My wife Lindi and I have made an investment toward establishing and supporting my career as an author and public speaker–and doing outreach in support of undoing racism and other forms of oppression–since late 2005. One of the challenges we face is connecting with readers. I am blessed to have been well-supported by all the marketing and publicity folks at Beacon Press–including Beacon Broadside–as well as those at Audio Bookstand (Brilliance Audio) from publication through today.

On behalf of the winners of paperback and audio copies of Inheriting the Trade I extend deep gratitude to both Beacon Press and Audio Bookstand (Brilliance Audio)

As any author or publisher will tell you, if you want to be successful then marketing and publicity is a partnership. The author has a significant role to play in the success of her or his book. Much of Lindi’s and my investment has been in time and energy. It has also been financial as I’ve done a lot of traveling around the country since Inheriting the Trade was published.

Then I met Literary Publicist Stephanie Barko. Stephanie ran a contest in July in which she was offering a free “virtual book tour.” My book was selected from among 77 qualified entries. The virtual tour required a lot of effort on Stephanie’s part as well as on mine. Stephanie contacted dozens of potential sites and worked closely with those who agreed to be “tour stops.” I wrote several essays, participated in online chats, and responded to lots of questions and comments. The bulk of the tour ran from mid-August through October 2. Actually, due to technical difficulties that disrupted our first online chat, there will be at least one additional tour stop on November 15 at The Writer’s Chatroom. I’m talking with another potential chat host as well. Details coming soon!

Through the virtual tour I was able to connect with lots of readers who had never heard of me or Inheriting the Trade before. And it didn’t cost dollars. Two important points:

  1. Thank you Stephanie Barko for all the work you did to make this virtual tour a huge success.
  2. To my author friends: I highly recommend Stephanie when you need to hire a publicist. I will write and publish another book and I look forward to working with Stephanie in the future.

I also extend huge gratitude to the websites and blogs that hosted our tour (click on the links not only for a quick view of the virtual tour but to get acquainted with some great sites for writers and readers):

  1. Goodreads
  2. BookZillion
  3. Curled Up With a Good Book
  4. BookBlips
  5. Powell’s Books
  6. She is Too Fond of Books
  7. The Author’s Assistant Blog
  8. Zimbio
  9. Technorati
  10. Beth’s Book Review Blog
  11. Library Thing
  12. The Writer’s Chatroom

Thanks, friends, for following the tour. Thanks for spreading the word. We can’t rely on others to change the world to a more just, peaceful, and equitable place. It’s up to you and me.