blogging, book promotion, Uncategorized

Blogging Your Book

To blog your book without being too boringly obvious or repetitive, consider blogging about the subject matter of your book. People who share an interest in what your book is about could become your readers.

For example:
If you write mysteries, blog the latest crime-fighting psychology or tech or techniques. Romance writers can blog on sex, relationships or famous real-life romances. Blog fantasies if you write them, or blog the science behind your fiction if you write Sci-Fi.

So, if you are a writer who blogs, the question could be…
What can you blog about that shares your interests with prospective readers?

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Uncategorized

On websites and social media.

I believe we need to have a strong on-line presence in the form of, not a general blog, but a site dedicated to a product. But here are comments from some who disagree with me:

This question was posed on Scribophile:  

At what point does engaging in yet another platform actually sell any books?

Scribophile > “Depends what you use the platform for. DeviantArt has a lot of webcomic artists on there, and they gain a huge number of fans by posting serious artwork and drawings and funny mini-comics and the like for a few years first. They build up interest to the work before the work ever gets posted, so there’s already an audience waiting to suck up the actual story.”

(This is what I had in mind for my Wix site. But my conception got way too complicated, it got away from me. I am going to use a template-based WordPress site as my intro site, and continue to work on the Wix one.)

Scribophile > “I don’t think that your social media presence is really going to result in selling more books. I think it improves your chances for getting represented or published. I use Instagram to promote my art and writing. I participate in month-long writing and drawing challenges.

“Engaging on Facebook and Twitter drives some blog traffic for me. I have a books page on my blog, so people who have come to look at my article/interview or whatever link they clicked on can then see what I write. But it’s more a case of raising my profile out of obscurity than selling loads of books.

“Imagine selling your book is like having a storefront. You can wait for people to walk by, walk in and buy something. It happens. But what if you also participated in community events, fairs, and neighborhood parties? That’s what social media is. A means to get even a little bit more attention in an overcrowded marketplace.

“The key is to find the outlet where your readers/buyers are most likely to be hanging out and then give them a good reason to go to your store.”

Scribophile > Someone here somewhere agrees with me. He/she is strongly opposed to a marketing site being primarily a personal blog, but I can’t find that comment at the moment.

Yes, you can talk about a range of topics, but let them relate to your story. (Anyone who reads my footnotes in Sly will see that I am able to relate almost anything to my story.)

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So, there are two schools of thought here.

One > Display your general style and sensibility, seduce readers into trying your book.

Two > Subtlety be damned, the focus should be on the book, not your rambling thoughts.

There’s a third approach. One guy wants you to be his writing coach: “Based on my experience as a long time reader, never. It’s like some myth. I go to author’s blogs for writing tips, not to buy their books.”

Here’s my opinion:

> Engage on a variety of social sites, if you have the energy, to (try to) get attention.

> Have a website that features your product(s). Chat also, but don’t have that be the focus of your message. Soft sell by the grace of prose pulled from your novel(s). Be spontaneous in introductions/ sidebars/wrap-up comments.

> Here’s the advantage to this: Updates are easy. Change a paragraph, add a graphic. No pressure to freshen your page top to bottom. Your book is your book is your book.

The bad thing about that is, if a reader looks at your presentation and dismisses it, he will not return to find a second book, or a third. So be entertaining as hell in your supplemental material. Be surprising, be insightful, be outrageous. Give a browser reason to think you might eventually have something for him.

 

 

 

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WRITERS DESIDERATA

Writing while life itself is difficult can require recognizing the bigger picture. Reading Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata (Latin: “desired things”) focuses me. I adopted it for the writing life and thought I’d share. So, with apologies and homage to Max Ehrmann…

+++WRITE PLACIDLY despite the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in escape. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
+++Write your own truth quietly and clearly; but listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
+++Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare your writing with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser writers than yourself.
+++Enjoy your published works as well as your WIPs. Keep interested in your writing career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
+++Exercise caution in marketing your books, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
+++Be yourself. Especially do not feign knowledge. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
+++Let the counsel of years inform your writing, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
+++Nurture creativity to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
+++Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
+++And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with your Muse, whatever you conceive Her to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Write to be happy.

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Our Second Themed-Stories Showcase

Sorry for the delay, folks, but the wait has been worth it.  I haven’t added any titles, so only Carl’s has one. (I couldn’t think of one.)  The theme this month was a single word: draw. In the five stories, authors used four different meanings of the word as their primary definition. What a versatile little word!

MASKING FOR TROUBLE 4.png

Quickdraw McGraw registers a complaint.

Anyway, thanks to all. I hope I didn’t miss any (Kris?).  Enjoy!

(Next month, Mimi chooses the theme and the word count. Watch for it in the comments below.)

 

 

 

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Author:  Mimi Speike

 

I would read for you, said Dee. I must know who you are, what you’re about.

Ask anything, cried Sly, eager to oblige. (One does not refuse an opportunity to apprentice to the great John Dee.)

I consult the Tarot, please. The cards don’t lie.

Your implication, I do?

Don’t get your back up over nothing. Madame Tarocchini reveals things we may not be aware of.

Such as?

Dee fanned a deck face down on his desk. Let’s see. Draw five.

Draw.jpg

Sly took one, examined it, and shied it at his mentor. Outrageous! I had assumed a brilliant man, which you most certainly are, must reject this idiocy.

Dee shrugged. Nonsense, certainly. But, a popular depiction. One finds this nastiness everywhere, it’s impossible to avoid. Try to take it in stride.

Easy for you to say. You’re not a cat.

That particular card, Dee mused, his first pick? Luck of the draw? Or drawn to it? Gives one pause, it does indeed.

 

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Author:  Curtis Bausse

The man and the boy walked along the road, waiting for the lights of a vehicle, any vehicle, to pierce the black. None did. They kept walking, the man answering the boy’s questions as best he could. The boy was at that age, wondering about starlight and atoms and trees falling in forests with no one to hear them.
‘There’s a book up there.’ The man pointed to the ragged sky. ‘Maybe in orbit, maybe just drifting past. Full of words we can’t understand. And pictures. Drawings. Beautiful, they are. There’s one of a bird with feathers like flames and eyes bright as diamonds.’ The man paused. ‘And an ice cream van. Just one flavour. Chocolate. But the best chocolate ice cream in the universe.’
The boy craned his neck, looking up. ‘Ah, bullshit! I don’t believe you.’
‘OK, I made the ice cream up.’
‘But the rest is real?’
‘Sure.’ The man glanced over his shoulder at the darkness behind and quickened his pace. ‘Come on. Better hurry.’

 

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Author:  Perry Palin

 

Teacher said draw a picture of your favorite animal. The children drew dogs and cats, and one drew a pet snake. The little girl didn’t know what to draw. She looked at another girl’s picture of a cat, and she drew a cat.

Teacher said draw a picture of your house. The children drew houses with peaked roofs and flat roofs, one story or two stories tall. There were curtains or flowers in the windows, and some drew a sun in the sky. The little girl thought about her teacher’s words. She drew a gray apartment building with a parking lot, and the two cars that never move in the parking lot.

Teacher said draw a picture of your last vacation. The children drew scenes with children at lakes or in the mountains or at Disney parks. The little girl didn’t know what to do. She drew a picture of a table in a park. There was no one sitting at the table.

Teacher said the holidays are coming, draw what you would like most as a gift. The children drew bikes and pets and bright big toys. The little girl drew a mother and a father holding hands.

 

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Author:  Atthys Gage

 

Husk cracked, clinging where she hadn’t chewed it away. It fell in flakes when she extended a hinged foreleg. She looked up, gathering the dank air in the membranes of her face, and licked. And gulped. Air had never meant much to her before; now she couldn’t get enough.

Breathing coaxed other urges. Jointed plates groaned, drawing ichor into untested sinews. Forelegs? Hind legs?—these made a sort of sense—but what were these strange nubs, these stumps of flesh set high up on her back? Stretching, pain warned, but did not deter. Some urge, deeper than pain, spoke inside her. It would not be denied.

She flexed until the shriveled nubs swelled, unfolding in jointed segments that stiffened into crisp panes. Their slow beat flicked shadow across her crystal face. They were bigger than she was.

With hardly a flap, she was airborne, rising into the stale dusk. She chose a direction without benefit of sight, sound, smell. A gradient lay across the sky, a chemical net spreading in every direction. The draw was irresistible. She set a course for the center, and it pulled on her like a lodestone, onward, ever closer, to where death hung the thickest.

–Atthys

 

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