Tag Archives: blogs

Elite Book Bloggers

I don’t know why I never thought about this before, but it just popped into my mind now. I never really paid any attention to who would be considered an elite book blogger. Every book blog I’ve read, I just thought they’re another blogger like me. No more or less popular.

But what is an elite book blogger? I would assume they blogged regularly, probably write a lot of book reviews, and have a pretty good following. I would also think they’d get a lot of comments. If they’re a reviewer, they probably get offers of advanced review copies from publishers, as well. I’ve never had one of those myself. But then, I’m not a very fast reader and don’t get many reviews done quickly.

I’d like your opinions. Which blogs do think of as being some of the top book blogs around? Let me know what they are in the comments below.

Talking to Every Country

CIA_WorldFactBook-Political_world.pdfHave you ever wanted to visit every country in the world? That’s a very difficult thing to do, considering travel restrictions to some countries, but also the amount of money it would take to do so. It’s unlikely I would ever be able to do it.

One person tried reading the world, and succeeded. I have a bit of a challenge for myself to read a book from every country, as well. That’s not an easy thing to do, though.

But what about talking to someone from each country? I would have to wonder how to go about doing that. How do you contact people from every country? For many, it would be easy to just email someone. But for some, access to the internet is limited, and mail may be more feasible. But you know what? There’s a young boy in England named Toby who’s doing just that. For the past three years, since he was five years old, he’s been sending letters to people in as many countries as possible, and it seems he gets replies from nearly half of them. That’s pretty good!

It has me thinking. I’ve tried in the past getting comments from people from as many countries as I could, but it’s not easy getting the word out. So, knowing what kind of person and my interest in countries and geography, I don’t give up easily. I’d like to find blogs of people who live in as many countries as possible and compile a list. Searching will find many, but I’d like to focus on those that talk about books and writing or life and travel in those countries. And I won’t just stick to countries. For some countries, I’ll even include states, provinces, and territories.

So, if you’re reading this, I’d like your help in getting this started. Please leave a comment below with your blog’s address and where you’re from. If possible, please include your state, province, territory, prefecture, or another division within your country. And another favour to ask of you: Please share this post on social media or with your friends. I wonder how far we can go. And maybe you’ll find some interesting blogs, as well.

Well-known Authors Who Blog

All this talk about whether authors should blog had me thinking, what famous authors actually maintain a blog? There are a few that I follow.

First is John Scalzi’s Whatever. He’s a science fiction author that seems to be quite active with readers.

Second is N. K. Jemisin’s Epiphany 2.0. She’s a fantasy author, and she also responds to comments.

Third is Hugh Howey’s The Wayfinder. He’s also a science fiction author, and probably the best-known for starting out self-publishing, getting a big book deal while still retaining digital rights. However, he doesn’t seem to respond to comments. He reads them, as he left an addendum on his most recent post responding to comments in general.

And I have to mention Michael J. Sullivan’s website, because he has contributed to this blog in the past, and he is wonderful at responding to his fans and comments.

How about you? Do you know any other more well-known authors who blog? Share the links in the comments below!

Authors Answer Extra!

As you know, we do a weekly feature here called Authors Answer. Well, we’ve gained a bit of attention from some other blogs, and they’ve started answering the questions, as well. While we’re about to publish question 80 tomorrow, the others are a bit behind. They update once a week, so I don’t think they’ll catch up.

The first one that started is the Theft and Sorcery blog run by Erica Dakin. She’s up to question 27 at the moment.

The other blog is by Pauline M. Ross. She started more recently, and she’s now up to question 13.

So please visit both blogs and check out their answers! In the meantime, I need to update the Answers Index to include questions 52-79.

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.

A Year of Commentition: A Retrospective

On August 12, 2014, I started this little thing called Commentition, where I looked at my top six commenters and checked out their latest blog post. Well, it’s been a year since I did that, and I have now done it thirteen times. So, I thought I’d take a look back at the top six for each month and do a new ranking: the number of times they’ve been in the top six. And I’ll check out their latest posts, too. Let’s look at each month.

August 2014

  1. S. R. Carrillo
  2. Winter Bayne
  3. Tracey Lynn Tobin
  4. Linda G. Hill
  5. Tara Southwell
  6. H. Anthe Davis

September 2014

  1. S. R. Carrillo
  2. Linda G. Hill
  3. Winter Bayne
  4. Peggy
  5. thepaperbutterfly
  6. Caren Rich

October 2014

  1. S. R. Carrillo
  2. Linda G. Hill
  3. Peggy
  4. Winter Bayne
  5. thepaperbutterfly
  6. Caren Rich

November 2014

  1. S. R. Carrillo
  2. Linda G. Hill
  3. Peggy
  4. H. Anthe Davis
  5. Caren Rich
  6. thepaperbutterfly

December 2014

  1. S. R. Carrillo
  2. Linda G. Hill
  3. Peggy
  4. H. Anthe Davis
  5. D. T. Nova

January 2015

  1. S. R. Carrillo
  2. Linda G. Hill
  3. H. Anthe Davis
  4. D. T. Nova
  5. Thomas Weaver
  6. Peggy

February 2015

  1. S. R. Carrillo
  2. Linda G. Hill
  3. H. Anthe Davis
  4. Thomas Weaver
  5. D. T. Nova
  6. Caren Rich

March 2015

  1. S. R. Carrillo
  2. stomperdad
  3. H. Anthe Davis
  4. Linda G. Hill
  5. Thomas Weaver
  6. Caren Rich

April 2015

  1. stomperdad
  2. S. R. Carrillo
  3. Thomas Weaver
  4. Linda G. Hill
  5. Tracey Lynn Tobin
  6. H. Anthe Davis

May 2015

  1. stomperdad
  2. Thomas Weaver
  3. S. R. Carrillo
  4. H. Anthe Davis
  5. SD Gates
  6. Joanne Corey

June 2015

  1. stomperdad
  2. Joanne Corey
  3. Thomas Weaver
  4. SD Gates
  5. H. Anthe Davis
  6. miusho

July 2015

  1. stomperdad
  2. Joanne Corey
  3. S. R. Carrillo
  4. Thomas Weaver
  5. H. Anthe Davis
  6. Tracey Lynn Tobin

August 2015

  1. Joanne Corey
  2. stomperdad
  3. S. R. Carrillo
  4. Thomas Weaver
  5. H. Anthe Davis
  6. Tracey Lynn Tobin

So, here is the ranking for most times appearing in the top six. Maximum possible is 13 times.

  1. S. R. Carrillo with 12 times. Latest blog post: Return
  2. H. Anthe Davis with 11 times. Latest blog post: Authors Answer 41 – The Big Moment. Published!
  3. Linda G. Hill with 9 times. Latest blog post: The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS August 15/15
  4. Thomas Weaver with 8 times. Latest blog post: Authors Answer 41 – The Big Moment. Published!
  5. stomperdad with 6 times. Latest blog post: Our Triumphant Travels (Days 1, 2, and 3)
  6. Peggy with 5 times. Latest blog post: Evening Walk Interrupted
  7. Caren Rich with 5 times. Latest blog post: Summer in the South
  8. Tracey Lynn Tobin with 4 times. Latest blog post: Night Terrors
  9. Joanne Corey with 4 times. Latest blog post: How many read your blog today?
  10. Winter Bayne with 3 times. Latest blog post: The Dragon Tempest
  11. thepaperbutterfly with 3 times. Latest blog post: Poetry: “Remembrance of You”
  12. D. T. Nova with 3 times. Latest blog post: Authors Answer 41 – The Big Moment. Published!
  13. SD Gates with 2 times. Latest blog post: Entourage
  14. Tara Southwell with 1 time. Latest blog post: What Will You Write? 6
  15. miusho with 1 time. Latest blog post: Weekly recap (27/07 – 02/08/2015)

To all of you who made the list, thank you for commenting over the past year. You’ve all been wonderful! I’ll try this again next August.

For those of you who are reading this and notice a few of the latest posts happen to be the same title as my second most previous post, well, they’re reblogs of that. Go to their blogs anyway and check them out!

Damn Spoiler!

So, I was reading through my WordPress Reader feed, checking out all the blog posts that interested me, and I quickly went by one that did something I really, really dislike.  It told me the outcome of a character from a popular novel and TV series. Excuse me while I vent.

Why?! Damn damn damn damn! I wanted to find out while I was reading the book! I didn’t want a blog post’s headline to tell me who lived and who died! I’ve seen a news article do the same thing, and they had to apologise for it. So many angry people who lived on the other side of the world and wouldn’t get that episode a few hours or a few days after. Now I read a blog headline that spoiled it for me. Damn it!

I really, really hate spoilers. The blog post and the news article both spoiled Game of Thrones for me. As for the news article, it happened to be talking about the TV show, but the book that it happened in was the one I was reading at the time. I read that very scene a few days later. I knew what was going to happen, so it didn’t give the same kind of impact as it would’ve if I hadn’t seen the spoiler.  And now, this new spoiler is still a couple books away for me.  Sigh.

Acts of Kindness, Ninja-Style

With all the unhappiness and trouble going on in the world, I thought I’d give a bit of happiness to some unsuspecting bloggers.  Every so often, I’ll write a post about someone’s blog, basically giving them free promotion.  And I won’t tell them about it until after the post is up.

忍者

You see, for a very long time, I’ve been able to sneak up on people soundlessly.  For some reason, I’m able to walk up to people from behind so stealthily that they never realise I’m there until they turn around.  This has resulted in me being compared to a ninja.  That’s what it says up above in Japanese.  So, I’ll be sneaking up on bloggers and surprising them with an act of kindness.  Of course, I’m not assassinating or spying, I’m just giving people a friendly act of free promotion.

I’m not going to take suggestions for blogs, though.  I’ll do the searching myself, and I’ll find worthy blogs for you to check out.  It may be someone I know, it may be a popular blog, it may be a new blog that’s just starting up.  But they’re all blogs I think you should see.  They may not be about books or writing, they could be about science, family, comedy, architecture, photography, or anything else.

I know what you’re thinking. “Why would you want to direct people away from your blog?” you ask.  I would answer, “I’m not.  Not really.  At least I don’t think so.  I just want you to see something I really like and to help out other bloggers with some exposure.”  But you would say, “I see.  What’s in it for you then?”  And I would respond, “What?  What do you mean?  I’m doing this selflessly out of pure kindness.  And it would be nice if it would continue.”  You’d say, “Continue?”  I’d nod and say, “Yes.  I’d love to see other doing some random acts of kindness in this way.  I don’t want this to be like awards or anything.  Not at all.  Just write about another blog you feel deserves to be read.  No pressure, though.  I just want to do this for others, and there’s no need to continue this, like a chain.  But if you want, that would be wonderful.”  And finally, you’d say, “Oh, I see.”

Some of my long-time readers may remember back in December, I did a 13 days of Christmas thing (start here) where I promoted different blogs every day for 13 days.  This is kind of similar, but I’ll be doing it quite randomly.  There is no schedule.  Ninjas don’t attack on a schedule.  That would defeat the purpose of a ninja.  This must be completely unexpected, but don’t expect the Spanish Inquisition or a real ninja.  You don’t want them.  You want an act of kindness from me, who is neither a ninja nor part of the Spanish Inquisition.

What I think is that this will show some goodwill toward others of the blogging community, and if you feel like joining in and giving others an act of kindness, go ahead.  I’d love to see this happening all over the place.  If you do want to participate, leave me a comment below so I can keep a page that links to your act of kindness.  Think of this as a kindness movement, ninja-style.

Some Great Book Review Blogs

I just updated my review blog links page today, and I thought I’d share a few of the blogs with you.  If you remember, I did a series of 13 blog posts before Christmas to showcase a few review blogs I like.  Well, here are some more!

101 Books

This is not strictly fantasy and science fiction reviews, but it is a challenge I’d like to try.  This blog reviews Time Magazine’s 100 greatest novels.  It’s up to 68 done at the moment.  Check it out!

Fantasy Review Barn

This is all fantasy.  And steampunk.  It also seems that there’s a thing for Terry Pratchett here.  Good taste!  I enjoy myself some Discworld, of course.  Check out this blog!

My Bookish Ways

This blog is all about science fiction, fantasy, and horror.  It has an impressively long list of reviews, too.  I need to spend some time going through it.  Definitely check out this blog.

nerds of a feather, flock together

This is a blog for nerds made by nerds.  It features science fiction, fantasy, crime, and horror novel reviews, as well as cult and sci-fi movie reviews.  Nerds are a good thing.  I am one.  Take a look at this blog.

And that’s it for now.  If you have any good recommendations for book review blogs, hopefully specialising in science fiction and fantasy, leave a comment below.  If you have a review blog, also leave a comment.  I’ll add them to my links page.  No pressure for you to link back, but it’s appreciated.

Inspiration to Write

These days, I’ve been writing a post a day more or less, and those who know me have asked, “How do you think of ideas to write about all the time?” Well, the answer is, “I get my inspiration from everything.”

This blog post was inspired by my thoughts about what to write about today.  I did think of an idea, and I will post it later, but I felt like I needed to post this now.  Funny how my inspiration for this post was inspiration itself.

I get my inspiration from many sources.  Probably my biggest source is other blogs.  I have around 300 blogs in my reader, which I check several times a day.  I don’t necessarily read everything.  That would take up all of my time.  I read what’s interesting to me.  But sometimes, I see a great blog post that gives me an idea about what to write about.  Often, it’s not exactly what the other person wrote about, but something in that blog post catches my eye.

Other times, I get my inspiration from the books I’m reading. I see some aspect of writing or fiction that gives me something to think about, and I want to write about it.  The books I read can also inspire my own writing.  I’m pretty sure most authors get a lot of ideas from other authors’ novels.  This doesn’t mean copying, but there are specific elements that may be seen in other books that could be used.

I also get my inspiration from the world around me.  Current events, things that I see on my way to work, and some things that happen to me.  Science, family life, studying, and language also inspire me.

My next blog post was inspired by a blog post I read a short while ago.  It’s about the real world, but mine is about fiction.  Look forward to it!

What inspires you?