(FIRSTLY -- IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR MY ENTRY IN MADDY'S NOVEL FILM BLOGFEST, IT IS THE NEXT POST...thanks!)
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Before I get into the dot point list, I'll say:
- Interviews and Profiles: Authors, prospective authors, debut authors, cover artists, editors, experts who work in the field you write about (a cop if you're a crime writer, for example.)
- Informative pieces: Maybe an interesting info dump from all that research for your new novel that doesn't belong in your novel.
- Reviews and spotlights of books in your genre: If you are an aspiring author, don't turn your site into a full-on book review site. In the future you may have to say something negative about a book and that's hard! It may be reciprocated! But book reviews are interesting and may even influence someone to buy the book you recommend.
- Info about other media in your genre. Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog is a great example of how to do this. Alex has grown a hugely-successful blogging community, party due to his love of film and music and his ninja superpower of being able to visit everyone in the blogosphere regularly!
- Comic or inspirational vignettes about your life. This can be almost anything, as long as it's entertaining, has a point, and doesn't turn into a pity party. Anne recommends rom-com author Tawna Fenske. I think of Talli Roland. She doesn't say much at times, but she is always entertaining in the way she says it.
- Stuff about your pets. I was surprised at this one, but Anne says not to underestimate the power of a cute puppy or grumpy cat to draw hits. Catherine Ryan Hyde posted photos and videos showing the progress of her new cat and old dog learning to get along: a lesson in diplomacy. It got so popular, the dog and cat—now best of friends—have their own Facebook page. (Well, my dog has her own fb page, but that's another story!)
- Opinions (but don't polarize people) Any opinion piece about publishing news will probably get a lot of readers in the bookish community. How do you feel about such things as fan fiction? What about the latest doings of Amazon? Does Goodreads get your goat? Maybe others feel like you do about your topic or at the very least, you give them a chance to air an opinion.
- History and nostalgia pieces: Anything about an historical era will be of interest to many readers. Writing a book of military history? Share your own experiences. If you lived through an interesting period of history, readers want to know about it. A blog is the perfect place to share. Look at Hilary Melton-Butcher at Positive Letters...Inspirational Stories. A massive following for her impeccably-researched articles with a British flavour. (Long articles full of links for further research.)
- Travel pieces about the settings of your books. Post about the places you've set your novel. I love doing this. Hopefully you have your own photographs. If not, be careful of copyrighted images. I wrote at length on Image Copyright with the names of sites where you can find images to use without the risk of copyright infringement.
- How-to's and recipes. Crafty things like knitting patterns if your character is a knitter, for example. I adore those books by Kate Jacobs, set in NYC which revolve around a yarn store. How cleverly she characterises and weaves her tale around a knitting club. She made the protagonist's apartment in NYC so realistic I want to visit if I ever get to New York and I want a sandwich from Marty's deli downstairs!
- Almost anything of general interest. Anything that might make a good magazine article will make a good blogpost—especially a magazine your ideal reader is likely to buy. I've blogged travel articles I've submitted to magazines.
- A series of articles or vignettes you hope to make into a book. For nonfiction, blogging your book is usually OK. (Check with your publisher). For fiction, if you decide to write a series of posts and turn them into a saleable story later (it has been done!) make sure you check before submitting your novella/novel. You'll usually find if you've made many changes to your story since blogging it, there will be no problem. At times this "previously published" card is overplayed to scare bloggers into not publishing online. Many publishers have come round -- if 30 people read it on your blog there's not a lot of competition going on!
|Books being unloaded for the |
Brisbane Writers' Festival
at the State Library of Queensland
- starts today!
Some writers ARE able to attract a blog following by posting some short fiction or poetry, but I don't recommend you do it exclusively. You might be giving away first rights if it is a publishable work, so consider what you post. There is always Wattpad which is password-protected and therefore not "publishing" if you're concerned about first rights.
- My 'down-home' blogging advice. Write considered posts in which you've invested time and energy. If you're genuine, it'll show and hopefully, readers will read and comment.
- The new linky for Write...Edit...Publish's September bloghop is now up. Please consider joining us this month for MOVING ON. You can post: flash fiction, non-fiction, playscript excerpts, (all up to 1,000 words), photography, artwork.