What's in store for The Masquerade Crew in 2012?

Before I delve into our plans for the upcoming months and year in general, I would like to take a look back at 2011. This blog started near the end of August of this year and didn't really gain speed until we ran a series of Harry Potter themed posts during October. Bec ran a giveaway on our sister Tumblr blog during our Harry Potter-thon.

Around that same time we started doing reviews for authors we met on Twitter. The first one was Orpheus by Dan DeWitt. (@Dan_DeWitt) Since then we have posted 15 other requested reviews for a total of 16 requested reviews in 2011. Most of these are either self-published or went through small Indie publishing companies. That's where we want to focus for 2012. More on that later.

My initial plans were to focus on Facebook fans. I didn't have a lot of experience with Twitter, so I thought I would get to that at a later date. The opposite happened. I've focused almost entirely on Twitter, leaving Facebook alone for the most part. I want to change that in 2012, but we'll see.

Twitter has been very good to us. A big part of that is because of the folks at Triberr.com. I won't say much about them right now since I want to devote an entire post to them later. However, I will say that they helped us expand our reach on Twitter tremendously. I only see good things coming from that area in 2012.

In four months we have gone from no followers on Twitter to almost 1,200. Right after Christmas we pushed for a 1,000 followers by the end of the year. We made it in less than two days, increasing our Twitter follower count by more than 100. The folks at Triberr were helpful with this as well as all of our direct followers. We want to thank you so much. Thank YOU!

The graph below shows the increase in our Twitter followers for the past several days. Whoa!

Our First Book Giveaway

If all goes to plan, we will host our first giveaway here in a few weeks, possibly as early as the second week of January. I initially tried to get this giveaway off the ground in November, but I was fraught with scheduling difficulties and a fairly steep learning curve for me. I think we are just about ready.

The giveaway will be our first requested review—Orpheus by Dan DeWitt. If anyone would like to help us out with the giveaway, please contact us through Twitter (DM would be great) or you can email me. msl_007 AT live DOT com

Look for the first part of a two-part interview with Dan and another review of his book, both of which are scheduled to be posted before the giveaway starts. During the giveaway, we will post the second part of Dan's interview as well as a snippet from Orpheus.

Hopefully Orpheus will the first of many giveaways for 2012.

Expansion Plans

I'm not a very fast reader. I can only read 1 or 2 books a month, and most months it is probably only 1. Bec is our resident speed demon. Most of our reviews are coming from her. Sharon is also a quick reader and will hopefully continue to review for us. However, since our plans are to help the self-publishing community, we would love to read and review more and more books. To do that, though, we need reviewers.

If you have a blog where you already post reviews, you are more than welcome to guest post for the crew. If you would like to gain access to our list of books to read, we would be more than willing to accept you into our fold. You can continue to post reviews on your site. In fact, I am not worried about duplicate content, so you can even have your reviews in both places if you like. I do ask that if you accept one of our requested reviews, it gets posted on the Crew's site. What you submit to the crew out of your own books and reviews is up to you.

If you like to read and do not have a blog to post reviews, we would be more than overjoyed to accept your reviews. By doing so, you would gain access to our list of requested reviews, which should hopefully grow in the coming year.

Lots More to Come

There is a lot more that we would like to accomplish in the future. How much of it will we be able to do in 2012? I don't know. We'll have to wait and see. What I do know is that we won't be able to do much of anything without the support of our fans and fellow bloggers, reviewers, and writers.