Which posts get more shares from me? How can they be yours?

which posts get the most shares

sphynx-Image by Digital Photo and Design DigiPD.com from PixabayShower thoughts, they can be so random sometimes. Today I was thinking about what makes the difference between posts I share widely and those that get the minimal effort. That’s basically my thesis statement. Let me back up and give you a little more context.

Sadie’s Spotlight is purely book promotions. That’s basically 100% all it posts (minus occasional musingly, like this). And each book post gets associated social media shares. If I host a book, I will provide a book post here on the blog, a tweet, a picture of the book on Instagram, a Facebook post, and I’ll share it to Pinterest (though I fully admit I tend to pin in spurts, rather than when a post goes live, like I do the other socials). That’s no small amount of exposure, even if I don’t have mega followings.

I’m a bit of a neophyte when it comes to understanding how SEOs and other back-end internet magic works. But that’s five chances for Google to find you, if nothing else.

Some posts get only what I’ve listed above. But others get extra. They might get additional tweets (this is the most common). They might get read and reviewed on my book review blog See Sadie Read  and shared on See Sadie Read‘s social media pages.

Book Review: Wyrd Gods, by Susana Imaginário

I might tell my friends about the book or post. I might share the post on a writer’s lift, whatever. The questions I’m seeking to answer today are why do I do this for some books/posts and not others and what can you, the author, do to encourage me to do so for your book or book post. Honestly, this post is written for and directed towards authors who have books on the promotion circuit. While I’m talking specifically about myself and my blog, a lot of it can be generalized.

Some of it is always going to be subjective. I’m more likely to read and review a book on See Sadie Read if it looks interesting to me (and if I have it). I’m not likely to widely share a book in visual mediums if I think it has an ugly cover, etc. Sorry, I’m human and I have human biases.

But outside of the subjective, there are some really concrete things that affect my behavior. And most of them are really simple and common sense. The first is interaction

As of right now, I have 1,470 live posts on Sadie’s Spotlight. There is some overlap, with authors or books being featured more than once, but that gives you an idea of the numbers I’m working with. On those posts I’d say about 1/3 of the authors stopped by to comment, interact with me or my readers, or just to say thank you for featuring them and their book. That’s an appalling average!

Jo Linsdell recently put out a video on good guest blogging etiquette and I can’t reinforce what she says enough.

I encourage you to watch the video, but she talks about commenting on a blog when they feature you and she makes solid points beyond “It’s just polite,” which it is.

Surely if you are paying for a blog tour or have sought out book bloggers on your own, your goal is to have your book seen as widely as possible. Thus, the reach of the blog in question matters. You are seeking to tap into that blogger’s audience and put your book before them. But the blogger is also hoping to bring some of your audience to the blog as new readers, some of them will stick around and become the bloggers audience too. Your comments and interaction encourage that. Spreading the post more widely.

But comments are also trawled by search engines for key words and such and more interaction increases the chances of moving up the rankings. Comments matter, and quality comments (those a little longer with actual contextual meat to them) matter most. Thus, authors that interact on the posts about their books are appreciated because they are helping both themselves and the blogger on the wider internet stage.

Another function of comments is simple acknowledgement. If I have agreed to post a book promotion, I have made a commitment to you directly or to you through and intermediary (tour organizer). A comment, even a brief one, lets me know that you have seen that I upheld that commitment and did as I said I would. If you never say anything, I never know if you’ve even seen the post (or care).

But they do even more than that. I’m a fairly emotional person and sometimes what I choose to give my attention to is based on that. If an author shows up and comments, initiates conversation, says thank you, etc I appreciate it and then feel more inclined to go out of my way to give them extra effort.

On the blog today, for example, Robert Gainey‘s first book, Dragon(e) Baby Gone, is featured.

Spotlight & Excerpt: Dragon(e) Baby Gone + Giveaway

Robert has stopped by both Instagram and the blog to thank me for featuring his book. Here he said:

Thanks so much for having me today! This is my first time doing a blog tour, and it’s really exciting to see what it’s like on this side of the curtain. Happy to answer any questions, or at least be heckled creatively.

A comment doesn’t have to be so enthusiastic, but I used his as an example because it’s tone is so genuine, it’s so clear that I made him happy, that I decided that I’ll put his book on my TBR and read/review it in the future. Comments aren’t all about the audience. Your interaction with me makes a world of difference in how willing I am to go the extra mile for you. And no interaction gives you no chance to give me such warm fuzzy feelings about you and your book that I want to help you out more.

You’re always going to get the minim listed above, and that’s gonna be enough for some of you. But this post is about how you get more. Make me feel like you’ll appreciate (or even notice it) and you’re already well on your way.

Is anyone surprised by this? Or that professional disinterest (real or feigned) has the opposite effect? If I feel dismissed, I’m likely to dismiss you. And a full 2/3 of the authors that I have posted book promos for couldn’t be bothered to type even a two-word (thank you) comment. That is noticed too.

Maybe saying “couldn’t be bothered” was too harsh. I do realize that some authors are hesitant to step into readers’ spaces. You’ve been told for years to stay out. But a promotional post on a book blog, especially one you’ve arranged yourself, is a far cry from commenting on a reader’s review on Goodreads, for example. This is a shared book space. You are as welcome here as the reader is. In fact, it’s a lonely place without you.

So, to reiterate, commenting is one of the easiest ways to get my attention and increase the chances that I give your book post extra attention. (And probably also to get random readers to do the same.) The next is just as simple and equally as common sense, share the post.

I am fully aware that if you’ve hired a tour company to organize 35 stops, it’s not real feasible to share every single one of them on the day they go live without overloading your own social media feed. But you absolutely should be sharing some of them. And personally I’m of the opinion that it shouldn’t be the tour organizer’s post you share, but some of those from the smaller bloggers. You paid the organizer, the smaller blogs don’t get a cut of that. What you can give them in return for featuring you is attention.

This is not just common sense, it’s also practical. Goddessfish Promotions, for example, is very good about tweeting links to the blog hosts of tours they organize.

(Credit where credit is due, they are also good about thanking their hosts and the authors who hire them are good about doing so as well, which I take to mean they actively encourage the behavior.)  I will retweet their tweet every-time I see it. It’s easy. It’s pre-written and sitting in my notifications. Why wouldn’t I? You could be doing the same.

Again, I understand this can’t happen for every blog or on the day each post goes live. But  there’s no reason you can’t share one a day over a longer period, spreading them out and still sharing them. Not everything has to happen the same day something goes live. The point is help get the word out. When I see authors making an effort to share my posts, I am encouraged to do the same (especially if they’ve shared it in a manner I can easily then re-share).

But twitter isn’t the only way to promote a book post. I saw a mysterious jump in traffic one day and later discovered it was because Sophie Barnes shared my post about her book in her news letter.

Book Blitz: Her Scottish Scoundrel + Giveaway

You better believe I appreciated the heck out of that share and was inspired to return the favor. Do you have your own news letter, Facebook group, Instagram Harem, etc? Use it to share the bloggers’ posts about your book.

I touched on simplicity and ease of sharing as something that makes me re-share a post over and over. Let me expand on this to include giveaways (which isn’t as odd a pairing as it might seem). I love giveaways. I love entering them and I love sharing them so others can enter and maybe win them too. (It makes me super happy to see the winners’ names posted and note that the winner is from my own blog. It gives me more warm-fuzzies.)

The most common giveaway platform I see on the posts I share is rafflecopter. And often “share this tweet” is one of the entry options. This often refreshes everyday, such that the tweet can be shared once a day. It’s so easy to do that. It’s significantly easier than putting together my own tweet each day. So, an easy rafflecopter (or other giveaway platform) tweet link is something I will use again and again if available, giving your book post several additional shares. And call me petty, but the better the giveaway the better chances I’ll share it. (I want to tempt people in, after all). And since most giveaways seem to feature gift cards, that leads me to Monetary incentives.

This is a hard one but it would be dishonest not to mention it. I don’t get paid to host the books I host, but I do hope to make a little money (basically enough to cover the costs of the blog). There are several ways you could assist with this and different blogs will have different avenues. I don’t have an Etsy shop, for example, but some do and keeping them in mind when Great Aunt Greta needs a birthday present would be an awesome thing to do.

I do have a tip jar (Buy Me a Coffee). Pending it’s not done anonymously, I see when you’ve dropped me a couple bucks and I definitely then feel appreciated and want to return the favor and feeling. A tip, no matter how little makes me happy in the moment. Share that.

[As an aside, I’ve had an anonymous donor that I’ve never been able to thank. So, if you’re that person and are reading this, know that you absolutely made my day.]

anonymous coffee

Understandably, especially if you’ve already paid for a tour, you likely can’t do this for everyone. But you could maybe pick your favorite of all the tour stops (or a random one) and tip them. Or some authors run a gift card giveaway just for the hosts. $5 may not be much, but it’s enough to make someone feel a little less like they’ve shouted into the void on behalf of an unappreciative stranger.

If even a small tip is out of your budget (which is understandable) clicking on a ad, if the blog has them, is a great way to help. Advertisers want legitimate organic clicks, not just random ones. But since ads tend to be at least moderately curated to the subject of the blog, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one of interest.

We are all massively ad-blind. I’m as bad about this as anyone else. But making an effort to peruse the ads to see if anything interests you enough to click and explore is a small but important thing you could do to help. Please do this.

I can’t tell who has or hasn’t clicked on a ad. So, I won’t pretend it makes me more likely to share your post specifically. But the weeks where I’ve made a few dollars of ad revenue (real talk, I mean like $3) are the weeks I feel like the time and effort I put into the blog are worth it, and the weeks and weeks and weeks that I make $0 leave me wondering why I bother at all. So, thinking to help support your bloggers keeps them blogging. This may be a general assistance, rather than a you-specific action, but if no one does it bloggers will give up and you (the general you) will have no one left.

I’m going to wrap it up here. Though I may think of another point later or something interesting and worth adding might crop in the comments, these are my current thoughts on the subject.

To recap: interact, share, and support is my big advice. None of it is difficult or particularly time consuming, but it seems to be overlooks too often. Again,

interact, share, and support
interact, share, and support
interact, share, and support
interact, share, and support

Have I missed or misrepresented anything? Do you have a differing opinion? Is it tacky to talk money? Let me know in the comments.

Spotlight & Author Interview: Where Are We Tomorrow + Excerpt

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Where are We Tomorrow_FRONT

Where Are We Tomorrow?
by: Tavi Taylor Black
Genre: Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction

For a woman working in the male dominated world of rock ‘n’ roll touring, pregnancy is not an option.

Alex Evans, a thirty-six year old touring electrician, discovers through an accidental pregnancy and then the pain of miscarriage that she truly wants a family. But to attempt another pregnancy, she’ll have to change both her career and her relationship; her partner Connor, ten years her senior, isn’t prepared to become a father again.

When Alex is implicated in an accident involving the female pop star she works for, she and three other women on tour rent a house together in Tuscany. While the tour regroups, confessions are made, secrets are spilled: the guitar tech conceals a forbidden love, the production assistant’s ambition knows no limits, and the personal assistant battles mental issues.

Through arguments and accidents, combating drug use and religion, the women help each other look back on the choices they’ve made, eventually buoying each other, offering up strength to face tough decisions ahead.



INSIDE THE CONCRETE arena, programmed lights whirred and spun in rhythm; eleven thousand fans watched, mesmerized, as vibrant magenta and violet beams sliced through midnight black. On stage, the band regurgitated the same set as the night before, and the night before that. They’d performed the set in Mexico City and Guadalajara. As far south as Santiago and Lima. The road crew for Sadie Estrada’s Home Remedy tour knew each dip in volume, each drop in the beat. They knew exactly, down to the second, how much time it required to step outside and suck down a Marlboro. These time-zone travelers planned bathroom breaks by the songs’ measures; no one missed a cue to mute the stage mics, to hand out room-temp bottled water for set breaks, to pull up house lights.

Behind heavy velvet curtains, separated from the frenzied pace of the show, Alex unscrewed the cover of a moving light to expose the core: circuit boards and capacitors, motors connected to color wheels. Deep bass, feedback, and the fevered pitch of collective voices penetrated the curtain, the familiar, almost comforting reverberations of life on the road. Alex continued her diagnosis, removing the light harness as a mother removes a soiled diaper—routinely, with a touch of tenderness. While she located and replaced the broken part, she kept an ear to the music, alert to the final measure of the set, ready to repack her multi-wheeled toolbox, move on to the next city, set up again.

Alex ran the light through all its functions, testing and retesting once she’d replaced the gobo wheel. The body of the light panned and tilted, working fine. A small victory.

“Sure you know what you’re doing, little lady?” Alex turned at the familiar voice of the tour’s production manager.

“Funny,” she said. “Very original. For that, you get to help me put it away.” Alex waited for another barb, one about her not being able to lift the seventy pounds by herself, but Joe simply helped her flip and crate the unit, a harder task for him at 5’2” than it was for Alex, a good five inches taller.

The arena crackled in anticipation of the show’s climax. Thousands of voices swelled and surged, a unified congregation. The body of the moving light settled into the carved Styrofoam, and Alex tucked its tail inside the handle. As she slammed the case shut, Joe’s laminate got caught inside the box, and he was jerked down by the lanyard around his neck. He freed the latches and yanked it clear, smoothing the wrinkles from the photo of his two young children, a wallet-sized clipping he’d taped behind his backstage pass. Joe caught Alex eyeing the photo.

“When are you gonna give in and pop out a few yourself?” Joe asked. Alex breathed slowly, letting a brief sadness settle into her body, though her face wore a practiced, blank expression. She gestured into the smothering dark, into the roar of the crowd and sweat-filled air. “And give up all this?”

Author Interview:

1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be.

The idea for this book came at a writing retreat with some grad school friends almost twelve years ago now. I had just stopped touring with bands because I was pregnant, so I had a bit of distance from the life. I was trying to look at it from a new perspective. I always wanted the story to be about the women I had toured with when I was on the road with Norah Jones. Having several women on a tour was pretty unheard-of at the time (2005-2008), at least in my experience. The first draft was written in all 4 women’s POV, first person.

2.  What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?

As my mentor, A.J. Verdelle, often says, “it’s not over until it’s between the covers.” I can’t tell you how many drafts this book went through. As I mentioned above, it changed from 1st person to 3rd person omniscient, but I also revised from past tense to present tense then back to past again on the suggestion of various editors. The manuscript started at 130,000 words. I cut and built, cut and built. It’s interesting because one of the things many reviewers have said is that the novel is short and they would like to know more about the other women in the book (besides Alex, the main protagonist). Well, I’ve got plenty of their stories that have been cut from the final draft. If anyone wants to hear about Kat or Brooke or Lily I’ll happily share their stories!

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?

The writing didn’t surprise me as much as the response I’m getting now. The book is doing exactly what I’d hoped to do; people–particularly women–are connecting to and identifying with the struggles of Alex, Lily, Kat and Brooke. Readers who have reached out to me have fallen nearly as in love with the women as I have. When you’ve worked so long on something, you start to despair that you are wasting your time, or that maybe your work won’t be as good as you hope. So, what surprised me were the yeses I received. Writers get so used to ‘no’s that when that yes comes, it leaves you a bit dumbstruck. TouchPoint Press really took a chance on me. Somehow, they saw the beauty in the book that many many many others passed over. And the incredibly positive response continues to be a wonderful surprise.

4. What does the title mean?

“Where are we tomorrow?” is a question that is asked nearly every day on a road tour. When you move from city to city, you don’t always pay attention to what’s coming next. Often, you only see the inside of an arena–you don’t get to see the city at all. Like the characters Alex and Kat in the book, I would often try to get out for an afternoon walk, just to get my bearings (and some fresh air). So, at the end of the night, when you’re all packed up and climbing onto the tour bus, a common question is “Where are we tomorrow?” Just so you know where you’re going to end up when you roll out of your bunk in the morning.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?

Yes! So many of the characters were inspired by real people. The 4 women are all based on real people who know (see attached photo). The real women aren’t exactly the same as the characters, of course, who are fictionalized. The women they are based on have been incredibly gracious. I did warn them ahead of time, but still, I think it was very strange for them to read this book. For instance, the woman that Kat is based on is a guitar tech (and a damn good one) and she rides horses, but she’s not gay. So there was a bit of awkwardness around that. The woman who Brooke is based on (Mia Adams) is a singer and actress, but she’s not overtly ambitious at the expense of all else!

Other, more minor characters might recognize themselves, at least some traits, but I haven’t mentioned it to them. I guess I’ll find out what they think soon 🙂

For the record, the pop star character, Sadie, is absolutely nothing like Norah Jones, who is about as cool and sweet as you think she might be.

6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?

A lesson or moral? No. Not exactly. I don’t think it’s the job of an author to preach. I think our job (at least for literary works) is to pose questions. To make people feel or think. To let people know that pain and fear, joy and contentment–every emotion–is fairly universal. We are all just trying our best to reconcile ourselves with our past and find a little happiness in this life.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?

No one has ever asked me this before! People have mentioned their favorite parts, but I’m really having to think about this.

Ok, it’s such a small moment, not at all pivotal to the story, but I love the scene where the mothers are dressed in their daughters’ clothing, looking ridiculous and all getting giggly because Sadie is paying attention to them. To me, this says so much about our culture’s addiction to fame. Even these women, these mothers who are there to support their daughters, get caught up and starry eyed around a celebrity.

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

Alex, the protagonist, was definitely the most challenging because she was too close to home. When I started out, I had another woman in mind as Alex, but slowly she took on my traits. My love of poetry, my search for a home and family. I wanted Alex to be more like my friend, Sharon Huizinga, who I had toured with around the same time. In my mind, she still looks like Sharon, but she acts more like me. I’m not someone who loves to talk (or write) about myself, so I had to come to terms with how much Alex represents my own journey.

9. What are your immediate future plans?

I am really invested in getting out to talk about this book. I have a number of readings and book signings set up and would love to visit with book clubs. I also have two other novels I am trying to place– a historical novel set on an estate in coastal Maine, and a middle grade fantasy that I wrote with my daughter.

About the Author

Tavi Taylor Black lives on an island near Seattle where she designs sets for the ballet, works as the tour manager for a musical mantra group, and has helped found an anti-domestic violence non-profit organization. Before earning an MFA from Lesley University, Tavi spent 14 years touring with rock bands. Where Are We Tomorrow? was the 1st place winner of the 2016 PNWA Mainstream Fiction Contest and was also a finalist in the Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature. Several of Tavi’s short stories have been shortlisted for prizes, including Aesthetica Magazine’s Competition, and the Donald Barthelme Prize for Short Prose.

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Spotlight: Cruisin’ in High Heels + Giveaway

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Cruisin’ in High Heels
Cruisin’ Around Series
by Loretta & Sarah Johns
Genre: LGBTQ Contemporary Romance


Twin brothers- One gay, one straight. Two romances with double the hijinks.


I love my twin dearly, I really do. The thing is, I’m not so sure about River’s latest plan. On the surface, it looks solid. Work for the cruise line, save up the cash, and buy a used bus to do up so he can go out on tour.

Only thing is, he failed to tell me that while he was doing his act as Cha Cha Larue for the drag queen variety show, he’d signed me up to do so as well! Rather than lose our jobs and get him into trouble for fraud, I decide to go along with it. After all, River promises I’ll only have to cover for him if he’s ill. He says I’ll get to mostly just lounge around the pool. Somehow, I doubt it’s going to go quite that easy for me.

It never does when it involves Cha Cha, but, really, how bad can it be? It doesn’t take long to find out when someone starts sabotaging the show and targets Cha Cha! We’re going to get to the bottom of it. We’re not going it alone, though. River’s got a security expert admirer on board, and I have my own little shipboard romance going on with a lawyer. Between the four of us, the saboteur doesn’t stand a chance.

Hopefully, the opposite will prove true for our romances as River and me? When we fall, we fall hard. And boy, have we fallen- broken heel, face plant hard.

Cruisin’ in High Heels is a fun romp with a cozy mystery edge and contains both mm and mf romance. It takes place in the Cruisin’ Around series world of which it is an official part.

Goodreads * Books2Read

Loretta Johns is a US Army Brat who grew up to serve in the Army herself before turning her full attention to her children. An avid reader, she began to write her stories and has been over the moon at the discovery others are willing to pay her for them.


Sarah Johns literally lives with her head in the clouds. Sarah lives in the Pacific Northwest in a high rise scheming and dreaming of plots with her USA Today and Rainbow Award Nominee sister Loretta Johns. Sarah lives out her happily ever after with her real life hero Boss E. Bear, doggie and Leela an old grumpy feline. Before Sarah began her writing adventure she earned her Master’s in Clinical Psychology and working in the addictions field. Sarah has also earned her wages by driving Semi Trucks contracted with the Department of Defense and also a Veteran’s Service Officer. Sarah is now a full time author and partner of Pahoa Paradise Publishing with her co author Loretta.


Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
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