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October 07, 2005

Invitation to The First Ever Blook Tour

The dilemma for new authors is this:  if you’re not famous, no one important reviews your books.  If no one important reviews your books, you can’t get famous.  Obviously new authors succeed from time to time but it is a hit business in which most fail. 

However, the economics of Internet publishing and distribution together with new print-on-demand technologies now mean that there CAN be many small successes, not just mega-hits.  Moreover, the Internet has the potential to be a way around the publishing houses which have – up until now – been the gatekeepers of the literary world.  (See here for more on gatekeepers).

For over a year, authors of traditional books have been making “blog tours” of blog sites as well as their traditional physical trek to book stores.  Not surprising since buzz in the blogosphere clearly reaches readers. Success for the authors in a blog tour is measured in terms of books sold.  The bloggers who host the tour get promotional benefits and interesting content.

Now it’s time for a blook (book on a blog platform) tour. 

All blooks that I know of are available for free online viewing and/or download so immediate sales probably won’t be the goal for blook authors.  Certainly wider readership is a goal and eventual sale of the traditional form of an author’s work may be a financial reward.  If the tour is successful and if there are people who do like an author’s work – two big “ifs” – new authors may find that the blook tour gives them a way out of the author’s dilemma.  Someday, sooner than traditional publishers think, a blook will become a hit even in traditional terms – paper copies sold and a movie made.

Touring authors will post guest blogs – which may include excerpts from their work, of course – and will post answers to questions or comments on the host blogs.  Multi-author postings and discussions are a possibility.

Readers of the blook tour can post questions and, if interested, immediately view the work the touring author has created – no wait for delivery from Amazon.  No risk of buying something which proves boring.  Or, for those who’d prefer to read the traditional form of a book (much better than a computer at the beach!), the blook form can serve as way to try before buying for those blooks which will also be traditionally printed.

Hosts on the blook tour get to select the authors they’d like to have appear.  No one knows better than a blogger what content will or won’t appeal to her or his audience.  The blook tour will be promoted both cooperatively among host sites and with some banner advertising as well as all the PR we can dream up.  Host sites will be on the blogroll and calendar and other promotion for the tour so can gain traffic and readers themselves.

If this sounds like it’s all been thought out, that’s an illusion.  We are actually inventing the blook tour as we go along and welcome your help in inventing.  Hardworking Kelly Evans, hackoff.com publisher and webmaster, is organizing the tour because we think the world is ready for such an event and we know that we are so somebody has to get it going (rumors to the contrary, I’m not starting another company – just experimenting with neat stuff and promoting my blook).

Any author – fiction or non fiction – whose book is available in an Internet version (can be blog, PDF, or something else) is eligible to join the tour.  Remember, though, that final selection of which authors appear where belongs to the host bloggers.  Guest authors have to be available to answer questions but will not have to log on to every blog on which have appeared in order to read and post comments.

Any blog no matter how small its readership is welcome to be a host – I think.  The reason for the caveat is that we may have to limit hosting to those blogs which use or can support the most popular technologies. Authors will also be able to choose not to appear on any particular host blog.

If you think you would like to be an author on the blog tour OR if you are a blogger who would like to make your site a stop, please email info@hackoff.com and we’ll put you on the list for more info as soon as we have it.  We won’t use your email address for any other purpose, of course.

Volunteers to help Kelly invent this and/or pull it off are also welcome.

If you are a reader waiting to drop in on a blook tour, just stay tuned to Fractals of Change.

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