All About Book Tours

“Any way you can do a lowdown on tours and giveaways?” ~ Jessica

Well sure I can! Let’s do this one piece at a time, for organization’s sake. Tomorrow the Giveaway post will go up, so watch for that!

What is a “Book Tour?”

A book tor is a series of dates and events set up by an author, publicist, promo group, or various hosting locations. Authors go to one book store or venue after another, read from their book, answer questions, sign copies, etc. in hopes of promoting their book and gaining new readers. Tours can last from a few weeks to several months, depending on the publicity plan.

What is a “VBT?”

In a VBT, instead of stopping at a physical location at a set date and time, authors virtually stop at a blog, focusing their attention on that post for one specific day. The nice thing about VBTs is even after the tour is over, the post stays online!

How does a VBT work?

The blogger, usually referred to as the host, prepares a blog post (the content pre-decided upon by the host, the organizer, and the author) and all the parties involved promote the post. The author gets publicity, the host gets page views, and the organizer gets paid (or gains popularity as a tour organizer).

I’ve hosted quite a few tours, especially starting out as a blogger. Tours are a great way for new book bloggers to get their blog out there! The tour group usually provides you with a copy of the book, an option of interviewing the author, all the post information, and sometimes a code or quote for a giveaway. All you have to do is write up a nice post and make sure it’s the first thing a new reader will see upon going to your page.

Some tips for tour hosts

  • Always confirm that you’ve received your information and date for the tour.
  • Write your posts ahead of time, and schedule them to publish at midnight of the date of the tour (a great program to use for this is Windows Live Writer—easy to set up, posts are easy to edit, and it lets you schedule the post to go live at whatever time you want).
  • Spread your link around! Promoting the author means promoting your blog as well!
  • If you are an awesome host, the tour group will usually ask you to participate in every tour they can get you scheduled for, so do your best, especially for those first few posts. Look around at other people’s tours and see what you like, what you don’t like, and what is best for all three parties.
  • Don’t sign up for more than you can handle! one or two tours a week is everyone’s max—don’t try to do one every day just because it’s exciting. Trust me on this one, you’ll regret it later!
  • Never be afraid to ask questions. Nobody minds answering them!


Hope this helps! Below are a few tour groups that are always looking for hosts.

Goddess Fish VBT

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Pump Up Your Book

TLC Book Tours

The Cuckoo’s Calling by… J.K. Rowling?

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (penname of J.K. Rowling)
Genre: Detective
ISBN: 9780316206846
Published: Published April 30th 2013 by Mulholland Books (first published April 18th 2013)

Rating: 4.5

A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide. After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.

I read (listened to) The Cuckoo’s Calling before I knew who the real author was. Here I was so excited about finding a new author for my author watch page, and it turns out it’s J.K. Rowling! I mean, I guess I can’t complain, as long as she keeps writing books like this one.

I really liked The Cuckoo’s Calling. There were so many little details and hints that brought the whole thing together in the end (typical of Rowling, and I see that now) and it made for a wonderful detective novel. It wasn’t very “gripping,” though. It was “put-down-able.” At any given time I could stop and move on to something else. It kept me interested while I was reading, but when I needed to stop, it didn’t drag me back to my chair for another chapter. I feel like that gripping aspect is needed in a detective novel, and that’s the only thing that was missing. That being said, I still really loved the book. I loved Strike, the main character, and the supporting character he hires as his P.A. (unwillingly at first, but then he realizes how totally awesome she is). I really hope “Galbraith” continues with another book with these characters!

Content/Recommendation: Little language, no sex. Ages 15-adult

Book Blast!

I’ve hosted the Blood Destiny series before, but I’m participating in the big book blast today as well!


About the Books

blood destiny series

Bloodfire | Bloodmagic | Bloodrage | Blood Politics (book 4) | Author

About the Author

Helen Harper is an English teacher currently living abroad in Malaysia. As a long time reader of urban fantasy, she finally bit the bullet and began to develop her own series of novels. Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland. "I always loved the escapism provided by those genres," states Helen. "No matter how bad life gets, you can always find a route out, even if only temporarily, in the pages of a good book."

The growth of urban fantasy fascinated her - the mix of reality and fantasy along with strong heroic female characters appealed from the very beginning, and inspired her to write her own.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Let’s Discuss Diabetes With Owls

Let’s Discuss Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
Genre: Humor, Non-fiction Essays
ISBN 9781619696990 | Published April 23rd 2013 by Little, Brown & Company | Amazon | Goodreads | Audible

Rating: 4.5

I’ve listened to three or four David Sedaris audiobooks now. This one wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t my least favorite either. That being said, it was very funny and entertaining as always. This collection of stories made me think more than others have in the past, so that was nice.

Sedaris has an uncanny way of making the every day boring stuff sound hilarious because of the way he interprets it in his mind and because of the way he says things the people. You know how stuff sounds better in your head, but you say it anyway and then people look at you like you have a third eye and webbed feet? That’s half of his humor. I love it. Added to the fact that he narrates his own stuff, because he’s fantastic, trust me,  you’re in for a treat. My favorite thing to do is listen to his work while I’m on a 10-hour car ride.

I recommend Diabetes with Owls to any Sedaris fan, new or old. If you’ve never listened to him before, I recommend Live for your Listening Pleasure to get an overview of his best.

Content/Recommendation: language, sexual and homosexual references. Caution: some stories are funny enough to make you laugh hard enough to wet your pants and make people in the cars next to you look at you in confusion. Ages 17+

About the Author

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.

David Sedaris is the author Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames, each of which became a bestseller. There are a total of seven million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into 25 languages. He was the editor ofChildren Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories. Sedaris’s pieces appear regularly in The New Yorker and have twice been included in “The Best American Essays.” His newest book, a collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer), was published in September 2010 and immediately hit the NYT Bestseller Fiction List. His next book is entitled Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls  and was published late spring 2013.

He and his sister, Amy Sedaris, have collaborated under the name “The Talent Family” and have written half-a-dozen plays which have been produced at La Mama, Lincoln Center, and The Drama Department in New York City. These plays include Stump the Host, Stitches, One Woman Shoe, which received an Obie Award, Incident at Cobbler’s Knob, and The Book of Liz, which was published in book form by Dramatists Play Service. David Sedaris’s original radio pieces can often be heard on This American Life, distributed nationally by Public Radio International and produced by WBEZ. David Sedaris has been nominated for three Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word and Best Comedy Album.  His most recent live album is David Sedaris: Live For Your Listening Pleasure (November 2009). A feature film adaptation of his story C.O.G. premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (2013).



Exploring Etsy and DIY: Altered clothing

Guys, I’m totally obsessed with altered clothing latey. In fact I’ve made a ton of my own stuff and I’ll have it in a craft fair. I’m excited.

So without further adiew, here are lots of pretty things and some tutorials.

cropped cardigan by Garage Coture clothes

Boho wrap skirt by Bohemian Koture


Charcoal cardigan by MegbyDesign


Lace blouse by SisterRoseandRuby


Tattered bridesmaid dress by cutrag


Romantic Corset by LD Michelle

And a few pictures/tutorials for you today, including one of my own pieces. (Images are linked to source)



Have you done any upcycled clothing? link pictures! I want to see! Also check out my inspiration board on Pinterest, where I have TONS of cool stuff to inspire you!

Help! I’m new to the blogging world! Where do I start?

I see a lot of posts like this, and I know you probably don’t want to read one more. Or maybe you’re new and looking for advice, but you’re receiving conflicting advice. That’s why I’m writing this post: because I’ve learned a lot about blogging, and I’m going to share a secret with you about a successful blog:

Make it yours.

I could make a blog similar to other people’s blogs, or I could make it my own. I could follow a bunch of rules other people suggest to me, or I could follow my own.

So here is a simple list to get you started:

  • Make your own rules. Decide how you’re going to do things. Pull up a word document and write a policy: how many reviews per week? Or will you just post as you can? Which memes will you do? Will you make your won memes? Will you actively leave links on your subscriptions' pages? Will you email publishers, or wait for them to email you? What genres will you accept? What genres will you absolutely not accept under any condition? Will you use labels on your posts? these are just a few questions to get you started.
  • Start with a really simple template and a really simple header. As you go on, you will learn what kind of blogger you are, and what your blog atmosphere is. Then you can invest some time in making a really nice template and header. (More on that another time!)
  • Every Sunday or Saturday or Friday (or whatever day) make a list of things you want to that week on the blog. Post titles, books you want to review, etc.
  • Participate in some tours and get people to your page. If you’re just staring, I recommend Goddess Fish, Pump Up Your Book, and Reading Addiction VBT.
  • Find a spot that you do your blogging. Make it your “blog spot.” haha, see what I did there? No? okay… I like to blog at the library, but when I was in High School, I did my blogging at my desk (and my homework on my bed, because that makes perfect sense).
  • Host a giveaway to get followers.

Here are some tips I would suggest that helped me. They might help you. But don’t feel pressured!

  • I make blogging one of the first things I do in the morning, but reading and commenting on other people’s blogs something I do in the evening, so I don’t accidently read blogs all.day.long.
  • Download Windows Live Writer. It works like Microsoft word, is super easy to use, has lots of cool features that make your life easier, and you don’t have to be connected to the internet to write the posts (only to publish them).
  • At one point I had a lot of books coming in, and I didn’t know where any of them were coming from. So I made this form, printed them out, filled them out as the books came in, and then checked them off and filed them away as I finished. It really helped me stay organized. (Title of the book, Rec means date I received it, Tour is for the tour date, Posted is the day it went up, Source is where it came from, Giveaway I would put “1, USA/Canada” or “3, USA only” or NONE. Then I’d check off that I emailed the supplier, linked it to my Reviews page, and then check off where else I posted the review.)


Good luck! Ask questions in the comments if you have them!

Teaser Tuesday

I haven’t done this in a while… I’m trying to get back into it! They’re fun!

And this book is hilarious.


“Ms. Byczykowski has this weird habit of overenunciating when she reads and accompanies that with exaggerated facial expressions. I guess she’s trying to make sure we all understand what she’s saying, but instead we get all distracted by watching the afternoon sun reflect off her gold crowns whenever she says “The Battle of Antietam.” When she gets to the Emancipation Proclamation I’m going to have to wear sunglasses.” Zits Chillax, page 2


Zits: Chillax by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman

Comic god Stan Lee says Zits is a “comedic masterpiece!” Fans of funny illustrated YA novels such as Drama by Raina Telgemeier and Teen Angst? Naaah… by Ned Vizzini will definitely want to read Zits: Chillax.

In Zits: Chillax, Jeremy Duncan, high school sophomore and future rock god, offers up a comedic outlook on teenage life, including school, parents, chores, bands, and friends.

Jeremy and his best friend, Hector Garcia, are planning to achieve a lifelong dream…going to a rock concert! Without parental supervision. But the Gingivitis concert falls on the same night their friend Tim is donating bone marrow for his mom, a cancer patient. Not a problem: Jeremy and Hector are determined to go to the show…for Tim.

Written and illustrated by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, Zits: Chillax is based on their comic strip, Zits. The book features 300 illustrations—including hilarious full-page comics.

ISBN 9780062228512 | Published May 21st 2013 by HarperTeen | Amazon | Goodreads


Copyright 2016 Haley Mathiot. All reviews are 100% honest and unbiased. One or more items featured in the blog post may have been free or discounted. Receiving free or discounted product does not affect review. For more please see my disclaimer page.