5,000 Followers!

Last month was my 3 year blogiversary and I was hoping to reach 5k by then but 2 weeks off isn’t anything to be bummed about in my opinion. I’m thrilled to be here and have the support from all of you!

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I remember my first 6 months being happy to reach 300 followers so the growth since then is incredible! I have a post scheduled at the end of the week for driving traffic to your site so check back in to see that!

The one thing I would like to say though, is other bloggers don’t have to be your competition. I run different series every year, my first one was reblogging other sites and my series this year is giving a spotlight to emerging poets! I want to help other bloggers and artists just like I’ve been helped in the blogging community. Showing love to other sites hasn’t harmed my stats, but it has given me new friends!

So I encourage you all to work together and not against each other.

 

How to schedule a blog tour

Scheduling a blog book tour is pretty tough, it requires a lot of coordination and management. You have to find bloggers that are interested in hosting a blog tour, see which of those are available during the timeframe you want and who will even respond to you, and then you have to communicate about the content of the posting.

Before I get into it, I would really really want to thank those that did host me for a blog tour!! It was amazing seeing it all come together!

 

So first, I would search for blogs that are doing tours for your niche. I searched through the WordPress Reader since that’s my hosting site but if you use another platform you might use google or your hosting’s reader feed.

I knew I wanted to do interviews for my blog tour so that’s what I looked for specifically but I think it’s also common just to have the tour host review your new book. Once I found a site I would search their page for any submission guidelines or policies to make sure I wasn’t rudely bulldozing my way through. If that all checked out then I would email them, letting them know I saw their post that I liked, a little blurb about my book, and the timeframe I’m hoping for.

There’s a lot of different ways you can schedule your blog tour. I’ve seen a tour for 15 consecutive days in a row and I decided to go with once a week but starting 6 weeks out from the release date. So there’s a wide range of how many stops to do, how many weeks to do, and the decision to have them all at once or spread out.

I would say I emailed about 20-25 bloggers about hosting me for a blog tour. I got 7 for Yes and that was more than enough for me and what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do interviews and I knew that would require me to do a good chunk of work and writing so I contacted bloggers all the way back in February for a May dated tour.

 

To me, there was no need to badger anyone until it got closer to when the tour would be starting. But then that also left no time to recoup if anything was going wrong. Plus, I had done my side of the work for all of them. On my side of things, it all seemed like it would be working out. It wasn’t till a few days would go by after I sent in my responses that I didn’t hear anything.  

As April came around and one of my bloggers wasn’t responding in emails I checked out the site and saw there hadn’t been a new posting since January. It’s instances like that were the tour can just fall apart on you. I was able to get 2 more bloggers interested in hosting me after my release date.  

Overall, I have to admit that the blog tour was not a success for my initial plan. My goal was to have 7 spots completed by my release date, the result was 3. But out of the 9 Yes, 6 have come together overall so I have about 67% success rate in the end, which for a first time blog tour is actually very good. And I must say, having tour dates after the release was really helpful and kept my book relevant even a month after launch.

This post isn’t meant to complain but to show that even with the best effort, planning a book blog tour is difficult and is not guaranteed to come out the way you planned. My suggestion is to contact as many people as possible with the understanding that some will fall through.

 

All Where I Ache Blog Tour Spots

What piece of your own work are you most proud of?

I really do love my piece, ‘War Cry.’ It’s in the form of a pantoum, which is hard to explain, and makes more sense when you see an example, but it repeats two lines from each previous stanza so you have to take the readers on a journey with not much material to do so. I think the creativity needed for the form could go unnoticed if you haven’t tried it before. I also love the world news topic I wrote on for that piece.

-Full interview from the Literary Librarian

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title of your new book?

MO: The book Where I Ache focuses on depression, self esteem, grief, and self love and there’s a lot of mental and physical pain here. The chapters refer to different parts of the body (head, heart, spine) focusing on different parts of where the speaker is aching.

-Full interview from Authors Interviews

 

book cover ebook

 

What, for you, is the best thing about being a writer?

The best is probably when you’ve created something better than you ever thought you could. A few poems really wow me with some impressive lines of creativity. It’s also so special when a reader connects with a poem and you’ve helped them articulate exactly what they’ve been feeling inside.

-Full interview from My Random Musings – Author Interview

 

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting this book completed and published?

This collection seemed to have a lot more moving parts than the first collection, so it was difficult to keep everything organized the way I wanted. The most challenging thing for me when writing any collection is writing the new, exclusive poems for that particular collection. For me, it’s a challenge to force myself to write about a particular topic on demand. I also need to write about this topic in a different perspective from all the other poems in my collection to avoid redundancy.

-full interview from Torrid Literature 

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Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

Read other poets.

One piece of advice I’ve been told is to read a lot of other poetry to become a better poet and that just hasn’t held any value or truth for me. For one, I fear I’ll end up nearly plagiarizing another poet on a subconscious level. And secondly, I just end up judging their poems as a reader rather than drawing inspiration for it.

Definitely a tricky thing, especially with poetry. It’s hard to know what might inspire you.

-full interview here from Morgan Hazelwood

Now that you have two collections, are you playing favorites?
I honestly thought my first creative baby would always hold a special place in my heart. But I am so proud of the progress I’ve made in Where I Ache that it’s won me over. I’m thrilled that the collection is longer and I’ve more than double the amount of exclusive poems. I’m also proud to be writing about such sensitive topics and expanding my reach beyond just love poems. Lastly, I was able to work with my boyfriend on this second collection with him as my illustrator! He saved the day from my chicken scratch doodles haha.

-Full interview from Beckie Writes

 

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Buy your copy of Where I Ache here !

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Blog Tour Author Interview and Review by Beckie Writes

Where I Ache consists of 6 chapters, which one is your favorite?
I feel like saying My Soothing Arms, the self love chapter, would be too cliche and easy so I’m not going to pick that one. Instead, I’ll say My Weak Spine, the insecure/ self esteem chapter, is my favorite. I didn’t think I would be able to write about that topic in so many unique ways. I feel like different readers can all find a little piece of themselves just in that one chapter.

 

Now that you have two collections, are you playing favorites?
I honestly thought my first creative baby would always hold a special place in my heart. But I am so proud of the progress I’ve made in Where I Ache that it’s won me over. I’m thrilled that the collection is longer and I’ve more than double the amount of exclusive poems. I’m also proud to be writing about such sensitive topics and expanding my reach beyond just love poems. Lastly, I was able to work with my boyfriend on this second collection with him as my illustrator! He saved the day from my chicken scratch doodles haha.

 

Buy your copy of Where I Ache on Amazon

 

Read the full interview at Beckie Writes

Blog Tour Author Spotlight by Morgan Hazelwood

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

Read other poets.

One piece of advice I’ve been told is to read a lot of other poetry to become a better poet and that just hasn’t held any value or truth for me. For one, I fear I’ll end up nearly plagiarizing another poet on a subconscious level. And secondly, I just end up judging their poems as a reader rather than drawing inspiration for it.

Definitely a tricky thing, especially with poetry. It’s hard to know what might inspire you.

 

Read the full interview here on Morgan’s website

Blog Tour Torrid Literature Interview

How do you deal with writer’s block? What is your advice on how to overcome it?

Writer’s block usually comes when there’s pressure to write about a certain topic or a deadline is fast approaching. For me, I tend to get inspiration driving around and attending concerts and musicals so I try to listen to music to help get the words flowing. My advice would be to learn where you get inspiration from and to not force work just because you’re running out of time. Allow yourself some peace as you allow inspiration in from the art around you and the words will come to you.

 

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting this book completed and published?

This collection seemed to have a lot more moving parts than the first collection, so it was difficult to keep everything organized the way I wanted. The most challenging thing for me when writing any collection is writing the new, exclusive poems for that particular collection. For me, it’s a challenge to force myself to write about a particular topic on demand. I also need to write about this topic in a different perspective from all the other poems in my collection to avoid redundancy.

 

Read the full interview here on Torrid Literature 

Blog Tour Random Musings Author Interview

Tell us a little bit about your books

My first book focused on a journey of love lost then found. Not all poems are happy, as not all of love is. I hope each reader can find comfort and strength to continue on their own journey of love.

Where I Ache focuses on various aspects of mental health such as depression and self esteem. Mental health can be such a delicate topic and often gets avoided because of that. I knew I wanted to publish this collection so that the readers could be their own little community of support and unity.

 

What, for you, is the best thing about being a writer?

The best is probably when you’ve created something better than you ever thought you could. A few poems really wow me with some impressive lines of creativity. It’s also so special when a reader connects with a poem and you’ve helped them articulate exactly what they’ve been feeling inside.

 

read the whole interview here at My Random Musings – Author Interview

and buy your copy of Where I Ache here !

 

Where I Ache out now!

We’re finally here launching Where I Ache today!!!

You can purchase your copy on Amazon here

Reviews:

 

“I enjoyed the writing style, the way the book was broken up, and the overall message of you aren’t alone. I would recommend this book, even if you aren’t that into poetry, there’s always a place to start.” – full review

 

“Each poem in this bold collection spoke to me. Like most poems, I is used so it can be hard to know whether the poem is describing real events. I felt like the poet was speaking directly to me, pressing my buttons.” – full review

 

“I think the underlying theme to all of it was strength and survival through it all. I definitely had some favorites when it came to this collection including “Lost at Sea,” “Fragile” and “To My Knees” among others. The illustrations by Kevin Furey also add a great contribution to the work, at some times very poignant. ” – full review

 

“The poems are honest, straightforward and empathetic. Her use of unusual and very descriptive metaphors sets the book apart from others dealing with similar subjects. The book is beautifully simple and simply beautiful, not meant just for those hurting, but for everyone who would perhaps gain a better understanding of another’s unsaid aches.” – full review

 

Blog Book Tour:

 

What piece of your own work are you most proud of?

I really do love my piece, ‘War Cry.’ It’s in the form of a pantoum, which is hard to explain, and makes more sense when you see an example, but it repeats two lines from each previous stanza so you have to take the readers on a journey with not much material to do so. I think the creativity needed for the form could go unnoticed if you haven’t tried it before. I also love the world news topic I wrote on for that piece.

-Full interview

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title of your new book?

MO: The book Where I Ache focuses on depression, self esteem, grief, and self love and there’s a lot of mental and physical pain here. The chapters refer to different parts of the body (head, heart, spine) focusing on different parts of where the speaker is aching.

-Full interview

 

 

 

Blog Tour Interview: An Interview with Poet Megan O’Keeffe — The Literary Librarian

What gave you the idea for Where I Ache? Or what inspired you to write it?

Where I Ache focuses on various aspects of mental health, such as depression and self esteem, which are definitely important to me and my writing. Mental health can be such a delicate topic and often gets avoided because of that. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to publish this book because I didn’t know if I could put that vulnerability out there. But then I reflected that because of the silence, people with mental illness feel even more alone, so then I knew I wanted to publish this collection, so that the readers could be their own little community of support and unity.

Interview: An Interview with Poet Megan OKeeffe

via Interview: An Interview with Poet Megan O’Keeffe — The Literary Librarian