Guest Blogger: Therese Walsh

the_last_will_of_moira_leahyRiding the Wave of a Blogging Tsunami

My debut novel, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, came out two days ago, on October 13th. I’ve been doing a lot of publicity for myself—reaching out to reviewers, writing blog posts like this one for others who’ve graciously made a spot for me in their schedules, and doing interviews. I wanted more, though, than I could do myself; I wanted masses of people to shout from their bloggy rooftops, “It has come! The Last Will of Moira Leahy is here! Look how pretty! Open this cover!”

Viral blogging, it’s called—and it’s the best form of viral I’ve ever seen.

So why do something like this? Is it all about vanity? Honestly, no. It’s all about Rate of Movement.

Rate of Movement refers to how quickly your books are moving off the shelf, and out of a store, in a given period of time. Rate of Movement is used to determine many things, including how likely it is that a bookstore reorders your book and just how visible your book is on a store’s radar. Rate of Movement also reveals the number of books that a store orders from a publisher that don’t sell, the number they return to a publisher. So, overall, Rate of Movement is a very important early indicator of a novel’s success.

The goal when doing something like viral blogging is to get the word out about your book so that many, many people go to a bookstore and buy—to push that Rate of Movement number in the right direction, to encourage re-orders from bookstores, and to prompt a re-print from your publisher. If you’ve heard that the first few weeks following a novel’s release are important, it’s because of this very issue.

So I knew what I wanted, knew why I wanted it, but I had no idea how to organize such an effort alone; I’d have to reach out to someone with experience.

Plenty of people/groups/sites offer blog tours, but I chose a site I’d come to know well through an association with my blog, Writer Unboxed, called Women on Writing (WOW). WOW not only set up additional blog and interview opportunities for me, they arranged for a virtual blogging tsunami to hit October 13th, an option called “Everybody’s Talking.” Over seventy bloggers participated in the event, including bloggers from all walks—other writers, book reviewers, teachers, mothers, 20-somethings, 30-somethings, 40-somethings, 50-somethings, family-folk, meditators and even—yes—male bloggers. Jodi from WOW said she thinks we had such luck pulling in a diverse group because my book “appeals to a universal crowd.” I think she had such luck because she rocks.

And can I just say how cool it was to see everyone blogging about family relationships all at the same time—poignant posts, funny posts, honest posts—and mentioning my book in the same virtual breath. It might’ve been viral, but it was beautiful.

I hope the tsunamic effort put forth for The Last Will of Moira Leahy makes a true impact, but for now I just want to say thank you to all who’ve helped spread the word. I’m sincerely grateful to my friends here at Magical Musings and elsewhere, and the team at WOW. If my book does well, it will be because of all of our efforts.

Write on, all!

About Michelle Diener

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. To find out more about her and her novels, you can visit her website.
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17 Responses to Guest Blogger: Therese Walsh

  1. Elle J Rossi says:

    Hi Therese,

    Well let’s just say it worked on me. I’ve seen this cover a few times over the past couple days. Count me in. I’ll stop at the bookstore today.

    Congratulations on the release and the beautiful cover.


  2. Kath Calarco says:

    Therese, here’s another example of the importance of blog tours: Your guest blogging here is a huge reminder for me to WRITE DOWN that your book is out. I forgot that your book was coming out on the 13th. My mental check-list evaporates faster than the time it takes for my next breath to come.

    All said, today I’m making a stop at Borders and picking it up.

    Great advice regarding the importance of blogging. Best wishes for a successful debut!

  3. Edie Ramer says:

    Thanks for your great blog on a subject that concerns so many writers. It feels like we have to be so much more proactive now than a few years ago to catch the reader’s attention. I hope the tsunami of blogging sells you a tsunami of books. I want to see your name on the bestseller lists!

  4. Elle, I’m glad you’ve seen the cover around; something must be working. And thanks so much for your support.

    Kath, thank you, too, for seeking the book out. I *think* it’s on the front tables at Borders, but I’d love it if you could let me know if you see it there. We don’t have a Borders too close to my home, so I haven’t been able to spy on it. Haha.

    Edie, you are so right. I cannot believe how much time and energy it takes to self promote. (Knocking on wood about your hope–and mine.) Thank you again for having me here!

  5. mary Jo says:

    Hi Theres,

    Bought your book on the 13th. Will be starting it tonight. You’re blogging and promo worked for me. 🙂

  6. Ugh. Just wrote a post and the cat walks across the keyboard and it disappears… BAD Minnie-Kitty!


    What I was TRYING to say was that I think you had such luck pulling such a diverse crowd because you’re a thoroughly lovely person, inside and out, and we’re burstingly proud of you.

    So there. 😉

    I loved visiting blogs I hadn’t been to before, and meeting new people on mine. It was great to be part of something so exciting, even if only in a tiny way. It’ll always be one of those fond, “I remember when…” recollections.

    I’m afraid I’m not going to be helping your Rate of Movement *blushing* – we’re trying to save right now, but your book is number one on my Christmas List, and There Will Be Tantrums if it’s not under the tree come Christmas Day! 😀

  7. Michelle says:

    Therese, thanks for being our guest again, and I did help with your Rate of Movement 🙂 . Although not for myself. I’m going to rectify that, though, I can’t wait to get my own copy. I can honestly say nothing is more wonderful than seeing my writing friends succeed, and I know I’ll be able to count you among that number. Here’s to a great Rate of Movement!

  8. congrats on the book. I loved the blog wave on Tuesday. I was thrilled to be a part of it.

    Bought your book on Tuesday to help with the Rate of Movement! LOL

    BTW – The cover is incredible.

  9. em>What I was TRYING to say was that I think you had such luck pulling such a diverse crowd because you’re a thoroughly lovely person, inside and out, and we’re burstingly proud of you.

    xo, Anna! And I hope Santa is good to you, girl. (If not, let me know!)

    Michelle, I’m sure you have some challenges ordering books, but I appreciate your buzzing!

    Thank you, Mary Jo and Cyndi! I hope you love the book. (Cyndi, the cover–I feel so lucky on that count.)

  10. Oops, I left of the code above. Sorry about that.

  11. Barbara White Daille says:

    Therese – congrats again on your debut! Can’t wait to wrap my hands around the book.

    May your Rate of Movement take you right to the top.

    Barbara White Daille

  12. Theresa says:

    Your blogging blitz certainly worked with me. I’ll be picking this book up as soon as I can get into town.

    And to be honest, I wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise, the blurbs that were posted this Tuesday are what caught my attention. I don’t get RT or the RWR, so this was the only promotion I was able to catch for it. And since I usually don’t pick books up to check out the back cover blurb based on covers (I pick up based on author and friend’s recommendations)I would never have looked for this book at the bookstore.

    It was the blogging and the blurbs on the blogs that brought both your name and the title to my attention.

    From the buzz, I’d guess this blogging blitz really worked for you.

    Congrats on your debut release. I can’t wait to read it!

  13. LaDonna says:

    Hey Therese, congrats on the blitz, girl! We all love having you at Magical, and this cover rocks! Can’t wait to buy this gem, and devour it too.

    Best of luck on your journey! 🙂

  14. Thank you, Barbara and LaDonna!

    Theresa, thanks for making me glad for taking this particular road. I hope you enjoy the book!

  15. liz Kreger says:

    Thanx for joining us here at MM, Therese. Great blog and terrific subject matter. I’m definitely going to have to try to do a virtual blogging tsumani the next time I have a book coming out. I truly believe an active present on the internet is priceless.

    Beautiful cover and the book sounds great.

  16. Therese, we are proud of you! You inspired to keep trying with the books of my heart! Go, girl!

  17. Well, Therese, you already know how utterly thrilled I am about your release, so won’t repeat here. But I will say thanks for sharing the info about WOW. It sounds like they’ve done a tremendous job helping spread word about your masterpiece. 🙂

    Congrats, and enjoy riding the wave!

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