Tag Archives: websites

Authors Answer 81 – Google Search Visibility

Google, the most important search engine on the entire internet, and authors want to be on it. They want to be the first search item listed when their name is searched. The number one link should be an author’s website or blog. But sometimes, names aren’t exclusive to the author. They’re not always unique. Sometimes they’re surprising.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 81 – Have you ever Googled your name? What did you find that surprised you?

Jean Davis

There are a lot of people named Jean Davis, and many of them have obituaries. At least I show up on page one as my author self. Yay for Google.

H. Anthe Davis

Going by my real name, I can’t find myself at all — there are too many of me.  Going by my pen name (which is just an adaptation of my real name), I only find my works and the blogs I’ve posted on, because it’s unique enough to not show up elsewhere.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

A while back I Googled my name and was quite surprised to see that pretty much the entire first page of results were of various pages on my blog. Today I Googled it again, out of curiosity, and I was pretty surprised to see that the ENTIRE first page of results is all me (assuming that you use my full name – Tracey Lynn Tobin). The top results were the blog and my Goodreads Author account, followed by a few pictures of me (and one of the kid and hubby), followed by the Nowhere to Hide Amazon page, my Facebook Author page, my bio on Self Publishers Showcase, a review of Nowhere to Hide on that same site, spotlights I did on two fellow bloggers’ sites, and finally my YouTube channel. Pretty amusing!

Sidenote: very recently one of my coworkers was Googling the camp where we stay when we’re at work to show his wife what it looks like, and as he was scrolling down on Google Images a picture of me came up. It was my blog’s user image, and it got linked there because of a post I’d done on the camp a few years back. It gave me a good chuckle! XD

S. R. Carrillo

I have! Mostly, to make sure my “platform” was solid enough. The most surprising thing I found were random men named Sr Carrillo somewhere overseas. Not really all that shocking, but, for the most part, searches of me lead back to me. ^_^

Paul B. Spence

I have. I didn’t find anything that surprised me. Lots of links to the various books I’ve written, fiction and non-fiction. Shrug. Was I supposed to be surprised?

D. T. Nova

I searched for my name when trying to decide whether or not to write under a pseudonym.

My real last name is mispronounced or misspelled often enough that I’ve always assumed it was rare, so I was surprised that there was anyone else with the same full name as me at all.

Allen Tiffany

Funny question. Yes. I have. It used to be that a lot of pictures of young women would come up (“Tiffany Allen”). Some of the young ladies were wearing only their birthday suits. More recently, my blog has been showing up at the top of the page as my page rank has been creeping up.

Eric Wood

I did. It turns out I’m a 6’3″, 310 pound right offensive guard for the Buffalo Bills. And all this time I thought I was only 5’6″, 145 pounds and a teacher.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I found some others with my name, but thankfully none of them are exceptionally famous. Unfortunately some of them are also writers and have books listed on Goodreads, and thanks to listing errors they get lumped on to my profile sometimes. Makes me look more prolific than I really am.

Gregory S. Close

Yes, I Google my name to check on reviews and copyright stuff at least once/month.  Not much to see there.  What surprises me most is how many pirated copies of my book are online at various sites, and then also how many overpriced paperbacks are available from one source or another.  One site had it going for 5 times it’s listed value, for no discernible reason.

Linda G. Hill

The first time I googled my name I discovered a lawyer, an author (that wasn’t me) and a porn star. That was before I had my blog. Now when I google myself, mostly I come up with my blog. I have to wonder if google gives me that result first since I spend so much time on it. If anyone out reading this (who doesn’t spend a lot of time on my blog) would google me and let me know in the comments what you find, that would be awesome. 😀 I’ll be glad to reciprocate!

Jay Dee Archer

These days, the entire first page of my Google search is me! First is my official website, then my Twitter profile. Then it’s YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a few random things. Funny thing is the Google image search. There’s someone there that isn’t me! Some research led to something interesting. There is a guy out there with the same name as me from the US that has been convicted several times. Wonderful.

How about you?

When you do a Google search on your name, what does it come up with? Is it you? Anything surprising? Let us know in the comments below.

Authors Answer 58 – Author Online Hangouts

In the past, long before the internet, it was difficult to interact with authors. They could be contacted by mail, and maybe you could see them at an event, but it was not easy to seek them out otherwise. These days, the internet has provided both authors and readers a way to communicate easily. Some authors are very involved with the public, others are not. So, where can you find us online?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 58 – What are some online forums or websites you use to have discussions with other authors?

D. T. Nova

Honestly, the most interaction I have with other authors is probably actually in the comment sections for authors’ blogs.

Aside from that, I spend some time on Goodreads’s forums.

Gregory S. Close

Although it’s as much with readers as authors, I find the r/fantasy community of Reddit the best outlet for all things fantasy.  Good discussion.  Honest (mostly polite) disagreement.  Great interactions.  Otherwise, I interact with a few of my author friends and acquaintances on Facebook or by email.

Paul B. Spence

I don’t.

Caren Rich

I use Critique Circle- that a good place to get basic critiques of a story. I am also a member of several FaceBook author groups. The most useful ones are Clean Indie Authors and Indie Authors. You have to be careful with Facebook groups some of them are just out to promote what they write and aren’t good for troubleshooting. I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime, a mystery writers group. I highly recommend them. You have to pay to be a member but it is worth it. They offer classes every month that well worth the money.

Allen Tiffany

CritiqueCircle is where I spend 97% of my time online ref my writing. In addition to cycling stories through, I’m active on the boards there and enjoy the discussions. Other than that, there are a few blogs I’ll post to – this being one of them.

H. Anthe Davis

I’m kind of reclusive, alas — I know I should reach out more, but I’d rather stay in my little writing-cave, ignoring the world.  That said, I hang out a bit on the Fantasy Faction forums, though not frequently; I tend to go months between actual posts.

Eric Wood

As of right now the only site I use to converse with other authors is WordPress where I blog.

Elizabeth Rhodes

Year-round I use CritiqueCircle.  Even though I only frequent a few of the threads there are enough familiar faces to make me feel comfortable opening up.  Around November I go to National Novel Writing Month’s site, but I don’t know people there as well.  For a while I used to go to the writing forums on Gaia Online, and it was a good place to talk about writing once you found where the regulars stayed.  But it was difficult for me to keep up with three places at once and I haven’t been as active there.

S. R. Carrillo

Honestly? The blog and, sometimes, YouTube. I need to find some, I suppose. I didn’t know that was a thing.

Jean Davis

The website I use most to connect with other writers is Critique Circle.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

The biggest one for me is the NaNoWriMo website/forums. There are tons of awesome people on there. You can talk to people from one side of the planet to the other, or you can hunt down people who live right down the road from you pretty damn easily. Plus there are tons of resources (there’s an entire forum dedicated just to helping each other answer weird questions that you need for plot reasons), and lots of fun stuff to keep you busy when you need a few moments to procrastinate. Not to mention, in recent years lots of big companies have gotten into supporting NaNoWriMo, so you’ll find all kinds of software developers offering trials of their writing programs, companies offering big discounts on things like editing and cover design, and lots and lots of writers sharing info on who is accepting submissions right now or which website is having a big contest at the moment. It’s got a little bit of everything, and all of it is helpful. 🙂

Jay Dee Archer

You’ll find me online in several places, though I haven’t always been very active in some of them. Of course, you’ll find me on WordPress, including this blog and a few others I frequent. Outside of blogging, I’m regularly on Critique Circle, though I could be more active there. Once I get back to writing and posting Journey to Ariadne, I’ll be active there again. I’m also around on Goodreads sometimes. I’ve been meaning to take advantage of Reddit’s fantasy and science fiction groups. And I’m also on Youtube.

How about you?

If you’re an author, where do you spend time online talking with other authors and readers? If you’re not an author, where do you like to talk to authors?

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.