The life of an author is never dull, is it? Our writing might take some interesting turn or other we perhaps did not quite foresee, for example, or some new challenge pops up that stretches our current knowledge and abilities and keeps us on our toes. At least, that’s what I’ve found lately—particularly on the promotional side of things.
My latest challenge
was to be a part of my very first ‘blog tour’ ever. It was organised by the
Australian Christian Readers’ Blog Alliance, under the auspices of our own
Narelle Atkins and also Jenny Blake (see http://acrba.blogspot.com.au/).
I was a little tentative about this at first, to be honest. I had read about
such tours in the USA, but couldn’t seem to wrap my brain about what they were
all about. Now here was our very own ‘home-grown’ one, inviting me to be part
of it, as an author or as a reader and reviewer.
In the end, I took the plunge and chose to have my
non-fiction book Soul Friend: The story
of a shared spiritual journey included in a tour last month. What an
interesting experience that was! Some reviewers in this alliance chose not to
review my book, since they prefer to stick to fiction, which is fine. But those
who did choose to read and feature it, either with a review or some thoughtful
response to the book, did a wonderful job, for which I am truly grateful. One
alliance member who reviewed the book even went to the length of buying another
copy via Amazon and posting her review there, which I found amazing—especially
since it was such a positive review! As well, some interviewed me with
interesting questions or suggested a topic about which I might write a guest
blog for them.
I enjoyed all the liaising involved in being part of the
tour. Yes, it took some time on my part to write those interview responses and
guest blogs, as well as the various emails necessary to expedite matters. But
these readers and other authors were doing me a favour, when all is said and
done. They were providing me with an opportunity to promote my book amongst
their own friends and blog contacts that might never come my way otherwise. It
cost me nothing, except my time—my publisher, Even Before Publishing, very
generously provided the necessary copies of my book for the reviewers involved.
On top of that, I feel I have got to know some of these authors and readers
just that little bit more as I have read their feedback and emailed them back
All this has opened my eyes more to the vital role
supporting each other in our writing journeys can play and caused me to be very
thankful for such help. Blog tour or no blog tour, we can encourage one another
so easily these days through a brief email, blog comment, Facebook post or the
like. And this International Christian Fiction Writers group itself is an
obvious way we have to share our journeys as well as let the world know what we
So today as you read this, may you be encouraged to keep on
persevering, not only in your writing but in exploring new promotional
opportunities that may come your way. And may God bless and encourage you even
more in the process.
Jo-Anne Berthelsen lives
in Sydney but grew up in Brisbane. She holds degrees in Arts and
Theology and has worked as a high school teacher, editor and secretary, as well
as in local church ministry. Jo-Anne is passionate about touching hearts and
lives through both the written and spoken word. She is the author of five
published novels – Heléna, All the Days of My Life, Laura, Jenna and Heléna’s
Legacy—and one non-fiction work, Soul Friend: the story of a shared spiritual
journey. Her sixth novel, The Inheritance, will be released in 2013. Jo-Anne is
married to a retired minister and has three grown-up children and three
grandchildren. For more information, please visit www.jo-anneberthelsen.com or www.soulfriend.com.au.