Hi Readers! Hi VRW ladies.
Searching for blog material? My first and foremost tip is this
FOLLOW YOUR BLISS.
(Unless that bliss is 100% about self-promotion.)
If I read a book by Kim Harrison that I liked, I’ll blog about it. I don’t care if it’s her latest book or if it was written back in the ’90’s. Meanwhile, if I tag that blog Kim Harrison, her readers will find me and my blog, and that’s a good thing.
Some of us at VRW have been discussing the wonders of The Virginia Festival of the Book lately. This event is coming up in our neck of the woods. Here are some tips about how to use an event like the VABook Fest to focus your blog topics.
I blog about events that I’m going to before I go to them. This is easy-peasy. I simply revel in my enthusiasms and dreams for the event. Who’s going to be there, who am I particularly looking forward to seeing, what questions would I like to ask of the participants, the panelists, etc. I also like to blog about my favorite sub-genres that will be featured at the event.
This is a particular no brainer if you actually write in that sub-genres. I blog about what I’d like to get out of the event–either to meet an author face to face, or to find out an answer to a burning question. Events are fun if only because sometimes it’s just the chance to connect with people that I never get to see enough of at our romance chapter meetings. Some times it’s enough to just smell the heady whiff of success in the room.
So may successful bloggers are good at taking their reader’s pulse. They see if readers are excited or curious too, and get all kinds of replies on their blogs.
Meanwhile, blogging about someone else’s book can be a launching point to discussing your own book/your book’s similar themes/struggles–or your own journey in publishing. Sometimes you can approach an author via FB or twitter and ask a question and relay the answer in your blog. If you’re REALLY bold you can reach out to that author to ask if they’d be willing to engage in a Q&A session on your blog.
My advice is to go for it. Only don’t take is personally if you don’t get a reply or the reply is ‘no’. A lot of authors are overwhelmingly busy. Also, the bigger the author, the fewer questions I ask. Meanwhile, don’t be surprised if you blog about an author and hear back from her in your comments section. A lot of authors use google alerts. The authors who have contacted me this way have often suggested giveaways to go along with the post or have been very pleased that someone is noticing her work. They’ve been darlings–it makes me feel motivated and happy to have these connections happen.
You can also take the easy way out and reblog something from one of the author’s blog posts that you liked. Just make sure everyone knows you’re reblogging it. I also try to write reviews of an author’s books that I really liked. For me it’s not even about praising the author for a job well done. It’s about digesting what I read and identifying the unique successful qualities of the book.
Meanwihle, I would sincerely welcome seeing posts from my VRW sisters about your dream panel, or posts about your ideas for “10 Wacky Romance Panel Titles” etc. Yes, this is because I’m already thinking about next year’s VABook Fest.
- The main thing about blogging–if you decide to blog–is this: you’re demonstrating that you know how to choose thoughtful topics that relate to your book and start building an audience of readers. For instance, if you write romantic suspense, and we’re having a romantic suspense panel, talking up the panel and its authors will help you build your own romantic suspense audience.
Of course there’s no point in blogging if no one knows the post is there. Tweeting out a link to your blog or posting a link to it on FB will help you engage with readers. Use that TAGS section to tag the blog with the names of authors or topics in your blog. Discussing the latest romance darling or news-worthy trend in romance actually will draw an audience to you.
- Some other blogging tips: 1)Include photos — check creative commons for the free stuff. 2)Include links to your topic. I like the author’s name to her website, her book to where you can buy it, etc. 3) Friend or follow the author and use her Twitter handle in your tweet about your blog post or paste your link on her FB author page. 4)Stay on target–try to keep away from mundane topics or filler. Search around for what inspires you to write your story in your sub-genre and take a moment to thoughtfully share something about that inspiration. 5)Be funny, witty, sexy, and full of pathos. Imagine these are the first and last words someone will ever read by you.