My Life on the Blog Tour Super-Highway

When my first novel, 12 BLISS STREET, came out, my editor at St. Martin’s urged me to visit as many bookstores as possible—although she also told me that since there was no marketing or publicity budget for my book, it would have to be on my own dime.

Eager to make my book a success, I lined up bookstore readings in San Diego, San Francisco, upstate New York (where I happened to be vacationing that summer), and Cleveland (where I grew up). And the readings were enjoyable, once they got started (I was a basket of nerves beforehand, however). But were they worth the money? Did the booksellers buy more of my books, remember my name, keep tabs on my career?

I have no idea.

Ten years later, the publishing landscape has entirely changed. About six months before my novel THIEVING FOREST was due to come out, I hired a social media consultant (the fabulous Frances Caballo), and we hit the ground running—or rather, we hit the keyboard typing (fast). She helped me to understand how I can find readers online without ever leaving my office, if I’m honest about my book and realistic about who my readers might be.

Frances suggested I look into a blog tour via The Muffin’s Women on Writing. It was something she did herself for her book, and found it extremely successful. Here’s how it works: If the folks at the Muffin like your work, they have you fill out a very thorough form, in which you have room to talk about your book, yourself, and anything you feel qualified to blog about. My blog tour topics range from how to handle historical research to being a writer with a dog (a time-honored tradition).

I was a little surprised about how many topics I might very well write about, and how many people — bloggers who invite writers like me to post guest blogs— were interested in my book. Surprised and pleased. And there were fun things in the mix like giveaways and prizes.

What shouldn’t have been surprising was how fun it’s been. I love to write, so natch! But, like the bookstore readings, before I began I was nervous. However I am a writer, after all, and not a stand-up performer, so this feels like a much better fit. I’m more comfortable, and after the first few guest blogs I haven’t been so nervous.

And I don’t have to buy plane tickets or a new outfit. (I did buy a new pair of shoes, but that was more for me.)

Don’t get me wrong, I love bookstores, and I go to a lot of readings every year. But I’m beginning to wonder if bookstores are really better for the reader me than the writer me.

And now that I think about it, that just might be a great topic for another guest blog.

Blog Tour Dates

Monday, October 13 @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview with Martha Conway and a chance to win Thieving Forest!
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

Tuesday, October 14 @ Writer with Dogs
Martha Conway shares a little about how important a dog can be to writing research today at Writer with Dogs.
http://writerwithdogs.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 15 @ All Things Audry
What is a Quest Novel? Stop by for author Martha Conway’s thoughts on this exciting genre.
http://allthingsaudry.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 16 @ Book Talk
Looking for something new to read? How about a historical novel set in the rough and wild frontier of Ohio in the early 1800s—Thieving Forest by Martha Conway.
http://www.barbarabarthbookblog.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 17 @ Deal Sharing Aunt
Big families…what is that they share, what makes them unique? Learn more about family from Martha Conway and enter to win her novel Thieving Forest.
http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 19 @ Writer Unboxed
Martha Conway will be sharing why she thinks we should embracing heroines, instead of heroes, especially in historical novels. Stop by and tell us your favorite heroine.
http://writerunboxed.com

Tuesday, October 21 @ Katherine Hajer
When you’re caught up in the magical world of a book do you ever wonder what DIDN’T make it into the final draft? Martha Conway, author of Thieving Forest, tells about the painful decisions that have to be made.
http://www.katherine-hajer.com/

Wednesday, October 22 @ Caroline Clemmons
What do you know about Native American families? Martha Conway, author of Thieving Forest, shares a few things you never would have guessed.
http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 23 @ Renee’s Pages
Need some tips on researching historical fiction?Ask Martha Conway, author of Thieving Forest, set in the Ohio frontier during the early 1800s.
http://www.reneespages.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 24 @ A Writer’s Devotion
Learn more about author Martha Conway in today’s interview.
http://www.awritersdevotion.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 27 @ Katherine Hajer
The Headless Horseman isn’t the only scary thing in the forest this Halloween. Read a review of Thieving Forest and find out what else lurks there.
http://www.katherine-hajer.com/

Wednesday, October 29 @ Words by Webb
Get a quick peek at author Martha Conway with a 5Ws interview.
http://jodiwebb.com/

Friday, October 31 @ Lisa Buske
Sisterhood hasn’t changed much in 200 years: find out how Martha Conway’s sisters played a role in the writing of Thieving Forest.
http://www.lisambuske.com/blog

Monday, November 3 @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
Stop by to learn more about author Martha Conway and her latest historical novel Thieving Forest.
http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 6 @ Escaping Reality Within Pages
Win a copy of Thieving Forest, the story of seventeen year old Susanna trying to save her sisters in frontier America, and learn from author Martha Conway what was truth and what was fiction.
http://escapingrealitywithinpages.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 10 @ Vickie S. Miller
Stop by for a visit from Martha Conway, author of 12 Bliss Street and Thieving Forest.
http://www.vickiesmiller.com/

Tuesday, November 11 @ The Lit Ladies
Stop by for an interview with author Martha Conway and a chance to win her latest novel Thieving Forest.
http://www.thelitladies.com/

Wednesday, November 12 @ Kathleen Pooler
Author Martha Conway shares “What Independent Publishing Means to Literary Authors” as well as a last chance to win her latest book, the historical novel Thieving Forest.
http://krpooler.com/blog/

To view all the Women-on-Writing touring authors, check out the Events Calendar. Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following WOW on Twitter @WOWBlogTour.

Get Involved!
If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring  authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email WOW at blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com.

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Martha Conway’s new novel, Thieving Forest, is available now. Her short stories have appeared in The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Carolina Quarterly, and other journals. She has taught fiction at the Online Writer’s Studio at Stanford University and UC Berkeley Extension. Her first novel, 12 Bliss Street, was nominated for an Edgar Award.