Category Archives: Social Networking

Announcing: Magic Appreciation Blog Tours

One of the main goals for the Magic Appreciation Tour is to help authors connect with other authors who write in the magical fantasy genre. I think the MAT achieves that goal. We’ve engaged in conversations with one another, we’ve read each other’s works, and we’ve shared our blogs.

The seasonal Post Exchange has helped facilitate our efforts. I originally wanted to give our authors a way to do some kind of virtual blog tour, but at the beginning, we just didn’t have enough authors to do a credible job. The Post Exchange was a baby step. It gave us a way to exchange single posts with each other.

Well, we now have 34 authors who have listed a total of 52 books with the Magic Appreciation Tour! Granted, not all of them participate in the social networking aspects, but many of them do. I’m sure that everyone who has participated would say that we have a friendly, supportive, and motivated group of authors to work with.

At this point, I think we can take virtual blog touring to the next level. That’s why I’m introducing Magic Appreciation Blog Tours (MABT) starting with the Fall 2012 Tour in September (yes, beginning next week).

Here’s an overview of how it works:

  • Everyone who wants to participate will be added to the Magic Appreciation Blog Tours list. You can unsubscribe from this list at any time if you change your mind.
  • When you are ready to schedule a blog tour, send me a list of tour dates. These are the dates you can commit to providing a guest post or interview.
  • I’ll send your request out to the authors who are subscribed to the MA Blog Tours list.
  • Participating authors review your tour dates, and they email you with the dates they can offer on their blog.
  • You review the responses you get and finalize a schedule with the authors who contacted you.

Now you may be wondering how much this is going to cost. After all, scheduling a blog tour through a service that specializes in such things can be spendy. Well, don’t sweat it. The Post Exchange was a free service, and so is the MABT. All I ask is that you do your best to help each other out by offering your fellow writers a spot on your blog when they need it.

For the moment, I’m going to keep the Post Exchange going for authors who want to do one-off exchanges of blog posts rather than doing a full-on “blog tour.” But eventually, I see replacing the Post Exchange with this facility because it is a lot easier for me to administer. It is so much easier that I can keep the MABT running all year, allowing our authors to do a blog tour whenever it is convenient (or timely) for them.

Besides, one of the nicest things about the MABT is that you get to decide how many dates you want to include in your tour, regardless of how few or how many that is.

I already have two authors who have expressed interest in doing tours, so I’d like to get everyone who wants to participate on board before September 1. You are welcome to join after that too, but you might miss some of the early opportunities to participate.


Just so everyone knows what to expect, I’m including some participation guidelines. I want to keep the process as simple as possible and to avoid inundating MABT participants with emails. I will only use the MABT list for the initial request for tour dates. After that, communication is private between the touring author and the authors who agree to host dates.

In the guidelines below, a “TOURing” author is the author who is doing the blog tour, and a “HOSTing” author is an author who is hosting a tour date on his/her blog.

  • A “tour period” begins on the 1st of the selected start month and spans one full month or two full months.
  • TOURing authors may not schedule concurrent tour periods (in other words, pick a schedule and stick to it). If plans must change, please give HOSTing authors at least three days advance warning.
  • The tour dates offered by the TOURing author within the tour period represent the date posts should be published on the HOSTing author’s blog.
  • The TOURing and HOSTing authors work out the details of when the post will be delivered and what time it will be posted on the HOSTing author’s blog.
  • TOURing authors should include the following in their tour requests: Name, email address, goal for the tour, the month(s) of the tour, and specific tour dates. You should also indicate whether you want to do interviews, guest posts, giveaways, or are open to all of the above.
  • For now, the MABT is open to Magic Appreciation Tour authors only.

I hope the majority of our authors choose to participate. For hosts, it’s a good way to get some free, interesting, and relevant material for your blog, and it’s a nice way to help out your fellow authors. For touring authors, it’s a good way to get the word out about your latest release or to drum up new interest in a prior release.

Sounds good! Where do I sign up?

Magic Appreciation Tour authors who are interested in participating should contact me through the Magic Appreciation Tour Contact page. For now, all I need is your name and email address to put you on the MABT list.

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Filed under Blog Tours, Fall 2012 Tour, Social Networking

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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Filed under Blogging, Social Networking, Summer 2012 Tour, Touring Tips