Twitter Hash Tag Magic for Authors and Bloggers—You Decide

On Saturday, Sunday and Monday every week, I join several hash tag groups on Twitter, and we support each other by Retweeting each other’s Tweets that might lead readers to view our blog posts, and if we are authors—not all of us are—our blogs support our books by attracting readers who might buy one or more of our books after reading a few free blog posts.

#ArchiveDay is on Saturday; then there is #SundayBlogShare, and last #MondayBlogs. Out of curiosity I wanted to see if my books sold more copies on those days than the rest of the month, so I went back and compared the sales numbers for January, February, March and April.

January through April covers 151 days, and Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays took up 47 of those days or 31.1% of the total. During that four month period, my books sold 325 copies or an average of 2.1 a day.

During the Twitter hash tag days with #ArchiveDay, #SundayBlogShare and #MondayBlogs, my books sold 132 copies or 40.6% of the total for almost 3 a day.

To break it down further:

  • There were 17 #ArchiveDays, and 35 books sold for an average of 2 a day.
  • There were 15 #SundayBlogShare days, and 44 books sold for an average of 3 a day.
  • There were 15 #MondayBlogs days, and 53 books sold for an average of 3.5 a day.

How about Blog traffic?
Were there more views on the three hash tag days?

Only April was available for daily totals. To be fair, Saturdays have always been slow for views even before I joined the three hash tag groups. It would be interesting to see what would happen if #ArchiveDay was on a Tuesday or Wednesday. In fact, Fridays, Saturdays and national holidays (for instance, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the early weeks of the summer when kids are out of school and many families take off on vacation) is almost always lower in view counts compared to the rest of the week or year, and I think the reason #ArchiveDay on Saturday still hit the monthly average in book sales instead of ending up lower says a lot.

Lloyd Lofthouse.org had a total of 4,267 views that arrived from Twitter; 15,064 from search engines, and the Blog had a total of 355 Posts by May 7, 2015

  • April total/daily average = 1,306/44
  • #ArchiveDay—April total/daily average = 159/39.7 (90.2% of daily average)
  • #SundayBlogShare—April total/daily average = 193/48.2 (109.5%)
  • #MondayBlogs—April total/daily average = 307/76.7 (174.3%)

Crazy Normal – the classroom expose had a total of 2,549 views that arrived from Twitter; 17,727 from search engines, and the Blog had a total of 775 Posts by May 7, 2015.

  • April total/daily average = 2,174/72
  • #ArchiveDay—April total/daily average = 272/67 (93%)
  • #SundayBlogShare—April total/daily average = 343/85.7 (119%)
  • #MondayBlogs—April total/daily average = 315/78.7 (109.3%)

iLookChina.net had a total of 1,293 views that have arrived from Twitter; 313,563 from search engines, and the Blog had a total of 2,010 Posts by May 7, 2015.

  • April total/daily average = 9,341/311
  • #ArchiveDay—April total/daily average = 913/228.2 (73.3%)
  • #SundayBlogShare—April total/daily average = 1,131/282.7 (90.9%)
  • #MondayBlogs—April total/daily average = 1,469/367.2 (118%)

The Soulful Veteran had a total of 556 views that have arrived from Twitter; 8,402 from search engines, and the Blog had a total of 212 Posts by May 7, 2015.

  • April total/daily average = 771/26
  • #ArchiveDay—April total/daily average = 272/67 (257.6%)
  • #SundayBlogShare—April total/daily average = 343/85.7 (329.1%)
  • #MondayBlogs—April total/daily average = 315/78.7 (302.6%)

In conclusion, I think the results show that on the three hash tag days, on average, there was more traffic to my blogs and more book sales—especially for The Soulful Veteran blog where views increased dramatically by more than 250 percent, and this blog has a very poor search engine rank when compared to my other three sites through Alexa. I think it’s safe to say that increased traffic coming from Twitter on hash tag days also increased book sales—at least for Sundays and especially Mondays.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

ON SALE - Cover with Blurbs

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Promoting the Same Book for Seven Years—info for authors

First—a brief history of my first novel (I’ve published four so far and have started a fifth that I plan to turn into a series).

I started researching and writing “My Splendid Concubine” in 1999 (total copies sold to date are almost 21,000).  During that time, we visited China nine or ten times and traveled extensively throughout that country doing research. Concubine, after a stack of printed revisions almost as tall as I am—I was six-foot-four but as we age, we shrink—the novel’s 1st edition came out in December 2007, and it sold 562 copies in its first two years. In 2010, the novel went through more editing and revisions, and then the 2nd edition came out with a new cover. Between 2010 and 2013, the 2nd edition sold more than 11-thousand copies. The 3rd edition, after more editing, revisions and another new cover, came out in 2013 and has sold more than 9-thousand additional copies and is still selling.

During those seven years, Concubine was promoted in several local brick-and-mortar book store author events, through thirty-one traditional talk radio shows where I was a guest expert on China, and three book blog tours in addition to two BookBub ad campaigns: one in 2013 and another in 2014.

What follows is a brief report of the most recent $0.99 promotion of My Splendid Concubine from April 13 – April 19, 2015.  When that promotion ended, I submitted a price increase from $0.99 back to $3.99, but as I’m writing this post, I see that Amazon has kept the price at $0.99—and it has now been more than five days since the official promotion ended.

Starting Sunday, 4/12, I pinned—after I made sure that price had been dropped by Amazon and Draft2Digital—a Tweet promoting the sale to the top of my Twitter page and tweeted fresh tweets to support the sale several times a day in addition to the pinned tweet that was always there.

To discover how to pin a Tweet to the top of your Twitter page so that it’s what everyone sees first when they visit, I’ve included this video from YouTube that explains how to do it.

When I checked my Twitter Analytics page (I’m not sure you can open this link), it turns out that the Tweet that promoted the sale (the pinned tweet) was the Top Tweet for the last 20 days with 4,178 impressions (number of times users saw the Tweet on Twitter—I have no idea how they measure that). Using Twitter analytic, I learned that the same pinned Tweet was Retweeted 54x, the image was clicked on 7x and the link that led to Amazon was clicked 5x, and that was just the pinned Tweet.

I have no idea how many times all of the other promotional tweets were seen. For instance, I found one of the same Tweets that was not the pinned version, and it was viewed 904x and engaged 23x. Engaged means the number of times a user has interacted with a Tweet, and I probably posted the same Tweet three to five times a day during the sale.

But what about the four ads I ran with The Fussy Librarian, Choosy BookwormeReaderNewsToday and Riffle?

The price drop to $0.99 was submitted on 4/11. Note: Seven copies sold for the full price at $3.99 between 4/1 through 4/4.  No copies sold between 7/5 – 7/10.

Sales by Date During the Promotion

  • 4/11 – 2
  • 4/12 – 20
  • 4/13 – 29 (two ads ran: The Fussy Librarian and The Choosy Bookworm)
  • 4/14 – 50 (one ad ran: eReaderNews Today)
  • 4/15 – 14
  • 4/16 – 13 (I think the ad from Riffle ran—a site with a high Alexa rank in Canada—but there were no sales from Canada during the promotion, and I’m not sure if the ad ran the day it was scheduled, because I never saw it even though I searched.)
  • 4/17 – 3
  • 4/18 – 3
  • 4/19 – 3
  • 4/20 – 1 (I submitted the price change from $0.99 to $3.99 at 7:30 AM)

During the same time span as the Concubine promotion, my other three books sold 12 copies at the full price of $3.99.

The result: More than 160 copies have sold so far in April for all four of my books—but most of the sales were for “My Splendid Concubine”. The total number of sales for January, February and March were 148 or an average of 49 copies a month. I think that an increase of sales of more than 326% for April was a success.

 
I think exposure is more important than profit. If the work is worth reading, the exposure might lead to those profits in the future.

For instance, Amanda Hocking didn’t earn much money or sell many books for her first eight years as an indie author, and then her sales went viral making her an internationally known author and a millionaire.  For those eight years, Hocking worked part time jobs for poverty wages, and lived at home with her mother who nagged her relentlessly to get a real job that would support her. Hocking said she worked really hard developing her social media platform. I wonder if her mother is nagging her today.

In May and June, my 4th book, The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova, will be going on a book Blog Tour with a $0.99 price drop from $3.99 in addition to plans to run ads on several sites, for instance, BookBub (if the ad request is accepted), Fussy Librarian, and eReaderNewsToday.

UPDATE August 11, 2018

For a little more than a year now, I’ve been experimenting with Amazon ads and learning what works. The focus is on “My Splendid Concubine” because it has the most reviews, three hundred and twelve with 251 four-and-five stars. Amazon has run more than 800k impressions resulting in 4,169 clicks (as of today) since the start of the campaign.  The cost of the clicks so far is $1,167.47 offset by $1,059.31 in royalties from the 380 sales that Amazon has linked to the clicks, but that number is misleading because of sales not related to the clicks from the ad impressions. Total sales are closer to 600 resulting in more than $1,600 in royalties. My guess is that readers that clicked the ad, bought the book, and liked it enough, talked to other readers who bought the book without clicking on one of the ads.

At 5:27 PM today, “My Splendid Concubine” was ranked #15,082 Paid in the Kindle Store and #11 for its specific genre.  Sales for the e-book for August broke 100 copies this morning with twenty days to go before August ends.  I plan to write a blog post about what I’m learning. I just checked and there have been another ten sales so far today.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

 Covers for first 3 novels

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Forty-Five thousand U.S. Businesses are Built on a Foundation of Legal Seduction and Sex

The legal seduction and sex industry in the United States is built on a foundation of alcohol, food, music and consensual sex, and it earns more than the $14.6 billion that goes to illegal prostitution or the $10 – $12 billion spent annually on pornography – NBC News; Business Pundit.com

For a comparison, McDonald’s is the second largest fast food chain in the U.S. and it only has 14,267 outlets. Number one, Subway, has 24,722, and Starbucks 10,821. And the largest retail chain in the U.S. is Wal-Mart with 4,177 stores.

But the $20 billion annual legal seduction and sex industry beats them all with 45,000 locations. Even box office revenue in North America is less than $11 billion annually. – Statista.com

The legal seduction and sex industry in the U.S. is also an industry where global corporations seem to keep their distance even if their CEO’s, board members, managers and employees are patrons. Instead, it is mostly operated by individual entrepreneurs.

What’s interesting is that we seldom if ever hear about the legal seduction and sex industry in the US media.

Why is that—maybe because most Americans only want to think of the U.S. as a pure, righteous Christian country—a fake role model for the world? After all, the Pew Forum.org reports that almost 80% of adults in the United States are Christians. In addition, the Hartford Institute estimates there are roughly 350,000 religious congregations in the United States. This estimate relies on the RCMS 2010 religious congregations’ census. Of those, about 314,000 are Protestant and other Christian churches, and 24,000 are Catholic and Orthodox churches.  Non-Christian religious congregations are estimated at about 12,000. There are about 56 million weekly worshipers who go to church—less than 18% of the total population..

Does this make the United States a Jekyll and Hyde culture—on one side we have religion and on the opposite side legal seduction and sex that’s mostly ignored by the media to satisfy what devout (the less than 18%) religious Americans don’t want to hear?

In the early 1980’s I was the maître d’ for a few years for a nightclub, restaurant combination that was part of a small chain in Southern California called The Red Onion. The Red Onion where I worked had three bars on one side of the building and three dining rooms on the other side—one with a glass ceiling with full-sized palm trees inside. The lobby joined the two but the kitchen served both.

The nightclub was capable of holding several hundred lusty dancers and drinkers, and it had a DJ’s booth along with a large stage for live entertainment. The dance floor was between the DJ and the stage.

“While the dance floor in a nightclub of this size is the central arena of seduction, actual sex usually takes place in bathroom stalls, exit stairwells, and so on. In other cases the disco became a kind of ‘main course’ in a hedonist’s menu for a night out.” – Disco American Heritage Magazine by Peter Braunstein, Vol, 50, No. 7, November 1999

This world where I worked nights and weekends for several years was the inspiration for my next novel, a lusty murder mystery, The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova—that mixes seduction, sex and religion.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His fourth novel is The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Book Cover and Blurb to use in promotions

Lloyd Lofthouse also worked as a maître d’ in a nightclub called the Red Onion for a few years. A romantic at heart, in his award winning novels, he tests true love in difficult situations and the challenges of keeping that love alive. My Splendid Concubine, his first novel, is an epic love story that teaches acceptance and respect for other people and their cultures. Running with the Enemy, his second novel is a love story that will either cost the characters their lives or will complete each other’s hearts. Lloyd Lofthouse lives with his family in California’s San Francisco Bay area.

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A Book Cover Must Make a Promise, and the story must Deliver it

How important is a book’s cover? Well, for an answer, The Midwest Book Review rejects books submitted for review if the cover doesn’t measure up to traditional industry standards. Midwest reviewers do not bother to open those books. They go in the recycle bin.

On Saturday, January 10, 2015, I attended the January meeting of the Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club to hear a presentation by Jim Azevedo, the Marketing Director of Smashwords. The title of his presentation was “The Secrets to Ebook Self-Publishing Success”. With a Power Point Presentation that had 72 screen shots, he focused on ten secrets, and the one that grabbed my attention was #2, Creating a SUPBERB cover image.

It was soon obvious to me that a book’s cover was probably one of the most important steps to publishing success after writing a riveting story that is professionally edited, because more than 26% of the presentation focused on the importance of an attention grabbing book cover that makes promises about the story.

Azevedo provided a case study of one cover that went through four changes. During the metamorphosis of this book’s cover from dull to boring, then interesting to sexy and hot, it was barely selling.

It wasn’t until the sexy and hot fourth cover in the sixth month that the novel took off and became an Apple iBoostore #5 bestseller, and today the book has been a New York Times Best Seller and is still selling well on Amazon—when I checked while writing this post, it was ranked #466 in competition with more than 12-million titles on Amazon.

The book I’m talking about is Playing for Keeps by R. L. Mathewson, and on Amazon it currently has a 4.5 average from 1,128 customer reviews. If you check out the paperback, you’ll discover cover number three (there were two clovers before #3 that are not worth seeing).

What does that #466 rank mean? The one-time “My Splendid Concubine” hit #56 on Amazon, it sold more than 2,000 copies in 24 hours. On January 13, Tuesday, the same novel sold three copies and was ranked #114,722.

Anyway, Smashwords’ Jim Azevedo got me thinking. The cover of my second novel, Running with the Enemy, wasn’t promising what readers would find in the story compared to the winning book covers that I saw in the presentation.

Now I have generated several choices to replace the current second e-book cover of “Running with the Enemy” (the paperback still has the first cover), and anyone who leaves a comment and votes helping me select the best cover will be entered in a drawing for a free e-book copy of the novel (or a paperback if the winner prefers one and lives in the United States). If the winner already read it, that’s okay. I’ll send the winner of the drawing a copy of my next novel when it comes out in a few months—“The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova”. It’s with the copy editor as I’m writing this Blog post and the cover is pretty much a done deal—I hope. And if the winner doesn’t want to read these two novels because they offer the theme or genre the winner prefers to read, then I will offer an Amazon “Give as a Gift” equal to the full price of the e-book.

If you decide to take part in helping me select a better cover for “Running with the Enemy”, there are four choices. Please indicate your choice in a comment. Thank you. To help you make a choice, I’ve copied after the five new cover choices the most helpful review on Amazon in addition to what a Writer’s Digest Judge said about the novel. In addition, if none of them work better than the current e-book cover, then I will return to the Adobe Elements editor and get back to work. The drawing for the winner will be held on February 1, 2015.

FIRST ROUND OF CHOICES

Resized and Low Res 4  Covers for Voting on 1-17

“Lloyd Lofthouse describes his book Running with the Enemy as a memoir that evolved into fiction. As a Vietnam veteran who had seen and experienced enough to leave him with post-traumatic stress disorder, he wrote this book it seems to come to terms with all he experienced in Vietnam. The book became fiction, an action novel with a strong romance component.

“Overall it rings true of war and what it was like to serve in Vietnam. Much of the book details the fighting, the casualties and the heartbreak and the trauma experienced by the soldiers. The book also takes you on a dizzying journey when the lovers Tuyen and Ethan flee to other countries in Southeast Asia – Laos, Cambodia, Bangkok, Thailand ,and Burma (Myanmar).

“For those who would like to get a sense of what combat was really like, this is an excellent book, which began as a memoir of Vietnam.” – A Novel of Combat by Harvee L.

“Obviously drawn from the author’s first-hand experiences as a Marine serving in Vietnam, Running with the Enemy is a rough but occasionally heartfelt war story. … The book is sometimes too obviously drawn from his experience. But ultimately that’s a small complaint about a book that, on the whole, is quite good and has a lot to say about the nature of the conflict .”  – 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards commentary from an anonymous judge

Note: This novel—awarded Honorable Mentions in four literary contests and a genre Runner-Up in a fifth literary contest—was targeted by a flock of Goodreads trolls at the time of its publication. Here is the review from one of the Trolls, that I linked to the group of Goodreads bullies, who  never bought or read the novel and gave it one-star on Amazon in an attempt to sabotage its sales and my reputation.

“Lofthouse’s attempt at a 60’s-era thriller is cliched, trite and rather boring. If you’re looking for a good read, check out Graham Greene’s Quiet American instead.” – Miss M

SECOND ROUND OF CHOICES on 1-22-2015

Thanks to comments and suggestions the choice has narrowed down to two covers. They look similar but both have different images on the top third of each cover—which one works best?

Low Res January 22 - two choices

 THIRD ROUND OF CHOICES ON 1-24-15

These two choices are based on the majority of comments from both Twitter and this post.

Jan 24 Low Def Final two choices of New Cover

FOURTH ROUND on 1-25-15

This may be the final cover. There were two more suggestions after I posted the choices for the third round. One suggestion was for a compromise between A & B, and the second suggestion was to take the kissing couple and make them partially opaque/transparent. I used the burn tool on Adobe Elements to take away some of the brightness in the stars and scanned the couple with the Eraser set at 5% Opacity. I started at 20% Opacity and worked down to 5% in several stages, and discovered that anything more than 5% and the lovers started to vanish into the starry sky. This cover revision is still open for suggestions until February 1, 2015, and I thank everyone who is taking part in the process.

Low Res Final  Cover on Jan 25

The Winner of the Drawing for February 1, 2015 was:

Poetic Justice
@ http://poeticjusticect.com/

The details of the giveaway were:

“anyone who leaves a comment and votes helping me select the best cover will be entered in a drawing for a free e-book copy of the novel (or a paperback if the winner prefers one and lives in the United States). If the winner already read it, that’s okay. I’ll send the winner of the drawing a copy of my next novel when it comes out in a few months—“The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova”. It’s with the copy editor as I’m writing this Blog post and the cover is pretty much a done deal—I hope. And if the winner doesn’t want to read these two novels because they don’t offer the theme or genre the winner prefers to read, then I will offer an Amazon “Give as a Gift” equal to the full price of the e-book.”

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His fourth novel is The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Book Cover and Blurb to use in promotions

Lloyd Lofthouse also worked as a maître d’ in a nightclub called the Red Onion for a few years. A romantic at heart, in his award winning novels, he tests true love in difficult situations and the challenges of keeping that love alive. My Splendid Concubine, his first novel, is an epic love story that teaches acceptance and respect for other people and their cultures. Running with the Enemy, his second novel is a love story that will either cost the characters their lives or will complete each other’s hearts. Lloyd Lofthouse lives with his family in California’s San Francisco Bay area.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova – is it porno, erotica, or something else?

This morning—Saturday, December 20, 2014—I mailed off the USB drive to my copy editor with the final rough draft of my next novel, The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova. If all goes well, the book will be released by March 2015 at the latest.

My first novel was My Splendid Concubine, and it was historical fiction set in 19th century China based on a real-life love story.

My second novel, Running with the Enemy, was also a love story and a thriller set during the Vietnam War in the 1960’s, and I borrowed from events that happened to me and others in my unit in Vietnam when I served there as a U.S. Marine.

Number three was a memoir, Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé—with no love story or sex—and it came out in November 2014.

The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova is a 1990 libido-driven, multi-murder mystery, want-to-be love story set mostly in the palace of a nightclub called the Aphrodisiac Academe in a beach community in Southern California.

LowiDef Dec 19 Book Cover for Redemption With Title Flattened

In the early 1980’s, I was the maître d’ for a few years for a similar nightclub called The Red Onion in the same region, and the nightclub in this novel is modeled after that one that had three dining rooms—one with a glass ceiling and full-sized palm trees—and three bars for a nightclub that held up to 1,000 lusty dancers and drinkers, including a DJ’s booth and a stage for live entertainment.

“While the dance floor in a nightclub of this size is the central arena of seduction, actual sex usually takes place in bathroom stalls, exit stairwells, and so on. In other cases the disco became a kind of ‘main course’ in a hedonist’s menu for a night out.” – Disco American Heritage Magazine by Peter Braunstein, Vol, 50, No. 7, November 1999

The family that runs the fictional Aphrodisiac Academe in my murder mystery is a deliberately sexually dysfunctional family—or maybe they are normal and everyone else isn’t normal.

A reclusive 96-year old billionaire owns it all, and she helps rescue abused women with help from her grandson, the main character whose name appears in the title, but he has a problem. He has sworn off being the Lothario he was raised to be in the family tradition, and, for him, it’s a challenge to stay sexually sober. Don was taught by his Lothario grandfather to seduce women starting when he was age ten. In the novel, he’s forty. Will he succeed in leaving the old life of lust behind and find the love he craves with one woman?

And will he avoid getting murdered?

My question is this – is this novel pornography, erotica or just a mystery in a setting where lust and sex is normal?  The world of nightclubs and bars is a world we don’t read or hear about often, but there are literally thousands across the country, and the Top 100 List for Nightclubs and Bars in 2014 showcased the current economic strength of the industry with more than $1.5 billion in combined total revenue in 2013.

How big is this industry that is the setting for my first mystery? The US bar and nightclub industry has about 45,000 establishments (single-location companies and branches of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $20 billion.

Peter Braunstein wrote, “From the juke joint to the dance hall, American clubs in the postwar era have been the center of a cultural struggle pitting the forces of hedonism, revelry, and sexual liberation against those of socio-sexual stability and control.”

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

Honorable Mention in Biography/Autobiography at 2014 Southern California Book Festival

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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Comparing a virtual book tour to the traditional, and why go on a book tour in the first place?

Crazy is Normal: a classroom exposé started its virtual book tour journey on October 1 to November 15, 2014, and I do not expect to make a profit.

A profit would be nice, but as you read this post, you will discover that traditional publishers usually don’t expect a profit—if there is any—until long after the book tour—if there is one—because old fashioned book tours are rare and expensive.

Just in case you think every traditionally published author gets a book tour from a publisher, think again.

In March 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported, as the business of publishing changes, book tours increasingly look like bad risks. “In 99.9% of cases,” says Peter Miller, director of publicity at Bloomsbury USA, “you can’t justify the costs through regular book sales.”

Traditional book tours are expensive, because authors usually fly from city to city between states or countries and the cost can runs into the thousands.

For instance, Brian Jud explored the Cost of a Traditional Tour, by car, and concluded that the direct cost of a six month book tour would run $12,345, and he would have to sell 2,465 books to break even.

In addition, Publishers Weekly—in 2006—said, “There are 5,500 adult trade fiction titles published every year, and a tiny percentage of those books’ authors get sent on tour… Assuming that an average 10-city tour costs, say $25,000 (toting up airfare, hotels, escorts and co-op advertising), most book tours are far from cost-effective in terms of the number of copies sold at signings.”

How is a virtual book tour different and why is that important?

I’m inviting you to read on and discover how much this virtual tour has cost me in dollars and time, and we will start with the publicist, who arranged the 20+, Book Blog tour and charged $534.35.

You might think that’s expensive, but consider the $12,345 and/or $25,000+ mentioned above for the cost of a traditional book tour.

Next, there’s the cost of the complementary books sent to the book bloggers who agreed to be the hosts of Crazy is Normal’s virtual book tour.

This is where I stop to deal with potential critics who will claim sending out free books is like buying a review, but that kind of thinking is wrong because the traditional book publishing industry has done it for decades—long before POD, e-books and Amazon came alone.  Traditional Publishers have always sent out hundreds of free copies of new books, for instance, to book stores, magazines, newspapers, and other authors hoping that this would result in positive reviews and media attention.

To send out complimentary copies for this virtual tour cost $28.93 for eight e-books and $103.69 for fourteen paperbacks for a total of $132.62, and that included the postage for the paperbacks that I ordered directly from Amazon for the e-books and Create Space for the paperbacks. Create Space allows authors to mail directly from the printing plant and placing the order was easy.

Then there was $180 to promote Crazy is Normal during the virtual tour with e-mail blasts from Bargain Booksy (Oct. 5), The Fussy Librarian (Oct. 7), eReaderNews Today (Oct. 17), Book Gorilla (Oct. 20), Kboards (Oct. 25), and Indie Book Promo (starting Nov. 8). I might add more before the tour ends. If so, I’ll update.

The great thing about a virtual tour (I’ve been on several and one local-traditional tour in 2008), the author doesn’t have to leave home and that saves a lot of time and money.

In addition, I also supplied nine excerpts for the book, wrote four guest posts and answered questions for five interviews that will appear during the tour. I didn’t keep track of the time, but if each one took an hour, on average, that’s 17-hours, well spent.

I’m also using Twitter during the Tour to announce each stop, and here are the Tweets I’m using several times a day. I’ll be back to add new ones as they appear.

The publicist I use to organize and arrange a book blog tour is Teddy Rose and Bill Pope, Virtual Author Book Tours.com
http://www.virtualauthorbooktours.com/category/about-us/

Day 1 of Bk-Blog Tour
1st Review
@ SoManyPreciousBookSoLittleTime
tinyurl.com/mswrq9a
pic.twitter.com/91ek9zmYgz

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #46 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 2 of Bk-Blog Tour
1st Guest Post
@ InspireToRead
I worked with 6,000+ students
http://bit.ly/1vAHVru

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #73 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 3 of Bk-Blog Tour
2nd Guest Post
@ TheWormhole
http://bit.ly/ZBJ5Z0

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #85 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 5 of Bk-Blog Tour
1st e-mail blast
@ BargainBooksy
http://bit.ly/1Erdyca

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #8 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 6 of Bk-Blog Tour
2nd Review
Welcome to #CassandraMsPlace
http://bit.ly/10FddD6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-C4X6f0B5g

Day 6 of Bk-Blog Tour
1st interview
@ PinkysFavorteReads
http://bit.ly/1CP2q79

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #13 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day-7 of Bk-Blog Tour
@ FussyLibrarian
2nd e-mail blast
60,919 readers interested in Memoirs
http://bit.ly/1lvZaI5

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #9 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day-8 of Bk-Blog Tour
@DrBillsBookBazaar
Says “this fabulous memoir”
3rd Review
http://bit.ly/1pQEiJj
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-C4X6f0B5g

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #16 on Memoir-Educator genre<<<

Day 9 of Bk-Blog Tour
@ BeingTillysMummy
3rd Guest Post
http://bit.ly/1yQGTw7

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #30 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 10 of Bk-Blog Tour
@ BeingTillysMummy
An excerpt from Crazy is Normal
http://bit.ly/1w07KlM

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #41 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 13 of Bk-Blog Tour
@ Unselfish
4th Review
http://bit.ly/ZXfdGS

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #49 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day14 of Bk-Blog Tour
@ BackPorchervations
5th Review
Interview
Excerpt
http://bit.ly/1qRb51l

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #58 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day15 of Bk-Blog Tour
@ SincerelyStacie
6th Review
http://bit.ly/1umMBOx

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #19 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 17 of Bk-Blog Tour
@ HeckOfABunch
7th Review and Giveaway
http://bit.ly/1zgn6GG

Day 17 of Bk-Blog Tour
3rd e-mail blast
@ eRederNewsToday
http://bit.ly/1vu2DdV

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #3 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Number 3 Memoir Crazy is Normal Day 18

Woke up this morning to this and 8-hours later Crazy is Normal was still ranked at #3 on Amazon.

Day 20 of Bk-Blog Tour
4th e-mail blast
@ BookGorilla.com
http://www.bookgorilla.com/deals

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #2 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 21 of Bk-Blog Tour
@ BooksBooksandMoreBooks
8th Review
http://bit.ly/1pC3nYA

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #4 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 22 of Bk-Blog Tour
Lu Ann Worley
@ RockinBookReviews
9th Review
Interview
& Excerpt
http://bit.ly/1tgWmBj

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #4 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 23 of Bk-Blog Tour
With Melissa Beck
@ TheBookBinder’sDaughter
10th Review
With Interview
bit.ly/ZP0Ovt

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #4 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Between Book Blog visits—10-24 to 10-28—promotional ads ran on:
http://www.ebooklister.net/
http://www.sweetiespicks.com/
http://digitalbooktoday.com/
and
http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/

Day 29 of Bk-Blog Tour

With Lisa @ The News in Books

11th Review

With Guest Post

http://www.thenewsinbooks.com/crazy-is-normal-a-review/

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #8 on Amazon’s Memoir-Educator genre<<<

Day 30 of Bk-Blog Tour

Hosted by M. Denise Costello

12th Review

With Excerpt

http://www.mdenisecostello.com/2014/10/30/crazy-is-normal-by-lloyd-lofthouse/

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #5 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 31 of Bk-Blog Tour

13th Review
@ DWD’s Reviews of Books, Audibooks, Music and Video
http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.ca/2014/10/crazy-is-normal-classroom-expose-memoir.html

Day 33 of Bk-Blog Tour
November 2, 2014

http://www.southerncaliforniabookfestival.com/

LOW RES Biographies and Autobiographies for the 2014 Southern California Book Festival

Day 34 of Bk-Blog Tour
14th Review
@ She Treads Softly
http://shetreadssoftly.blogspot.com/2014/11/crazy-is-normal.html

Day 34 of Bk-Blog Tour
People Reads Weekly Feature Promotion from November 3 – 9
http://www.peoplereads.com/

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #14 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 35 of Bk-Blog Tour
15th review
@ Celtic Lady’s Reviews
http://www.celticladysreviews.blogspot.ca/2014/11/crazy-normal-by-lloyd-lofthouse-review.html

Day 35 of Bk-Blog Tour
November 4
Choosy Bookworm Promotion
http://choosybookworm.com/

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #5 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 39 of Bk-Blog Tour
Indie Book Promo.com will run from November 8 to December 8
http://indiebookpromo.com/

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #44 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 41 of Bk-Blog Tour
The Fussy Librarian Promotion
http://www.thefussylibrarian.com/about

Day 41 of Bk-Blog Tour
16th Review
@ What U Talking ‘Bout Willis?
http://www.whatutalkingboutwillis.info/crazy-normal-book-review/

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #15 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 42 of Bk-Blog Tour
17th Review
@ From Isi – Come. Read. Enjoy
http://fromisi.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/crazy-is-normal-by-lloyd-lofthouse/

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #9 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

 

Day 43 of Bk-Blog Tour
18th Review
@ Reading to Distraction
http://www.readingtodistraction.com/book-reviews/2014/10/13/crazy-is-normal

Day 43 of Bk-Blog Tour
19th Review & Excerpt
@ Manic Mama of 3
http://manicmamaof3.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/crazy-is-normal-book-review-excerp/

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #9 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 47 of Bk-Blog Tour
Author event in Oakland, California at the main library with the California Writers  Club’s Berkeley Branch followed by Howard Allen VanEs who talked about book marketing
http://cwc-berkeley.org/
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152817792969144

 >>>Amazon Sales Rank #41 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 48 of Bk-Blog Tour
21st Review
Interview & Excerpt
@ Deal Sharing Aunt
http://www.dealsharingaunt.blogspot.ca/2014/11/crazy-is-normal-by-lloyd-lofthouse.html

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #10 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

Day 49, November 18, 2014
This is the Last day of this Bk-Blog Tour
22nd Review
@ Feminist Reflections
http://www.feministreflections.com/2014/11/book-tour-crazy-is-normal-by-lloyd.html

>>>Amazon Sales Rank #15 on Memoir-Educator genre list<<<

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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Running with the Enemy on a Kindle Countdown starting August 24

The Amazon Countdown Deal starts August 24 and runs to the end of the month.
0.99ȼ
Also a Kindle Unlimited Title

Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime members can read this novel for free.

Photo for Amazon Countdown Deal

http://www.amazon.com/Running-Enemy-Lloyd-Lofthouse-ebook/dp/B00B42PPX0/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=