Into the Dreaming Imaginative Fiction from Author, Reviewer, and Writing Coach Christine Amsden

Tag Archives: Christine Amsden

Finish the Story Grand Opening Special: FREE First Chapter Edit

This week is the Grand Opening of Finish the Story.

I’ll be working alongside Claire Ashgrove and Dennis Young, two fantastic fellow authors/editors, to offer a greater variety of services than I could on my own. We are a full-service editing company, which means we strive to help you prepare for publication no matter where you are in the process. We include services such as book fixing, for books that need a little doctoring before they’re ready for editing, and formatting, for authors who are ready to publish. Our package rates bundle services to keep the costs down, and give you access to more than one editor through the different phases of editing to ensure that your finished product is as error-free as possible.

All genres of fiction welcome! Non-fiction and memoirs welcome!

Give us a try! Now through the end of March, send us your first chapter (up to 5,000 words) and get a FREE, no-obligation developmental-style edit.

Learn more at Finish the Story

Free Ebook Today Only!!!

It’s Read an Ebook Week, and that means free books! Twilight Times is offering Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective, the first book in the Cassie Scot Quartet, completely free for one day only! No catch! Just click the link to the file type you need …

Download Cassie Scot in .mobi (kindle friendly) format

Download Cassie Scot in .epub format

Open Cassie Scot in .pdf format

If you like the book, don’t forget to check out the other books in the series …

 

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Helix Season 2: WTF?

Finished the second (and last) season of Helix and I have no idea what I just watched.

Don’t get me wrong, season 1 had quite a bit of WTF going for it as well. I mentioned as much in my review a couple of weeks ago. But it had a degree of intrigue that had me willing (if not precisely eager) to move onto season 2. And watch season 2 …

Well, you know how you can’t look away from certain things? Like Donald Trump? Helix Season 2 was like that.

I thought (naively) that there would be more development of characters, world, and themes in this season. That we would get some answers. What I got instead was … I have absolutely no idea.

Strangely, despite all that, I’m sad that there’s no third season!!! Not because I could possibly recommend this show to anyone, but because I still have this need to understand WTF is going on.

99 Cent Sale!

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PLUS …

Every book in the Cassie Scot series will be discounted through the end of November!

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Read the First Chapters Here

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Book 1)

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Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

  • *Winner of the 2013 Global Ebook Award for Fantasy
  • *Finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Awards

Buy now in print, ebook, or audio…

Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2)

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 Cassie Scot, still stinging from her parents’ betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn’t letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.

To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness. Sequel to Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective.

  • Winner of the 2014 Global Ebook Award for Fantasy

Buy now in print, ebook, or audio…

Mind Games (Cassie Scot #3)

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Beware your heart and soul…

Evan broke Cassie’s heart two months ago, and she still doesn’t know why. She throws herself into family, friends and her new job at the sheriff’s department, but nothing helps. The only thing that finally allows her heal and move on is the love of a new man, mind mage Matthew Blair. Cassie finds him…irresistible.

Matthew may also be the only one who can help keep the non-magical residents of Eagle Rock from going crazy over the murder of a beloved pastor’s wife. It looks like a sorcerer is to blame, but while Cassie tries to figure out who, others take matters into their own hands. With tensions running so hot, a single spark might set Eagle Rock ablaze. Book 3 in the Cassie Scot series.

  • *Winner of the 2014 Global Ebook Award for Fantasy

Buy now (Print, Ebook, Audiobook)

 Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4) 

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Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.

But things may not be precisely as they appear.

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.

Buy Now in Ebook and Audiobook

Trade Paperback: November 15, 2014

Praise for the Series:

“When sorcerers call the shots, what’s a girl without powers to do? Get ready for a ripper of a murder mystery full of romance and intrigue, where magic potions bubble, passions spark and vampires are definitely not your friend Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective grabs you by the heart and won’t let go until the very last page. Well written, immersive and unputdownable. This is urban fantasy at its best. More please!” — Kim Falconer, bestselling author of The Spell of Rosette, Quantum Enchantment Series

“Amsden continues the story of the only mundane member of a supernaturally-gifted family in this middling sequel to Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. Cassie, stubborn and proud, is bravely trying to live on her own after her family disowns her. Struggling to make ends meet, she accepts a case involving a pair of magical girls who disappeared from summer camp. With the aid of the handsome Evan Blackwood, to whom Cassie is attracted despite her family’s disapproval and her own better judgment, she follows the trail of the missing girls. What she finds is a dark side of the magical world, and the hidden depths of her family’s past force her to reconsider long-held assumptions. The growing complexity of Cassie’s world makes this an entertaining installment, focusing as much on the will-they, won’t-they romantic chemistry between Cassie and Evan as on the primary mystery. An inconclusive ending is clearly intended to feed into the next volume.” — Publisher’s Weekly 

About the Author

Author_2013Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for 
everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work. Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Social Media Links:



Holiday Parade: Dragon Fire by Dina von Lowenkraft

Today, in preparation for holiday gift-giving, fellow author Dina von Lowenkraft will tell you all about her book, Dragon Fire!

 

Some choices are hard to live with.

But some choices will kill you.

When seventeen-year-old Anna first meets Rakan in her hometown north of the Arctic Circle, she is attracted to the pulsing energy that surrounds him. Unaware that he is a shapeshifting dragon, Anna is drawn into a murderous cycle of revenge that pits Rakan and his clan against her best friend June.

Torn between his forbidden relationship with Anna, that could cost them both their lives, and restoring his family’s honor by killing June, Rakan must decide what is right. And what is worth living – or dying – for.




The Story Behind Dragon Fire



The funny thing about Dragon Fire is that it didn’t start out as a book on its own. It started out as a subplot in another manuscript. After writing Call, the first book in a planned four book series, and thinking it was market-ready, I began to query it. And no one was interested. All I got, if I got anything at all, were form rejections. I gathered my courage, read several craft books, and re-wrote it before querying it again. But my second batch of queries had no better results than the first.


Frustrated and a bit stumped as to how to improve my manuscript, I once again stocked up on craft books. A few months later, after reading Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel and analyzing several YA books with his ideas in mind, I began to understand where tension was lacking in Call.


Unfortunately, I still didn’t know how to fix it — especially since it would mean cutting about 40-60 thousand words. And yet I wasn’t ready to leave the world I had created and loved. So I decided to pull out a subplot fromCall’s sequel and write that. That subplot, about a young shapeshifting dragon named Rakan and the human he falls in love with named Anna, became Dragon Fire.


While writing Dragon Fire I signed up for Jordan Rosenfeld’s class, ‘Building Tension’. Taking this class was essential to my growth as a writer and it made Dragon Fire a better manuscript. I would take scenes from my work-in-progress and apply the lesson to it, improving it a first time. Then I’d get feedback and I’d re-write it again, improving it even more. All of this before rewriting one final time to produce the ‘first’ draft.


Once Dragon Fire was complete, I queried it and got several requests for fulls. In the end, I had the good fortune of being able to choose between three publishers, and I chose Twilight Times Books. And now, finally, I’m ready to go back to Call and re-write it!

~~~


Born in the US, Dina has lived on 4 continents, worked as a graphic artist for television and as a consultant in the fashion industry. Somewhere between New York and Paris she picked up an MBA and a black belt – and still thinks the two are connected. Dina is currently the Regional Advisor for SCBWI Belgium, where she lives with her husband, two children, three horses and a cat.


Dina loves to create intricate worlds filled with conflict and passion. She builds her own myths while exploring issues of belonging, racism and the search for truth… after all, how can you find true love if you don’t know who you are and what you believe in? Dina’s key to developing characters is to figure out what they would be willing to die for. And then pushing them to that limit.


Dina is now repped by the fabulous Kaylee Davis of Dee Mura Literary Agency.

Holiday Parade (Halloween Edition): Stephanie Osborn

Today’s Holiday Parade features an excerpt from a paranormal horror novel by Stephanie Osborn — perfect for Halloween! But of course, it would also make a great gift idea. 🙂

Interlude: El Vengador, by Stephanie Osborn

by Stephanie Osborn
http://www.stephanie-osborn.com

Deputy Sheriff Michael Kirtchner gets an “unknown disturbance” dispatch call to a remote house trailer in the swamp. There, he discovers an old woman and a dog, terrorized by a mysterious beast, which he takes to be a bear. But when he contacts Game Warden Jeff Stuart to come trap the animal, Stuart tells him to get out if he values his life – this is no ordinary animal. Is Kirtchner up against a Swamp Ape ― a Florida version of Bigfoot – or something more…sinister?

 

Based on a true story.

~~~

 

“Ma’am?” he ventured. “Ma’am, could you please put down the shotgun?”

“What? Oh ― oh, yeah. Ah’m wavin’ it ever’where, ain’t Ah? Ah’m so sorry. Ah know better. Ah…it scared me, ya see, and Ah didn’…”

She put the shotgun aside, just inside the doorway. It was then that Kirtchner noticed she was weeping.

“Ma’am… are you okay?”

“NO! Ah’m not okay! Ah’m scared out of muh mind, officer! Why do ya think Ah called ya?” she exclaimed in a thick rural accent.

“Why are you crying?”

“’Cause Ah’m just so glad you came! Somethin’ attacked mah house, an’ Ah thought Ah was gonna die!”

“What was it?”

“Ah dunno. But it was big, an’ it was fast. An’ it stunk t’ high heaven!” Her voice, already pitched high from stress, cracked and became whiny halfway through this speech, and upon its completion, she began trembling. Kirtchner came to her, sat her on the steps, and worked on getting her calmed down.

“Shh, it’s okay. I’m here now. I’ve got my gun,” he patted his holster, “and you’re safe. What’s your name?”

“Elsie Moore,” she sniffled, glancing about in apprehension, studying the foliage past his squad car in considerable trepidation. “Uh, Missuz. Ah’m a widder-woman.”

“Do you prefer Mrs. Moore, or Miss Elsie?”

“Ah dunno as it matters. Don’t nobody ever come out here nohow.” She shrugged. “Call me Elsie, Ah reckon.”

“Fine, Elsie. So, someone attacked your mobile home?”

“NO! Weren’t no some one! It were a something!” she blurted.

“Shh. It’s okay. How long ago was this?”

She glanced at a battered old men’s wristwatch, then muttered, “’Bout an hour, hour-fifteen, afore you showed up, Ah reckon. Ah called right aft’r Ah shot at th’ thang. It musta run off inta th’ woods.”

“And what happened?”

“Ah be damned ‘f Ah know,” Elsie answered, running the last three words together. “There’ uz this turr’ble smell, wild animal smell ya know, like a skunk, onliest it ‘uz worse’n any skunk Ah ever heared tell of. Ah got plumb nauseous, an’ lost mah dinner inna trash can. Then there ‘uz a horrible ruckus right a’most up unner me ― unner th’ trailer, that is. Metal skreechin’ an’ bendin’ an’ somethin’ roarin’ an’ howlin’ fit to kill. Ah looked out th’ nearest winner, an’ there ‘uz a big ol’… thing… clawin’ at th’ back.”

“A thing? What did it look like?” Kirtchner wondered.

“Ah couldn’ tell ya,” Elsie tried to explain, “on ‘counta it ‘uz half up unner th’ trailer. Ah could only see its hind end.”

“…Which looked like?” Kirtchner prodded.

“Like a big ol’ furry butt,” Elsie retorted. “Long shaggy brown, or maybe black, fur, with some green.”

“Green?” Kirtchner straightened up, raising an eyebrow.

“Green,” Elsie reiterated, a hint of defiance in her tone now. “Like… you ever read ‘bout them jungle critters, them whadda they call ‘em… sloths?”

“Oh. Yeah, I think so.”

“Ah caught part of a show on th’ tee-vee,” she said. “Th’ sat’lite dish ain’t worth much, an’ Ah didn’ see all of it. But they showed ‘em, an’ th’ fur ‘uz kinda green, an’ ‘ey said it ‘uz ‘cause moss an’ algae an’ shit grew in it.” She nodded sagely. “It ‘uz like ‘at.”

“Oookay,” Kirtchner remarked, pulling out his tablet and swiping across its pad, taking notes. “Do you think you’re settled enough now to show me where it was?”

Mrs. Moore drew a deep breath, then popped to her feet as if launched. She reached inside the door of the trailer and retrieved her shotgun. It was a Winchester model 1897, he noted absently; a 16-gauge, to judge by the barrel length, and anything but new. It looked to need cleaning, too. He restrained a frisson of anxiety with an effort.

“Yeah,” she averred, “but we ain’t goin’ nowheres until you git yer shotgun, too. Ah knows as yew po-lice types carry ‘em, so yew jus’ go gitchers right now.”

“You don’t need that. And I have my pistol.” Kirtchner was less than thrilled with this development. If she gets antsy and shoots that thing, no telling what will happen, he thought. It doesn’t look like it’s been maintained in a couple of decades. I wonder when this husband of hers kicked it.

“’At little pop-gun? Agin the beast what attacked mah trailer?” She gestured at his holster. “Ah don’ think so.”

“It’s a forty-five,” Kirtchner pointed out. “It’ll handle the situation. Please put down your weapon.”

“Ah ain’t puttin’ it down, mister. Yew ain’t seen ‘at monster. Ah did. Now, yew git y’r shotgun, or Ah ain’t a-goin’ nowheres ‘ceptin’ inta th’ house, an’ lockin’ th’ door behind me. Yew kin take yer chances.” Elsie tilted her head up, setting her jaw, determined to stare him down.

So to placate the woman, he got his Mossberg, set up for 12 gauge, out of the cruiser. He made sure the magazine was fully loaded with magnum shells, and followed Elsie around to the back of her trailer.

* * *

The scene that greeted him when they got in the back yard looked like somebody had attacked the rear of her trailer using some kind of giant, multi-pronged steel fork. The heavy gauge aluminum siding was torn to hell and back, and it was peeled away in several places starting from the bottom of the trailer and curling up its side. There were great long gouges, some longer than 2 feet in length, which looked like nothing so much as giant claw marks torn into the aluminum siding of the trailer. Even the insulation had been pulled out in places. Some of the gouges had what was obviously fresh blood smeared along the edges.

TV Review: Jane the Virgin

Let me start by saying that this is not the sort of thing I normally watch. I do enjoy romance in books, but rarely in TV or movies, and my impression when I saw this recommended by TV Guide was that I’d watch the first episode, dismiss it as crap, and move on with my life. Why bother watching that first episode? I don’t know … probably something about the ludicrous idea of a virgin getting accidentally artificially inseminated. I mean, it sounded so awful I almost couldn’t help but look — like a sex scandal on the news. Wow, almost *exactly* like that!

So I just finished the second episode. It’s great!

All right, so it’s got a corny setup, but to give credit where it’s due, they’ve owned the setup. The most likely thing to go wrong with a setup like this is that the show writers and producers treat it like the joke it sort of is. But a strange thing happens when you embrace it and make it a real thing … you can’t stop watching!

The best thing about this show, oddly enough, is the narrator. When he first started talking I thought this was going to be terrible, but it’s not. The story is being “told” by a Hispanic man with a warm, sexy voice who introduces the characters to you and who sometimes tells you what’s going on inside their heads. This adds a bit more depth to the story than you usually get, and as you get used to the concept, it’s kind of fun too. A lot of the comedy is in the narration.

This show is a comedy — not the laugh-until-your-sides-hurt variety, but it is definitely amusing. The convoluted cast of characters all add something to the mix, and Jane herself is very likable. I even get why she was a 22-year-old virgin (which was something I wasn’t sure I would buy).

Give the pilot episode a chance. Seriously. It’s corny in the right places, serious in the right places, well acted, amusing, and utterly bizarre.

Book Review: The River of no Return

The River of No ReturnWell-constructed, well-told, well-characterized… these are phrases I so rarely associate with time travel that I had no choice but to give this book five stars! What a great read. I could not put this down. My only reservation about this book is that the ending called for a sequel, yet an Internet search shows no evidence of the existence of one. I know this doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but I would feel so much better about this book if the author would just have “work in progress…” or “coming soon…” on her web page!

Nick is a 19th century Marquis who finds himself in the 21st century. He jumped forward in time an instant before he would have died on a battlefield in Spain — apparently, not an uncommon occurrence. The Guild collected him, educated him on life in the early 21st century, and told him there was no going back. Except, they lied. And when they need him to go back to 1815 to take care of a problem, they start telling him small pieces of the truth that make him more suspicious than ever.

Come to find out, there is more than one group of people trying to control time travelers and the river of time. Nick has to decide which side he’s on, a decision that becomes more complicated when he learns that the future itself is in danger.

I found Nick to be a credible man-out-of time, and I liked that it was hard for him to slip back into life in the early 1800’s after life in the early 21st century. There was a bit of romance in here that was okay, although it didn’t drive the story. Julia has problems of her own, and secrets she’s been warned to keep.

I highly recommend this book to fantasy/scifi readers who like time travel.

Rating: 5/5

Title: The River of No Return

Author: Bee Ridgway

Published April 2013

Book Review: Werewolf in Alaska

Werewolf in Alaska (Wild About You, #5)I’m being more critical of this book than I probably should be because quite frankly, it’s time for this series to end. I’ve never been hugely fond of Thompson’s take on werewolves. I went with it anyway because she has an engaging style and makes me laugh, and I’ve always felt that was the intention. I didn’t even go into reading this book with particularly high expectations, I just wanted a lightly amusing read. But this book forgot to bring the funny, and I have rarely felt more like I was reading the exact same book all over again with the exact same set of character and circumstances. “I shouldn’t be dating you because you’re human and I’m a werewolf” doesn’t work five times straight. The concept has played out. Time to move on.

I’m certainly not sure why these two people needed so desperately to get together, or what, exactly, made them soulmates. Actually, I hate to say it but I was feeling pretty compelled by WARM (werewolves against random matings) by the end of this book and I’m completely buying that humans and werewolves shouldn’t mate. I’m ready to become an active member. Where do I sign up?

Rating: 2/5

Title: Werewolf in Alaska

Author: Vicki Lewis Thompson

Published July 2013

Virtual Book Tours: Wise Investment or Waste of Money?

Across the Internet and around social media the word is out: Authors, virtual book tours are the key to success! I bought into this in a big way last year when Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective came out. I was desperate to make a splash, especially since there’s an entire series behind that title. Since May of 2013, I have worked with not one, not two, not even… but nine different tour companies. Since I rehired a few, paralleling and overlapping along the way, the total of separate tours comes to a whopping fourteen in less than a year!

Was it worth it? I must have thought so at first or I wouldn’t have kept hiring them, but my views have become more reserved after concluding most of my tours for Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2). Both books have done reasonably well (they have certainly been well reviewed), but I cannot draw a straight line from VBTs to success.

This doesn’t mean that VBTs are not a useful marketing strategy, but as with so many things in life the correct answer is “everything in moderation.” I’m afraid the “especially moderation” addendum does not apply here. 🙂

At this point I do not believe virtual book tours are great for *direct* sales. There is no straight line between a book’s appearance on one blog or sixty and subsequent sales.

HOWEVER, there do remain two truths about virtual book tours that tempt me to continue using them in the future, as a significantly lower percentage of my total marketing budget:

1. Virtual Book Tours get a book reviewed. I’ve sent direct e-mails to hundred of bloggers, posted for reviews on some key sites, and failed to get blogger interest. (I’ve literally spent over a hundred hours on fruitless direct appeals.) At this point I do have a long (and growing) list of bloggers who know my work and are more likely to review my books in the future, but the only reason I got these people to look at my book in the first place was that they signed up for a VBT.

2. Virtual book tours make noise. Interviews and guest blogs give me things to talk about on social media aside from direct appeals to buy my book. And there is something to be said for the sheer repetition of your name and book title.

I’m readjusting my thinking on virtual book tours. I believe they provide a framework that I can then use to draw in sales through direct advertising. For example, before Cassie Scot came out it was unknown and unreviewed. Today there are 90 Amazon reviews, and every time I purchase an advertisement, it mentions this fact: “4.6 out of 5 stars on 90 reviews.”

The problem with my original thinking on virtual book tours was that I thought they would make direct appeals to readers, thus drawing in sales. But even “well-read” blogs are not cornucopias of interested readers. A lot of people sign up to “join” a blog but never really look at it, and much of what filters through social media is so much noise.

Yet connecting with bloggers puts information about you and your book on the Internet where it is widely and readily available. It also increases social media contacts.

There is no “magic pill” for marketing. The first thing every author must do (marketing 101) is have a web page, but this web page does not create sales. Then you need to join social media groups, once again creating a framework that leads to indirect rather than direct sales. Almost nothing out there creates sales directly, though there are some advertising options that get you a nice short-term bump and a thrill of seeing cause and effect.

So, should you hire a virtual book tour service in the future? Should I?

I don’t know. How is your current blogger contact list? Is it solid? Do you have dozens of reviewers you can more or less count on to read your book? If the answer to all of these questions is “yes” then by all means, save yourself some money!

If you think you could use more reviews or more exposure, however, then look into virtual book tours. But do so with the right expectations and with these general guidelines in mind:

1. Reviews are invaluable. If your tour doesn’t include reviews, it’s useless to you. These reviews should be independent. That is to say – you are paying for the coordination of reviews, not for the reviews themselves. Bought-and-paid-for reviews are not useful. (Many tour companies ask that a blogger who cannot give a book an honest three-star review post a guest blog instead. This is fine.)
2. Guest posts and interviews are only as good as you can write them. This isn’t always easy, especially if you have a boring interviewer. Try to come up with one-liners that zing and guest posts that will stir conversation.
3. Spotlight posts are typically not useful. These are posts that simply post your book cover, blurb, and autho bio. This is basically an attempt at direct advertising on a single blog, which will not have a big enough readership to make such an endeavor effective. Spotlights do not encourage conversation, do not build blogger contacts, do not build social media contacts, and they fill the Internet with useless noise. They can help with name recognition through sheer repetition, but others types of posts do this and more. Try to find tours that grow the conversation at every stop.
4. Don’t let yourself get fooled into thinking that high-dollar = high-value. Many high-dollar tours suggests that they have access to better blogs — higher traffic, for instance, or more genre-relevant. In my experience they rarely deliver; the stops you get through these companies are not inherently better than the stops you get through cheaper companies. (Although do watch out the other way — if a tour company only has blogs that have been in existence for less than a year, that’s not a good sign.)
5. Look for tour companies that deliver a tight schedule, without a lot of dead space. If they advertise for 20 stops, this should happen in 4 weeks, not 2 months.
6. One virtual book tour at a time is fine. 
7. Do not spend your entire budget on VBTs, or even most of it. I don’t have a specific percentage to recommend at this time, but I personally plan to try 50/50 for my upcoming releases of Mind Games (Cassie Scot #3) and Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4).

One last note about virtual book tours, at least if you skip the high-dollar ones, is that the cost is about $75-$150 per month for your average tour. There are dozens of companies out there — I haven’t used them all and can’t vouch for them all — but they pretty much provide the same thing and can be used back-to-back for a fairly reasonable price. (“Reasonable” does depend upon your budget.)

When you but into a VBT, know what you are paying for: Contacts and coordination. Know too what you are not paying for: Advertising and sales. A virtual book tour is a framework only. A part of your social media outreach.

Note: Next week I will do a side-by-side comparison/review of all the tour companies I worked with.