As a writer and blogger I am always looking for ways to participate and publicize. As a reader I am always looking for a new good book. So I was curious when I saw a tweet about signing up for the Annual Blogger Book Fair. This event was put together by Kayla Curry http://kaylacurry.com/ and required a tremendous amount of time and effort on her part to bring it off. She had approximately 200 Bloggers and writers sign up to participate. On the signup form it asked how many author/blogger posts you wished to host on your own blog page. It could be any number from one to fifteen. Not being shy, I took fifteen.
From there you got a variety of informational sheets, but the most important was the one giving the email addresses of the fifteen people I was going to host – and who were going to host me. The fair ran for five days and some people hosted different authors each day. I chose to host all fifteen of my authors each day but rotate their positions so that everyone would have the opportunity to be in one of the first three positions each day. While I was initially worried that the rotation might be a problem for a basically non-techie person like me……it turned out to be the easiest part of this endeavor of hosting fifteen people.
Realizing that there were time constraints for getting all this together I asked people not to wait until the last minute to get their posts to me. And I asked that their post be in one file, ready to go, that I could just paste into my blog. Here’s what I got:
1) Several authors sent me a complete file that opened, pasted, worked, and was timely.
2) Others sent me one file but either the pictures wouldn’t come up (their book cover or their characters) or their links back to their site would not work (were not “live” is the term)
3) Then there were those who sent nothing at all, requiring me to email them several times. Where are you? Are you participating?
4) One author sent a file that had everything he had ever done. If I had just posted it, it would have taken up about ten pages – far too long.
5) One author asked to change her post several times, even through the event. If all fifteen had done that I doubt that I would even be writing this, just still recovering from the stress.
6) One author, Jade Kerrion, helped me tremendously with some of the technical issues. Many thanks for that. http://www.jadekerrion.com
7) And finally, I got to meet a lot of very nice people whom I enjoyed tremendously.
My point in going over all of this is……if you want to participate in an event such as this……or even if you are asked to do a guest blog…..then there are some things you should know and know well before you submit.
1) Know how to prepare a “html-ready” file for submission of your promotional material. Older forms of Word use “save as html”. Newer forms of Word use “save as a web page”. Try the file out on your own blog page under “draft”. Paste it in and turn on “preview”. If it doesn’t work for you it is not going to work for the party you are sending it to.
2) Use the insert command from the top of your composing page to put in pictures and links. Then they will be “live”. The other way to do this is to use actual html language – but that is difficult if you have never been schooled in it.
3) Don’t make it too long (or use excessive pictures)
4) Don’t expect your host to write the material for you.
5) Be timely
6) Keep working at it! You CAN do this!
As I received the files from my guests I worked on the host post. Those that opened and worked immediately got first placement for the first day. The rest got placed thereafter as I got them ironed out. I finally gave up on getting some of the guests to straighten out their posts and I learned how to copy their pictures to my desktop and then upload them to their post to make them show up– but that’s a time consuming pain. I also learned how to schedule on my blog so the rotated guests showed up each day at just after midnight and I didn’t have to get out of bed. The first day’s post had some spelling errors and one missing person, but it finally got all worked out and we were under way for the five days.
The one final ingredient for the success of the whole “Fair” idea was the advertising done by all these participants so readers and writers would visit the Fair’s main page and also the host pages. The main fair page: http://www.bloggerbookfair.blogspot.com/ had contests to enter and all sorts of giveaways. Anyone could host an event on the main Fair page. All the participants books were listed that were either free or 99 cents. There was voting for books in various categories. The whole Fair was very cleverly done.
Some of my guests advertised overwhelmingly. (Thank you very much). I gave recognition to Emma Calin http://www.emmacalin.com as an author who works at both writing and publicizing. I used social media to get the word out-twitter, facebook, google+, linked in, etc. It was impossible to know if some of the authors did any publicity if they didn’t make contact after the Fair started. However, that is the point of the Blogger Book Fair – to reach new readers and writers that had not been exposed to our work before…..and hopefully would like it. So if you participate it is extremely important that you spend time advertising both the Book Fair, pages where you are the guest, and your host page. That all takes a lot of work. Was it worth it? I think so. One best selling author wrote that “no one thing will take your book to the top. It takes many kinds of effort and persistence.”
If you would like to take a look at my fifteen authors and their books, I invite you to visit my last post: Barbara Griffin Billig Welcomes You to the Blogger Book Fair – DAY FIVE – our last day! Thanks and be sure and sign up next year before June if you are a writer or visit the Blogger Book Fair in July!
Barbara Griffin Billig is the author of “The Nuclear Catastrophe” a fiction novel of survival. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004WDRWXY
She supports writers and readers at her blog, @BilligBooks on twitter,and http://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBilligReadersandWriters
For her book fans interested in “The Nuclear Catastrophe” she has:
Web page: http://mysite.verizon.net/resrrmof/
Follow on Twitter: @ barbarabillig
Available as THE DISQUIET SURVIVORS of The Nuclear Catastrophe in Paperback
Read an excerpt now: http://bit.ly/pY8HxX