Tag Archives: readers

1,500 Followers!

1,500. That’s a big number. That’s how many followers this blog now has. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them. And I have to thank you very much.

Without my regular readers who keep coming back, this wouldn’t be as much fun as it is. For those of you who leave comments, thank you! For those of you who like my posts, thank you! And for those of you who read my posts, thank you!

I started this blog for myself, to keep track of the books I read, and to write out reviews. I also started this blog for you, all the people who read it. I wanted to do a couple things, show you my writing and create a community of people who have similar interests as me. The community is now the size of a small town. 1,500! My hometown has a bit more than 2,000 people, so it’s quite comparable. It’s kind of amazing, come to think of it.

But I think the thing I have to say about reaching 1,500 followers is this: I appreciate every one of you who has followed this blog. Again, thank you very much!

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What Would You Ask an Author?

Authors Answer has been going strong for eighty-three weeks now without a single week off. That’s eighty-three questions. By the end of this month, we’ll be at eighty-six. Not so far from a hundred!

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveBut now is your chance to ask the authors some questions. If you could ask an author any question, what would it be? This is not for a specific author, but for authors in general. Keep in mind that the simple, obvious questions have already been asked. Think of something unique and creative. You can ask your question (or questions) in the comments below, and you’ll see the answers starting after June. I will also be linking back to your blog, if you have one.

So, what are you waiting for? Ask some questions!

Scheduling Blog Posts

To reach the greatest number of readers possible, timing is very important. I have to think about where my readers live and when they’re likely to be online. When I lived in Japan, I tended to make a post around noon and one in the evening or very early morning. That corresponded to North American times of evening and early morning. But I’m now considering scheduling my posts so they’re up at the same time every day.

First of all, I need to think about where my readers live. Most of them are American, while Canadians are in second place. After that, it’s British or expats living in Japan, and below that, it’s Australians. But there are a lot of other Europeans that read, as well. I need to cover all three general time zones with my posts.

Since North America is my biggest audience, I try to post around 6 pm Mountain Time, which is between 5 pm Pacific and 8 pm Eastern. That covers most people, and is the best time for people to be reading. It’s morning in Australia and Japan, so they can read, but Europeans are probably sleeping.

For my other post, I need to think about what the best time is to schedule. I’m thinking that 12 pm Mountain Time is best. That means Europeans get to read in the evening, but those in Australia and Japan won’t get to read it until they get out of bed. It’s not easy to time it well.

What do you think? Is this a good way to schedule my posts? What time do you usually read blogs and where do you live? Depending on your answers, I may adjust the schedule a bit.

What Defines a Successful Blog?

Blogging can be a hobby, a platform for selling something, or it could be a job. But what makes a blog successful?

My short answer: You enjoy doing it. That’s it. The numbers don’t matter.

But, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about the numbers. The numbers are fascinating for me. I like to see them go up, but this isn’t because I have an ego to stroke. More views and more followers mean my network grows and my ability to get my books out to more readers improves. It’s an important factor for my future livelihood.

If we look at the numbers, there are several to consider: views, followers, likes, reblogs, and comments. They all show something positive.

  • Views: The more you have, the more popular your blog may be, or you’re just good at marketing your blog.
  • Followers: Another measure of popularity. Or maybe you follow a lot, so they follow back.
  • Likes: If they like the post, then they click on like. Or they click on like merely because they saw it in their newsfeed without even reading it.
  • Reblogs: Someone really likes your post! But I find that these aren’t nearly as common as the other factors.
  • Comments: People want to talk about what you posted. What you said inspired someone to say something. It means your message is getting out to people and they want to engage with you.

Personally, I think the most important measure is comments, especially if many of them are your own. This means you are active, interested in your readers, and attract readers. They want to talk to you. Views are good, especially if you have a lot of return readers. You can easily tell this by your comments section. You want people to return. But I believe comments are the greatest indicator of your blog’s success.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below (see what I did there?).

Expanding Your Blog Network and Readers

Ever have one of those moments when you’re thinking, “Why the hell didn’t I think of that before?” And it turns out that idea is incredibly simple and obvious? I did as I read this post by Jason of HarsH ReaLiTy.

In this post, he talks about refreshing your network and keeping in touch with your followers, especially the ones who leave comments on your blog. Simply go to your comments sections and click on the names of the commenters, visit and read their blogs. And most importantly, leave a comment. They will appreciate it and are more likely to return to your blog.

But then it hit me. Why not take it a step further? The people who comment on your followers’ blogs probably have similar blogs. Visit those blogs and follow them if you like what you see. Make sure to leave comments! Not only will you maintain your network and keep in touch with your readers, but you’ll grow your network. You’ll gain new readers.

And seriously, go to HarsH ReaLiTy and follow that blog. Jason gives some of the best blogging advice. He’s helped many people improve their blogs and blogging habits, including mine.

Can you guess what I’m doing tonight?

What Would You Like to Ask Authors?

Authors Answer has been going for 58 weeks now, so we’ve done 58 questions. Now it’s your chance to ask some questions. I’ve done this before and had a great response. Now I’m looking for you to step up again and ask some great new questions.

You can check the questions index page for past questions just so you don’t duplicate any. It hasn’t been updated with the last few questions, though. I must get that done.

So, since you have a few authors with varying experience, different genres, and plenty of personality, you’ll get some very interesting answers. I would like you to go down to the comments section and ask your questions. Ask as many as you like. The first ones may actually be asked in January, so you don’t have to wait long. To get as many questions as possible, I have a request for everyone. Can you share this post on social media, as well as with friends? Reblog if you like, too. The more the merrier.

I look forward to your questions!

Authors Answer 57 – Stop Asking Me That Question!

Authors are asked a lot of questions. They may have interviews, they may talk at conventions or book signings, or they may talk with friends and family. Well, sometimes, we get questions we keep hearing over and over again, or are too complex to answer briefly.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 57 – What is one question you hate answering about your writing that acquaintances ask you?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

There are just SO MANY questions that people ask that make writers writhe with rage. I could probably make one hell of a list if given the time. That said, I can honestly say that the one question that enrages me the most is the one people inevitably ask when they find out I have a written, published book: “Is it, like, in book stores?”

I always bite my tongue and try to answer as politely and honestly as possible, but this question makes me so mad every time I hear it because it implies that the act of writing, editing, revising, cover-designing, formatting, and self-editing is somehow less because you can’t find the book at your local Coles or Barnes and Noble. Never mind the fact that you can purchase it on literally any version of Amazon, hard copy or e-book…if it’s not on a shelf in a physical store people don’t think of it as being a “real” book, in the same way that lots of people don’t consider a self-published book to be a “real” book (i.e. “If it was really any good, a real publisher would have taken it.”) And that can be an extremely frustrating conversation to have because writer’s have a hard enough time convincing people that writing is “real” work to begin with.

Jean Davis

Why does it take you so long to finish a novel if you can write it in 30 days? Really? You want to read the crap I write during NaNoWriMo? That’s the roughest of drafts. No one wants to read that. No one.

S. R. Carrillo

“How did you get published?” Because, to anyone who isn’t a writer, the fact that I self-published it usually met with an unenthusiastic “Oh, okay. That’s pretty neat.” -_-

Elizabeth Rhodes

“What’s your book about?”  Not that it isn’t a valid question, and I’m glad people take enough of an interest to ask.  But I’m terrible at summarizing things on the spot.  I want to include every character interaction and motivation as I’m relating the plot, and next thing you know my “elevator pitch” is taking five minutes.  There’s also part of me that is still afraid of being judged, whether it’s “what, you can’t even tell me what it’s about?” or “why would you write about that?  Weirdo.

Eric Wood

So far I haven’t had to field any questions about my writing. I just write and people just read. They leave/make comments when they feel inspired to. Having not yet been published, my audience is rather small (but important).

H. Anthe Davis

I don’t really have a problem with any questions, though ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ is a bit annoying.  But I enjoy talking about my worldbuilding and writing process probably more than people appreciate hearing about it, so I immediately override any obnoxious question with my obsessively detailed answer.  Take that, person who dared be interested in my work!  Seriously though, I can’t think of any questions I’d consider ‘bad’ unless someone was purposefully trying to be offensive.

Allen Tiffany

Honestly, I don’t bring my writing up with very many people. In fact, it’s a closely guarded secret from my co-workers. It is not that I’m embarrassed about it. Rather, it would be an unneeded distraction in my workplace. As to family and friends…I’m pretty private about it. When I publish I let them know. Other than that, not sure there is much to talk about. If I need feedback and discussion about theory and technique, it is via the online workshop, CritiqueCircle.

Caren Rich

Until recently, I was a closet writer. I didn’t tell acquaintances that I was a writer. My close friends and family knew, but that’s it. So I have no funny answers to share!

Paul B. Spence

I hate to answer THIS question the way everyone does, but honestly, one of the worst has to be “Where do you come up with your ideas?” Most people don’t like it when I answer, “In the shower.” Or, if you want the Scott Pilgrim answer, “From my brain!”

Gregory S. Close

It’s always frustrating to answer the very innocent question of “how’s the book going?” if it’s not going so well.  When things are moving along, the questioning and curiosity is less awkward because I feel like things are working and I know what I’m doing.  When things aren’t going so well, the question feels like an indictment and I want to hide in a cave.

The other one that’s hard is the “when will the book be done?” question.  For most of the writing process, I have no idea when it will be done, because the story and characters are evolving around me as I write, and the plot is adapting to those new realities as well.  It’s sort of like Monty Python’s Sir Lancelot running toward the castle, over and over again, almost there, then back to the beginning, then almost there, then back, then – suddenly there’s a flashing sword and it’s all over, and I’m standing there confused saying “hey!”

Either way, the problem is really with me and not the person asking the question.  It’s my insecurities that make the answer difficult. The questions themselves are pretty innocent.

D. T. Nova

“What’s it about?”

I am terrible at summarizing, especially when I have to do it quickly.

Jay Dee Archer

I don’t really get many questions about my writing from friends and family, but the one question I find difficult to answer is “What’s your book about?” I think that’s pretty common, actually. It’s too difficult to describe a book briefly without it sounding kind of silly. I’m always worried they’ll ask more questions, like “Why are you writing about that?” or “Do you think it’ll be a bestseller?” Those are also difficult to answer.

How about you?

If you’re an author, what question do you hate to be asked? If you’re not an author, but a reader, what questions do you like to ask authors?