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Living, Breathing, Writing [Kindle Edition]

VBT to go…

Your book is a reality and you are anxious to get the buzz going. Maybe your “local” bookstores are few and far between, or you e-published your work and it’s not so easy to display, or you just can’t take the time away from your family or “other” job to travel to multiple sites and sit for hours. Then again, sitting in a bookstore may only generate a handful of responses and limited contacts.Thanks to our current technologies and the World Wide Web, planning a Virtual Blog Tour (VBT) is a cost effective and time efficient option. For those who may not be familiar with the term, an author “visits” a number of blogs during a specified amount of time with guests posts, excerpts, interview responses, blurbs and more. The tour period can be as short as two weeks or as long as six months and there can be as few as fifteen stops or as many as one-hundred. Your “visit” remains there long after you’ve “packed up” and gone home so many, many people all over the world can see it.There are professional VBT organizers and promoters and many are worth their weight (and fee) in platinum – the key to what these pros offer is organization and time. A Virtual Blog Tour is something you can do for yourself as well if you can stay organized, focused and disciplined.

Whether you hire a professional to plan out your tour or do it yourself, there is still a lot of work that YOU must do: write up guest posts on various topics, answer several interview questions (often just a few questions per site), make graphics such as book covers and author shots available, write up a short bio, and most important of all, visit EACH site the day of your appearance (and for a few days after) to respond to comments.

Start by scouring the web for blogs that attract your audience (for instance, a romance reader probably wouldn’t be frequenting a blog with scientific journal articles) and query the blog owner (via email, NOT comments) if they would consider being a stop on a blog tour. (You might want to offer reciprocation, more on that later). If they say yes decide on a date and be clear about word count, what they expect from you (promo, no promo, graphics, interview, etc) and the date they need your submission.

It’s a good idea to keep a calendar or “assignment book” and list the date or your appearance, the URL of the blog, the specifics of what you are to provide and the “due date” so that you do not miss any deadlines or opportunities. Once you have a list of dates and appearances, post this list on your own blog or website, and publicize it through forums, email lists and social networks. The advantage to the person hosting your visit should be increased traffic to their site so publicize it thoroughly; ideally they will also be publicizing the event.

Be sure to stop by each blog on the day of your visit, and perhaps for the few days following, and be sure to respond to any comments visitors have left. Responding to comments makes the tour very personal and followers will feel that they have had a chance to get to know you. Don’t be disheartened if there are not a lot of remarks, some authors offer free books or other giveaways to generate comments. Be sure to post your own comment thanking the host for having you there.

If you have your own blog (and you definitely should as an author), you can offer reciprocal visits and benefit by increased traffic to your site. Use key words or tags and help search engines pick up your postings more readily. Each time a new visitor comes to your site because they are following another author you are hosting, you have gained exposure and may even find someone new following your regularly scheduled blog.

Keeping the buzz alive and making stops at other blogs can and should be continuous; it doesn’t always have to be a new book that you are promoting. Promote your backlist on an anniversary date, a milestone, or use a current news item to promote a theme. You can post a widget from a site like * and have a running list of both live and virtual appearances for blog visitors to see.

Writing exercise: Write an instruction guide for a common, everyday chore (housework, driving, dressing, making a phone call, etc.). Avoid making a simple list and using mere phrases. Write this instructional guide in the form of paragraphs and complete sentences. Make it detailed so that even if someone has never used a telephone they will know how to make a telephone call, etc.

Writing prompt: Using the seven numbers of your telephone number, in any order, write a very brief story about people sitting around a dinner table (how many people, how many dinner rolls, etc).

(*note: this post was first blogged in 2010 – no longer exists)

Amazon Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars Author in Residence  
Having Chelle Cordero’s blog on my Kindle is like having an author here in residence with me. She gives inspiration, motivation, and best of all, practical advice and solutions. I love the “writing exercises” she offers at the end of each blog, as well as the “writing prompts”. I’ve already used them myself and with my 6th grade writing class!
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus Reyes wrote 
I have tried other writing blogs on the web, but this one is the best I have read so far.
Very much enjoyed the sample and attempted to order – unfortunately I have the Kindle Fire and the blog isn’t available on the Fire.
Just Google Chelle Cordero’s name and you will see that she knows what she is talking about – her byline has shown up on many articles all over the country in newspapers and magazines. And she has authored multiple novels and short stories as well.This is a terrific chance to learn from a pro. Until now only a few have been able to attend a writing workshop led by Cordero because of location, now so long as you have access to the internet or a Kindle you can benefit from her amazing tips. Her workshops have been so helpful.
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Features book promotions, interviews and profiles, 
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Living, Breathing, Writing

My Weekly Writing Workshop  (Living, Breathing, Writing) for Kindle has been discontinued. But you don’t have to miss out, go to for a copy of 60+ Days to Live, Breathe, & Write