Blogs for bloggers and writers – part 2)

bloggerA few weeks ago I wrote the first of these and promised to come back to the subject.  OK it has taken a bit longer than anticipated and yes I did get distracted a) with the two most recent blogs on ‘Writers and all that advice’ b) an idea I’ve had for making good use of all the short stories I’ve collected (more on that another time).  So I’ve gone back to some favourite sites and trawled some new ones.  Oh, and as you will see below, having visited one new blog, I did get side tracked a little at one point (for good reason)

The idea behind all this is to up my game when it comes to promoting myself and my work which in turn means, what is referred to everywhere as, ‘building a platform’.  Anyway on with the blogs and how I think they might help:

The Write Life

A new discovery for me and a good one.  I’ve spent a few hours already going through the wide ranging blogs on the site.  There’s everything from the writing process to the use of social media and marketing.  One of the first blogs I read put me onto ‘Hootesuite’, which has revolutionised my use of twitter (yes, this was the side track mentioned above).  If you’re a twitter user and don’t use it, I suggest giving it a go.  Spend an hour or two organising your lists, and with Hootesuite, twitter is much more user friendly (it can also deal with other social media platforms).  I can now see all my lists tracking on one or two pages.  I have a page for ‘general’, with friends, interests, tweets etc. and another for blogs, writers, publishing sites that I’m tracking.  I can see at a glance when anything of interest pops up.  All the sites I’m mentioning have a ‘follow on twitter’ button

Another blog gave potential sites looking for guest blogs, something I’m keen to do as part of that platform building.  The good news there is that for many of them I can use blogs I wrote months ago and get them to a wider audience.  One such blog is:

Writers helping writers

I first came across this site run by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi when I published a blog ‘Dictionary of body language – lessons from my proof reader’ I was suggesting that a list of body language would be a good idea for writers.  Angel Akerman saw the blog and let me know they already had!  And guess what I bought the book, ‘The Emotion Thesaurus.’ On their site along with other useful information and blogs are other publications to help writers.  I am now preparing a guest blog that should hopefully go out on this site in December.

Funds for writers

Although I’ve only just come across this site it has been around a long time and has been awarded ‘Best writing web site’ by Writers Digest for 14 years so it must be doing something right.  There is a free newsletter, which gives at least 15 paying opportunities for writers, as well as the potential to sign up for a biweekly newsletter for $15/year (I’m looking into signing up), which gives over 75 paying opportunities.  By paying opportunities it mean competitions, blog and article opportunities and more.  I need to give it more time, but it seems an excellent place to go for ideas and advice on generating income from writing, as well as, in my case getting myself and my books out there.

Independent Author Network

parrotI’ve put this one in here because I’m on it (author page link:  There are numerous author/book promoting sites out there you can join for a fee.  At $24.95 for a life time membership I felt I had little to lose.  Has it helped me sell more books, probably not.  However, have I used this site efficiently, again probably not.  I could go for different grades of membership, the more expensive ones from $74.95 / year will actively promote your book for you to their over 110,000 followers plus put you on their facebook page etc.   That sounds a lot of people to get at, but how many are potential buyers etc.? and would the extra investment pay? I’m not sure.  If anyone reading this has experience of this or similar web sites I’d love to hear from you. The idea, and part of the deal, is you actively promote your books and other peoples books etc. through twitter (and in turn they will retweet your book postings).  I have to admit #IAN1 seems very active and I do retweet and get retweeted.  For me, I mostly use the #IAN1 for my blog and over a period of time have built up some very loyal retweeters.

These are my experiences looking for sites that I think (out of the thousands out there) offer something of use to me.  I am sure there are many more.

Am any closer to improving my book marketing?  A little perhaps.  As I said at the beginning one thing I am going to do is look for guest blog spots to help ‘build my platform’.  The other thing I need to start doing (or so lots of blogs tell me) is to start building an e-mail list.  One thing that is for sure is that there is no ‘magic bullet’, no must do, guaranteed success list of things to do.  Also there are lots of people out there telling you they have the answer, or can do it for you, for a price.  I do have some money to spend, but at the moment I can’t see where it would be best invested.  I will keep you posted

As always opinions and experiences, and in this case advice are welcome.

Ian Martyn

Author: Ian Martyn

Science Fiction Writer

If you have a view on this, let me know: