2013 was the year of farmer’s markets and street fairs. They didn’t pan out very well, so 2014 became the year of the internet. Steep learning curve? Picture half-dome in Yosemite National Park and you’ll get a pretty good idea.

I did happen to find a goldmine while reading one of the IBPA (Independent Book Publisher’s Association) monthly magazines. There are two websites devoted to bloggers who love reading middle grade and young adult fantasy novels. I emailed every one of the middle grade folks asking if they would read and review Diego’s first book, Spirits of the Sun, and about fifteen to twenty responded favorably. I sent print or ebooks, and the reviews came back very positive, extremely so in some cases.

One of the bloggers, Mother Daughter Book Reviews promotes books in a few innovative ways. I signed up for a “Book Blast,” which will occur between March 6 and March 8. I’m sure I won’t do her justice by trying to explain the promotion, so I’ll quote her website:

“A Book Blast involves multiple blogs (including MDBR) all posting information about one book (i.e., title, summary, purchasing information, author information, etc.) over 1, 2, or 3 days.  A Book Blast also involves a shared Rafflecopter giveaway (usually for a $25, $50, or $100 Amazon gift card and/or PayPal cash) where individuals gain entries by adding the book to a Goodreads shelf, following the author, following the participating blogs, and so on.  Each participating blogger posts roughly the same information and shares the post and giveaway via their social media networks.  A Book Blast’s main purpose is to gain exposure for the book and followers for the author.”

The link for the Blast is below, and you can only access it during those three days.

The fantastic part of this promotion is that other bloggers sign up to promote it. Diego’s Blast has over 50 bloggers involved, which may result in a huge amount of exposure.

I keep plodding along, but with every day comes a new discovery. I have an author facebook page, a fan facebook page, and a twitter account, and I think as of March, 2014, I finally know how to use 2.7% of the functionality of either platform. I’ve been to author/publisher seminars where speakers have said, “If you write for kids and you’re not on Instagram, you don’t exist.” So I came home and popped open the Instagram home page, which showed two large icons, telling me that I could open an account either through Apple or Google. I tried Google, got completely lost, and gave it up. If anyone knows how to establish an Instagram account and they’re not laughing uproariously right now, could you email me and give me a quick lesson?