Authors Answer 46 – Promoting with Blogs or Websites

These days, there are a lot of indie authors who need to promote their own books. Many traditional authors also do a lot of promotion themselves. It’s very common for an author to have a website, run either by themselves or someone else, and also quite common to have a blog.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 46 – How do you use your blog or website to promote your writing?

Elizabeth Rhodes

I use my blog to talk about characters and stories I’m working on, and some things I learn while making them.  On occasion I participate in blog hops like Weekend Writing Warriors and post snippets of my writing.  There’s other content not related to writing, like recipes.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

My blog, No Page Left Blank, is my home base for all things writing and social-media related. Though it is consistently the least viewed of my social media outlets (I’ve had it for three and a half years, but my YouTube channel of one year has more followers), I bring everything through this blog.

As far as using the blog to promote my writing, I of course have a page on the blog to promote my book, ‘Nowhere to Hide’, and I’ll write a special blog post if I’m having a sale or a giveaway or anything like that. In addition to that I recently started using two new features on the blog to showcase my other writing. On ‘Memoir Mondays’ I write about my own thoughts, memories, and experiences to show my ability to write non-fiction, and on ‘Flash Fiction Fridays’ I share a brand new piece of flash fiction written just that week. Finally, I often share information about progress on my current works-in-progress, word counts, whether something is in beta, contests I’ve entered, and so on.  Basically, if it has something to do with writing, I’ll share it or talk about it on my blog, and if it’s something continuous or permanent (like a published book) I’ll designate a separate page on my blog to it.

Eric Wood

I originally started blogging with Blogger but was struggling to make connections with other bloggers. That would have been in October of last year. I made the switch to WordPress just after the new year and it has made all the difference. I’ve connected with other bloggers, found bloggers who write about the same stuff I do and other stuff I’m interested in. I’ve discovered a whole blogging world. At the moment I’m just interested in writing about my interactions with my two sons “Crash” and “Bang” and about the parenting lifestyle. I suppose I’m working on building a readership before I get published – should that day ever come. In the meantime I continue to plod along sharing the fun and frustration of parenting.

H. Anthe Davis

I probably don’t use my blog very well, heh.  I don’t post too often anymore, partially because I’m working on the 4th book in a series so talking too much about it would be major spoilers for anyone reading the earlier three.  I also posted a lot of world-related content back in the day, but either ran out or rethought the features I was doing.  I’m considering posting some character interviews again…  Otherwise, I announce free days and giveaways like everyone does, but I don’t do much blog-hopping.  I could promote myself better, I’m sure, but I’d rather just write.

S. R. Carrillo

My blog is more of less my primary avenue of promoting my books. I blog about them often and keep all the information on them easy to access. My website, www.srcarrillo.com, is dedicated to all my published books. I keep my brand strong by using similar taglines, links, pictures and information across all my social media as well, so all I have to do is whip out a simple URL.

Jean Davis

Hey, I just happen to have a blog where I promote my writing!    Summer tends to be slow with posting, but I do try to stay updated with what I’m working on, what’s getting published and likes to everything I’ve had published so far. On occasion, I also have talks with my discarded characters and rant about things that make me angry. My blog is most active during April and May when I’m in short story mode and participating in the A to Z challenge.

Caren Rich

I don’t do it very well. I enjoy blogging but I’m not sure how much it actually helps promote my writing. I have a static page set up specifically with links to my writing. I blog about my WIP and do cover reveals/new release events. I’m still learning self-promotion.

Paul B. Spence

Poorly.

[Comment/elaboration from Paul’s clone-sibling, Thomas: He uses MY blog (http://northofandover.wordpress.com) to promote his writing… or I use my blog to promote his writing, or something like that. 🙂 On his own blog, Paul mostly posts about interesting science articles he has read.]

D. T. Nova

Probably not as much as I should, but after realizing I was a little farther from publication than I thought. I’ve temporarily slowed down on directly mentioning it. I just think it would probably turn people off if my blog had too much “my novel, my novel” before I had a novel published. Even so, I have often included a mention of my novel in posts that were about general subjects or tropes of which it contains either a good example or a counterexample.

My blogging about other subjects might indirectly promote my writing, though. I don’t make a secret of my influences, and if I blog about other works that have influenced my ideas, then that may attract readers who might be interested in my writing even though it’s not blatant or even intentional self-promotion. (While I’ll blog about anything I like, I’ve recently noticed that I do seem to be somewhat more likely to blog about things that have influenced me than things that haven’t that I otherwise like equally well. I wasn’t really doing this on purpose.)

I haven’t done much of this so far but after I have a novel published I intend for my website to have a substantial amount of supplementary information, as well as (probably as a second blog) an in-character question and answer feature (which would be a semi-defictionalization of something mentioned in the novel).

Gregory S. Close

I actually don’t do a good job of promoting my writing in general, and my blog is no exception.  Every once in a while I’ll feature a review or a guest blog, and I’ve also used it as a platform to advertise a special or a giveaway.  I’m in the process of revamping my website, maybe that will inspire me to do the same with my blog.

Allen Tiffany

I put a lot of thought into my web site. In fact, after I paid for it and set it up, I kept it hidden for about about three months as I built it out and practiced posting articles, tried different organizations, learning as much as I could about SEO optimization, etc.

All done, I’ve very much enjoyed working on it, and have posted about 3 articles a month. A few have been well received and have been to my benefit as I refined my own thinking on a few points.

But as a tool to promote my own writing… Not sure it is worth the effort. Maybe someday it will be, but so far I’m not at all sure it is driving much in the way of sales.

Check me out at WWW.ALLENTIFFANY.COM and let me know what you think.

Linda G. Hill

So far my blog is my writing. I have both a regular blog (lindaghill.com) and a fiction one (lindaghillfiction.com), but I haven’t published anything yet outside of those. In the meantime I’m studying what other authors do in an attempt to discover what is most effective. I often read articles about how counterproductive it is to advertise too much – there has to be a balance there somewhere. I hope to find it.

Jay Dee Archer

I’m pretty sure you all know about my blog, which happens to be the one you’re at right now, I Read Encyclopedias for Fun. I talk about writing, science, and other topics that are of interest to me. But I also help others by occasionally promoting their blogs, too. I’ll occasionally post flash fiction here, but most of my writing goes on my official author’s website/blog, which is self-titled. I spend so much time with this blog that I don’t really do much with my author’s website. My writing has been slow lately, but I’ll be far more active next year, and will be posting a lot of Journey to Ariadne then. I’ll also be writing a lot of supplementary material in the form of the Ariadne Encyclopedia there with plenty of information about the world. And that is one other thing I enjoy doing and will write about more on this blog, worldbuilding.

How about you?

Are you a writer? Do you have a blog or website? Share them with us, and let us know how you use it to promote your books.

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Blog Spotlight – All In A Dad’s Work

One of the top commenters and newer member of Authors Answer, this week’s spotlight is on Eric Wood’s blog, All In A Dad’s Work. He’s also known as stomperdad in the comments. On his blog, you’ll find his writing, as well as a lot about being a dad and parenting.

allinadadsworkAt first, you will likely notice the large stuffed animal header image. I think you’ll realise that his blog has a lot to do with children, as he has a couple of sons that he frequently talks about. He has a nice simple layout and a deep red background that gives it a warm feeling.

Let’s look at the menu first. Of course, we have the usual Home and About, but we also have Links and 100 Word Stories.

Going to his About page, you’ll see he talks about himself and his family. It’s simple and straightforward, and you immediately get to see what kind of person he is.

Next is Links.  It’s not a long list, only five items, but he says they’re his favourite places to go on the internet. His first link? Here! Why, thank you, Eric!

And then we have 100 Word Stories. Here you can find a few of his very brief stories of only one hundred words. There are ten to read (at the moment), so enjoy going through them.

But I think the main thing is that he blogs a lot about various topics. Just browse through his posts, and I’m sure you’ll find some things you enjoy. He posts frequently, so you’ll always have something new.

Personal message to Eric

Thanks for being such a great commenter this year. You’ve become one of the most dedicated people to spend their time here, and I agree with what you said on your links page, if we lived near each other, we’d probably be friends. Thanks!

Tsunami Advisory in Japan Following 8.3 Magnitude Chile Earthquake

Wow. This was a first. My phone made a very loud warning sound at 3:06 am, and it turned out to be a tsunami advisory.

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This advisory was for Sagami Bay and Miura Peninsula. I live in Fujisawa, which is on Sagami Bay. However, after checking the Japan Meteorological Agency’s website, it says that the tsunami will be between 0.2 and 1 metre, and will not cause any damage. However, we are advised to stay out of the water due to strong currents from the tsunami.

Here’s an English report by the Weather Channel. The magnitude 8.3 earthquake in Chile caused a more than 4 metre tsunami to hit Chile’s coast. It appears that 10 people have died, while a million people were evacuated from the coast.

This brings back memories of March 11, 2011.