Blogs and Internet Publicizing

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longknife

Blogs and Internet Publicizing

Post by longknife » February 15th, 2010, 1:36 pm

Clearly, Nathan knows a lot about blogging.
I have a contract with an e-publisher for one of my novels. While they will do press releases and put it up on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and such, I have a feeling I will need to do my share to get the word out.
So, just what does blogging do for an author?
What would I be expected to post?
Any comments about Facebook or Twitter or stuff like that?
Thanks in advance for your help.

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maybegenius
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Re: Blogs and Internet Publicizing

Post by maybegenius » February 15th, 2010, 2:23 pm

Nicola Morgan (whose blog I cite all the time because she's awesome) has a post about blogging as an author here: http://helpineedapublisher.blogspot.com ... gging.html

She lays out many of the reasons a blog can help with your platform. Connecting with industry professionals and other writers, making friends, gathering a following, etc. Technically, you can post whatever strikes your fancy, but it's recommended that you figure out a "theme" for your blog. I tend to blog about writing, music, books, and the publishing industry as a whole.

Plus, they're fun :)
aka S.E. Sinkhorn, or Steph

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Represented by Michelle Andelman of Regal Literary

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Re: Blogs and Internet Publicizing

Post by LydiaSharp » February 15th, 2010, 4:51 pm

I can't speak for anyone else, but this is why I blog:

It publicizes my work
I am able to connect with others in the industry (guest blogging on other blogs and hosting guest authors on my blog has given me a boost in readership every time)
I am able to help new writers, which is something I enjoy
It's a free website associated with my name
It's fun
Lydia Sharp
Science Fiction * Fantasy * Women's Fiction
http://www.lydiasharp.blogspot.com

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marilyn peake
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Re: Blogs and Internet Publicizing

Post by marilyn peake » February 15th, 2010, 11:42 pm

Last month, I received over 10,000 hits to my website. And last year, I received a total of 102,275 hits to my website. I’ll try to remember the book promotions I did that seemed to work ...

I had my first book published in 2003 and did quite a bit of book promotion for the next five years, while continuing to write new work and have it published by small press. I think the publicity paid off. When I first put my website on the Internet, I received only about 30 hits per month. Gradually, I started receiving thousands of hits per month. Eventually, I stopped doing much book promotion at all in order to concentrate on writing a novel that I could submit to literary agents, with the hope of getting it published by a big publishing house. (I’m currently editing that novel, and consulting with Editor Alan Rinzler.) Since that time, to my great surprise, the number of hits to my website has increased, rather than decreased.

Here are some of the book promotions I’ve done:

First of all, I established a website, and purchased several domain names for it. Here are my website domain names, based on my name and the names of my published novels:
http://www.marilynpeake.com
http://www.thefishermansson.com
http://www.fishermansson.com
http://www.thecityofthegoldensun.com
http://www.cityofthegoldensun.com
http://www.returnofthegoldenage.com

I wrote articles for Mike Geffner’s Newsletter – http://mikeswritingworkshop.blogspot.com – in exchange for free publicity. I met Mike Geffner when I participated in his online writers’ groups.

I sent out copies of all my books for reviews, and entered them in award contests. I posted review sections for all my books individually on my website. These are the awards my books have won: http://www.marilynpeake.com/awards.html

The most outrageous promotion I’ve ever done was to hire a company that runs slide-show advertisements before movies in one of our local movie theaters to design an ad for my first novel and show it before every movie in that theater for a week, and rented a party room in the theater for a book signing.

I accepted a very gracious invitation from a STARGATE novelist to have excerpts from my books, my book cover artwork, and poems I’d written included on a CD with similar excerpts from official STARGATE authors who were appearing at a convention with STARGATE actors. Hundreds of copies of the CD were handed out at the convention and offered free online for a limited time.

I signed up with Radio-TV Interview Report (RTIR) to be contacted as a radio show guest. To my complete delight, I received quite a few phone calls from all across the United States and Canada to speak on the radio, and had a blast doing it! Eventually, I was receiving too many phone calls to write, so I stopped advertising with RTIR in order to spend more time writing.

I participated in numerous interviews – http://www.marilynpeake.com/radiointerviews.html – including a two-page interview about my children’s novels (which are set on an imaginary Celtic island) in TBD, a print magazine associated with Io, the University of Glasgow Science Fiction and Fantasy Society. I was deeply honored, and thrilled when my free copy arrived in the mail all the way from Scotland.

I started an online newsletter through Yahoo! Groups and invited small press authors and movie and TV people I met online to write articles for it. Two years of articles were published as small press books about writing and acting, and the books went on to win awards, including a Silver Award in the 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards. Here are the books:
FROM HOLLYWOOD EXPERTS AND PUBLISHED AUTHORS: WORDS OF WISDOM FOR STARVING ARTISTS –
http://www.marilynpeake.com/fromhollywoodexperts.html
and
INSIDE SCOOP: ARTICLES ABOUT ACTING AND WRITING BY HOLLYWOOD INSIDERS AND PUBLISHED AUTHORS –
http://www.marilynpeake.com/insidescoop.html

My Yahoo! Groups newsletter led to an incredible number of opportunities for me, including a publicist for the screenwriter of a movie featuring Jon Voight including me in several publicity campaigns for free. It took a while – maybe a year or more – before one thing gradually started leading to another. Most of it was spontaneous, the result of simply chatting with other people online and offering them free publicity in my newsletter. I’ve met so many extremely generous and professional people online, it’s been sheer joy collaborating with them on book projects. But it does take time to find writers with similar goals who are also interested in the same type of book projects. Also, the more projects I produced, the easier it became to interest people in future projects. It took years before it really felt like things were on a roll.

I had inexpensive video trailers made for several of my books. I also chipped in with other authors to have an awesome B-Movie/Sci-Fi trailer made by a company using real actors. All the trailers can be seen here: http://www.marilynpeake.com/movie.html

I gave away lots of bookmarks and pencils engraved with the name of my website.

I appeared as a guest author at elementary and middle schools to talk with children in their classrooms about my children’s novels.

I had articles published online, including an article entitled ARCHETYPES IN FANTASY WRITING: http://www.marilynpeake.com/articles.html

I had a blast doing these and other book promotions, and sold more than the average number of copies for small press books.
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

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Re: Blogs and Internet Publicizing

Post by M.A.E. » February 16th, 2010, 12:01 am

Hello everyone,

I am trying to get my foot in the door like anyone else, and one way I've decided to help that is by blogging. It helps me write more often, it allows me to reach out to other writers, follow other blogs, and trade valuable information. It's also fun, as most people will agree. Most importantly, it provides me with a small audience of people who look forward to the drivel I have to inflict upon them. This gives me priceless motivation, and encouragement to take it a step further. It sounds very egocentric, but it's actually a very communal experience, especially when people participate in, or create discussions about the posts. I'm no longer writing exclusively for myself, and because of that I feel an obligation to make it better for the readers.

Ok, so that was my personal opinion. Here's the "flip-side"; the view of the devil's advocate...

Recently I had a discussion about this with a friend of mine. My friend felt that blogging was just a fad, and made the point that not all people are blogging either. Take Clive Barker for example, or Steve Martin, or Irvine Welsh. Granted these people are already well established, but does that mean we only need to blog until we "make-it", or is there a certain amount of awe attributed to the one's who stay away from blogging. Not to discredit or insult anyone by any means, but is there a certain cheapness to blogging that may rub readers the wrong way? Would they expect some of us to be more mysterious, or less revealing? Does blogging give the impression that we are everyday ordinary people, (which for the most part everyone is), but does that hinder the extraordinary impression that makes an author all the more intriguing, all the more desirable, more sell-able?

If Hunter S. Thompson had time to write a blog, would his stories have been as interesting? If Lovecraft were to blog today would we just label him as some melodramatic attention seeker. Did their anti-social isolation add intrigue to their works? While I try to find blogs for all of my favorite authors, I almost have more respect for the ones who don't have them. It tells me that they're too busy to be writing a blog, and that makes them far more interesting than me. If they are interesting then surely their stories will be too. Does anyone else feel this way?
"Just another writer trying to match the pace of his work to the speed of his mind." ~M.E.
Visit my daily blog. Tear me down, or boost me up; Just let me know you were there.

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marilyn peake
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Re: Blogs and Internet Publicizing

Post by marilyn peake » February 16th, 2010, 1:58 am

M.A.E. –

I noticed that a lot of well-known authors blog and participate in Internet social networks these days. I recently discovered that Peter Straub – whose novels I read many years ago – has a new novel published and is extremely involved online. His Twitter page http://twitter.com/peterstraubnyc has the following quote: “my profession obliges me to enjoy solitary confinement.” But – wow! – is he ever involved in a lot of online networking these days: http://www.peterstraub.net . Considering Hunter S. Thompson’s personality and that he’s considered the creator of Gonzo journalism, I’m guessing he would have been on Twitter and other sites, energetically expressing his points of view, if he were alive today.

My own reaction to writers who have Blogs is to buy their books if their Blog is well-written and fascinating, if their Blog brings me into a fascinating and creative place on the Internet.

Paulo Coelho, who I think of as an intelligent and dignified writer, has a Blog http://paulocoelhoblog.com and his Tweets (Twitter messages) are often philosophical and always very respectful to his fans: http://twitter.com/paulocoelho .

I think Cherie Priest is an amazing writer. She blogs http://www.cheriepriest.com and posts messages on Twitter http://twitter.com/cmpriest .

I figure that writers have never spent all their time writing – many famous authors spent a great deal of time drinking and partying, so I really don’t feel that writers aren’t putting enough time into their creative writing if they have Blogs.

Several astronauts – including Buzz Aldrin! – are also on Twitter. Their tweets – including tweets from outer space! – are awesome. Here are the astronauts I follow on Twitter:
Buzz Aldrin: http://twitter.com/TheRealBuzz
Mark Polansky: http://twitter.com/Astro_127
Mike Massimino: http://twitter.com/Astro_Mike
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

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Re: Blogs and Internet Publicizing

Post by JFBookman » February 17th, 2010, 1:52 pm

Marilyn, I just wanted to thank you for the terrific post detailing all the initiatives you've taken to grow your online presence. Having it all laid out is really helpful, and shows how the "giving mindset" can truly lead to great things. Thanks!
Book design and production for publishers and self-publishers
Fun and informative articles about publishing on my blog:
http://www.TheBookDesigner.com

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marilyn peake
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Re: Blogs and Internet Publicizing

Post by marilyn peake » February 17th, 2010, 4:11 pm

JF –

I’m glad you found the information helpful! When I started doing book promotion, I learned a lot from other writers who had been doing book promotion. Sharing ideas in writers’ groups is so much fun!
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

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Re: Blogs and Internet Publicizing

Post by M.A.E. » February 17th, 2010, 7:43 pm

-Marilyn P.

Thank you for your insightful response! I guess if one were to look hard enough there are probably a number of established authors who've taken up blogging. My only fear would be that someday we lose the need for published authors, and everyone on the planet becomes a self-published web-author of sorts. As time goes on we must adapt or die though, so I'm all for change if it means that people will still read.

Thanks again for your reply!
"Just another writer trying to match the pace of his work to the speed of his mind." ~M.E.
Visit my daily blog. Tear me down, or boost me up; Just let me know you were there.

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