Thursday, September 30, 2010

Is Book Promotion Overwhelming to Anyone Other Than Me?

Had I known being an author would require me to do so much I might not have bothered.

Okay, that's not true. Writing is like breathing to me and for at least the past 15 years I've wanted to see my name on the front cover of a book--though providing endorsements on back covers of books is nice too.

Over the past month I've certainly gotten a new appreciation for my virtual book tour clients as I prepare for my upcoming virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book.

Let's see, first of all, I had to coordinate my own tour. I guess it should be easy since I already do this for a living, but coordinating a two-and-a-half month tour alongside tours for about a dozen other people isn't exactly a cake walk. My poor Inbox has 51 items in it. Not bad considering many people's Inboxes, but definitely more than my usual one-page list. There are so many emails flying back and forth for my tour and my clients' that it's amazing it can all be kept straight.

Staples and the post office have seen me so much these past few weeks we've considered creating a tunnel from my house to their front doors to save time. When the Staples employees start calling me by my first name, I'll certainly begin to worry.

By the way, do you have any idea how much shipping supplies cost? And just thinking about the amount of money I've spent on postage gives me hives.

I have a notebook that I use to track all ongoing virtual book tours. My tour alone has 75 stops, not including some of the pre-tour buzz I've been making along the way. There are additions, cross-outs, and eraser marks all over the place. My handwriting is horrible--just ask those whose books I've autographed--and trying to decipher my schedule is akin to trying to read the disclaimer at the end of a sweepstakes giveaway that is typed in a 7.5 font.

Since my book's release on August 21st, I don't think a day has gone by that I haven't blogged about it, tweeted it, talked about it on Facebook and my other social networks, or guest blogged somewhere.

The two major things I need to do to get ready for my tour are email the giveaway announcement to all my hosts and post my full tour schedule here. I'll be doing that over the weekend.

Now I understand why big name writers hire people to do all this stuff. It's like a part-time job on top of everything else you're doing.

I hope you've enjoyed my silly ramblings. Honestly, I wouldn't want to be doing anything else right now. I'm thrilled to be a debut author. I know this is just the first of many books my name will appear on (see, I'm not always a pessimist). I love my clients and there are no better bloggers on the face of the planet than those who host Pump Up Your Book's authors.

I know being a touring author is going to make me a better virtual book tour coordinator. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity. God is good!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Guest on Red River Radio - A Good Story is A Good Story

Last night I had the pleasure of being a special guest on the Red River Radio program, A Story is A Good Story, on Blog Talk Radio. Hosts Marsha Cook, Freda Roberts, and Virginia Grenier led an excellent conversation about virtual book tours that I participated in for approximately an hour. We also chatted for a few minutes about Little Shepherd, my first children’s picture book that was released by Guardian Angel Publishing in August.

If you didn’t catch the podcast, you can click here to be directed to the episode page and listen in.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Join Me Tonight as a Guest on Red River Radio - A Good Story is A Good Story

Join me tonight when I am a guest on Red River Radio - A Good Story is a Good Story. The show begins at 9 PM Eastern/8 PM Central. I'll be talking about the release of my first children's picture book, Little Shepherd, and about promoting your book online through virtual book tours.

Marsha Cook, President of Marcus Bryan and Associates Michigan Avenue Media and Marcus Maxwell Inc., will be joined by her co-hosts Freda Roberts and Virginia Grenier. Freda is a writer and creator of Literary Lounge on Facebook. Virginia is the Founder and Owner of Stories for Children Publishing LLC. She is also an author and editor and writes a successful blog as well as an online magazine.

Join in the fun either by phone or online. The call in number is  (646) 595-4478. I'll be dialing in around 9:20 PM Eastern. Hope to hear from some of you!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Giveaways Announced for the Little Shepherd Virtual Book Tour Oct/Nov/Dec 2010

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I will be offering two giveaways during my virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book. My virtual book tour will begin on October 4th and run weekdays almost non-stop until December 17th.

Giveaway #1 is for those readers who comment on my blog stops during the tour. One comment per person, per blog, through the length of the tour. Giveaway #2 is for those who purchase a copy of the book between its release date of August 21, 2010 and the end of my virtual book tour on December 17, 2010. Proof of purchase must be submitted to me via email at cg20pm00(at)gmail(dot)com. Please substitute the appropriate symbols for the (at) and (dot). Those are zeroes in the address, not Os. If you prefer to mail or fax a copy of your proof of purchase, please contact me via email for that information.

Additional rules and guidelines can be found at the end of this post.

GIVEAWAY #1 (for people who comment during my VBT)

An autographed copy of Little Shepherd
Angel figurine printed with the Serenity Prayer
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad
Little Drummer Boy 2010 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
Gift of Peace 2003 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament

Retail value of Giveaway #1 is $65 (rounded to nearest dollar)


GIVEAWAY #2 (for those who purchase a copy of Little Shepherd between August 21, 2010 and December 17, 2010)

A "Sparkling Angel" scented jar candle from Yankee Candle
An angel gold and silver lid topper for the candle
An angel tea light holder from Yankee Candle
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad
A Jim Shore Nativity Star hanging ornament
A Jim Shore Holy Family hanging ornament
A $25 gift card

Retail Value of Giveaway #2 is $97 (rounded to the nearest dollar)

Here are the rules and guidelines for these giveaways:

1) For Giveaway #1 you must leave a comment on the hosting blog with a working email address for us to contact you if you win.

2) For Giveaway #1 only the first comment with your working email address is used to determine eligibility (one comment, per blog).

3) You are eligible to win Giveaway #2 if you purchase a copy of Little Shepherd between August 21, 2010 and December 17, 2010 and provide proof of purchase via email, mail, or fax prior to December 19, 2010. Little Shepherd is available at the Guardian Angel Publishing website, Amazon,, and at

4) All giveaway winners will be selected using

5) Prizes will be shipped via USPS with appropriate insurance. The author cannot guarantee receipt before December 25, 2010.

6) Author, blog hosts, and Pump Up Your Book are not responsible for lost or damaged goods.

7)  The same person cannot win both giveaways.

Although it is not a requirement for eligibility, the author asks that you consider following the blogs who host her during her tour and also the Little Shepherd blog.

Good luck to all who enter!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Interview with Cheryl Malandrinos, Author of Little Shepherd

I have to tell you that it feels kind of strange referring to myself in the third person. :) My friend and online buddy, Jo Linsdell-Feliciani, posted a lovely interview with me today about Little Shepherd and some of my other projects. This is the first of many blog stops you'll find as my virtual book tour kicks off on October 4th.

I hope you'll stop by Writers and Authors to check it out. You'll find it here!

Little Shepherd in the Top 100 Books on Amazon in its Category for Second Day

Little Shepherd is listed in the Top 100 Books for its category on Amazon for a second day in a row. As I mentioned yesterday when I first noticed it, the category is Books-Large Print-Children's Books. While it has moved down in the rankings, I'm still thrilled that it made it at all.

Thanks to all of you who have purchased Little Shepherd so far. I greatly appreciate your faith in  my work.

All my best,


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Working on Giveaways for the Little Shepherd Virtual Book Tour

It's hard to believe that my virtual book tour for Little Shepherd will be starting soon. On October 4th, Pump Up Your Book and I will kick off a two-and-a-half-month virtual book tour to spread the news about Obed's story.

I'm very excited, as this will be the first time I'll be experiencing a virtual book tour from this side of the computer screen. Usually I'm only the tour coordinator. This time I'll also be the touring author.

In preparation for my virtual book tour, I am putting together two giveaways--one for people who comment on the blogs during my virtual book tour and another one for people who purchase my book through December 17th. I'm in the process of buying items for these giveaways.

Here's what I have so far:

GIVEAWAY #1 for people who comment during my VBT

An autographed copy of Little Shepherd
Angel Figurine printed with the Serenity Prayer
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad

GIVEAWAY #2 for those who purchase a copy of Little Shepherd through December 17th

A medium "Sparkling Angel" scented jar candle from Yankee Candle
An angel gold and silver lid topper for the candle
An angel tea light holder from Yankee Candle
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad

I hope to be finished purchasing the items for these gift baskets by the end of the week. I'll be posting all the giveaway details soon, so stayed tuned to this blog.

Little Shepherd Breaks into Amazon's Top 100 in Books for its Category Today!

Being the anal first time author that I am, I've made it a habit to track my Amazon rankings for Little Shepherd on a daily basis. There are probably tons of reasons I shouldn't do this, but one of the reasons I am doing it is that I want to see how these numbers fluctuate in the month prior to the start of my virtual book tour, which begins on October 4th.

So, I wandered out there today and saw that there was a huge drop in the book's ranking number, which is a good thing. Like golf, lower is better. When I checked it yesterday, it was at 1,910,836. When I checked a moment ago, it was at 297,167. Better still, I noticed that it is now listed at #41 in the Top 100 Books for its category, which is Books-Large Print-Children's Books.

Amazon rankings are updated frequently, so by the time you read this, my numbers could be back up to where they were yesterday. It's still fun to say that I broke the Top 100 in my category today!

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Review for Little Shepherd from Beth's Book Basket

" I recommend this book for anyone four years old and up. It would make a perfect reading for children’s church during Advent or at home for the whole family on Christmas Eve."

Read the full review here!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Phew! Glad That's Done

Preparing for a virtual book tour, especially one that is two-and-a-half months long, takes a lot of preparation. Bloggers who will be reviewing the book in October are beginning to receive the copies I mailed out. I can also officially say that I have completed all my to-do items (interviews and guest posts) for hosts during the month of October.

I feel such a sense of accomplishment right now. This will give me a chance to take a breath and spend some time finalizing virtual book tours for my October clients with Pump Up Your Book.

I hope you'll plan to join in when my tour kicks off on October 4th. I'll be posting a schedule for the month of October soon, but feel free to stop by my tour page on the Pump Up Your Book site to check out the schedule posted there. It needs a few updates, but you'll get the gist of it.

I would also appreciate it if you would take a moment to tweet that page. It will let your friends know I am on tour too.

Even though the tour hasn't kicked off yet, my online book promotion efforts have translated into a few sales, so I'm happy.

Thanks everyone. Check back soon for more news!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Working on the Little Shepherd Virtual Book Tour

As you've probably heard by now, I'm going to be on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book during the months of October, November, and the first two weeks of December. I'll be promoting Little Shepherd, my first children's picture book.

Released by Guardian Angel Publishing in August 2010, this is the story of a young shepherd in the hills outside Bethlehem on the night of Christ's birth. Obed is hesitant to leave his flock unattended to visit the newborn King. While some wise words from his father help convince him to go, Obed is anxious to return to his flock. When he does, he discovers what a night of miracles it truly is.

I've been hard at work this week mailing out copies of books to reviewers and completing interviews.

I hope you'll follow along the tour trail by visiting here and at the Pump Up Your Book website during October, November, and December. There will be chances to win copies of Little Shepherd and some other neat prizes.

Feel free to contact me by using the "Contact Me" button in my sidebar. I'm always eager to talk to readers and my fellow authors.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Welcome to the Little Shepherd Blog

Hello all. Yes, I love blogging, so it should be no surprise that I started a blog to talk about my first children's picture book, Little Shepherd, and my virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book. My virtual book tour will run through the months of October and November, and end on December 17th.

I hope you'll follow along as I tell you all about Little Shepherd, and promotional events surrounding it.


All my best,