Book Wrap-Up and a Visit from the Gawky Family

Written by on May 30, 2012 No Comments

April was dedicated to the sport of promoting my book via a virtual tour that lasted from April 8 – 28, and I have to say I learned a lot from my adventure, including:

  •  Doing a book tour is a lot of work because most hosts “offer” the chance to do an interview  and/or the opportunity to post something of the author’s choice.  During my tour, most hosts wanted one or the other, which meant I was writing marketing material every night in  April and ignoring just about everything else, including my poor, sad husband.
  • Most book tour hosts are willing to do a book review as part of a tour, but the thing is, they’re all honest people and are just as happy to give 3 stars for your book as a 4 or 5.
  • If you’re going to write a second book, it’s good to keep track of the book tour hosts that gave you high reviews and those that did not.  I mean, why invite the people who didn’t rate you well to participate in your next tour?
  • Not every tour host will “get” your book.  Two people thought my book was a children’s book and only one of the two of them backed out as a result.
  • One person backed out before the tour began for reasons that weren’t real clear to me, and  it was the very last day of the tour.  I was grateful to be able to call upon Joy V. Smith, who was one of the first (and best) reviewers of my book, to fill that last spot.
  • One tour host got in a car accident.  On the day my book was to have been featured, I told her nothing was more important than getting better.
  • Another tour host put down the wrong date on her calendar and her apology included information about her rare blood disease that is distracting her.  I also told her nothing was more important than getting better.
  • My tour included several give-aways, the success of which was highly dependent on the number of people that frequent the host’s site.  One site got 7 participants, another got over 100.  It’s good to keep track of which sites get the most traffic.
  • Author interviews on sites with lots of traffic can generate just as much interest as a give-away on a site that doesn’t get a lot of traffic.
  • I got the most participants (over 400) in a give-away via GoodReads.
  • I had some nifty jewelry to give away and some people had more to say about the jewelry than my book.
  • The book tour was probably mostly a great way to get my name ‘out there.”
  • Tweeting became a nightly event in April, mostly to boast about the good reviews I received.  I did not Tweet about the marginal reviews.
  • Facebook postings jived with my Tweets which was about the only automated thing that occurred in April.
  • Twitter parties should not be done on a Sunday morning because most people are either hungover or at church.  I would have been better off being hungover or at church.
  • As far as book sales go, I did best after a free give-away on Amazon Kindle.

And so with my book tour behind me, I have a couple more free sites to advertise on and then it’s time to wrap up my next book, a humorous story about raising a whole bunch of animals I knew nothing about.  It’s much more marketable and gosh, as a result of a wee bit of work in April, I now have a list of several hundred Tweety-people, some blog followers, some book reviewers and some book host tours that I can call upon again. 

Between now and when my next book is finished, I’ll be back posting about people and critters.  For instance, during my book tour, Mr. and Mrs. Gawky set up a nest across from our house this year and Mrs. laid 8 eggs just like last year.  And like last year, there was one egg that hatched later than all the rest. 

Mrs. Gawky on her nest; one egg left to hatch.

The very next day, I stopped by and saw the last hatchling.  

Baby swan the day it hatched.

 A week or so later, the entire Gawky family stopped just offshore of our property to say hi.  Some of the babies had their back legs resting on their backs and I was a wee worried they didn’t all work properly.

Gawky family stopping by for a visit and to do some yoga.
Last Sunday–the day before Memorial Day–the Gawkies came into our yard for the very first time.  The chubby little babies could all walk, and they wobbled in like penguins.

Gawky family walking awkwardly into the backyard.

The family did some stretches, ate some grass and posed for photos.

Gawky baby enjoying the safety of our backyard.

Some of the babies wobbled around to find a comfortable place to lie down, using their huge wings as balance.

Baby up for a wee stroll.

Some of the babies felt content enough to take a nap.

Nap time in our backyard.

 The ever-watchful Mr. Gawky took time to preen himself.

Mr. Gawky taking care of his feathers.

 About twenty minutes after the Gawkies arrived, they all rose to Mrs. Gawky’s honk-like call and marched off in a line, back to the lake.   Good-luck little Gawkies!

Gawkies heading back to the water.


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