Well, I’ve had a 500% increase in traffic, social interaction and I’m getting recognized as a serious (and popular) parenting blog. Is anyone reading it other than family and a few friends? I write about parenting, I teach youth, it’s what I do–why am I not blogging to the parents of the kids I’m trying to reach? Announcing releases and offering blurbs and sample chapters. « Eva Rieder, To Blog or Not to Blog | Being and Formulating, Saturday Fiction Writers And Indie Publishers Round Up 16 | J.J.Foxe.com. #4) Use the blog as my characters. Because my mistakes had profound repercussions for my well-being, and because so many people share my old misconceptions, I wanted to do my bit in challenging the status quo. Your blog is beautiful, by the way. George Carlin said that the job of a comedian is to see where the line is drawn and to deliberately cross it. Meanwhile, thousands of fiction writers followed their advice, creating blogs they resented, Twitter accounts that overwhelmed them, and Facebook pages with thirty-seven likes. (It’s how I follow this blog, in fact, along with about 400 others.). It’s more of an intellectual exercise (can I describe scenes and write dialog?) You could well end up with both a successful series of books and a profitable niche web asset. Thanks in advance. If you take a broader view of blogging e.g. And it might become popular, but it’s a different, more personal and less commercial approach to blogging. Ok so there are more than 7 great blogs for authors. #3) Use the blog to expand the story’s universe: Dictionary/Pronunciation Guide, answer fan emails as posts, share lost/deleted/extra content for free (even if it’s posted for readers to find in the future). That’s all I got at this hour. Originally published in a slightly different form as “Is Blogging Good for Fiction Writers?” on CreateSpace, Filed Under: Author Blogging 101, Marketing Tagged With: Author Blogging 101, author platform, blogging, book marketing, Joanna Penn, writer blog. Best of all…sales are doubling….and doubling….and doubling. One of the techniques I’ve been using lately is ensuring a blog has RSS capabilities and then using that to auto-feed content into my goodreads author profile as well as my amazon author profile. Blogs aren’t for everybody, but they’re invaluable to me. }. Blogging as a fiction author works when you remember your readers. In other words, don’t give them your manuscript but provide them with something just as good, but with different characters and storylines. I bought into the traditional wisdom of buy a domain name, build a website, and blog, and … nothing. I blog, but sporadically, and my lack of readers hasn’t given me confidence to keep working at it. *Also, ask them to subscribe to your Newsletter to receive your weekly blog in their inbox. http://www.BookMakingBlog.com Romance - write about relationships, divorce, dating, etc. Penn blog. Let’s say the writer works hard to build a community of blog followers. However, I’m a stubborn git and determined to make a living at this. I’m trying to encourage other vets and students to consider these other fields. Don’t wait until pub date to think about marketing! Do readers want to read blog posts that are primarily writing tips? While I know not all of my blog readers also read science fiction, some do, and some of those will be willing to take a chance on a first novel. The purpose of a blog is to provide content that speaks to their ideal reader. posted at The Book Designer, saying, “If you’re a novelist, should you be […], […] (@jfbookman) addresses a subject that can be awkward, or at least lead to unsatisfying results: Should Fiction Authors Be Bloggers? 2. I don’t write to other writers. I’ve been asked to go guest blogs for travel sites too. Thanks! Joel, the comments on this post are really interesting! Writer Beware®: The Blog To complement the general advice and warnings on the Writer Beware® website, the Writer Beware® blog provides up-to-the-minute information on specific scams and schemes–along with advice for writers, industry news, and a special focus on the weird and wacky things that happen at the fringes of the publishing world. Again, maybe someone here has some knowledge of that. Continuing the habit of writing daily even when I’m in between books or taking a break for personal reasons/responsibilities. My http://www.SilverSandsBooks.com and http://www.BooksForAuthors are overt efforts to sell books. Our first serial chaps were way too short. People should know these things, so that they can make informed decisions! My last post was on “sex and killing” (pretty hectic topic) NOT ONE comment. Mercedes, casual blogs are probably the most fun for the blogger to write, and I wholeheartedly approve of that approach. Being who I am, I can’t confine myself to one topic, however. However… He has a special focus on technology which is an area a lot of authors needs help with. By this I meant that the blog looks like a source of information, not like a book store. I know the next step is to build a list, but I’m not sure what to write in e-mails when the book is still unfinished. Another approach that seems to work better is used by authors whose work is centered around a specific historical period, a particular place or occupation, or some other theme that ties their work together. They stuck with it but they told us they wanted more each week. Your email address will not be published. Is the blog topic a good fit for them AND readers? UNDER DEVELOPMENT: http://www.InfoForAuthors.com I was wrong, Joel. If you aspire to be a fiction writer, Wattpad is a website that you should never miss out as it’s a popular one online. I was shocked to discover that much of what I thought true about health and nutrition was false. Any author without even a basic “postcard” website is like a businessperson without a business card. 4. But authors do need to get clear about why they’re blogging, and if it’s bringing them the results they want for the time they are putting in. Although it’s sometimes geared toward fiction writers, there’s plenty of stuff for online content writers too. I don’t believe blogging takes away from his/her fiction writer credibility. So I would say I’ve had a very positive, fun experience with my blog. Thanks for your comment. Until you get those fans, put all your efforts into writing great books and promoting them as your long-term plan. This is the most fun, writing as the actual personalities of gnomes, wizards, and even having arguments between them. Thank’s for all you do. Here’s my main knock on blogging if one is a beginning writer of fiction: the ROI is stupidly small. Otherwise, my fiction doesn’t need my blog and my blog doesn’t need my fiction. I’m in the not-famous category, but I’ve come to a slightly different conclusion in how and why I should be using my blog. Thank you so much for this post. Writing 21 books now and 7 books in my Chronicles of a hero series is great for kids, yeah—but blogging didn’t get to them. Obviously, they can’t hurt, but it seems to me that people read novels for different reasons than they read informational articles. I have a blog that I was using to introduce my fans to interesting people I’d met but that took too much time. . thanks for that. Fantasy – each week make up a new fantasy character and describe them. When we get comments, they are very encouraging and David Telbat has gained several fans through this endeavor, and therefore, buyers for his books. For small-press published authors, we must make our presence known, and a land spot for fans — and all those potential readers/future fans — is not harmful. J.M. I would love to hear yours and any others’ thoughts! There’s only one connection between my blog and my fiction: the ideas I blog about supply the intellectual underpinnings and a bit of craft to my fiction. I have several blogs — one for each audience. I don’t look at traffic very much. “interesting, engaging content” is also a pretty good description of a successful book, so an author’s ability to show us her work is reason enough to maintain a site, even if it’s a static one. Over the years, I've heard so many theories about what writers of different genres should do with their blog, and it's great to consider different perspectives. I’m in too deep to quit my blog now, but I think it’s not for everyone, and it drives me nuts when “authorities” counsel ALL new writers to have a blog! Plus, interacting–making good, in depth comments (ya know, like this one) on blogs, grabs attention and brings new friends over to the site. It sounds like you’re doing everything right, Byddi. Leanne, I hope you’ll leave a link to your article when you post it, thanks. In fact, I had to create a disease for my last book, so I posted it through the blog (http://wantedhero.com/twitchworm/). A pretty good picture, don’t you agree? I doubt that this will change after I’m published, but who knows. Focused on what i know and the messages i have–mixing parenting and teaching with a pull to kids THROUGH their parents. I’ve decided to put that creativity where it belongs … into writing my next book. The purpose of a blog isn't for a writer to talk about themselves. And has inspired me to write an article in reponse. But it’s a little trickier for fiction authors like me. Which is why we always look forward to the results from the “Ten Best Blogs for Writers” each year — a contest currently being produced by the blog Write to Done.. An author who has no opinions, no beliefs, is just a cardboard individual – and most likely his writing/characters are the same. The protagonist in my novel is also an “uncommon veterinarian” (the tagline of my site) who was previously in the Army and is now studying infectious diseases in Africa at the start of the story. But we just keep plugging along. And good tips about RSS syndication. At this point, the answer is “it depends.” For the right writer with an appreciative audience, blogging can be a powerful way to create community around your books. Love this article Joel, and I’d like to contribute if I may. Fiction and nonfiction: not always the same solutions. I hope you’ll share how that works for you and Mr. Telbat! Hope you’re well. Janice Hardy’s The Other Side of the Story White, irritating noise I suspect others follow in the hopes of being followed. If you write romance from a particular era, write exciting facts about courtship and marriage from that era. Many an emerging author has been instructed that starting a blog will improve their writing skills and will begin building their coveted author … Mark, that’s a great point and I completely agree that every author needs a “land spot” or home base for fans and also for media inquiries. If you’re a nonfiction author wondering if it’s worth blogging, don’t debate, just do it and you’ll find out. Below, you’ll find a great list of blog post ideas for writers that you can use as writing prompts. I read at least 100 books per year, but no fiction. eight This frees him up to continue writing posts, novels, and short stories for the blog. 5. Communicating with other authors. Nikole, you seem to be in the perfect place to combine your writing and blogging, because part of your audience is also make up of bloggers. Learn how your comment data is processed. I have two blogs that are mostly defunct at the moment that served to support my teaching when I was still teaching grad school. Your blog audience will fall in love with your writing, and when you have a published book in your hand, they will be more than happy to purchase it and read more. Thanks for your comment. I don’t presume to know why, though I’ve been told it’s perceived value. I don’t need to train them to come to the blog on some schedule. So where’s the problem? Whether you're a multi-published author or just taking the first steps in your writing career, ACFW is the place for you to learn more about the craft and expand your knowledge of the traditional publishing industry. Before, I was pretty much in agreement that blogs sold books “accidentally,” but now I see the blog as the center of an ongoing, sustainable business, and that has changed my approach to the blog. Oh, golly. We’ve all got to start somewhere; this is the somewhere I’ve chosen. The problem is that all these benefits only accrue easily to two kinds of authors: In the first case, blogging is probably the most effective marketing device available to an individual author ever invented. .hide-if-no-js { I think that’s more problematic. Sharing interesting photos. Blogs give you the opportunity to: You can even monetize your blog by offering other products or services that compliment your subject matter. You helped me quite a bit. How RIGHT you are. Really this post should have been titled 10 MG Books That Will Remind You What's Important in Life, but I thought that was a little long. My audience varies. One? Ross, I think that’s an interesting strategy. Even a static site can do that, but updating once in a while will help to keep it “fresh.”. I’m one of those new writers and I’ve decided to take an approach that I’ve seen recommended elsewhere (wish I could cite the source but lots of folks have recommended it): provide SOMETHING of value, even if it isn’t directly related to your novel. than a business project. Joel, thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Both of these things I know would help us a lot. That would be helpful for many startup authors. I have a steady following of gardeners and people who like to travel since my blog is about life as an Irish gal living and gardening in California. This allows the author to blog about the subject of her books instead of the writing or publishing process, which are mostly of interest to other writers. I have come to rescue you. Trimmed down. I don’t know how many other people don’t read fiction, but there must be at least a few. Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds blog Charlotte's Web by E.B. #6: You Want Your Blog Itself to Make Money Joel, Can you expand on the sub-topic you present here: “Creating a book review program when your book is new”? Spend your energy on (A) writing, and (B) building an authentic base of like-minded peeps on social networks that feel authentic to you. They’re the gate keepers after all, right? That way they are also more likely to open your mail. After writing 20-something nonfiction books, I am now dabbling in a “based on a true story” semi-novel. Hi Jaime, You’ll find this post over at Joel Frielander’s site – it’s an interesting discussion about author ‘platforms.’  I have my own thoughts about author platforms….this is a good post that makes you think. They hold writing contests for skilled writers, too. NEW: self-publishing company parody, http://www.99BuckBooks.com My umbrella site has general news about convention appearances, changes in status, notices about works that I’ve contributed to venues outside my normal franchises, etc. For me the angle was primarily gardening which worked out nicely when I started my own garden coaching business a few couple of years back. If I am a novelist who specializes in gay teenage albino vampire sex, how many blog posts about my novel could I come up with over the years? You can go ahead and check out the numerous poetries, short stories and fiction novels here. And happy holidays to you, too, Cy, and thanks for weighing in. It’s necessary but won’t drive traffic/sales on its own (so get a site that is nice but don’t over spend on it, look up wordpress .org and .com both). I have a main “author” blog that serves as a collection point and index. I am aspiring fiction writer with my first novel in its very early stages. I think perhaps anyone hoping to someday publish any book should think about getting a blog going with any angle that inspired them. Your approach exemplifies how an author with a body of work and a following can leverage online sites without having to blog about subject matter or craft or publishing itself. http://www.Facebook.com/SilverSandsBooks. So you are a fantasy writer, write about famous mystical creatures, how they came about, and the stories surrounding them. By sharing their valuable ideas in a blog, they’re attracting the people who care about those insights and can have a waiting audience when a book is published. If you write romance, write a weekly blog about a character with a different name and a different story. Middle Grade kids aren’t out there surfing blogs like I thought. If I were a fan of this writer I am sure I would follow. Fun part is, moms are starting to review my books…I got a call form my sister in Montana (I’m in Utah)…and she said the Librarian showed her the top books checked out by the teens…THEY WERE MINE. My author site is also my blog site, and I’ve had it for more years than my first successfully published novel. Even though letting go would be in the best interest of my fiction goals, and might clear up my insomnia! Both approaches work, of course, and the static site you are recommending for fiction writers is a completely different enterprise than the health-oriented educational articles that could form the basis for a popular blog. Do you know any great author blogs? UPDATE: From my original participation in April 2013. It used to be a comic book site, but I overhauled it when I began writing YA Fantasy. Fiction writers can have successful blogs as well, especially if they’re able to focus on a specific topic, theme, or subgenre. That is a non-negotiable and that builds a list of fans who you can notify when the next book is out. It really does sum up the quandary of blogging for fiction writers. However, having said that, you have a terrific premise for a niche blog that would be worth pursuing on its own, since you have the three things needed for a great blog: expertise, writing ability, and the desire to share. If you do those two things well, I believe the rest will take care of itself. And thanks for your offer, I appreciate it. Hallelujah! If unknown to me, the blog would tell much about his/her writing style; I might become a buyer of his books if my interest is piqued. Wattpad. My blog isn’t just on fiction, but I feel what I write is purposeful and interesting enough to read, at least I think so. Readers would do well to click through to see Nathan’s site for an example of a mature and fully-worked out author site. I’m a fiction writer, aspiring in the novel area, but have been published in small presses. I can focus on writing what I love… . I’d be interested in your thoughts about A Writer of History. Although my conclusion differs from yours. If you're a fiction writer and you haven't seen success with your blog, I would like to pose a question: The director found my site and became a fan. Blog posts, to live up to their form, should be optimized for online reading. Nobody reads it but the occasional other author looking to create interlinking posts to THEIR equally unsuccessful blog. I spent the day with troubled teens, giving them hope and a new perspective on life. Jody Hedlund’s author site You asked me to share more of what’s working for us. Close…but not spot on. My last novel was 610 pages and during the process I felt a bit overwhelmed. 1) Blog around your stories The reason why non-fiction writers benefit so much by blogging is that they can demonstrate their authority. @Vannie Ryanes had it right, when she commented, “When I read fiction, I like to know about the ‘whole’ writer.” Amen. If something has already been written on the subject, I would appreciate URL referrals. I’d appreciate visits & comments and if I can be any help on the project you’ve got in mind, let me know. Upmarket fiction is used to describe a book that has a literary feel with commercial appeal. I’m a fiction writer and wanted to get some of my work “out there” for the public to read, so I started blogging. 14. Blog writing is not the same as book writing. I ask, because my best friend encouraged me to do “installments” for my books. When reading fiction by an author that is new to me and the book is captivating, I find myself looking the back of the book looking at the writer’s photo while I marvel and wonder about this person. The list ties in with the article, "The Author's Dilemma: To Blog or Not to Blog" and our bloggersblog section. And thanks for your links, always happy to see them when the trackbacks arrive, much appreciated. Write small 500-word chapters that go together to become a book, but not your book. So we began posting weekly short stories, and then decided to try serializing one of his novels, a chapter a week (before making it into an ebook afterwards.) As a fiction writer, I love the outlet blogging gives me, forcing me to read outside my genre and within it, and it hones my writing. Your article has made me pause. @Joanna Penn nailed it: “I think fiction authors DEFINITELY need at least a static website with an email list sign up.”, But if all I see on your website is your photo, a short bio, and a list of your books .. huh? I put ‘accidentally’ in ironic scare quotes and said selling books is the main value of an author’s blog. His fiction writing, of course! I will probably still blog, but it won’t be such a demanding part of my schedule anymore. Here’s why blogging is a no-brainer: And the rewards can be profound, especially considering bloggers are gaining them all by themselves. Happy Holidays. It keeps him writing content like a nutter and they buy everything he puts out. When we serialize a novel, we do one that can be finished within a few months so people don’t get bored with it. Hi, Joel. “The power is in the list.”. For a fiction writer, the process is different. I have a blog that hosts my daily podcast. That’s huge. So to have it in advance should be a premium offering. But those posts are every 2-3 weeks so it isn’t a blog as such, more infrequent articles! New York City, New York, United States About Blog Tor.com is a site for science fiction, fantasy, and all the things that interest SF and fantasy readers. I doubt that its subject will be bloggable. Hi Joel, great topic and one I do indeed talk about a lot How right you are, Joel. We did see a definite increase in visitors to our site, especially to read the continued sagas. THANK YOU! Isn’t blogging a distraction from revising my novel? Maybe someone here has experience with that. Joanna Penn’s J.F. In my opinion, regardless if you’re a fiction or nonfiction author, you should be blogging, or rather – exposing your views on contemporary life, history, and a lot of other subjects. So if you’re a novelist, should you be blogging? I doubt that any novelist’s blog could sell me her novel. Advice fro… So it hit me. Thanks for the input. Opportunities for this type of blog are significant. It allows you to set your own schedule, so there’s no outside deadline pressure. Dee, those are great tips for other fiction writers, too. Life events propelled me to investigate and reassess some core beliefs I held. If you write stories from a particular century, write interesting facts about the era, their clothing, how much a loaf of bread cost, etc. She said that in her opinion–which was confirmed by several other authors I know–that installments are for those who just cannot wait for the whole book. Well, I fought it for a while, refusing to go past a dollar…but the very day I did, I sold more in 48 hours than I had the previous six months. Thanks, Cyd, so glad I could help. I tried to read a highly rated novel two years ago but bailed out after about 20 pages. Starting a blog is easy – platforms like WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr mean you can have your blog set up for free in a matter of minutes (Click here for a 50% discount on WordPress hosting with Bluehost) – but sometimes authors can struggle to find the right voice for their blog, or aren’t sure what to write about. I view my own blog as successful – for me – but then I’ve been blogging for, wow, five years. I publish when I have something to say. Anyone searching for topics I’ve blogged about will find links to my blog, find my blog, and see an ad for my book and maybe buy it. Blogs on Editing and the Art of Writing … The same goes for sci-fi, fantasy and other genres. Nathan, thanks for a very clear explanation of how you use your web properties. If yes, why not? I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it, and often the comments are better than my posts. Copyright © 2019 Angela Enos All Rights Reserved. We’ve been doing one from fall to spring, and will be starting his third one. But it can be most difficult for unpublished novelists to gain traction with a blog; only after the novelist has built a name for herself does a blog readership tend to develop. I understand that, under the circumstances you describe, there’s no one thing–least of all blogging–that an author without a following can get instant sales results from. Mary Jaksch, the chief editor of Write to Done, believes that anyone can learn to write well with practice. Larry Brooks’ Storyfix blog to narrow my topics down with more history and less about writing. I’ll have quite a bit more to say on this topic in the near future. Feedback should be a vital part of any writer’s process, and this is exactly what Critique Circle offers. Today a light bulb will go off in your head, and you, too, will discover what you can write in your blog. In the science fiction blog, I write about the status of my science fiction titles including new projects, the status of old projects, where we are in terms of getting new science fiction up, etc. Thanks Vannie. I leave all the chap links on one page so they can access all from one location. You’d run out of material fast, even if you covered all the possibilities – how you choose plots, locations, characters, and settings, where you… It started as a personal need, but I actually made more sales in the long run and received feedback during the whole process, directly from readers. I was recently asked by a youth organization to speak at one of their Boys Homes in the mountains of Utah. Fiction authors really need to take more advantage of blogging. Hi, I agree with the advice that fiction writers are better off not blogging, at least until their reader base can accommodate the time investment; however, I wish someone could expand on the suggestion to maintain a static page. 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