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Unexpected Texas Update: Prize Winners & #1 on Amazon

Unexpected Texas is an Amazon Best Seller! (photo by Tui Snider)
Unexpected Texas is an Amazon Best Seller! (photo by Tui Snider)

My Row80 & Unexpected Texas Update

On March 2, 2014 I officially released my quirky travel guide Unexpected Texas on Amazon as both a paperback and Kindle version.

For the next 8 days, Unexpected Texas toured the web on a whirlwind book release blog tour. A variety of interviews and reviews appeared on the following blogs to help promote my book. It was so much fun!

#UnexTex Blog Tour Prize Winners

The book blog tour for Unexpected Texas was a blast! I learned a lot, had fun, and made some great contacts.
Today, I’m pleased to announce the winners for the prizes featured at each stop along my virtual book release tour. *drum roll please*

The following lucky folks are all winners:

1. Mark Oxner is the Grand Prize Winner. He wins: a paperback copy of my book, Unexpected Texas, an Unexpected Texas notebook, and a $25 Amazon gift card to support his reading habit.
2. Scott Shetler a.k.a. “The Quirky Travel Guy” wins: a paperback copy of my book, Unexpected Texas, an Unexpected Texas notebook for him to record anomalous events, a video of “Cowboys and Aliens,” and a packet of Yoda Post-It notes (because there is no try, there are only to-do lists!)
3. Leigh Reinert wins: a paperback version of my book, Unexpected Texas, an Unexpected Texas notebook, and a snazzy, laminated folding map of Texas (which I was so tempted to keep for myself!)
4. Gale Langley wins: a paperback copy of Unexpected Texas, an Unexpected Texas notebook, and a bag of sea salt caramel dark chocolates. Yum! The sea salt is a nod to the ancient sea which provides North Texas with high-quality salt reserves which are mined by the Morton Salt Company today, and from which the Salt Palace in the town of Grand Saline was built.
5.Katherine Boyer wins: a paperback copy of Unexpected Texas, an Unexpected Texas notebook, and the latest issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife. This ties in with the Athens, Texas chapter of Unexpected Texas in which I describe a visit to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. Not only do they have aquariums and a well-stocked pond, but they will loan you a rod and reel and teach you how to fish!
6. Pam Roberts wins: a paperback of Unexpected Texas, an Unexpected Texas notebook, and some really cute road trip stickers for scrapbooking.
7. Patricia Lynne wins: One Aunt Jemima apron, a zebra striped mani/pedi kit, a mini Texas Hold ‘Em game, & a paperback copy of Unexpected Texas. Each item in this quirky assortment references a woman mentioned in Unexpected Texas.

Once I have everyone’s snail mail addresses, I will send off all the loot.

A Successful Book Blog Tour

Everyone defines success differently, but I am happy with what I achieved with the #UnexTex Unexpected Texas Book Release Blog Tour.

Specifically, I’ve gained nearly 100 new Twitter followers, I’ve made new friends on Facebook, I’ve strengthened friendships with bloggers who inspire me, I’ve doubled the number of subscribers to my newsletter, I’ve doubled my blog traffic, and I’ve made connections that led to offline book-signings and speaking engagments (more on those in upcoming posts!)

I’ve also inspired at least 2 of my friends to get serious about their own book projects! That makes me feel great!

My Book is #1 on Amazon

Another goal I had going into this virtual book release blog tour was to hit #1 in the Amazon Best Sellers list for Dallas – Fort Worth Travel Books.

As you can see from the photo at the top of this post, Unexpected Texas is now officially an Amazon Best Seller! Yee haw! Rather than go on about how this makes me feel, I’d like to have the room for a moment:

What is ROW80?

ROW80 is short for A Round of Words in 80 Days. It was created by the author, Kait Nolan, who describes it as, “an online writing challenge that knows you have a life.”

Basically, ROW80 is a way for writers to connect online and share progress on their writing goals. Click on the aforementioned link for more information. To join in and cheer on other ROW80 writers, check out the A Round of Words in 80 Days website. You may also simply click on any of the blog in the following list:

Tui Snider
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Published inMy BooksUnexpected Texas


  1. Thank you!

    And I saw your comment in someone else’s prize about wanting to keep the map.

    What you want is a Mapsco Atlas of the state.
    (Well, they used to be Mapsco. The name’s still on some of the products.)
    BookPeople in Austin even had a laminated version, which we didn’t buy, opting for the much less expensive standard one. But now our standard one is falling apart (it’s been YEARS), and I kinda wish we had gotten the laminated one.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Thank you, Mark! I will definitely check out the map you describe. I am overdue for a good Texas road trip, I tell ya! :D

  2. well done and congratulations – so pleased for you:)

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Thank you, Alberta! There was more to the whole self-publishing process than I realized. Now, of course, I’m bumbling my way through the whole marketing side of things. It’s been quite a learning experience, but I am having fun with it all. :)

  3. Congrats, Tui! I bet you’ll have great success with your book. It really fills a niche beyond the basic travel books you can pick up in stores. I don’t know when I’ll make it to Texas, but hubby and I have a goal to visit all 50 states, and I can’t imagine we would miss Texas. When we do, your book will come in handy. :)

    Good luck!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hi Denise, Thanks so much. Publishing Unexpected Texas was a great learning experience, and I’m already plotting several more books! I love your plan to visit all 50 states. I must say, I am really yearning to hit the road lately, myself! :)

  4. Tui Snider Tui Snider

    You know Scott, eh? Makes sense! Speaking of mailing things, keep an eye on the post, David. There’s a book heading your way… :)

  5. Cool to see that quirky Scott won a prize! Way to go Scott!!

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