Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blog Tour Question -- writing tip

 A Bonanza Novel by Monette Bebow-Reinhard
and a treat of a read for Black History Month

Lincoln's haunted by ghosts of dead soldiers and Hoss is in "love,” that Hop Sing calls an unhealthy obsession. Adam's missing, Joe thinks Ben is dead and Ben follows the trail of a slave's suspicion that Lincoln is a traitor. In a departure from FELLING OF THE SONS, MYSTIC FIRE separates the Cartwrights into four misadventures, involving Lincoln, Mark Twain, slavery, greed, and Victorian Spiritualism. A Civil War-impacted adventure that tears the Cartwrights apart even as they try to cling together, demonstrating that in the Civil War, there were more than two sides to every battle.

Blog Tour Question -- writing tip

Question:  I have a new book out and someone suggested a blog tour. My PR person contacted several bloggers who agreed. Some of the bloggers sent a questionairre for me to fill out. Five just said, "Give me 300 to 500 words on the subject of your choice and we'll plug your book at the bottom.  I feel like I'm up that well-known creek. Can I use the same piece for all of them? What do I write about? And how do I write them???

Answer: You can't use the identical piece for all of them, but you can use similar subject matter if you can find a fresh angle to make your point.

First write about something dear to you. When the emotions are involved, the writing takes on a life of it's own. It's easier and if you are not bored, your readers won't be either.

Subject matter might include something interesting that happened while you were writing the book; if there are background stories from research you did; if there are funny stories about people who saw themselves as characters (change the names of the people).

Remember, any blog is essentially a Personal Essay or Opinion Piece. Write it just like you would an op-ed piece for a newspaper. Just like newspapers, the important information goes at the top.

The lead: Make a statement about something
    The price of baloney is_____. (and write a couple of paragraphs about what it is now and how it used to be 10 cents a pound back in the Great Depression, and was still expensive in a time when the average man’s salary was $1 a day.

The body: Give examples and tell anecdotes
    People used to say they were spreading baloney when people told what wasn’t the truth all the time.  (And give some examples of people who have told lies, some amusing, some serious. Girls who’ve lied, or to whom guys lie, politicians and how many lies they tell, the way government cuts medicare, and SSI, but buys $800 toilet seats. Shows where their priorities are.)

Make your point:
    Lots of people will hand you baloney.

The conclusion: Use the lead to confirm your point and make the piece come full circle
    Think about the baloney people slice for you every day. Even when people give it away for nothing, baloney can be very expensive.

One caviat, if they ask for 300 words, don't send 500 and make sure the plug for you book is counted within that. If something is too short, the editor or web-master can easily deal with it. If it's too long, they may find themselves up that well-known brown creek along with you.

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