage man to enter this country. Where was American intelligence? Didn’t they know how radical Abdel-Rahman was? This was simply bizarre. But the United States government overlooks such things so often that he wonders whether the word intelligence is fitting at all.
His mind is racing, and he grows exhausted with the burden of thoughts. Hoping for a few minutes of sleep, he goes back to bed. His hope materializes, or perhaps he thinks so; at the very least, he is semi-asleep.

Buy Link:


About Dr. Sabri Bebawi


The middle of five children, Sabri Bebawi was born in 1956 in the town of Fayoum, Egypt, where he attended law school at Cairo University. He then left Egypt for the United Kingdom. He was invited by Oxford University, where he spent some time, and never returned to Egypt. A few years later, after living and working in England, Italy, France, and Cyprus, he took refuge in the country he loved most, the United States.
In California he studied communications at California State University, Fullerton, then obtained a master’s degree there in English education. Later he worked at many colleges and universities teaching English as a second language, freshman English, journalism, and educational technology. He did further graduate work at UCLA and obtained a PhD in education and distance learning from Capella University.
Although English is his third language, he has published many works in English on eclectic topics. It has always been his ambition to write novels, and this is his first attempt. As English is a foreign language to him, the task of writing a novel has been challenging.
As a child, Bebawi struggled to make sense of religions and their contradictions; in fact he grew up terrified of the word God. As he grew older and studied law, as well as all the holy books, he developed a more pragmatic and sensible stance; the word became just that—a word.


Connect with the Author:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My Thoughts About Syfy's Ghost Hunters & TAPS

I've been watching Ghost Hunters since the beginning. It's amazing how many years have went by, and how quickly, but I still remember that first day that Ghost Hunters premiered. 

Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson were the lead investigators, back in the day. They held day jobs as plumbers, both of them working for Roto-Rooter. Probably this experience helped as they moonlighted as ghost hunters. Plumbing issues can make some weird noises sometimes.

The years have passed, and I haven't watched the show faithfully. After all, life happens. So does work, and sometimes, shows like these can just blend together. 

And you have to wonder, don't these guys ever get tired of investigating and never seeing anything more than a shadow or a door moving, etc?

Grant Wilson left the show awhile back... A year or two ago??? It's been awhile. Jason Hawes lost a lot of weight, and he's still staring on the show. And so the show goes on. 

I believe in Heaven and Hell, and I believe in an afterlife. When it comes to ghost-hunting, though, it's just not something I personally would ever get into... After awhile, these guys just have to get bored! I couldn't imagine doing this year after year. 

So what's your thoughts on ghost hunting? Or even better, what's your personal experiences? Please share, I'd love to hear it. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Long Knives by Charles Rosenberg




 Currently the #1 Bestseller on Amazon in Thrillers

Blurb:

Jenna James’s life has been smooth sailing since she left the high-powered law firm of Marbury Marfan. She’s happily ensconced as a professor at a prestigious law school, where she’s well liked by her students, coupled-up with a handsome colleague, and on track for tenure. But things take a shocking turn one morning when a student, Primo, comes to Jenna’s office seeking her advice about a treasure map he recently inherited. When Primo turns up dead and Jenna is suddenly the prime suspect in a murder investigation, everyone turns on her. Desperate for help, she calls on two old friends: Robert Tarza, her old law partner from Marbury Marfan, and Oscar Quesana, an odd-duck solo practitioner. The three race to save Jenna’s career—and perhaps her life—in this whip-smart thriller of treasure maps, murder, and law school politics.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dystopian Book Tour: The Fifth Column by Robert Corrado

Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction

Blurb:

In the near future, the United States has been transformed into the Unified State, an oppressive police state that keeps its citizens under constant surveillance. Poverty and crime are rampant, and the citizens live beneath a perpetual cloud of fear. Pedro Pulido has never known his country to be any other way, but his grandfather remembers a time before, and he teaches Pedro to recognize the propaganda for what it is and to think for himself. Still, Pedro is no revolutionary.

Then Pedro’s quiet town is engulfed by the country’s growing anti-government insurgency, and terrifying changes begin to occur. A mechanical soldier with artificial intelligence, Samuel, is deployed in the neighborhood and, like others of its kind, is glorified by the government as a great protector of the people.

However, it quickly becomes apparent that Samuel isn’t just keeping an eye out for insurgents. After the death of one of Pedro’s closest friends at Samuel’s hands, Pedro finds himself faced with a decision. Does he accept the status-quo or seek justice for his friend’s murder?






Excerpt:

Samuel sat motionless at the end of the cul-de-sac in the pouring rain. Or, seemingly motionless to the residents of Sanctuary Court, anyway. Currently, it had 12 uni-directional robotic ears trained with mathematical precision on strategic points within the neighborhood. Three other microphones were set to record all nearby ambient noise through a variety of filters for the sounds of electrical and mechanical tools, the spoken word, and even whispering. They could record the drop of a pin with crystal clarity from over 100 meters away. Samuel’s numerous optical lenses were trained similarly. In wide-angle they could snap to movement and then zoom in and follow. In tight-angle they could record in high-definition a portion of a citizen’s tattoo or birthmark and, even if it was half concealed, compare it against millions of others in the FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, and Civil Defense Intelligence databases. For all of its concealed functionality, it looked like its power switch had been shut off. Samuel observed the residents of the street peering out through their half-closed curtains and blinds or through front doorways held slightly ajar. The heavy rain pattered against its frame, and in the gray overcast day, it looked like something discarded.



Buy Links:





Kobo 

Diesel  


BLIO 



About the Author:


Robert Corrado grew up in a small town in the California foothills reading comic books and science fiction novels, muddling through pen and paper role-playing games, and filming amateur action shorts on his neighbor’s VHS camcorder. He currently resides in Denver Colorado.  He’s always been a big dreamer, starting his own business at the age of 21, and pursuing creative projects throughout his life in a variety of mediums.  He enjoys reading novels, watching films, skiing, dancing and karaoke with his wife Karen, and spending time with his Jack Russell Terrier, Joey. He has been writing creatively since grade school and shows no signs of stopping.  Some of his favorite books are 1984, Jennifer Government, and just about anything by Phillip K. Dick.  If he were standing in front of you or writing an about page for you he’d definitely thank you for taking the time to read something he wrote so…

Author Links:

Website 
Facebook 
Book Website


Giveaway:

Author Robert Corrado is giving away some great prizes! One lucky winner will receive a free copy of The Fifth Column, plus a $50 Amazon gift card. Four other winners will receive a copy of the book! Enter through Rafflecopter. Winners will be randomly selected by the author at the end of the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway