Sunday, April 12, 2015

Adventures in Self Publishing - Blogs

First off, let's talk about other folks' blogs.  Getting reviewed, interviewed, etc, by a book blog is great exposure.  However, if you're a misanthropic hermit with social skills that make even the internet embarrassed for you, things may be tough going, as it takes a bit of networking.  I've struck out in this field myself.  I looked for active book review blogs in my genre that take ebook submissions that aren't respectable enough to snub me and for which I can find a contact email and sent them an epub and mobi of what I was shilling.  I initially asked first as a courtesy, but since ebooks are so tiny I don't think it rude to just email the thing.  And don't nag them about when they're going to give you your Five Star review.

Message boards and other community websites can be a good resource, but keep in mind that Shameless Self Promotion is pretty much universally frowned upon.  Your best bet is to have genuine interactions with other members and don't do any promotion at all aside from maybe a link in your signature or profile page.

Another route is to run your own blog, with the occasional self-promotion and maybe links in the sidebar ---->

But make sure to have actual content, and it doesn't hurt for that content to be related to your books in some way.  Turns out having reviews of theme park queues doesn't help sell masked hero torture porn.

James Reasoner does this right, and I'm not just saying that because I get half my traffic from his site.  He's got movie reviews, book reviews, talks about the writing process, some nostalgia - I have some limited experience myself with paperback spinners in small Texas town drugstores, and they are pure magic.  As a result of being a regular reader of his blog, I've ended up checking out some of his stuff on Amazon, even though I'm not especially into Westerns by Americans.

But only do it if you enjoy it, and if you have the time.  Blogging can be a time suck, but it can also be good practice stringing words together.  And it's the perfect warm up for self-publishing.  I understand the anxiety of putting something out there for the whole world to see.  But don't worry.  Nobody's looking.

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