December 11, 2012

Giving Thanks Part II

Giacomo & Slick

Giacomo & Slick

Giving Thanks

For the holiday season I thought I would try to focus a few blog posts on the “Giving Thanks” theme I started before Thanksgiving. I’m going to try to add them as additional posts and not interfere with my normal Thursday listing. With that in mind, here is my second one.

Blog Tours

I’ve already stated how inept I was at the publishing business when I started this adventure into writing, and that ignorance was never so apparent as in my first blog tour. What’s a blog tour, you ask? Ha. I did too back in April when I started out. I had only a vague idea what a blog was let alone a blog tour. Still, I tested the waters, and found them damn cold!

It was a disaster. I don’t know if it could have been worse, but I can’t imagine how. I take the blame for it. My fault. I should have been more diligent on who I got to run the tour. I won’t be fooled again, though; I’ve got vast experience under my belt—7 months of it—and I now know that the success or failure of a blog tour rests squarely on the shoulders of the tour coordinator. Yes, there are other factors:

  • you need a good book if it is to be received well
  • you need to participate and interact with the readers
  • you need good tour hosts, for sure; but all of it rests on the tour coordinator.

After my first experience I had almost given up. I vowed to swear off blog tours like cheap wine or cold coffee. But then a good friend of mine recommended Partners in Crime Tours (PICT) run by Cheryl Masciarelli. When I saw Cheryl’s name it rang a bell, and not because I have enjoyed Masciarelli wine. I knew I’d heard her name elsewhere. I did a search of my computer and found it immediately. I had written to Cheryl months before, asking if she had time to review my first novel, Murder Takes Time. As it turns out Cheryl was swamped at the time, but she responded promptly with a professional letter. It was such a nice letter that it left an impression, and I saved it for future contact with her.

A few months later I wrote to Cheryl and inquired about a blog tour. From that first email on, through 27 blog stops, I have never been disappointed. We started the tour in September, and finished on November 30th. That’s two and a half months of dealing with someone every week, often every day. That leaves a lot of room for error or messing up. Not with Cheryl. I feel certain that if the word “meticulous” were to be described with a picture, it would be of Cheryl.

So just what does Cheryl do?

◆ She makes sure you, the author, are prepared for what the tour involves, advising you on every part, every aspect, so you know what to expect and you know how to deal with each circumstance.

◆ She makes a very professional banner for the tour.

◆ She makes sure that the tour hosts are the right kind of hosts. No matter how good a book you wrote, it still has to fit. If you wrote a SciFi/fantasy novel, that wouldn’t fit with bloggers who do Romance or Mystery.

◆ She reminds the tour hosts of upcoming posts the week before.

◆ She reminds you of each stop on the day it appears.

◆ She makes sure to visit every stop and make a comment.

◆ She deals with everyone professionally, at all times.

◆ She is honest. If you ask a question, you get an honest answer.

◆ She worries over each of her authors like one of my old Italian aunts, and that is a good thing.

Bottom Line

In seven short months I have learned a lot about the publishing business, and I have made a lot of mistakes. But I’ve also made some wonderful new friends and found a few unbelievably competent people.

There are certain people in this world that are driven to do things right. To not accept mistakes. To shoulder responsibility and not cast blame on others. These people are never satisfied with mediocrity. These are people who take great pride in what they do.

I know you’ve all heard the old saying that “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” Like all things in life, it is easy to repeat that quote, but it is damn difficult to live it. Cheryl Masciarelli is one of the few who lives it, and I’m damn glad I met her. You simply can’t ask for more than that.


PS: I focused this post on Cheryl because that is who I’ve dealt with the most at PICT, but Cheryl also has a magnificent person who works with her. Her name is Gina Hott. She’s terrific!


Ciao, and thanks for stopping by,




Giacomo Giammatteo is the author of Murder Takes Time, and A Bullet For Carlos. He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 41 loving “friends.”

I think it goes without saying that if you know anyone who needs a blog tour, have them look Cheryl up. Here’s the link:

7 Responses to “Giving Thanks Part II”

  1. Giacomo:
    I am at a loss for words, and as you know, I never am. Your very kind and thoughtful words has brought tears to my eyes. It means so much to me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    Assisting an author in bringing recognition to him/her and the book, especially as talented and gifted as you, gives me so much satisfaction. I have been an avid reader my whole life and have a love and passion for books, which is my driving force.
    You were a pleasure to work with and look forward to your next tour for A Bullet For Carlos, which I might add is another page turning read.
    I do need to correct you on one issue, however. Gina created your banner, and does extraordinary work. I do agree with you, I am very lucky to have her on staff as she is a great asset. And I have to give credit to the best tour hosts that any tour company could have. They are reliable, write honest, credible, amazing reviews and posts and am very lucky to have them as part of our group. Kudos to the hosts!!
    Thank you so much!!
    P.S. I raise my glass of Masciarelli wine and toast you as an incredible and phenomenal writer. I know someday that you WILL have that photo!!

  2. If there is one thing most authors can’t do well, it’s blog tours. They’re a nightmare for the uninitiated, and a deadline-driven headache for those who are veterans.

    It’s so helpful to have someone guide you along the way. People have no idea how much is involved to do a blog tour right. Kudos to you and Cheryl. You made a great team!

  3. Thanks for stopping by, Cheryl. It was a fun time and I look forward to the next one.

  4. Maria: You’re right, my first tour was a nightmare, but once you pointed me in Cheryl’s direction, it made the world of difference. It was a fun, and successful venture.

  5. Goodness!! Giacomo — You brought tears to my eyes! Thank you so very much for such kind words!!

  6. Hi Maria:
    Thank you for the kind words. And more importantly, since it was just this minute that I was made aware of, that it was you who referred Giacomo to me, I want to thank you. Please accept my apology for not contacting you sooner to extend my gratitude. Again, thank you.

  7. Gina, well deserved. Look forward to working with you again.

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