Silver Dagger Book Tours are truly unique, innovative, and incredibly helpful for emerging authors who write in genres ranging from Horror to Romance, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Thrillers, Drama, Children’s Books and even the occasional non-fiction title. Founded in September of 2016, Silver Dagger Books is the product of the creative mind of a book blogger named Maia Gomez who wanted to share her passion for books with new readers. Best of all, Maia offers authors an incredible deal in enabling them to pay whatever they can afford–although at least $20 is recommended–for a monthlong virtual book tour.
For several years prior to starting to her own company, Maia was a book blogger who reviewed new books for a number of companies. After personally partaking in several online book tours, organized by other individuals, Maia decided to try her hand at creating her own book tour with its own unique style and special features such as “about the book” and graphics that help to jazz up every post. Since its establishment, Silver Dagger Tours has done over 2500 tours and worked with hundreds of amazing authors – many who come back for repeat tours! Two to three tours kick off every weekday with occasional tours on the weekends and EVERY tour is required to have a giveaway so readers can gain a little something and have fun while they enjoy learning about new books. Maia is happy to work with publishers big and small as well as indie authors and self-published books are also welcome to apply.
Maia Gomez lives in the beautiful town of Fredericksburg, Texas. A self-described country girl, Maia grew up hunting, fishing and digging for Indian artifacts, and enjoying nature. Aside from being an entrepreneur and book aficionado, Maia is a stay-at-home mother of three young boys who likes cooking and doing DIY projects with her husband.
Maia recently discussed her company and her hopes for its future via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): When did you start blogging and why did you make books the focus of your writing?
Maia Gomez (MG): I started blogging about 6 years ago after discovering book tours and eventually evolved into doing my own tours as I wanted to help spread the word about all the amazing books out there. I’ve been a bookaholic from birth so naturally gravitated towards books in my spare time. I believe that reading has declined by society in the past few years as people are ensnared by social media and streaming, so want to do all I can to help bring new books to new readers.
MM: What genres do you consider your favorites and which books are your all-time favorites?
MG: Jeez, can I say ALL genres? Honestly, I enjoy reading books of all flavors – as long as the storyline is interesting then I will enjoy it. My all-time favorite genres would have to be fantasy, paranormal romance, horror, scifi, historical romance, adventure and crime thrillers. Asking me to pick just one would be like asking me which of my sons is my favorite lol.
MM: How did you first get involved with virtual book tours and how did these experiences inspire you to start your own book tours?
MG: I stumbled upon book tours quite a few years ago from browsing Goodreads looking for new books…somehow on there I linked to a tour and thought it was just too neat. After browsing tours for a few months, I decided I wanted to help spread the word too and for the first time in my life tried my hand at blogging. I used to own a site called “The Recipe Fairy” where I shared book tours and recipes as I have a passion for cooking as well, though eventually evolved into my new site which focuses more on books only. Once I got pregnant with my second son, I quit my job to stay at home with him, got pregnant with my third son shortly thereafter and am now a permanent stay at home mom with all the time in the world to put my efforts into running my company (between bursts of chaos, snack-times and playtimes of course)
MM: Why did you select the name Silver Dagger Book Tours?
MG: Before I evolved into the official name Silver Dagger Book Tours doing my own tours, I was blogging at this same site under the name “Silver Dagger Scriptorium”. I actually spent over a month formulating a unique name for my site. I wanted something nobody else had that was also not too genre specific as I love all genres. A silver dagger can be associated with fantasy, horror, scifi, thriller, mystery, crime, and even romance – just depends on how you want to envision it in your mind depending on the genre. I wanted an element of mystery, a dash of daring and a flare of sexiness, so a silver dagger fits perfectly in that universal sheath.
MM: How did you establish the company and get writers to sign on?
MG: I started out first doing some tours either for free or in exchange for ebooks, but after all the hours I put into everything, I really needed a bit more compensation for my time and hard work. Yet, I believe that what some of these other tour companies charge authors is just highway robbery. Thus, I came up with the idea to let authors tip me after the tour whatever amount they deem fair and can comfortably afford, that way everybody walks away happy from everything and authors can get a tour rolling without having to shell out first. I am literally affordable to any and all budgets!
MM: You allow people to pay what they want, so what have been some of the payments that you’ve received, monetary and otherwise?
MG: The most that I have ever received from a tour was $400 from an extremely happy author, though my general average falls in the $50 – $200 range. I also trade for other services, books, swag and other random items. Not everybody has cash on hand they can comfortably afford so I’m totally open to bartering. My main goal is to help authors get some promo, not clean out their wallets, though I do expect compensation of some sort for all of the hours I put in and the expenses on my end to keep things running and for paying my assistants. Besides cash, I’ve had people send me gift baskets, books, chocolate and even have one wonderful lady knit me blankets every now and then as payment lol.
MM: How many books have you promoted thus far and how many bloggers do you work with in total?
MG: Oh wow, coming up with a solid number of actual books is hard as I feature series all the time, but I’ve done over 3000 tours with many, many more coming soon. At any given time, I have 60+ active tours running as 2-3 kick off every weekday and a few on weekends as well.
As for bloggers, I have over 300 regulars in my group, though they all post different genres, so it varies per tour, with a bare minimum of 50 bloggers per tour, though sometimes I range more in the 70+ bloggers per tour, it just depends on the genre and how long sign ups run.
MM: What has the response to your offerings been like so far from both writers and readers?
MG: Writers are just pleased to no end that I’m completely affordable no matter what their budget is. I give everybody the same high-level quality work no matter what the end payment is, cost is not a factor in the results of the tour. I have a LOT of authors come back for repeat tours claiming they prefer my tours over some of the other top companies as I have the most interaction and they like my style better. Readers are extremely happy as well since in addition to learning about new books daily, they also have a chance to win something in the required giveaway on each tour. The author gains new followers from them entering and readers get a very good chance at winning gift cards, swag, books and other neat items! There’s also free books, sales and other awesome treats to be found sprinkled throughout the tours…swing by and see what goodies you might find!
MM: To date, what has been the most rewarding part of working with Silver Dagger?
MG: Well nothing beats being able to make my own hours and having substantial income to help my husband pay the bills, all while doing something that I truly enjoy. This really is my dream job! It is also vastly rewarding to be able to help authors get a leg up in the overpopulated book market to get their books to be seen by new audiences and hopefully make their books a success. I have worked with so many amazing five-star authors with truly GREAT books that would give some of the most famous authors a run for their game, they just need a boost to get out there and get known by new readers.
MM: How do you hope the company evolves and where do you envision it being in ten years?
MG: I’m constantly evolving with new features coming all the time to stay ahead of the game and to offer authors and readers the most fulfilling experience! I’ve become quite efficient in doing my own graphic designs and recently started doing custom teasers per tour. I’m eventually hoping to expand into making book trailers and book cover design soon, though have to keep reminding myself to take one thing at a time, adjust and expand so everything flows smoothly. I’ve grown exponentially in the past three years my company has been running and can’t even imagine where I might be in 10 years! My dream goal is to be a complete one-stop package for everything an author might need, start to finish and to be the top tour company in the world…which I’m already in the top three rankings worldwide and certainly the busiest out of the others!
MM: Are there any upcoming events that you would like to mention?
MG: There’s always new tours kicking off daily, and always new features being added on all the time!
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