Why Stumble at the Finish Line?

by Roland Yeomans, @rxena77

Yes, it is another stop along my “Don’t You Hate Blog Book Tours?” Book Tour.

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Me?  I’m Roland Yeomans: teacher, dreamer, writer.

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We writers are observers: how we interact with one another; how hard we labor for our dreams … how we shoot ourselves in the foot with our impatience.

“Impatience kills quickly what took so very long to achieve.”

– Samuel McCord {Narrator of The Not-So-Innocents Abroad}

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Over long months, we pour our hearts, our imaginations, our creativity into our novels …

… only to imply our finely crafted narrative is long, boring, and unimaginative with a bruising string of cookie-cutter blog book posts.

Think Movie Trailer:

Don’t you get tired of seeing the same one over and over and over again?  Don’t you perk up when you see a different one with new scenes, new dialogue?  Don’t you groan when trailers give away the whole story or the surprise twist of the ending?

Same with our blog book tour posts:

MAKE each one different.  Hard?  So was writing a fine novel.  Get over it and do it.

MAKE the posts funny.  (No, don’t do it by talking about your love life!)  The ghost of Mark Twain just swatted me with his white bowler.  The old scoundrel wants to hear about it!

MAKE them memorable in some distinct fashion.

Readers will take away from those posts that your novel will be the same: Entertaining – worth their money and their time.

And talking movie previews …

When the Xanadu, the first Air-Steamship, appears above the dark horizon, the rising sun hits the particles of aluminum embedded in its painted surface.  It blazes like a miniature sun.

The inhabitants below know its legend, and their hearts leap with the hope that The McCord and his alien wife will somehow make their burdens lighter.

Here is what I think of as the theme of the Xanadu’s Voyage:

Think Telemarketers:

They have their patter down pat and spew it like tobacco auctioneers.  Don’t be them.

Don’t repeat the same synopsis of your novel from one blog to another.

Bored visitors will fly from your next book tour post faster than Taylor Swift from an old boyfriend.

Some Blog Lists put up the image that starts off the post …

MAKE each book tour post begin with a different image to make each post of yours different.

If you have a wordless image for the cover of the sequel as I used on this post, use it.

If you have a wordless image of the cover of your present book, use that one for the next visit.

If you have a wordless image you were considering for your cover but discarded it, use that image for the third visit.  Shuffle as you go, so that your reader is always looking forward to the next stop.

Think Strip Tease:

Mark Twain just swatted me with his bowler again … and here he peeked through his shielding fingers at the Can Can in Paris…

but you’ll have to read my book to find out more about that.

You may have been wondering why I kept writing “Wordless” about your beginning images.

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Don’t hand everything to your readers at once.  Tease them with wordless images, making them wonder what the finished cover will look like.

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Your Cover:

It is not a painting by Monet.  It is a sales tool … that simple, that essential.

Your title must stand out in thumbnail.  Your name must do the same – after all, you are in the process of creating a Brand of your name.

The Blub must be legible in the thumbnail.

If your cover does not do those three basic things, your cover is an ineffective sales tool.  You have wasted your money.

The Not-So-Innocents Abroad:

Hey, let me say a little something about my own book!

In a 1867 only a layer of reality from the one we knew, global kingdoms of revenants (vampires) vie for control of this world.

It amuses the Empress of an Alien People cast down to this dimension from one whose air it is death for humans to breathe.

Her sister is not amused …

for she loves the human the Empress has married.  McCord, alone, has seen through the icy façade to the hurt younger sister lost in the shadow of her regal sibling.

An insane Abraham Lincoln and crippled General Sherman hate both McCord and the Empress for reasons you will have to read my book to discover.

Cost of Passage?  Only $9.99.  A bargain … unless you run into the vampiric Abigail Adams and Benjamin Franklin!

Now Available on Amazon

Roland Yeomans was born in Detroit, Michigan. But his last memories of thaDockt city are hub-caps and kneecaps since, at the age of seven, he followed the free food when his parents moved to Lafayette, Louisiana. The hitch-hiking after their speeding car from state to state was a real adventure. Once in Louisiana, Roland learned strange new ways of pronouncing David and Richard when they were last names. And it was not a pleasant sight when he pronounced Comeaux for the first time. He has a Bachelor’s degree in English Education and a Master’s degree in Psychology. He has been a teacher, counselor, book store owner, and even a pirate since he once worked at a tax preparation firm. So far he has written thirty-five books. You can find Roland at his web page: www.rolandyeomans.blogspot.com or at his private table in Meilori’s. The web page is safer to visit. But if you insist on visiting Meilori’s, bring a friend who runs slower than you.

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19 thoughts on “Why Stumble at the Finish Line?

  1. Hi Elizabeth and Roland – I know for certain both of you are unique and forward thinking in your approaches to writing and promotion … professional only, no lazy approach in the offing … also generous in your support for others …

    I hope you’ve had happy Easters and will have wonderful Springs and Summers ahead .. cheers Hilary

    1. Hilary, you, too, are unique and generous in your support of your friends (a rare quality these days!) May your own Easter have been healing and happy. I am stepping in the shifts of TWO co-workers this week. Whew! Sleep? What is that?

  2. Think snark!
    Excellent tips, Roland. Each post needs to be different. If it’s just an announcement, it’s not an actual tour stop – and it will bore the readers to see those over and over again.
    You’re right. Get over it.

    1. Writing well, whether it be book tour post, short story, or novel, is hard. But it is what we signed up for, right? :-) I’m glad you enjoyed my post. Thanks for the Twitter support! It means a lot.

  3. Roland, thanks so much for posting today! Great point about snagging readers’ interest by creating unique posts. Maybe it’ll be easier if we think of it as a creative challenge! Hope you had a nice Easter.

    1. I pray your Easter was healing and happy, too. You are a lovely, gracious hostess. Thanks so much for providing this port of call for my Xanadu. :-)

      I hope your visitors enjoy my post. We do have to be entertaining in each book tour post or else risk readers thinking our novels are boring, too. Ouch!

  4. Those are really good ideas for keeping each post on a blog tour – or each virtual visit, if you will – different and interesting. It’s hard sometimes to remember that authors need to sell themselves, so to speak, when they do those visits, just as they do when they do book signings, etc.. But it does matter.

    1. If you can believe it, I am rather shy, so marketing is an effort for me. Yet, we must or our books will just gather dust, waiting to be enjoyed! I hope I made you smile a time or two for an enjoyable read. Thanks for staying to chat. It means a lot.

    1. Yes, I work hard to provide an alluring cover that snags the attention. Putting a bad cover on your hard-made book is like putting a potato sack on your daughter as you send her out to the Prom! I hope this stop was fun for you! Thank you, Diane, for allowing me the podium of your own blog! :-)

  5. Hi, Elizabeth and Roland. It’s so important to not grow stale in a hopping world where the youth get bored five minutes after waking up. Blog posts (in general, but for sure on a book tour) DO need to be fresh. I’ve always said, that when I teach or write, I want those reading or listening to learn at least one new thing in the process. You deliver, Roland. Great job!

    Teresa

    1. Thanks, Teresa. These days I’m lucky to have awakened five minutes after I have gotten out of bed!

      You’re very kind in your compliment. Isn’t Elizabeth generous and kind to allow me the run of her blog today? Brave, too. :-) Thanks for staying to chat awhile. It means a lot to me.

  6. We’re definitely in business, and it’s good to see a handy guide to launching a new product. I’m not a business major, but I do want people to read my stuff. Just like Shakespeare wanted, right? Thanks for the tips!

  7. Roland, my dear — It’s so great what you say here about covers. Using one without words really can be effective. And what odd timing, because only today I’ve made arrangements with the artist who’ll be creating my next two book covers. The problem is, he’s got a six month waiting list. Aargh! But I’ll keep myself busy until there.

    May your books sell by the thousands!

    1. By the one’s would be nice right now! I know what it is to have to wait when everything in you is pushing to get your book out there now. :-)

      Thanks, Helena, for always being in my corner. May your books hit the best seller lists.

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