Thursday, March 19, 2009

Where's Konrath? Blog Tour Day #19

To promote my horror novel, AFRAID, which debuts March 31, I'm appearing on different blogs every single day in March.

Please follow my daily journey, and broaden your blog-reading horizons.

Today I'm over at First Offenders, wondering why authors don't recommend each other more often:

Then I pop over to Jake Nantz's blog, The Pen-ferno, to share a cool writing exercise and contest where you can win some free books:

Also, RJ Medak posted a kind review of Afraid on his blog, and many other places online:

Is this blog tour working? On March 1, Googling "Jack Kilborn" resulted in 2880 hits. Googling it today brings 5320 hits. On March 1, Googling "JA Konrath" resulted in 68,400 hits. Googling it today produces 79,000 hits.

My blog and website, along with the blogs I've been visiting, are getting increased traffic. My Amazon rankings have modestly spiked, at various points in the day fluctuating between 25,000 and 300,000 for Afraid and my Jack Daniels backlist. Prior to March they were ranked between 150,000 and 900,000.

I find it strange that my Jack Daniels books seem to be selling better than Afraid, since Afraid is the book I'm promoting, but I think I know the reason. Afraid isn't out until March 31. Thinking about my buying habits, I've never pre-ordered a book on Amazon, and I've bought well over a hundred books from them. My reason is simple: if it's a book I want, I know the bookstores will have it sooner than Amazon can ship it, especially since books often reach the stores a week or two ahead of schedule.

That's why, on Amazon, the day a book is released, the numbers spike like crazy. So the real test to see if this tour worked will be to check out the Amazon ranking on April 1. If I get a nice number, all of this touring paid off. If I get a mediocre number, I'm left scratching my head.

But I have to say that, as of today, I've found blog touring to be an overwhelmingly positive experience. Especially in regards to permanence.

Roughly half of the daily hits I get on his blog are people visiting old posts. Because the Internet is permanent, and because blog posts stay live and Googleable for years and years, all of these guest blogs and interviews I've done will continue to get read. The surfers will keep trickling in.

It will be interesting to see how Afraid sells over the upcoming months, and if this word-of-mouth campaign I'm attempting to kick-start actually takes off.


gabrielle said...

I've noticed that a lot of my hits are also for old posts. My instructions about how to use an em dash and whether Valentine's Day has an apostrophe are getting the most hits right now. I figure the more useful, timeless advice I put out there about the things people will always be looking up, the more people will be looking me up.

I hosted a stop along your tour two weeks ago, and just yesterday I got a hit on the query "who died at end of fuzzy navel". (Google analytics is a great tool!)

The query itself made me grin, but that's just one example of many surfers sent my way -- and ultimately yours -- from your tour.

Jean said...

I thought about pre-ordering Afraid but I'll just have hubby pick it up from Books A Million on his way home that afternoon. Don't want to wait for Amazon to ship it. Sigh.

Daughter and I are eagerly waiting the day:-) I've already told hubby he'd better bring his dinner home that night too:-)

Vickie said...

End of month is typically my best book shopping day. AFRAID is on the short list. I think you will be seeing a hewgah spike.

Unknown said...

I wish you the best of luck with "Afraid" and will be very happy to read and review it when you send me the PDF.

If anyone would like to PDF review a book of mine, please let me know at

tkersh said...

You raise an intriguing conundrum. I know it's vital to build pre-launch buzz. I follow many author / agent blogs and I get very charged up about a cool new book -- only to find out it's not available until weeks or months down the road. We're an instant gratification society and I'm no different. If I hear about a book that I'm excited about, I want it TODAY! Nevermind that I don't get charged on a pre-order until it ships -- it FEELS like I'm paying now for something I won't get until later.

But if you don't start building buzz before it hits the shelves, you lose valuable days off your insanely short shelf-life.

So what's a writer to do?