A blog is useful for thinking out loud. If we add anything new for the ebook, I send it to our subscribers so they can see everything that’s coming out in the book. For most creative writers, this whole platform experiment has been a waste of time. 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. Random stuff and nonsense. If you’re a nonfiction author wondering if it’s worth blogging, don’t debate, just do it and you’ll find out. United States About Blog ACFW is American Christian Fiction Writers, an organization of about 2600 members world-wide devoted to writing the craft of Christian Fiction. Or would they rather read about what inspired the author to write a particular scene? If I were a fan of this writer I am sure I would follow. I was wrong, Joel. 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. to narrow my topics down with more history and less about writing. My installments are a bit different and I don’t have subscribers for the material, I simply create ebooks after I have at least 4 chapters with a minimum of 50 pages (printed). 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. My audience varies. 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 will probably still blog, but it won’t be such a demanding part of my schedule anymore. #6: You Want Your Blog Itself to Make Money Not even close. As far as the comments, I’ve experienced that here many times. It seems that as a nonfiction writer we can find a topic to blog about that is the same as, or very similar to our nonfiction subject. We wish you much luck with your endeavors, Jaime! thanks for that. But we just keep plugging along. If you do those two things well, I believe the rest will take care of itself. George Carlin said that the job of a comedian is to see where the line is drawn and to deliberately cross it. I did this with J.D. I have two blogs that are mostly defunct at the moment that served to support my teaching when I was still teaching grad school. eight I know I do. As the questions came, I realized that I can’t think of a single one of my favorite authors who blog. I’m hoping that the community around my own website will be connected enough a year or two from now that they will at least give me the benefit of the doubt and purchase and review my book. That is what you should blog about! And fan you. I would also encourage you to network with other bloggers in your field, it can make a huge difference by putting you in front of new audiences. However, the task of “what to blog about” seems to wreak havoc on my fiction writing friends. 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. 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. Today a light bulb will go off in your head, and you, too, will discover what you can write in your blog. You asked me to share more of what’s working for us. I only write stuff that’s important to that audience. Fiction and nonfiction: not always the same solutions. That would be helpful for many startup authors. -Jaime. How right you are, Joel. Close…but not spot on. Fortunately I can also blog about the location of my book (Ireland). Bill, don’t you wish every author site had a “Media” page? 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. My http://www.InfoForAuthors and http://www.BookMakingBlog.com are more subtle. Ross, I think that’s an interesting strategy. My author site is also my blog site, and I’ve had it for more years than my first successfully published novel. Building a successful blog with a following is no easy task and definitely not one that authors should take on “just because”. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it, and often the comments are better than my posts. You’d run out of material fast, even if you covered all the possibilities – how you choose plots, locations, characters, and settings, where you… And thanks for your offer, I appreciate it. and my specific excerpts from the series on http://sonofxanos.wordpress.com podcasting – check out the success of Scot Sigler, whose Junkies devour his audios every week. .hide-if-no-js { That means being aware of keywords/SEO, current events/discussions, popular online bloggers in your area, plus—most importantly—including visual and interactive content (comments, images, multimedia, links). 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. JS, book reviews are one of the best ways for self-publishing authors to get attention for their books. Blogging is one of the legs on an author’s marketing stool. So where’s the problem? 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? It really does sum up the quandary of blogging for fiction writers. Communicating with readers. I have a main “author” blog that serves as a collection point and index. Are you a sci-fi, romance, or fantasy writer? They’re too busy writing their bestselling books! In fact, I had to create a disease for my last book, so I posted it through the blog (http://wantedhero.com/twitchworm/). If you are an author looking for ideas for blog posts (or if you’ve run out of blog post ideas), you have come to the right place. Thanks so much for the response. Our editors have compiled a list of author blogs that they believe are truly outstanding. 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. As far as your email list, you don’t necessarily have to write anything until you have news or something specific for people. This members-only site allows authors to post stories in exchange for feedback on other people’s writing. Life events propelled me to investigate and reassess some core beliefs I held. I work with Christian author D.I. The same goes for sci-fi, fantasy and other genres. I’m struggling with just these questions. Too much time and money has been spent on building a platform when the best platform out there is outstanding writing. And happy holidays to you, too, Cy, and thanks for weighing in. They stuck with it but they told us they wanted more each week. I’ve had this conversation with numerous novelists, and some, like Joanna Penn, who is both a novelist and a very successful blogger, have suggested there are other things that might be better for fiction writers (until they become mega-famous, of course) to focus on when it comes to marketing your books. Even though letting go would be in the best interest of my fiction goals, and might clear up my insomnia! You still want to minimize your posts on writing (most readers don’t want to see how the sausage is made) – easiest to do by creating a separate author-to-author page on your site or a completely separate site for such discussion. Are my humorous posts anything like my literary voice? Trimmed down. Is anyone reading it other than family and a few friends? http://wantedhero.com/wallpapers-facebook-covers/our-favorite-links/, Just trying to give back. 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. 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’ve been blogging since 2004. Thank you so much for this post. So we try to give at least 1500 word chaps now. That’s when you can start to build interest and attract readers. It was taking so long to complete…and I was used to making a 24 page comic book every month. An author should be an interesting person, therefore, he should share his thoughts and views of society with his readers and nonreaders. 1) Blog around your stories The reason why non-fiction writers benefit so much by blogging is that they can demonstrate their authority. Most people think that veterinarians only do clinical medicine with dogs and cats these days, but in reality we are actually involved in a much wider spectrum of activities benefiting society. 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. We’ve all got to start somewhere; this is the somewhere I’ve chosen. Much to ponder on…. While his ultimate answer is “it depends,” which isn’t very helpful, he does suggest things a […], Your email address will not be published. Hi Joel … very good perspective. Just a few ideas. In other words, don’t give them your manuscript but provide them with something just as good, but with different characters and storylines. And fan you.”. Like you, I also love the feeling of community and being the owner of a media site, even if it’s itsy-bitsy in the grand scheme of things. I don’t give writing advice – most of the time. Good reading here — and I have bookmarked it to return to again later. I use WordPress.org, which is a hosted pay site, but WordPress.com is available for free although not as versatile. Hope you’re well. Sharing interesting photos. After three years of thinking it might not happen, I finally got to do what I loved the most: encourage youth. Still, I can’t seem to let go of this blog. It certainly keeps us both very busy. Thank you for another great blog post, Joel. If readers are following on a feed reader, then the new content is delivered to them whenever it appears. Does a serious fiction writer have time to blog? Nathan, thanks for a very clear explanation of how you use your web properties. Both of these things I know would help us a lot. Great feedback, Serban, and for authors who are able and who enjoy it, sharing opinions is a great way to find readers and establish a bond. Larry Brooks’ Storyfix blog Meanwhile, thousands of fiction writers followed their advice, creating blogs they resented, Twitter accounts that overwhelmed them, and Facebook pages with thirty-seven likes. Opportunities for this type of blog are significant. Maybe a better strategy for a novelist would be to blog with news and opinions about something remotely related to the book topic — like teenage sex or albinos — that might catch searchers who might be interested in reading a novel. This year has marked my return to writing after being away for 12 years, and has it ever been confusing. find out more on the Codex Sinaiticus here. I’ve been following you on twitter and have enjoyed many of your articles. I really call it “my home site” to make it clear vis-a-vis webmrktg. However… Joel, Can you expand on the sub-topic you present here: “Creating a book review program when your book is new”? It sounds like you have a great working plan set up for your site and material! Let’s say the writer works hard to build a community of blog followers. Do you know any great author blogs? 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. It got me thinking about how I could be using my blog: The site also helps keep people updated on when his next book is coming. The comments below have been inspiring and to some degree validating. UNDER DEVELOPMENT: http://www.InfoForAuthors.com So I rebranded. Oh, golly. Readers do seem to enjoy the stories. Joel, thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Then comes marketing, the foundation for which should begin during the writing of the book–where blogging to raise interest in the coming book makes sense. First, who is your audience? Of course, I’m not saying they should be trolls ^^ But we don’t have freedom of speech in order to talk about the weather. When I read fiction, I like to know about the ‘whole’ writer. 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. Leave a link in the comments, I’d love to have a look and it would help me for a project I’m working on right now. I saw your comment. For the second weekly post, David writes “author reflections” on different Christian subjects, or something interesting he learned in his research, and sometimes his book review on another Christian book. I hope you’ll share how that works for you and Mr. Telbat! Well blogging at times helps since it can be used to promote your books as well a tool for “crowd sourcing” some ideas. But, it still seems that most our visitors are shy and don’t comment very often. http://wantedhero.com/wallpapers-facebook-covers/our-favorite-links/, http://anyshinything.com/2012/10/26/stop-blogging-now/, Creating A Blog: 10 Important Reasons You Should Have One, Should Fiction Authors Be Bloggers? Email subscribers are worth their weight in gold. They hold writing contests for skilled writers, too. At first my Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs and Critique Technique posts didn’t get much attention, but now the readership is building, enough that soon they’ll be moving to my own web site (you read it here first!). Fiction authors really need to take more advantage of blogging. […], […] Friedlander presents Should Fiction Authors Be Bloggers? Mary Jaksch, the chief editor of Write to Done, believes that anyone can learn to write well with practice. I am aspiring fiction writer with my first novel in its very early stages. I doubt that any novelist’s blog could sell me her novel. So you are a fantasy writer, write about famous mystical creatures, how they came about, and the stories surrounding 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. Love this article Joel, and I’d like to contribute if I may. The purpose of a blog is to provide content that speaks to their ideal reader. The information draws in people who should become buyers. When I stared doing that, Google Analytics showed a drop in my bounce rate from 64% down to 3.4%. Joel, the comments on this post are really interesting! For me, I started blogging my genealogy finds about the same time I started thinking about turning them into a historical novel. Although it’s sometimes geared toward fiction writers, there’s plenty of stuff for online content writers too. Anyone who can produce a manuscript in a modern word processor is likely skilled enough to do it. http://www.BookMakingBlog.com ), nor have I gotten involved in social media. I have a blog that hosts my daily podcast. (WordPress software can be used as the content management system for a web site – you don’t have to blog with it.). Mr. Mr. Stephen King has an oft-quoted opinion on this matter, as expressed in “Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully—in Ten Minutes.” An author who has no opinions, no beliefs, is just a cardboard individual – and most likely his writing/characters are the same. Here’s my main knock on blogging if one is a beginning writer of fiction: the ROI is stupidly small. With the explosion of online book reviewers and book bloggers, it’s also become easier to get reviews. Best of all…sales are doubling….and doubling….and doubling. “The power is in the list.”. Many excellent points are being made in this discussion, Joel. My last novel was 610 pages and during the process I felt a bit overwhelmed. Create excitement about your forthcoming books, enlisting “. I also think that the veterinary community is small enough that we’re always kind of interested in supporting “one of our own” in doing something that will bring in attention and goodwill to the group as a whole. For the last three years I’ve been trying to rebuild my readership base–but it’s not the same as comics. I think it’s interesting that, having not read a novel for decades, you’ve decided to write one. It is no secret that authors write some of the very best blogs. The characters focused, but the plot sharp. I would undoubtedly follow this advice, but…you knew I had to have a but, didn’t you? Thanks in advance. When we first researched whether we should run a blog or not, the mantra was always to “give, give, give.” So we asked, what can a fiction writer give? 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. Me, too. I’ve started a website and social media presence in the last couple of months for the long-term purpose of building a community of future readers for this book and others. And some publishers have asked their authors to start a blog if they don’t have one. Fiction writers can have successful blogs as well, especially if they’re able to focus on a specific topic, theme, or subgenre. I was recently asked by a youth organization to speak at one of their Boys Homes in the mountains of Utah. I believe authors should do the same with their writing, plots, and characters. How RIGHT you are. Happy Holidays. When we get comments, they are very encouraging and David Telbat has gained several fans through this endeavor, and therefore, buyers for his books. Thank you for voice, I’m learning a lot. My http://www.SilverSandsBooks.com and http://www.BooksForAuthors are overt efforts to sell books.  =  They’re not the same thing. Although my conclusion differs from yours. You could well end up with both a successful series of books and a profitable niche web asset. Nobody reads it but the occasional other author looking to create interlinking posts to THEIR equally unsuccessful blog. So yes. Enache said it best: “An author who has no opinions, no beliefs, is just a cardboard individual.”, That’s where the blog comes in. It sounds like you’re doing everything right, Byddi. You’ve focused in perfectly on your niche and produced great content aimed exactly at those readers. I write fiction because I need to tell stories. How many books will be sold as a result, compared to expending the same amount of energy interacting on, say, FB and Twitter? It allows you to set your own schedule, so there’s no outside deadline pressure. For a fiction writer, the process is different. Leanne, I hope you’ll leave a link to your article when you post it, thanks. James, I would consider a blog about your fiction once you have people reading your books because they will form the base on which the blog will succeed. I spent the day with troubled teens, giving them hope and a new perspective on life. Blog posts, to live up to their form, should be optimized for online reading. It’s very beneficial. I blog, but sporadically, and my lack of readers hasn’t given me confidence to keep working at it. It’s a handy place to park an email subscription signup link so you can email the hard-core fans when a new work comes out and they can be the first on the block to find out. You are a sc-fi writer; then your audience are sci-fi readers. If you’ll allow me to piggyback on your post, I wrote about this very subject here: http://anyshinything.com/2012/10/26/stop-blogging-now/. I’m trying to encourage other vets and students to consider these other fields. I doubt that this will change after I’m published, but who knows. The list ties in with the article, "The Author's Dilemma: To Blog or Not to Blog" and our bloggersblog section. You helped me quite a bit. Thanks for getting it started. If you are looking for a way to re-set your perspective going into 2021, I highly HIGHLY recommend any of these. I do maintain a very infrequent blog on my fiction site – but it is mainly for articles about my research, or videos I make around the locations or research. I don’t know how many other people don’t read fiction, but there must be at least a few. Hello, Joel, and thanks for your comments on blogging authors. 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.) . 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. 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! Don’t feel bad: Sometimes, coming up with new ideas for blog posts is difficult even for the best writers. The perspective I bring is as a longtime media interviewer of authors, both indie and traditionally-published. In our most recent post about blogging for authors, ALLi members posited many great reasons for blogging, from finding your voice to giving readers insight about you as a writer.But assuming you have decided to blog, how much time can you afford spend on this form of writing, without eating into valuable book-writing time? This can move the needle on the Amazon charts by itself. If you write stories from a particular century, write interesting facts about the era, their clothing, how much a loaf of bread cost, etc. 3. 4. So if you’re a novelist, should you be blogging? And thanks for your links, always happy to see them when the trackbacks arrive, much appreciated. It is a waste of time BUT I practice CONFLICT & SUSPENSION jibs…just for the hell of it! Subscribe: RSS Feed, Facebook, Twitter; Bonus Blogs. It seems like you are engaging readers far more with this approach, and building a real community at the same time. than a business project. NEW: books for self-publishing authors: http://www.BooksForAuthors.com For some authors, there won’t be a connection to blogging…and that’s ok too. THANK YOU! After writing 20-something nonfiction books, I am now dabbling in a “based on a true story” semi-novel. Solution? It’s an odd phenomenon of our culture that so many of us need permission to do what we already know should be done. I think it’s very difficult to predict whether readers of novels about an “uncommon veterinarian” will also be interested in “unique opportunities for vets and vet students.” Offhand, it doesn’t sound like the same readership. You might think about doing more to market your current blog, which has excellent writing but appears to have few readers. Photo by bigstockphoto.com. They are by far the most popular posts. #2) Redirect my personal author blog (JaimeBuckley.com) to my main site to conserve efforts. Being who I am, I can’t confine myself to one topic, however. And if you’re something of a celebrity in your genre, your legions of fans will be fascinated by almost anything you write, giving you permission to satisfy their cravings with your blog. That is a non-negotiable and that builds a list of fans who you can notify when the next book is 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. As you build traffic, there will be an increasing number of people within your readers who are likely to be sci-fi fans. And it might become popular, but it’s a different, more personal and less commercial approach to blogging. Likewise, a novelist who writes police procedurals might blog about advances in forensic science or interesting news items involving police investigations. One? I’ve felt squirrely about it ever since. “Write once : Post Everywhere”. I just need to write. Nice! Upmarket fiction is used to describe a book that has a literary feel with commercial appeal. However, I think that they are the closest I can get to a supportive community other than a blog that simply tries to connect with new authors like myself. What a great post to find on New Year’s Eve. Posting poetry on a day when I feel like writing a poem. A question for you: if you were me, would you continue writing only the blog as it is currently or write a second blog dealing with my fiction? I recently interviewed an author whose blog introduced me to an entire new fiction genre I had never heard of. I have some rough idea about how many visits I get per day and how many unique visitors visit each month, etc, but that’s not the point for me. What kind of information should the site feature other than a good About page and an e-mail sign-up form? I have a website for my readers, and a writing blog for me and my fellow writers which I’ve been writing for five years. I love the idea of maintaining a site where people can get more information and background on subjects in your books, I think that’s brilliant. Before an author starts blogging, they really need to decide what they’re going to blog about. I do a lot of Googling that takes me to blogs, but I haven’t read a novel in over 40 years. Michael N. Marcus The comment thread is good too. 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. I’d be interested in your thoughts about A Writer of History. Communicating with other authors. I’d appreciate visits & comments and if I can be any help on the project you’ve got in mind, let me know. 2. Your article has made me pause. 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. Do readers want to read blog posts that are primarily writing tips? I have blogs for each of my two main franchises — one for science fiction and one for fantasy. 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. If you do not feel like you would like to write a compelling, 500-word short chapter each week, perhaps you could blog about an interesting aspect of your genre. Hi Joel, great topic and one I do indeed talk about a lot 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. Wattpad. That’s the formula for success. I put ‘accidentally’ in ironic scare quotes and said selling books is the main value of an author’s blog. 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