Monthly Archives: June 2012

Summer 2012 Tour – Week 2 Retrospective

Well, it must be summer. Fantasy authors everywhere are out dancing among the trees in the forest, running across the flowery meadows, and paddling the blue waters. Sitting in front of a computer holds little appeal compared to that kind of fun in the sun. Consequently, the Summer 2012 Magic Appreciation Tour got off to a slow start, but I have some action to report this week. We have two more weeks of the Summer tour to go, so don’t be shy, submit those Post Exchange requests!

New Books on Tour

First I want to announce the latest additions to the Magic Appreciation Tour. We are up to 41 books now, and the book page is starting to look impressive. I’m confident that any fan of magical fantasy can find many hours of excellent fantasy reading. Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to register your books with the site.

Recently added…

  • Amadi, the Phoenix, the Sphinx, and the Djinn
    by Katharina Gerlach
    Amadi, a young thief apprentice must rely on her training to avoid an assassin and a jackal-headed god while she tries to avenge the murder of her Helping Hand.
  • Heritage Avenged cover Heritage Avenged (Enchanted Bookstore Legend, #2)
    by Marsha A. Moore
    Questioning whether Dragonspeir magic was responsible for her aunt’s death, Lyra McCauley resolves to learn the truth and accepts the Imperial Dragon’s appointment into the Alliance sorcery training. Becoming proficient in magic craft is the only way she can bridge the gap between her mortal human world and the magical world of her immortal wizard lover.
  • Crystal Warrior (Legend of the Crystals, #1)
    by Mike Cooley
    Larissya’s life changes forever when her Grandmother gives her a magic crystal that shows her glimpses of the future. Hunted by mercenaries and an evil group known as the Triad, she is rescued by a large brute of a man named Talos and his band of diminutive followers. She soon discovers that everyone thinks she is the one referred to in legend as The Crystal Warrior.
  • Legacy (The Arbiter Codex, #2)
    by Christopher Kellen
    The Arbiter’s Tower has fallen. Less than a month after defeating the great evil inhabiting the southern city of Calessa, D’Arden and Elisa must face an even greater challenge: reclaiming the ancestral fortress from an unimaginable darkness.
  • Eolyn
    by Karin Rita Gastreich
    Sole heiress to a forbidden craft, Eolyn lives in a world where women of her kind are tortured and burned. When she meets Akmael, destined to assume the throne of this violent realm, she embarks upon a path of adventure, friendship, betrayal and war.

If you know any other authors of magical fantasy who would enjoy touring with us, please send them to the MA Tour site to register.

The Post Exchange

A couple of MA Tour posts went live over the past week. Please feel welcome to visit the post links and leave your comments. We appreciate your feedback and support!

  • Interview with author Will English
    Christopher Kellen interviews Will English on his blog “Eye of the Storm.” Chris talks with Will about his writing influences, writing short fiction, and going independent to publish his first book.
  • Flash Fiction Challenge – Sorcerer’s Price
    Chris Kellen was the first of our authors to post his response to the MA Tour flash fiction challenge. Come see what he did with the prompt, “Some days I wish I had never met that woman.”

Magic Appreciation Tour authors are welcome to submit more offers to the Post Exchange. It’s a great way to get more traffic to your blog and to get to know some of your fellow fantasy writers!

Click to Exchange a Post

And don’t forget to enter the Flash Fiction challenge! Post your entry on your own blog and notify me through the MA Tour Contact page by the end of June.

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Summer 2012 Tour Challenge #2 – Flash Fiction Prompt!

by Daniel R. Marvello

And now for the moment you all have been waiting for: the first Magic Appreciation Tour flash fiction writing competition!

Several MA Tour authors expressed an interest in writing to a flash fiction prompt when I asked them about it, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with. This is my first time running one of these, and as always, I would greatly appreciate any feedback you would be willing to share regarding how the competition can be improved.

Entry Guidelines

  • Story length: 500-750 words
  • Entry must begin with the sentence, “Some days I wish I had never met that woman.” You may use it as it stands or as a quoted line from one of your characters.
  • Genre: Magical fantasy (big surprise). Include some form of magic, but you can mention it in passing; it doesn’t have to play a big role.
  • Don’t use an excerpt from your WIP or published book. Your entry should be original material, although it’s yours, so you can obviously reuse it later in a published work.
  • Post your entry on your own blog and send me an email when it is ready (use the Magic Appreciation Tour Contact page if you don’t have my email address handy.)
  • I must receive notification of your entry by the end of June (e.g. before July 1, 12:00 AM).
  • The winner will be announced on July 2, 2012.
  • The competition is not restricted to MA Tour authors. Anyone may enter as long as the blog post containing your entry includes a reference to the Magic Appreciation Tour site.

Prize

  • The winner receives a free copy of the Magic Appreciation Tour book of your choice (max value $10).
  • All entries receive a mention on the MA Tour blog.
  • Entries will be judged by my wife (my entry won’t be included in the prize competition).

For the Fall 2012 tour, I’ll be more organized about this and get more prizes lined up beforehand. This time, I had to punt. If you are interested in donating a prize to this round or for a future tour, please let me know and I’ll sweeten the pot with it. It would be nice to have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes.

Likewise, if you would like to help judge this or future competitions, please let me know.

If you have any questions or suggestions, you can always contact me via email or through the Magic Appreciation Tour Contact page.

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Summer 2012 Tour – Kickoff and Tour Challenge #1

by Daniel R. Marvello

Today is the first day of the Summer 2012 Magic Appreciation Tour!

New authors have joined us since the spring tour, and many of our prior authors are returning for a second round. I encourage all of you to visit each other’s blogs and introduce yourselves.

Speaking of social networking, I have a first-week social networking challenge for all participants. This challenge will get the tour ball rolling and help each of you boost your following.

Tour Challenge #1: Make it easy for fans to follow you

Image of social networking links I’m amazed at how many authors go to all the trouble of setting up a blog and social networking profiles (and maintaining them), only to make it hard for fans and friends to find and follow them.

The first challenge is to update your blog with links to all of your social network accounts, wherever they may be. Here are some Touring Tips on how to do that:

  • Don’t put your social network links into a blog post. It will just scroll off into history as time goes on. Instead, put them on a dedicated page that has its own site menu item. Your “about” page or your “contact” page are good candidates. Better yet, put them in your blog’s side bar so they are always available on every page.
  • Keep all of your social networking links together. If followers find one set of links, they may stop looking for more.
  • If possible, use the cute little logo buttons that help identify the network. Visitors are trained to look for those logos when scanning the page for a way to follow you. Text links work okay too, but visitors have to actually read them to recognize what they are.
  • Include a link to your blog’s RSS feed among your social networking links, even if the blog has links to the feed elsewhere on the site.
  • Include an email signup for visitors who prefer to receive your posts in their inbox. If your blog doesn’t offer a way to do that but does have an RSS feed, go to FeedBurner and get an email signup widget from them.
  • Test your links! Before you test a link, log out of the social networking site so you are coming in fresh. And watch out for links that you cut and paste from your browser address bar: Those URLs may not be the same as what a visitor needs to use to reach your profiles.
  • For extra credit, add social networking widgets to your site. These include things like share buttons, like buttons, and recent post feeds from the various social networking sites. Make it easy for followers to spread the word about your content!

If you’ve already done all of the things on the list above, your future followers will love you.

But do one more thing for me. Go back over your links. Are you missing any? Did you forget to add that Google+ account you set up last week? How about your Goodreads account? If anything is missing, here’s your big chance to add it! Disclosure: I just discovered that I forgot to add my Goodreads account to my blog. I need to take my own advice!

Happy touring, everyone!

*****

Do you have any tips you’d like to add to the list above? Do you have suggestions for future challenges or tips? Tell me in the comments!

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