Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blog "Stuff"

First of all, hope everyone had a very nice Christmas. I haven't been online much these past few weeks.

We're working through the cover art again for RECKLESS, trying to get it just right. Being pig-headed, as usual. While that's going on, I'm polishing & fine-tuning the final MS while working on the follow up Jack Rackham Adventure. I should be working to create "buzz" before RECKLESS is let loose, you know, blogging & such, but (a) I'm way too focused on the final product & (b) I'm terrible about elbowing my way around to even mention my books, especially on someone else's site. Personally, I tend to avoid blogs totally dedicated to the promotion of an author's work. Blogs, IMHO, should be give & take. It's fine to incorporate promotion into the mix, but getting to "know" folks, including their opinions, is entertaining & often educational. (The fact that the "I" word has been used 7 times in this post is uncomfortable enough.) 

So how do y'all do it (mix blog posts & promo) without becoming a self-centered bore? How do you attract followers with whom to share ideas? (There are 30 followers on JaxPop, only 5 on the newer Jack Rackham Adventures blog). I (#8) dunno, maybe it's best to just stick with storytellin', but I'd (#9) sure like to get some opinions.
 

9 comments:

Joylene Butler said...

If I can get my act in gear, maybe we can do an interview on my blog to help promote your book? Pick a day and I am there! I will also do a review, but not sure when. I need discipline. I am far too lazy these days. Shame of me. Bravo to you though for keeping just a hectic schedule and still do what you need to to make things happen. You are inspiring. Happy New Year to you and Deb. Hope all your dreams for 2011 come true.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

"So how do y'all do it (mix blog posts & promo) without becoming a self-centered bore?"

I don't actually know whether I'm boring people or not ;-D but my personal goal is to mention my book only when it relates to a point I'm making, or when there's a big milestone (like the paperback coming out). I don't mention every review or award or foreign sale for it, nor do I mention every book signing. And when I do mention the book, I try to talk about other things in the same blog post, so people who aren't interested in the book (or have already read it) can skim and read something else in my post.

I've heard a good rule of thumb is no more than 10% promotion, but I don't try to quantify it myself.

JaxPop said...

Joylene, My dream for 2011 is to get back home & stay put for more than a few days. Hah! Your blog gets lots of traffic & followers, so there's no sense in screwin' up a good thing by interviewing me! Let's not pollute the crystalline waters of Cluculz Lake!

Jenn, your blog covers lots of cool writing topics (like Joylene's). There's much to be learned over there at your place & it's never boring (though for a hack like me, it can be intimidating). Guess I better figure out how to post writerly kinda stuff - yeah, that'll work.

Carol J. Garvin said...

I'm still in the planning-ahead stage since I don't have a novel published yet, but I've dreaded the idea of self-promotion. It seems so self-focusing. I've been following Jody Hedlund's blog for a couple years and one of her posts last summer was entitled, "Can Writers Market Themselves Without Making Eyes Roll?" It's worth a read: http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com/2010/08/can-writers-market-themselves-without.html

It's possible to be subtle in marketing... keeping your name and/or book title visible without making it the centre of every conversation or blog post. And you really should take Joylene up on her offer. I'm sure she means it, and I'd be pleased to do something, too... another review or a Q&A interview. It's painless... really, it is.

Also, are you a member of forums like 'the blue board'... Verla Kay's forum on children's literature? If you join, browse, occasionally comment and generally make yourself known on it, you'll widen your exposure and likely find a good source of ideas and support. It's at http://www.verlakay.com/boards/index.php

You're working towards another successful launch and I have no doubt RE will be even more successful than its predecessor. :)

laura best said...

Tough question, one that I've blogged about. As a published author it's all part of the package, I suppose. We can't hide away in the dark, unless we don't care if our book gets read, but if we didn't care would we seek publication in the first place?

To be honest, I do cringe by times, and I struggle with this whole self-promotion thing. I sometimes get sick of me..lol! But I try to suck it up and do my part. Hopefully by blogging about other things, people will get to know me better as a person. People who have known me all my life come to my blog expecting that I will share any news with them with what's going on in my writing life. Heaven help me when they don't know. I'm in big trouble then. I guess that comes with being part of a small close-knit community.

My daughter once put it like this. If someone comes to your blog they obviously expect to read about you, if they choose not to then that's their choice, you're not forcing anyone to read your blog or buy your book.

I also like to help promote other writers whenever possible, that's really what I'm more comfortable doing.

This has turned into a long response but I think to sum it up letting others know about our book, etc is not the same as tooting our own horn. If you wrote a post about how wonderful your book was, and what a great writer you are, then that would be obnoxious. People would soon get tired of you. However, letting us know how your book is coming along, ehem...if it's been nominated for any awards...is exciting for the rest of us to read about. After all we're reading your blog, we're rooting for you..we want to know.

Tara Maya said...

It's not easy trying to balance blog writing and real writing and real life. I never feel like I've done enough, but I just try to accept that I can't do everything.

Carol J. Garvin said...

Hmm... I left a comment here the other day but it hasn't shown up. Maybe Blogger identified it as spam because I left the URL of a post of Jody Hedlund's where she addressed the awkwardness of self-promotion. Anyway, I said then and I'll say it again: take Joylene up on her offer. And believe me when I say I'd be happy to read, review, interview or whatever else will help. When fellow writers actually offer to help, they mean it. :)

JaxPop said...

Tara - The balancing act is ongoing. I work hard at prioritizing, squeezing whatever I can into the day. Blogging is way down on the TTD sheet. If I had my druthers, I'd write &, with the exception of certain posts & visits to particular blogs, leave the rest of it for someone else to handle.

JaxPop said...

Hmmm... 3 terrific responses & they were all sent to "Spam". Sorry Carol & Laura. I wasn't ignoring you. I'll have to reply later - though I guess it won't matter now.