Sunday, May 29, 2011

Writing tips - Subjects and Verbs Stop Fighting: Subject-Verb Agreement

            Since I was dealing with a husband who is very ill and in the hospital, I missed posting my next writing tips article this past Wednesday. Therefore, I'll leave it up Sunday and Monday.
            Using correct grammar improves writing, allowing the reader to understand better what the writer means.

            When subjects and verbs cannot and do not agree, the resulting battle creates an incorrect sentence.  More and more this problem appears not only in speech but also in writing.  However, learning how to make subjects and verbs agree isn’t very hard.  First one needs to recognize the problem areas and then correct the error.

            A verb must agree in number with its subject: A singular subject requires a singular verb; a plural subject requires a plural verb.  Let’s examine some rules of subject-verb agreement,  instances of incorrect usage, and how to repair the problem.

 1.  If a group of words including one or more nouns, such as an object of a prepositional phrase, comes between a subject and verb, be sure the verb agrees with the subject, not one or more nouns in the group of words or prepositional phrase.  A subject separated from its verb still must agree with the verb.

            Error: According to Mary Ellen, the boys on the team arrives late every day.
            Correct: According to Mary Ellen, the boys on the team arrive late every day.
            Error: The sea otter as well as the sea lion inhabit the waters of Alaska.
            Correct: The sea otter as well as the sea lion inhabits the waters of Alaska.

 2.  Singular subjects joined by and should have a plural verb under most circumstances. 

            If the parts of the subject refer to more than one thing, use a plural verb.
            Error: Oklahoma City and Tulsa is the largest cities in the state.
            Correct: Oklahoma City and Tulsa are the largest cities in the state.

            If the parts of the subject refer to the same thing, use a singular verb.
            Error: The capital and largest city are Oklahoma City.
            Correct: The capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

 3.  When a compound subject is joined by or, either-or, nor, or neither-nor, the verb agrees in number to the subject closest to it.

            Error: Either hyperbole or personification are used in each poem.
            Correct: Either hyperbole or personification is used in each poem.

            Error: Mary or Terry are next.
            Correct: Mary or Terry is next.

 4.  A compound subject preceded by many a, every, a number, the number or each requires a singular verb.

            Error: Each man and woman enjoy a delicious meal.
            Correct: Each man and woman enjoys a delicious meal.

 5.  A verb agrees with the subject rather than a subject complement/ predicate nominative.

            Error: The books on the table is the package that arrived today.
            Correct: The books on the table are the packages that arrived today.

 6.  Make sure the verb agrees with its subject even if another word or phrase begins the sentence and/or the subject follows the verb (inverted order).

            Error: There is several reasons for the test results.
            Correct: There are several reasons for the test results.

            Error: On much of the Alaskan landmass lives many animals.
            Correct: On much of the Alaskan landmass live many animals.

 7.  A singular subject that ends in s requires a singular verb.

            Error: The television series Da Vinci’s Inquest take place in Canada.
            Correct: The television series Da Vinci’s Inquest takes place in Canada.

 8.  A singular verb is needed for the title of a work as the subject.

            Error: The Princess Diaries tell the story of a young woman who discovers she is a princess.
            Correct: The Princess Diaries tells the story of a young woman who discovers she is a princess.

 9.  A noun naming an amount that is used as a subject takes a singular verb.

            Error: Six months of darkness make winter difficult in the far north.
            Correct: Six months of darkness makes winter difficult in the far north.

10.  Collective nouns may be singular or plural as used.

            If the subject is considered as a whole group, a singular verb is required.
            Error: A group of Native Americans, the Cherokee, live in northeast Oklahoma.
            Correct: A group of Native Americans, the Cherokee, lives in northeast Oklahoma.

            If the subject refers to each individual in the group, a plural verb is needed.
            Error: The group offers different opinions as to how to spend the money.
            Correct: The group offer different opinions as to how to spend the money.

11.  Indefinite pronouns take a singular or plural verbs under different circumstances.

            If the indefinite pronoun is singular, a singular verb is needed.
            Error: Each of the girls take art.
            Correct: Each of the girls takes art.

            If the pronoun could be either singular or plural but refers to a singular noun, a singular verb is needed.
            Error: Some of the catch are bass.
            Correct: Some of the catch is bass.

            If the pronoun, which could be either singular or plural, refers to a plural noun, a plural verb is required.
            Error: Some of the parts is sold at discount stores.
            Correct Some of the parts are sold at discount stores.

            Keeping a few guidelines at hand can help writers remember how to make those subjects and verbs agree.  Then writing becomes more peaceful and smooth.

Author of mystery suspense Midnight Hours

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bringing Inspiration to Life - By: Stephanie Burkhart

As a writer, a good story idea often comes from inspiration. Once we find that inspiration, it's often our muse, which fans that inspirational spark into a flame. I never thought of myself as a children's/young adult author until I found the inspiration working in my church's Sunday preschool program. We call our program "Little Church" and I help to each the 3's with two other wonderful women, Maureen & Shirley.

For Easter 2009, the ladies wanted to do an Easter play for the children. With a spark and a twinkle in their eyes, they said, "Steph, you're the author. Can you write us a play?"

My first gut reaction: panic! Me, write for children? Then Juliet, my muse, whispered in my ear. I found my courage and bantered ideas around with the ladies.

Children love nature. Nothing amazes them more watering plants and watching them grow. They love picking fruit. A sunny day brings a smile to their faces. While the story of Jesus' resurrection may be hard for them to grasp, a caterpillar's growth and change into a butterfly is one young children understand.

Out of that, my book, "The Giving Meadow" was born. Caterpillar hatches out of his egg and tumbles through a meadow. Along the way he meets a frog, ladybug, bee, and a snake who all help him along his journey. When we presented the play to the children that year it was a big hit.

Then I showed it to Vivian at 4RV. I value her opinion when it comes to writing children's stories and she offered me a contract. It was a wonderful surprise that warmed my heart.

The heart of my blog today is this:

Inspiration is all around us so don't be like me and panic. Smell the roses. Soak up the sunshine. Plant a flower and watch it grow. Don't be afraid to follow your muse.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Create Multiples of any object you can paint in Painter by Corel

By Ginger Nielson *:)

This painting was created using some images I painted for leaves and grapes that I converted into an Image Hose or Painter NOZZLE.  As a digital painter with a strong background in traditional oils and acrylics, I migrated to digital Painting programs and mix the craft with traditional media for all my illustration work.   Although I can work well in either medium I love the combination of the two which I like to call "tradigital."

It is daunting to create an entire forest of leaves and carefully paint each one.  It is further challenging to paint different sizes, color variations, layers and types of leaves in one painting.  The old masters did it with fine detail, impressionistic variations and simple splashes of color.

Digital PAINTING programs, such as Painter by Corel offer another solution.  Yes you still have to paint the object you want to duplicate in masses, but the steps from getting from one leaf to a forest full are not that hard.

Click on any image to view it on a larger scale.

In Painter open a new canvas and on a new layer paint the leaf (or any other object) in the amount of detail you wish.

Next select that leaf with the pointer arrow and with your finger on the option key, click once and drag the copy of that leaf to a new layer.  Now you have two layers with the same leaf on each.  Continue this until you have about 10 layers of the leaf.

Now go back to each separate layer and change the size or direction of the leaf by using the scale and rotate options from the Edit menu or the Effects menu.  (this will depend upon the version of Painter you are using)

Once you have a collection of various leaves in differing sizes and orientation you need to GROUP the whole set of layers into one GROUP.

Now... from the Image Hose palette choose MAKE NOZZLE FROM GROUP and then name the file that contains the group and leave the file on your desktop so you can find it for the next step. It should be saved simply with a name in the RIFF format.

Once it is named go back to the Image Hose palette and choose LOAD NOZZLE.  Navigate to the desktop and choose the new nozzle you have named.  Next  open a new canvas, choose the image hose brush from the brushes palette and spray your canvas with the new nozzle.

The last step is to save it in the Nozzle library.  Open the Image hose palette once more and choose,
ADD NOZZLE To LIBRARY.  Now you will see your nozzle in the list of nozzles you can use at any time.

A word of caution... overuse of any nozzle or effect can ruin an otherwise fantastic piece of work, so use them sparingly and only when you don't want of cannot paint in dozens of the same object.

To take the process one step further you can also adjust the GRAIN feature in the menu to lessen the
value of the object and you can also change the exact hue of the object by choosing the alternate color space from the color palette.  Once the grain is lessened the new color you choose will show up instead of the original.

If you have questions or tried this and you need more help, just send me an email or leave a comment that I can follow to give you some extra help.  

There are also libraries of NOZZLE already prepared for Painter programs. You can search for them online and download or buy them on a DVD.  Be careful of the free ones, because viruses are present.
You can trust the following website for some fantastic nozzle arrays: 

Check out the site if you are interested in learning more, or simply acquiring the software for leaves, trees, flowers, and more.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"How do I get into the business?"

by Aidana WillowRaven

I get asked this a lot. Artists see that I am a cover artist, and a book illustrator, with over 100 books in print with my work on or in them, and inevitably ask me how I got started.

Honestly, by networking. But how did I know what those that would hire me want to see? And how would I get those that I wanted to see my work, see it?

Again, by networking. But networking to the right people, in the right places, showing the right material is the key. The next few tips apply to authors just as much as artists, just maybe in a slightly different way.
  • 1. READ!
I can't emphasize this one enough. To be a cover artist or illustrator, it takes something more than being able to 'create pretty pictures.' It takes being able to tell a story. If you can't effectively tell a story, whether it be with you art or your writing, you're not going to get too far. And how do you learn how to tell a story? You read. A lot. Then you read some more. It just makes sense, for both authors and cover artists/illustrators.

  • 2. For the artist who wants to be a cover artist or illustrator, you also need to study the covers on your favorite books (even on your not so favorite books). Haunt the library and bookstore.

How does the composition differ for a book rather than for a stand alone piece?
How does it differ from genre to genre?
How does it differ from book style to book style (paperback to hard cover)?
How does this cover tell me what I can expect to find inside?

All these questions must be asked an answered for every book. I mean, admit it, we still judge books by their covers. Regardless of what we're taught.

Now, the best cover artists have learned how to make their art be able to stand alone, while still being suitable for a cover. But how do you know if your work is suitable for a cover?

This is a stand alone original recently done just for my portfolio. Could this double as a book cover? Why or why not?

Is there room for a title? A by line? The blurb on back? The spine? Believe it or not, an Art Director or Editor will be looking at that, just as much as your style, technique and story telling ability, when looking at your portfolio. And when I say 'room', I don't mean blank or negative space. But rather, unimportant elements. Things that can be covered by text without ruining the 'story'.

So back to the first problem. How do you get the Publishers, Art Directors, and Editors to see your work. Work that you have purposefully built to be cover art friendly?

  • 3. Remember that word 'network'? 

  • You read everyday.
  • You work on your art everyday.
  • Now you must mingle everyday.

But who with? I see a lot of artist hanging out with other artists. They put their work up on sites like Renderosity, Deviant Art, Zazzle, ImageKind, and many more. Which is good. But, publishers and Editors rarely lurk in those galleries or forums looking for artist to outsource to. Not never, mind you. But rarely.

  • 4. You need to think of it like a business. Who is my customer? 

  • Authors. 
  • Publishers. 
  • Agents. 
  • Editors. 
  • Art Directors.

So where do you need to hang out? WITH THE CUSTOMERS.

  • Join author groups that welcome outsiders (many do not - so pay attention).
  • Befriend writers, publishers, etc. on Facebook.
  • Follow authors and publishing pros on Twitter.
  • Get TweetDeck, and keep search colomns up of keywords publishing pros use when putting out calls for artists.

You need to be an artist (or author) first. At least in public networking. Taking about your cat is fine, but what do you want someone to see if they stumble across your FaceBook page? Certainly not how many games you play all day or how you got wasted last night at that party.

Keep it professional at all times. And people will see you as a pro.

  • 5. Oh yeah ... and READ!

Art Director & VP of Operations
4RV Publishing

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Writing tips - Showing action in writing

by Vivian Zabel     
 Lights! Camera! Action!
(Showing action in writing)

          “Action” brings to mind a movie director starting the filming of a scene. Writers should keep that in mind when writing action whether in a love story, an adventure, or any other genre. Action should be included in scenes, framed portions included in the story line. 

          According to Betty Wilson Beamguard, (“Actions speak louder,” The Writer, September 2005), writers should step back and observe each scene being written as if the writer were a movie director. Each character in the scene should be active, doing things to enhance his words. The action activity should convey a message that fits. Action is portrayed through the use of strong action verbs, not with passive voice or state of being verbs.

          “Narrative summary can drag down the pace, while physical movement, dialogue and scenes engage your reader,” says Jordan E. Rosenfeld in the February 2007 issue of the same magazine. He calls a scene a frame “a little ‘container’ of action and description that reveals plot information and engages the reader.”

          Even when a story is given in written form, the reader should be able to “view” it, see what is happening, as if a drama or play is unfolding. This need for action must be explored so that readers stay focused on the plot. Rosenfeld states, “What you put 'onstage' in your scenes is what your audience members can see for themselves.” This action allows readers to participate and be affected by what happens.

          If too much expository is used or the scene isn’t interesting, a reader becomes frustrated and starts skipping paragraphs, even pages. The author has, in effect, lost his audience, the reader. Most information given in descriptive or narrative paragraphs can be presented through dialogue and action, woven through the plot in a way to provide new information and to advance the story. The conflict, setting, setup, and “what happen next” components necessary for a good plot can be developed more interestingly through action (dialogue, movements and actions of characters, body and facial behavior, and use of action verbs and active voice).

          One point that Quinn Dalton makes (The Writer, December 2006), “A scene’s action must be connected to the central concerns of the story.” Action needs to be connected to the plot, not thrown in just for the fun of it, as padding.

          Any stories or novels, even poetry, requires some powerful action. The reader needs to “see” the chase, the fight, the escape. Short sentences with strong action verbs helps make the action tough and invigorating. That doesn’t mean that each sentence should be so short that the writing becomes too choppy, but long, complex or compound sentences distract from the action portrayed. 

          Authors need to think like movie directors and develop scenes of action that become visions in the minds of readers. Which leads to a lesson about  

Show, Don’t Tell

         Well-written material allows the reader to see, hear, and feel what is happening rather than being told what happened. This show, don’t tell idea makes stories, whether fiction or non-fiction, and poetry live in the mind of the reader. News stories haven’t yet come under the umbrella of showing, but the purpose of straight news items is different. Let’s look at the difference between telling and showing through the following examples:


         The couple walked down the road until they reached a house. The man hurried around the side of the house to peek around the corner as the woman knocked on the door. When an elderly man opened the screen, the hidden man jumped onto the porch with a gun in his hand, shooting the older man in the chest.

Showing through dialogue and action:

         “Jason, I don’t think we should be a doin’ this.” Marla pulled against the scraggly-haired man forcing her along the country road. “Look, we can manage some other way, can’t we?”

         With a sharp curse, Jason jerked her to a stop. “We’ll do what we planned to do. You better not back out now. Don’t even be thinkin’ that way, or I’ll make you hurt real bad.”

         Tears pooled in Marla’s eyes as she shuffled along the side of the dusty road. She wiped her nose on the arm of the faded sweatshirt she wore with tattered jeans. “Okay, okay, I’ll do it. Jest don’t hurt me any more.”

         With a rough push in her back, Jason caused her stumble a few steps before she caught her balance. “Jest get on up the drive to the house and don’t knock on the door until I get hid.” He ran ahead of her, up the steps to the wrap-around porch, and behind the corner of the house. He waved for Marla to knock on the door when she paused at the top of the steps. When she hung her head without moving, he hissed until she glanced toward him. Once he had her attention, he glared at her and shook a fist in her direction before jabbing a finger toward the door.

         Marla’s shoulders rose as she took a deep breath. She stepped to the door and lightly rapped with her fist. She started to turn away when the screen creaked open. An wizened man with wisps of gray hair standing away from his head stood in the opening.

         “What’s ja need?” he asked, leaning against the door jam. 

         Jason leaped from behind the corner of the house, a gun in his right hand. The elderly man jumped back and tried to slam the door, but he couldn’t move as rapidly as the younger man. Jason fired the gun twice. Marla stood staring at the blood squirting from the man’s narrow chest.

         He doesn’t look like he could of had that much blood, she thought as she backed away, a hand at her throat.

Showing through action:

         The couple moved in stops and starts down the country road. The young man with the stringy hair pulled the stumbling woman, no more than a teenager, and she resisted. They stopped, and the man shook the girl, yelling at her. The girl’s shoulder heaved, but she no longer fought him as they proceeded to a house set back from the gravel road.

         The man hopped onto the wrap-around porch and hid behind the corner of the house. He motioned to the girl to knock on the door. She hesitated. He pumped his fist in her direction and pointed to the door. She lowered her head but did as directed.

         When an elderly man opened the screen, the younger man leaped from behind the corner of house, a gun in his right hand. The elderly man jumped back and tried to slam the door, but the younger man was faster. He fired the gun twice. The girl stared at the blood squirting from the older man’s narrow chest.

         If we as writers try to write as if the narrator is an observer living the actions, behavior, and story as it unfolds before him, then we are showing, not telling. We're providing a mental "movie" in the reader's mind.

         Does that mean that a writer never "tells" anything? No, but we need to be sure we don't have "information dumps," where information is "told" in large doses, slowing or halting the flow of the story we want to bring to life. Small bits and pieces of information should be scattered throughout our writing in a way that keeps the reader's interest and allows the plot to continue to more forward, adding to the reader's understanding and enjoyment.

         Action creates a more interesting story.

Vivian Zabel, author of Midnight Hours

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Emotions Are Universal

Emotions Are Universal by Joan Y. Edwards

Put emotions in your story. It makes your characters come alive. One way to make your story have universal appeal is to add the tension of opposing emotions inside your character. We all feel mixed emotions every day. Should we do this? We shouldn’t do that. It’s smart to do this. How could I be so stupid? How could he be so naive? What’s the wisest choice? Do I get a choice? When a character has two or three choices and none of them seem very good, it adds tension. It makes the reader want to turn the page.

You ask me, “What are the main emotions?” Here are three lists of emotions:

Paul Ekman’s Big Six Emotions

Ekman’s Eleven Other Basic Emotions
Pride in achievement
Sensory pleasure

Robert Plutchik's Two Added Emotions (Wikipedia)

Nine Emotions of The Sedona Method by Hale Dwoskin

All people experience emotions. Put believable emotions into your story. It will help your story reach out and hook more readers. You want your readers emotionally involved with the characters in the story. If they are emotionally involved, they’ll want to find out what happens to them.

Read this sentence: Jake was disgusted.

You might say the writer put the emotion into the sentence. The word, “disgusted,” is there, but we don’t feel the emotion. Add action, setting, and description of face and body to make the emotion come alive.

Below is dialogue I made up right here on the spot, just for you. See if it showed emotions through the dialogue, action, setting, and description of face and body.

Jake thought as he looked at the men pawing the waitress. “How can they do that?” His heart pounded inside his chest. He remembered his sister talking to him about the man who raped her. She said, “No one tried to stop him.”

Jake immediately left the bar stool. He stood in front of Preston Richards. “Take your two men and leave. Don’t ever come back.”

“You and whose army is going to make me leave,” Preston said as he blew smoke from his cigar into Jake’s face.

Jake’s three bouncers approached. They were six foot five and weighed 300 pounds. Their muscles were larger than Preston’s whole face.

Preston said, “Okay. We’re leaving. But, we’ll be back to get her later. You can count on it.”

Did I show any emotions without actually using the words for the emotions? I think I did. I hope you think I did, too.

If you find you’re using the word for the emotion: he was sad, she was angry, etc. It’s time for a rewrite. What you wrote isn’t wrong. It’s just not complete. It is a hint that you need to show the emotion with other words, similar to what you would do with your body if you were playing charades. You can’t use words in charades, but you can use your body and nearby props. Do that with your writing.

Use the search and find in your word-processing program. Find any plain emotion words and replace them with appropriate action, setting, dialogue, and description.

Keep a journal observing yourself or other people experiencing six emotions from the lists above. As an experiment, put down each emotion and write down visible signs or invisible signs (what’s going on inside the body) of this emotion. Keep this close to your computer so that when you are writing your next scene, you can use these ideas as spring boards to heighten the showing part of your writing.

Here are website links with information about emotions:

1. Swati Chopra Ancient Indian Emotions Nine States of Emotional Empowerment
2. Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions

3. Great gives text descriptions of body when feeling 6 basic emotions
4. Pamela Berry. Clip Art Guide Great pictures matched with emotions – Free to look, pay to use on websites and in print.

5. Feeling Faces and icons
6. Emotion puts expression on faces on Face and
7. Words Describing Feelings on
8. Words Describing Common Negative Feelings on
9. Aristotle’s and Robert Plutchik’s List of Emotions from Wikipedia

Thanks for reading this blog post. Good luck with your writing.

Never Give Up

Joan Y. Edwards

Joan’s Elder Care Guide 4RV Publishing Release Date: June 2015



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Promotion - Blog (Virtual) Book Tours

by Vivian Zabel 

          Blog tours or virtual book tours are an inexpensive way to promote books across the Internet. An author doesn't have to drive anywhere, so no travel expenses.

          I'm participating in a Mystery We Write Blog Tour which begins May 23 and goes through August 13, a group blog tour. Thirteen of us will host each other, one person per week. I have my schedule of twelve authors and have many posts ready to appear on the release date.

          However, a group blog tour is set up a bit different than a virtual tour for one author and/or one book. Both, though, provide promotional possibilities after a book is published.

          The first thing needed, after setting a date and time period (usually one to two weeks), is to find hosts for the tour. When the tour, such as Mystery We Write, has several people involved, each becomes a host for each of the other members. However, if an author prepares his own tour, or a publicist or friend does it, hosts must be found. 

         Here's a timeline for preparing a virtual blog tour for one author and/or book:

Four Weeks Before the Tour
• Buy or print a monthly calendar with big squares and enough writing space to help  coordinate tour stops. (This was very
  helpful in helping see the whole tour from above.)
• Made a list of possible hosts—authors/bloggers you know, bloggers you admire, reviewers who are also bloggers,
   bloggers who keep blogs related to my book’s theme/content, etc.
• Made a list of groups/forums where you could announce your tour and ask for hosts, such as Yahoo lists you are a
   member of, Facebook, etc.
• Write a ‘template’ message to use for contacting hosts. (This should includ a short intro, info about the book with links to
   the cover and blurb, a request to be hosted on their blogs, etc).
                Note: You should request not only interviews, but also guest posts and reviews. Reviews are great tools of book promotion, and you can always use them later. Keep in mind not all reviewers will agree to read e-books, and you may have to send them print copies. When you contact the hosts, make sure to tell them you would be delighted to return their favor in the future (You better keep your promise, too! This is all about helping each other, after all). Also, let them know you’ll be aggressively promoting the tour, thus bringing traffic to their blogs. 
               Also, you may need to prepare the post for many of the blog stops, so be prepared with reviews, interviews, articles connected to the topic of your book, etc.

Three Weeks Before the Tour
• Need to receive responses from bloggers, agreeing on dates, and recording the information on the calendar. The
   information included needs to include the name of the blog, the host’s name, and whether or not it was for an interview, 
   guest post, or  review.
• Begin completing interviews.
• Send review copies to reviewers
• Start looking for possible material to be used as guest posts. For one host, maybe use an old article. For another, perhaps
   write a new one.
Two Weeks Before the Tour
• Continue answering interview questions and sending them to the hosts (These interviews can be very time consuming, so
   don’t leave them for the last minute!)
• Continue preparing/writing guest posts.
                A note about interviews: Try to keep the interviews fresh, offering links and information. After a few interviews, they tend to sound boring and repetitive because the hosts’ questions are often similar. Adapt interview questions to make you and your book sound interesting and different. Make sure your answers aren’t too long either. People have busy lives and will not spend hours reading an interview. On the other hand, make sure most of your interview answers aren’t one-liners. My favorite combination for interviews is a mixture of short, witty answers with longer, more thoughtful ones.

One Week Before the Tour
• Continue to answer and send off interviews.
• Double check the calendar to make sure all is in order—especially dates.
• Post the complete tour schedule on the main page of your website and blog. 
• Send a reminder to all your hosts. (For this purpose, it’s practical to put your hosts’ contact info in a separate e-mail
   folder and to e-mail them together when needed).

The First Day of the Tour
• Announce the tour to everybody you know—friends, relatives, colleagues, groups, and forums—inviting them to take a
   look and follow you around the blogosphere by providing a link to the complete schedule and mentioning the prize
   giveaway at the end.
• Make sure the links to the blogs on the tour schedule were hyperlinked correctly.

During the Tour
• On the day of each stop, announce the new post to all your contacts— including all the groups mentioned before.
• Visited each tour stop to read the comments and interact with the people who wrote them, which means writing
   comments yourself.

                Interacting with the public is fun and, in fact, will result in overwhelming response sometimes. Having a prize to announce on the last the day creates interest, and the prize can be most anything. However, giving a copy of the book keeps most people from ordering a copy. Once the winner is chosen, announce the winner’s name on your blog.

Final Tips:
• One week before the tour starts, send a press release to your local newspapers/stations and online directories. Also post
   on Facebook, Twitter, email lists, etc.
• If possible, tie your VBT with a holiday. November and December are great months for Christmas books; October for
   scary/paranormal books, and so on.
• Don’t just think ‘kid lit blogs,' or one dimensional type blogs.  Think of your niche audience.
• Offer a gift on the last day of your tour to motivate people to follow you around the blogosphere and leave comments on
   your stops. Never give a copy of the book you’re promoting. If people think they might win it at the end, they won’t buy
   it. Prizes may include gift certificates, goody baskets, other books, and even free critiques!
• Visit your own tour stops on a daily basis in order to interact with the visitors and answer their questions, if any.
• Always thank your hosts. After the tour, thank them again and offer to return their favor in the future.
• It’s human to forget. Two or three days before a tour stop, send a polite reminder to the host.
• Be prepared to be flexible. Some times the tour stops may not take place as planned and dates must be changed at the last
  minute. Have a couple of backup blogs waiting in the wings.
• Don’t think just interviews. Keep your tour varied—interviews (may be audio, too!), guest posts, reviews.
• Keep the complete VBT schedule on your site and/or blog and update it on a daily basis, adding links and/or hyperlinks
   as necessary.
          If anyone plans a blog tour, contact me, and I'll share an article to help with hosts.

          Now, to share my schedule for the Mystery We Write Blog Tour:
          Thirteen mystery writers will participate in a virtual tour which begins the week of May 23 and will run through the week of August 14. Each person involved will host another person on the tour at least one day that week, a different person each week.
           My blog posts will usually go up on Wednesday of the scheduled week and will remain the rest of the week. My scheduled guests are as follows:

Week 1: starting May 23  - Anne K. Albert 
Week 2: starting May 29  - Beth Anderson 
Week 3: starting June 6    - Pat Browning 
Week 4: starting June 13  - Sharon Ervin 
Week 5: starting June 20  - Jackie King 
Week 6: starting June 27  - Mary Martinez 
Week 7: starting July   4   - Marja McGraw 
Week 8: starting July 11  - Jean Henry Mead 
Week 9: starting July 18  - Marilyn Meredith 
Week 10: starting July 25 - Carol Shenold 
Week 11: starting Aug   1 - Regan Taylor 
Week 12: starting Aug   8 - Jennifer DiCamillo (aka Carys Weldon)

Vivian Zabel author of Stolen