All About Book Blog Tours

A book blog tour  “allows authors to professionally promote their work without rearranging their schedule. Each tour stop enables authors to gain new readers and social media fans while reaching a worldwide audience.” (from Sage’s Blog Tours)

Book blog tours work for both authors and bloggers, albeit for different reasons. It gives bloggers, at a minimum, a topic/reason to post for a particular day. (This can be handy, especially if the creative well is bone dry.) It also introduces us to books (especially from indie authors) that we might not have come across otherwise. It does not, however, increase our page views or anything like that (at least not if the site is a daily poster as-is.)

There are some cons to participating in book blog tours, though. They can be seen as ‘filler content’. (I address that in the next paragraph.) Most blog tour companies seem to require ‘top post’ for the material, which means you cannot post anything else for the entire day. While it’s easy to understand why tour companies request this, it’s still difficult to give up various posting slots solely to book promotion. And you run the risk of having your site not stand out to potential new readers because they may have already seen the content somewhere else.

Sci-Fi & Scary is signed up with a few virtual book tours with blog tour companies, but we really only actively accept requests from one. That being Sage’s Blog Tours. There are several reasons for this but, in essence, it’s because the way Sage does her tours works out well for us. She works with content that most other book tour companies don’t seem to touch (science fiction and horror of the non-YA variety). Also, other than the graphics, we’re not given cut-and-paste material to use for interviews or prepared guest posts from the authors. (This isn’t an across the board thing with all other blog tour companies, just something I’ve noticed more from several.) Instead, we have a lot more control – we write our own interview questions, we have our own guidelines for guest posts, etc. There has been one case where I (Lilyn) received a guest post and got back in touch with Sage saying “I can’t accept this.” Within the day, I had something that I was willing to put up on Sci-Fi & Scary instead. That means a lot. Also, Sage doesn’t require ‘top post’ (although she mostly does get it from us.)

But I’ve always kind of wondered exactly how much work goes into doing a book blog tour. So, when I saw the issue raised on a forum about an author feeling ‘scammed’ because they hadn’t made any sales from the book tour that they had paid for, I went to Sage and asked her how things worked. She laid everything out for me in a post that I could share with everyone.

(I apologize for the rather lengthy introduction. I meant to do a separate discussion piece, but never found the time.)

So here you have it, straight from Sage’s mouth: Doing a Book Blog Tour from Start to Finish

Book Blog Tour

Doing a Book Blog Tour from the Organizer’s Perspective

Since 2012, I have been coordinating blog tours through my online business, Sage’s Blog Tours. In that time, I have created a smooth system that I use to plan blog tours for authors. I can personalize this system to work best for each author and their blog tour. Below are the general steps:

1.) Get to know the book – You can’t plan a blog tour for a book without knowing at least the basics. I request materials from the author, and I use this information to figure out the book’s target audience. This allows me to choose bloggers who would be best suited to participate in the blog tour. The more informative I can be for potential bloggers, the better.

2.) Organize materials – I create media kits for each author using the information they send me and set up a feature page on the Sage’s Blog Tours’ website. While I do this, my graphic designer begins creating a custom tour banner for the author.

3.) Reach out to bloggers – I have built a large database of book bloggers over the past five years, so for each blog tour, I contact the book bloggers who are interested in the genre that the author is promoting. This way I know the author is reaching their preferred audience. If not, the blog tour wouldn’t be as beneficial for them.

4.) Set up a schedule – I create a tour schedule and keep it updated with the book bloggers who have signed up to participate in the blog tour. Once the tour is filled, I share this tour schedule with the author so they can follow along, as well as keep it updated on their feature page located on my website.

5.) Follow the tour – I make sure to follow along with the tour, so I can check to see if each blogger posted their feature and that the information posted is correct. I also share every stop on tour with the author, and on all of our social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

6.) After the tour – The tour is over, but my work isn’t done! I contact each blogger who hosted a review during the tour to ask if they would share their review on Amazon and Goodreads. If there was a giveaway, I collect the winner’s info and send it to the author or distribute the prize if the author has asked me to do so.

A successful blog tour happens with the partnership of the tour coordinator, the author, and the bloggers. When all of those above are on the same page and have good communication, the blog tour is sure to be an excellent experience!


Sage’s Blog Tours “is a full-service publicity company that works with authors of all genres. We offer services to help promote your work in an affordable, fun, and successful way. Sage’s Blog Tours schedules blog tours with reviews of your work, interviews, and guests posts.
Our in-house graphic designer is exceptional at designing promotional tools for your online tour and in-person events. ”

It’s important to note, also, that Sage very clearly states in her FAQs about Book Blog Tours that sales are not guaranteed, and authors do need to be an active participant in promoting the tour stops as well.

Find Sage on Twitter: @SagesBlogTours

5 Graphic Novel Versions of Classic Science Fiction and Horror Tales for Kids

It can be hard to get kids to sit down and read classic novels. The wording can be a bit dense, and the descriptions aren’t the most exciting. And often times they don’t even realize that movies they’ve seen and liked were adaptations of classic works.

Luckily, for those of us with little comic book readers on our hands, there are graphic novel adaptations of some our favorite classic novels available. And they’re for kids, too. Maybe we can hook them with these 5 graphic novel versions of classic science fiction and horror tales, and introduce them to the full versions of the stories they like the best? (btw, click on the covers to visit their Goodreads pages)

5 Graphic Novel Versions of Classic Science Fiction and Horror Tales for Kids

Graphic Novel Versions of Classic Science Fiction and Horror Journey to the Center of the Earth  is obviously a super simple version of the story (I kind of feel it’s missing a bit too much, actually..) But..it is definitely kid-approved. My little monkey caught site of what I was reading, and suddenly we were delving into it together.

She told me: “The only thing that would make it better is if it was longer and they went on another adventure!”

Pages: 32

ISBN13: 9781616412524

 

 

Graphic Novel Versions of Classic Science Fiction and Horror

The War of the Worlds is 48 pages long and is a bit more vivid and ‘busy’ than Journey to the Center of the Earth is. It’s been around for a while (how am I just now discovering these?). Its interest level is perfect for 9-12-year-olds.

Pages: 48

ASIN: B008OURVVE

 

 

 

Graphic Novel Versions of Classic Science Fiction and Horror I loved the illustrations in this version of The Invisible Man. Definitely my favorite out of the ones on the list. It got the basic story across well, and I could see how it might actually nicely creep kids out a little bit.

Pages: 34

ISBN13: 9781616412517

 

 

 

 

Graphic Novel Versions of Classic Science Fiction and Horror

Okay, so the graphic novel version of A Wrinkle in Time is considerably longer than the other ones that I’ve mentioned so far. However, I think it’d be totally worth it. The kiddos might not be able to read this one all in one sitting, but you could easily make it a bedtime deal with them.

Pages: 392

ISBN13: 9780374386153

 

 

 

Graphic Novel versions of science fiction and horror classics for kids This graphic novel version of Dracula is novella length and has received lots of positive reviews -including many from teachers for its faithful adaptation of the source work. It’s also got some of the most original illustrations out of this batch.

Pages: 192

ISBN13: 9781402731525

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #8

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

02/18/2017 – 02/24/2017

The horror short-short isn’t easy to master, but more than 100 of the genre’s critically acclaimed authors & hottest up-&-comers have taken a stab at it in Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, an anthology that contains a short tale for every day of the year. Steve Rasnic Tem, Wm F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Yvonne Navarro, Peter Atkins, Brian Hodge, Martin Mundt & 166 others give you short, sharp shocks.

 

 

 

 

Each day I’ll be reading one story per day with a weekly wrap-up on Fridays. If you missed the first post you can find it here.

The first one up is one of my favorites so let’s get started!


Christmas with the CountIan McDowell
(I’m going to caution you that I do spoil the ending a little bit. I couldn’t help myself.)

Synopsis:
After Anne Rice’s success with ‘The Interview with the Vampire’, the most famous of all vampires gives his own interview. The cost for the interview, however, is the interviewer’s own induction into the vampire club. They talk a bit about Stoker, Oscar Wilde and what the movies got right and wrong. At the end they go out to snack upon some carloers because, after all, “They are celebrating his birth”.

Review:
I loved, loved, loved this story. The twist at the end made me gape at it, then giggle.


Circles of PurgatorySandra Hutchinson

Synopsis:
A man sitting alone by the telephone, waiting for the call that comes every night. She calls every night, the night of her suicide. He finishes the cycle by making his nightly call.

Review:
It’s very well-written and very sad. Very good story.


Claws John B. Rosenman

Synopsis:
After impulsively murdering his boss, Jacobs receives a swift lesson in karma and reincarnation.

Review:
I don’t think reincarnation would work quite that fast but it was an entertaining read nonetheless.


Cold Comfort Lillian Csernica

Synopsis:
A recently separated man finds a mirror on the beach. While reminiscing on fairy tales and magic mirrors, the owner of the mirror comes to claim it. And only one type of woman would leave a smoky mirror on a beach.

Review:
An interesting story and I liked the fairy tale element to it. I think the curse was a little unfair. Technically she’s the one who broke the damn thing.


Cold MoonJudy L. Tucker

Synopsis:
A girl goes out for her vision quest with her Native American friend, Bear Claw. However, the woods at night can be a dangerous place.

Review:
Just ok. The plot was a little iffy but I do love a good were-bear story.


The CollectorLinda J. Dunn

Synopsis:
Karen is tired of living in a hoarder’s nightmare. She tries to leave her husband, Bob. But once a collector, always a collector.

Review:
Not too bad but it was pretty easy to see where it was going.


Collector of RugsJessica Amanda Salmonson

Synopsis:
A man who collects only the rarest of rugs is teased because there is one rug he cannot possess. He makes the mistake of desiring this rarest of rugs at the cost of all of his prized rugs. Be careful what you wish for.

Review:
Very good story with a nice twist ending. I saw part of it coming but not the rest.


Favorite of the Week:
Most definitely the Christmas with the Count. I loved the story and I loved the ending. Especially because it actually makes a bit of sense when you think about it.


That’s all for this week’s does of horror! I hope you’ll join me again next week for another weekly round of horror plus February’s tally for the repeat writers.

This is Horror 4: Horror Trivia, Classic Movies, and More

The banner for the bi-weekly This is Horror post on Sci-Fi & Scary
This is Horror is a sampling of Horror Movies, Art, Fiction, and Gaming, and more. A little bit of everything to make the horror hound in you feel all fuzzy and warm. Or tingle with anticipation. Whatever works for you. Hope you enjoy!

 

This is Horror’s Quote to Consider:

 

“Men who fear demons see demons everywhere.”
Brom, The Child Thief

 

Horror Movies

Horror Movie Suggestion for the Week:

We’re going old-school shark horror for this week’s horror movie of the week suggestion. It seems like the perfect time to watch it, don’t you think? As you won’t be able to actually go in the water for another couple months yet, plenty of time for the fear to fade to a slow boil in your subconscious. But, also, Jaws is just a great movie to watch whenever you can. Roy Schneider is awesome.

Synopsis: A giant great white shark arrives on the shores of a New England beach resort and wreaks havoc with bloody attacks on swimmers, until a part-time sheriff teams up with a marine biologist and an old seafarer to hunt the monster down.

Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss

 

Horror Movies Opening This Week (Feb 24th):

Movie cover for Get OutSynopsis: A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.

Starring:  Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford

Rating: R

Watch the official Get Out trailer here.

 

 

 

Trailer to watch:

Annabelle 2 is being released on August 11th, 2017. After seeing the first one, I can’t imagine this one being worth anything, but hey… different strokes for different folks. It might scare the pants off of someone, somewhere. Maybe.


Featured Horror Art


2017 02 06 by torvenius on DeviantArt

This was interesting, and I saw it as soon as I logged on to DeviantArt. What I saw was that a man had hanged his family as sacrifices, and was showing them off to the sun. What do you think?


Terrorific Trivia (new section!)

William Castle: The Gimmick Master


William Castle’s start in show business came after seeing a performance of Dracula and bluffing his way in to meet Bela Lugosi. Bela Lugosi recommended Castle for assistant stage manager. for the road company. This was also where he started putting his flair for the dramatic to use by propping a coffin outside of the theater. He also suggested a way for the play to have more flair by having Dracula disappear from the stage in a puff of smoke and reappear in the audience.

William Castle’s true forte though was his ‘gimmicks’ used to lure people to the theaters and sometimes broke a fourth wall here and there to get the audience involved. So let’s look at some awesome ones he did.


Macabre:
For this movie William Castle handed out life insurance vouchers for $1,00.00 should anyone die of fright during the movie. He also stationed nurses in the lobby and parked hearses just outside the theater to up the fright factor.


House on Haunted Hill:
At a key point in the movie a skeleton was rigged to swoop down over the heads of theater-goers. I’d imagine that got a shriek or two. It was called ‘Emergo’ vision.


The Tingler:
A creature that attached itself to your spine and tingles you to death doesn’t sound very scary I suppose. But what if the film were to ‘break’ and The Tingler was loose in the aisles? In some theaters where this played certain seats had vibrating motors attached to them, making them buzz. From the ‘broken’ movie Vincent Price would tell everyone to scream, The Tingler’s one weakness. The movie would resume, The Tingler defeated for the moment. Until the next theater to experience ‘Percepto’ theater.


13 Ghosts (1960):
Each patron received a ghost viewer/hider. Filmed in ‘Illusion-O’ the viewers could look through the red cellophane lens to see ghosts and the blue cellophane lens to hide them. The DVD comes with the glasses as well.


Homicidal:
During a tense scene there was a ‘Fright Break’ with a timer included on the screen. The audience then had 45 seconds to leave and get a refund if they were too afraid to watch the rest of the movie. Some theater goers found a way around this by watching the movie once, keeping that ticket and then leaving during the second half of the second showing to get their refund. Different colored tickets were tried until William Castle took a more…drastic approach. As quoted by John Waters:

“He (William Castle) came up with ‘Coward’s Corner’, a yellow cardboard booth, manned by a theater employee in the lobby. When the Fright Break was announced, and you found that you couldn’t take it anymore, you had to leave your seat and, in front of the entire audience, follow yellow footsteps up the aisle, bathed in a yellow light. Before you reached Coward’s Corner, you crossed yellow lines with the stenciled message: ‘Cowards Keep Walking.’ You passed a nurse, who would offer a blood-pressure test. All the while a recording was blaring, “‘Watch the chicken! Watch him shiver in Coward’s Corner’!” As the audience howled, you had to go through one final indignity – at Coward’s Corner you were forced to sign a yellow card stating, ‘I am a bona fide coward.

That probably discouraged a few people. In the trailer for the movie, Castle explained the use of the Coward’s Certificate and admonished the viewer to not reveal the ending to friends “or they will kill you. If they don’t, I will.”


Mr. Sardonicus:
Movie goers were given glow-in-the-dark ‘Thumbs Up’ or ‘Thumbs Down’ cards to vote on the fate of the villain. Not surprisingly, the ‘Thumbs Up’ was rarely given so the alternate Merciful Ending was rarely screened.


13 Frightened Girls:
William Castle launched a casting call from 13 different countries (Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Liberia, Mexico, Sweden, Venezuela, and China). I count 14 but, whatever. Each version was slightly different to highlight the girl when the movie was played in her country.


Strait-Jacket:
Told to rein in the theater theatrics William Castle simply sent out Joan Crawford to select theaters to promote the movie. Unable to resist, at the last minute he ordered cardboard axes to be given to theater patrons.


I think it would be so cool if theaters started doing things like this to get people entertained and interactive with the movies. The way it stands now they act a bit like they’re doing you a favor by letting you pay exorbitant prices to watch their movies. – GracieKat


Horror Books

Horror Books Released February 2017

Book cover for Ubo by Steve Rasnic TemUbo: Daniel is trapped in Ubo. He has no idea how long he has been imprisoned there by the roaches.
Every resident has a similar memory of the journey: a dream of dry, chitinous wings crossing the moon, the gigantic insects dropping swiftly over the houses; the creatures, like a deck of baroquely ornamented cards, fanning themselves from one hidden world into the next.
And now each day they force Daniel to play a different figure from humanity’s violent history, from a frenzied Jack the Ripper to a stumbling and confused Stalin, to a self-proclaimed god executing survivors atop the ruins of the world. As skies burn and prisoners go mad, identities dissolve as the experiments evolve, and no one can foretell their mysterious end.

Purchase on Amazon

 

 

Book cover fro The Devil Crept in by Ania Ahlborn

The Devil Crept In: Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.

That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen…the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes…and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn—and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.

Purchase on Amazon.

A Keene Focus (3 Brian Keene books with a 3.75 rating on Goodreads.)
Covers go to Goodreads.


Horror on the Web

 

Apex Predator (Horror)

Apex Predator 

 

In a world destabilized by soaring inequality, climate change, and war the deaths of several high profile bankers leave national security experts scrambling for answers. A disgruntled and discredited FBI Agent striving to bring to justice the corrupt individuals responsible for wrecking his community is instead ordered to protect those same Wall Street power brokers. In the postindustrial wasteland of a bankrupt Detroit he stumbles onto a lead capable of not just cracking the case, but with potentially explosive ramifications for the future of mankind. Meanwhile a team of historians investigating a mysterious Second World War era mass grave make a startling discovery in a medieval village located deep within a foreboding Ukrainian valley. Brought together they face an ancient terror in a global adventure that forces them to confront the tragic history of Eastern Europe’s blood lands. There they struggle to reconcile their findings with the evidence that a mythic evil is possibly real, and murderously intent on keeping its existence a secret until able to set in motion events that could change human history.

The cover of Apex Predator is very nice looking. The wolf against the castle and the blue and black tones mingle well together. The title stands out nicely. The food descriptions were quite mouth-watering if a little unnecessary at times.
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Stone Cold Bastards Review (Horror / Fantasy)

Book cover for Stone Cold Bastards by Jake Bible

Stone Cold Bastards: Only a rag-tag team of gargoyles stands between humanity and extinction.

Hell has released its ravening horde of demons, leaving most of humanity a puke-spewing, head-spinning mess of possession.

Humanity’s last hope? A team of misfit gargoyles—including a cigar-chomping, hard-ass grotesque—come alive and ready for battle during the End of Days. They guard the last cathedral-turned-sanctuary atop a bald knoll in the North Carolina mountains.

Gargoyle protection grudgingly extends to any human who can make it inside the sanctuary, but the power of the stonecutter blood magic, which protects the sanctuary, may not be enough when a rogue grotesque and his badly-wounded ward arrive.

All the hounds of hell are on their heels. The last sanctuary is about to fall. – Goodreads


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Zombie Bigfoot Review (#horror Comedy)

Book cover for Zombie Bigfoot

Bigfoot is real.

That’s what Sarah’s father told her before his academic disgrace and untimely death.

Now, primatologist Dr. Sarah Bishop is eager to restore her father’s good name. Survival show host Russ Cloud is just as eager to boost his plummeting ratings. They’ll both have a shot at redemption when they find themselves hired by eccentric billionaire Cameron Carson. After a series of his publicity stunts end in spectacular failure, Carson has a plan to redeem his tarnished image: capture a live Sasquatch.

Sarah and Russ join an expedition with an eclectic crew: an Afrikaner safari hunter, a ‘roided out former wrestling star, a Shoshone master tracker full of surprises, a heavily tattooed Russian warrior woman, a pair of wise-cracking nerds, and a cute gum-chewing intern with some hidden skills. Will they find Bigfoot?

There’s something in the woods… but it’s not what they’re expecting. – Goodreads


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Box of Dread – Horror Box Review

I recently decided to try out a few of the science fiction and horror boxes that were floating about, to see which one offered the best deals and products. (I’m sure I”ll get better at doing these as time goes on. Bear with me!)

The first one that I signed up for was the Box of Dread from Dread Central.

Box of Dread‘s FAQ says I should have expected to receive:

Handpicked, awesome horror-related collectibles as well as promotional products from horror movies, TV shows and games. Items to be included in various boxes range from shirts to stickers to action figures and movie memorabilia. Don’t be surprised if you occasionally get limited edition items. We want to deliver the horror convention experience to you in a box on a monthly basis.

Please note: This box was not given to me to review. I paid out of pocket for it.

Cost for 1 month Box of Dread: $20.00

Items received: 4

Estimated value of items received: $32.99. (I figured this number up via item searching on both google and Amazon. There was nothing available for the movie, so I priced it at 9.99 myself. It is a “Limited Freddie Wong Collector’s Edition” that has been signed on the cover.)

Ordered on: 2/9/2017 | Received: 2/21/2017

Box of Dread - All Items

All Items Received – Box of Dread

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Box of Dread Review:

received more than $20.00 worth of items from what I was able to tell. All items appeared brand new, though truthfully none of them except the Ghostbusters Dorbz is interesting to me at all. DVD is signed and sealed (and has a whopping 2.8 rating on IMDB. That makes me nervous). The DVD is also a limited signed collector’s edition.

I had no clue what to expect from this box as I chose not to peek online (which is an option) before I received it.

I’m not thrilled with Box of Dread, but I also know I realistically have no reason to be disappointed in it. As far as expectations/hopes versus reality, I’d give this a 3 out of 5. Someone who digs Leatherface and animal horror movies might be a lot more excited by this box than I was.

Have you received any Boxes of Dread in the past? If so, what did you think of the items you received?

Six Wakes Review (Sci-Fi Mystery)

Book cover for Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

A space adventure set on a lone ship where the murdered crew are resurrected through cloning to discover who their killer was — and the secret to their mission.

It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.

At least, Marie Shea iv had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died, from illness once and from injury once…

Maria’s vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Pituitary, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. Apparently, Maria wasn’t the only one to die recently. – Goodreads


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Twilight Zone Tuesday – The Lonely

The Lonely

 

James A. Corry – Jack Warden
Alicia – Jean Marsh
Captain Allenby – John Dehner
Adams – Ted Knight
Carstairs – James Turley
Narrator – Rod Serling

Highlight to see Trigger Warning: A very human looking robot gets shot in the face.  End Spoiler

Serling:
Witness if you will, a dungeon. Made out of mountains, salt flats and sands that stretch to infinity.The dungeon has an inmate.

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  • I love Audible. Tons of books, fantastic narrators, good prices.