I Can Crack My Knuckles Therefore I Must Be a Chiropractor! (Musings on Expertise)

[[This post originally appeared on my Stating the Obvious blog back in 2011. I’m resurrecting it because I’m currently taking a series of classes from people who are…interesting. Why interesting? Well, as an example, if you can’t remember the terms for what you’re teaching, perhaps you shouldn’t be teaching it. Or how about, if every student’s answer is correct – even when they contradict each other – perhaps the first part of the class should be “We’re going to be sharing opinions. There’s no right or wrong.” Or how about…

And this has more to do with me and my expectations than those teaching.

And I have definitely learned from them.

And here, for your enjoyment,

I Can Crack My Knuckles Therefore I Must Be a Chiropractor! (Musings on Expertise) Enjoy!

This post is about lowering the bar. In a world where everyone is a guru, maven, jedi, rock star, queen, genius, leader and last but not least, expert, how do we recognize real ability from self-defined hype and bling? There have been two LinkedIn discussions that I know of, one in social media, the other in analytics, one from Apr 2011, the other from earlier in 2011 and both themed “What is expertise?” I wrote The Unfulfilled Promise of Online Analytics series (I’ll resurrect those, too, if you’d like) a while ago and one of its subthemes is “What is expertise?”

The level of “expertise” required to hang out a shingle has gone beyond touching the ground, it’s gone subterranean in many disciplines. And it’s pointless to create governance groups that offer accreditation because once such groups gain popularity they are usurped by vendors and HIPPOs to serve purposes different than governance and accreditation.

Let me offer some suggestions for marketers and consumers of expertise. Note: especially those marketing their teaching/editing/proofing skills.

Truth in Self-Marketing Rule #1: Never Believe Your Own Hype
Continue reading “I Can Crack My Knuckles Therefore I Must Be a Chiropractor! (Musings on Expertise)”

Blog Tours, Part 2

I researched “blog tours” for the past six months, polling some 1,500 authors (self, indie, small house through major house (note: not Big5) publishers) and received responses from 793. The majority of responding authors are USA based (368), second high being Canada based (297), and a conglomerate minority (128) making up the Europe, Australia, South America, the Middle East, and a few African nations. No responses came from any Asian countries.

The question set was:

  1. What is/was your expectation for a blog tour?
  2. Your success/failure with blog tours.
  3. Best blog tours you’ve experienced (listed 1, 2, 3, and no more than 5, please. It would be grand. if you could provide a brief explanation for your ranking)
  4. What gets you the most response/feedback/attention: video, podcast, text?
  5. Would you pay/what did you pay for your blog tour (and was it worth it)?
  6. Anything else you’d care to share.

I followed these up with further email exchanges and, in some cases, Zoom chats.

Read Blog Tours, Part 1


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Blog Tours, Part 1

I researched “blog tours” for the past six months, polling some 1,500 authors (self, indie, small house through major house (note: not Big5) publishers) and received responses from 793. The majority of responding authors are USA based (368), second high being Canada based (297), and a conglomerate minority (128) making up the Europe, Australia, South America, the Middle East, and a few African nations. No responses came from any Asian countries.

The question set was:

  1. What is/was your expectation for a blog tour?
  2. Your success/failure with blog tours.
  3. Best blog tours you’ve experienced (listed 1, 2, 3, and no more than 5, please. It would be grand. if you could provide a brief explanation for your ranking)
  4. What gets you the most response/feedback/attention: video, podcast, text?
  5. Would you pay/what did you pay for your blog tour (and was it worth it)?
  6. Anything else you’d care to share.

I followed these up with further email exchanges and, in some cases, Zoom chats.

Note that this survey occurred during 2020, “The Year of COVID.” Personal appearances, conferences (cons), book signings, and public interaction in general stopped. This caused people who had not considered blog tours to rethink their marketing strategy as blog tours became one of the few ways an author could socially safely publicize their book.

Any author intentionally selecting and contributing post (as opposed to advert) content to ten or more blogs within a specified period of time for the purpose of self-promotion is on a blog tour.

 
What is a Blog Tour?
One thing that turned up was confusion re what a blog tour is, exactly. Is it being interviewed on a blog? In writing? Video? A podcast? Is guest posting part of blog touring?

There was no clear definition and I’ll offer one based on commonalities arising in the responses: Any author intentionally selecting and contributing post content to one or more blogs (not their own) per week for two months or longer for the purpose of self-promotion (they are not paid for their content) is on a blog tour.

It doesn’t matter if the contribution is video, audio, text, images, Q&A, interview, excerpts, et cetera, so long as it’s part of the main post (rather than a comment or pingback) and for the purpose of self-promotion, it’s part of a blog tour.

Be advised: a book review is not a blog tour. A blog tour is when you and your work are the show and has more marketing power than only your work on show. People pay more attention to people interacting than they do when someone writes about a book.

Big TakeAways


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I Pitched Nine Agents in Two Days – Six said Yes! Here’s What I Learned (Pitch Evolution)

I recently had a fascinating week; Nine agents (including the ones who weren’t interested in my work) shared industry insights and offered suggestions for improving my pitch.

The is the third and last installment in the I Pitched Nine Agents in Two Days – Six said Yes! Here’s What I Learned series and deals with how the agents themselves helped me shape my pitch. The first installment dealt with Do’s and Don’t’s the agents shared with me during the day. The second installment details conversations I had with some of them and their thoughts on the industry and agenting.

Note the following deals with a fiction pitch.

Enjoy!


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Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. Non-protected posts (there are several) are available to everyone. Enjoy!

I Pitched Nine Agents in Two Days – Six said Yes! Here’s What I Learned (Conversations)

I recently had a fascinating week; Nine agents (including the ones who weren’t interested in my work) shared industry insights and offered suggestions for improving my pitch.

The is the second installment in the I Pitched Nine Agents in Two Days – Six said Yes! Here’s What I Learned series and deals with the conversations I had with them. The first installment dealt with Do’s and Don’t’s the agents shared with me during the day. The last installment (available starting 28 Oct 2020) details the evolution of my pitch based on their suggestions.

Note the following comments deal with fiction markets exclusively. Some elements may apply to non-fiction publishers, agents, authors, and titles, and my conversations were about fiction books.

Enjoy!


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Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. Non-protected posts (there are several) are available to everyone. Enjoy!